Valentine’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the tourism industry to captivate the hearts of those seeking a little romance, particularly through memorable experiences. Couples often really try to go above and beyond for their loved ones on this occasion, and not just with tangible gifts. Often an experience can be much more meaningful than any object or gift.
Leveraging the sentimental feel of the day, tourism marketers can show off some of the most special aspects of their destination communities, creating an enticing narrative to intrigue potential future customers. Creativity and strategic marketing can transform Valentine’s Day into a powerful tool for driving engagement, bookings and relationships within tourism.
Here are three ways to increase loyal visitors of your location this Valentine’s Day.
1. Showcase Real Stories
People can relate to authentic experiences, and emotions play a crucial role in decision-making, especially when it comes to romantic getaways. Genuine stories help build credibility and trust with the public since they can hear firsthand from those who have already visited your destination. Showcasing a couple who feel passionately about your location and its positives allows others to envision themselves in the same scenario, fostering a desire to create their own memories there.
Airbnb took advantage of this tool by contacting hosts who found love through Airbnb and having them open their homes for only $14 nightly to local couples on Valentine’s Day, 2021. Whit, who met his life partner when they stayed at his home, was one host who opened his home in hopes to spread love. Read more about Airbnb’s Valentine’s Day idea here.
2. Lean into the Cynics
Not everyone is feeling extra lovey-dovey when Feb. 14 rolls around! While leaning toward the couples market is important, celebrating self-love and friendship should not be overlooked. The trend of celebrating “Galentine’s Day” is a fun solution and another opportunity to create long-lasting memories. Highlighting a social event, mixer, mindfulness retreat, or standup can be a great way to bring in friend groups or singles looking to enjoy their vacation in a different style.
Incorporating humor and playfulness into anti-Valentine’s marketing campaigns can resonate with individuals who appreciate a lighthearted approach to the holiday, making the destination more memorable. Sweethearts, the iconic Valentine’s Day candy, leaned into the humorous side of relationships with their Sweethearts Situationships campaign, poking fun at “blurry relationships.” Check it out here.
3. Promote UGC
People love to share their love. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to set up some photo booths, aesthetic seating, flower arrangements and fairy lights. Make your destination picture perfect so that guests can’t help but share a post of it. Create a hashtag for them to post their special getaway flicks under. Offering photo opportunities at various experiences and events will also heighten posts from your visitors. A contest or interactive map can be a great way for visitors to get engaged with your destination and share their recommendations.
UGC as a marketing tool not only showcases real experiences, but drives engagement with your socials and brings in active followers. Let your visitors know of some picturesque spots through a blog or pamphlet. In addition to its online benefits, UGC is an extremely cost-effective way to market your destination to a large audience.