5 ways to get tourists to work for you


A common angst amongst tourism operators is that many tourists only visit once.  Visiting your place was part of a once in a lifetime trip, or they’ve ticked it off their bucket list, no need to go back, it’s been done etc.

Getting repeat business out of your customers is one of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategies because you’re already talking to the converted.  So how do you make the most of tourists that visit your business, but are highly likely to never come back?

You need to create a strategy that goes beyond simply getting them in the door.  Nurturing your customers to ensure that not only do they have a great experience when they are there, but continue to be a great customer afterwards is the key to making the most out of them and getting more bang for your buck.

  1. Get them to give you a referral

There are several ways you can do this.

  • Get them to complete a feedback form and ask them if they’d recommend you to friends and family. Simply by planting this seed in their head that it would be a great idea to recommend your place is a start.
  • Give them a brochure to take away with them.
  • Have a line on your brochure that says “in the interests of saving trees, please don’t throw me away, hand me to someone that might like to read me too”.
  • Give them a postcard of your place for free. Even go one step further and offer to POST IT FOR THEM to ensure your card gets delivered to their friends who are likely to be people that might also want to visit you one day.
  1. Get them to share their experience on social media
  • Some people simply forget to tell Facebook that they’re at or that they’ve been to your place. Place a sign somewhere visible, but not too ostentatious that has your hashtag or handle on it with the right spelling.  That way they’ll be gently reminded to check in, or tag your place (with the correct spelling).
  • Suggest a great spot for a photo opportunity so they can take a selfie
  • Offer to take photos of them, people are more likely to share photos that they themselves are actually in.
  • Give them a business card after their visit with a friendly request to review your place on Trip Advisor or any other review site.
  1. Get them to buy a gift voucher
  • Sell gift vouchers at the counter, so they’re ready to go anytime of the year
  • In October send an email out to your database of previous guests suggesting that a gift voucher to your place would make an excellent Christmas present
  1. Give them an incentive to come back – loyalty card

Some people may just really like your place and want to come back with their various friends and family. By offering an annual pass, or discount off their second and consecutive visits may be just the incentive they need to decide to come back, knowing that you value their business, but understand that paying full price a second time round isn’t valuing them.

  1. Use insights from their visit to guide you in future decisions

Make the most of people who do decide to visit your place and glean details from them.  Why did they come? Where are they from? What was it that made your place appealing to them? Where did they see you? Where they referred by someone or did they just stumble across you? How? Where they impressed? Would they recommend you to their friends? Why or why not? And so on….

There are so many questions you need answered, but of course, be careful not to bombard them – stick to a MAXIMUM 10 feedback questions.

Some of the best feedback will come from you or your staff taking them time to ask them face to face. If you simply can’t get feedback that way, give them a feedback form to complete before they leave, or send them an email with a link to a short online survey.

Use the information you get from them to make changes and improvements. Remember the customer is usually right, don’t disregard their feedback especially if they’ve taken the time to provide it.

And finally, when someone does give you a referral, feedback, buys a gift voucher or shares on social media – THANK THEM for it.  A quick thank you comment, a short email or a verbal thank you with eye contact and a smile goes a LONG way to generating a long lasting relationships with customers even if they themselves only ever come once to your place.

If any of this sounds daunting or difficult to implement, perhaps I can help you. Give me a call or email, let’s chat.


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