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1 July 2024

A Warm Welsh Welcome Starts With Destination Marketing


GUEST COLUMN:

Andrew Hudson
CEO
Zip World

Over the past 10 years Zip World has contributed almost £1 billion to the North Wales economy.

That’s a huge figure and it’s one we’re immensely proud of. But it isn’t something that we’ve achieved alone. It’s the culmination of the work of our fantastic teams alongside all of the great businesses which surround us. Between us we offer our visitors a warm Welsh welcome.

It all comes down to destination marketing. At Zip World, we begin engaging potential visitors long before they arrive. From the time they engage with us we’re telling a compelling story about what North Wales has to offer – its events, landmarks and natural beauty. This content-driven approach ensures that from the very first interaction, potential visitors are not just looking at a single experience but are planning a longer stay filled with diverse activities.

This preparation pays dividends. More than 80% of our visitors book in advance, often months ahead, allowing us ample opportunity to influence their itineraries. Through strategic content marketing we ensure that by the time visitors arrive they have a well-rounded itinerary that goes beyond Zip World, encouraging longer stays and increased spending in the region.

Once here, our guests receive an education about the area from our local team members who are passionate about what North Wales has to offer. This knowledge helps extend visitor stays even further, as they become keen to explore the richness of the region they’ve learnt about online and through our staff.

For any business looking to master destination marketing, my advice is straightforward: invest in content marketing. Start the conversation early, focusing on the unique aspects of your offerings and the broader appeal of the area. At Zip World we pair unique adventure experiences with distinctive accommodation options, ensuring that our offerings stand out in a competitive market.

However, effective destination marketing doesn't just stop at creating and sharing content. It requires substantial investment, particularly in the digital space where the battle for attention is fierce. Working closely with partners like Visit Wales is crucial, as collaborative efforts can amplify our marketing reach, allowing us to maintain a competitive edge not only locally but globally.

Despite increasing marketing costs, the investment in crafting and promoting a rich narrative about North Wales is crucial. We are sometimes too modest about our offerings compared to neighbours like Scotland and Ireland. By doubling down on our content marketing efforts and seeking adequate funding and support from partners like the Welsh Government we can elevate North Wales' brand on the global stage.

Effective destination marketing is about more than just selling an experience – it’s about promoting a destination as a whole and crafting a narrative that attracts and retains tourists. It’s about ensuring that when visitors come, they don’t just see a place – they experience it in all its richness, which in turn fosters repeat visits and sustainable growth for the local economy.




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