Today, we’re talking about your tourism brand voice. In a sense, this is also your brand’s personality.
It’s a way of sharing the values, beliefs, and culture of your company.
Every tourism brand has a voice
In the life span of a tourism brand, these are your brand’s first words!
And when you’re interacting with potential tourists, the voice and tone affect how those first few words are heard by your customers.
A law firm might present itself more seriously. After all, its target needs to trust in a law firm’s expensive services.
Netflix might be more irreverent. It’s an entertainment platform, so it can aim to be entertaining in all of its touchpoints.
High fashion is exclusive. It projects an air of individuality, so maintaining that is important to the prestige.
Why develop your tourism brand voice
Being able to communicate consistently lets you create a stronger relationship with your potential customers. When they see the same tone on your website and your social media and the emails you send out, they get a better understanding of who you are - and who you’ll be when they eventually sign up to spend time with you, stay at your hotel, or do your activity.
The opposite is true, too. If you’re funny and loud in your emails, classy and refined on your website, and purely factual on social media, it’s hard to get a sense of who you are… or who you’re trying to reach.
How to give your tourism brand a voice
Think broadly about who you might want to reach. Each of these groups of people is likely tuned into a certain kind of voice.
And, it’s worth noting, they might tune out other voices.
That’s okay. No brand is for everyone. There’s certainly a risk in picking a group (did you pick the wrong one? The least profitable one? The smallest one?), but it’s a risk worth taking to connect further with them.
(And this isn’t permanent - if you decide you’d like to change your voice, you can.)
Here are four examples of tones of voice that could be used for tourism brands, along with a few Do’s, Don’ts, and Risks.
Luxurious Brands (High-end hotels, luxury tours, 5-star services)
Descriptions: Elegant, refined, exclusive.
Do: Write longer sentences. Use evocative words that spark the senses.
Don’t: Use slang. Contractions. Exclamation points.
Risk: Only appealing to a small audience.
Dependable Brands (Transportation)
Description: Family-focused, useful, reliable.
Do: Write like a friend. Ask questions to demonstrate concern. Be trustworthy and warm.
Don’t: Change your tone between mediums.
Risk: Being even-keeled (or even boring!) might keep you from being interesting or holding someone’s attention.
Adventure Brands(Activities, extreme sports)
Description: Living on the edge, memories of a lifetime.
Do: Sell the adrenaline, the uniqueness, the limits. Write how people talk.
Don’t: Be mean or critical. Just because you’re daring and challenging doesn’t mean exclude.
Risk: Accessibility. Not everyone can do every type of outdoor activity.
Exciting Brands (Group tours, cultural tours)
Description: Fast-paced and exciting, the passion comes through.
Do: Be verb-driven (Dive into excitement, run into the wild, dig in!).
Don’t: No adverbs. No long sentences. Get to the point.
Risk: Niche-specific. What you’re interested in is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
If you have a tourism company or activity, look through your materials. Then fill out the start of your own Tourism Tone of Voice Cheat Sheet. Are there any areas that are conflicting? Consider how you might revise to create a more consistent approach.
If you’re looking to start your own tourism company, go straight to the chart below. Fill out your ideal Tourism Tone, the description, the Do’s and Don’ts, and the Risk.
Tourism Tone of Voice Cheat Sheet
Just know that by defining your tourism voice now, you’ll make everything that comes after - each email, social media post, advertisement, and more - easier.
Now that you have an idea what your tourism brand sounds like, it’s time to figure out the visuals.
Welcome to the Tourism Branding Series.
Together, we’re going to spend seven posts talking about what branding is, as well as how branding works specifically for tourism.
With each post, we’ll spend time breaking down an essential branding question. Then we’ll finish with an activity that can be done in 10 minutes.
That way, by the end of this series, your tourism brand will be in great shape. Whether you’re launching a new project, refreshing an old one, or just want to touch up on the basics of branding, I’m excited to have you along for the ride.
Let’s get to it.
A brand is a way of identifying a business. From your side, the business owner, the entrepreneur, it could be a name, a term, a symbol, another feature which distinguishes you from someone else - or all of the above.
But your brand isn’t only yours. A brand is also a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization.
So for as much work as you put into designing a fancy logo or coming up with the most creative name, your reputation is decided by your customers, too.
How Does Tourism Branding Work?
Branding works in a similar way for tourism. Destinations can have brands. Cities can have brands. Hotel chains can have brands.
And you and your tourism company have a brand.
Like above, you have control over a good portion of that. You can create your logo. You can design your website. You can run your social media.
But your brand is also how people experience your service or your product. That’s the key word. Wherever it’s possible to experience what it is you offer, your brand comes into play.
So, where does that happen?
In fact, there’s likely more. I’m sure you’re thinking of others - hit reply and send ‘em my way!
Using the list above, make a list of where you believe your customers (past and future) can and do interact with your tourism brand.
If your business exists, be honest and critical. If you are still developing your idea, think of where they could go/what they could do.
You can reply back to this email with your ideas and I’ll be happy to look them over and suggest others. Or you can keep them to yourself and work on this independently.
Tomorrow, we get into the fun stuff. Tomorrow, we ask…