What Makes You…. You? Defining Your Tourism Brand Story


Today, we’re focusing on what makes you… you. For tourism, that's the origins behind your tourism brand story.

For many of us in tourism, doing the work is the fun part. Whether it’s running an adventure business and going out with excited international clientele, providing exceptional hospitality at a hotel, or showing off local ingredients at your restaurant, the work itself is rewarding.

So much so, that we sometimes forgot to actually talk about that work. Granted, not everyone loves to talk about themselves. And even the ones that do love to talk about themselves might not be doing it right. 

The best way to start talking about yourself? By crafting your brand story.

Your Tourism Brand Story

A tourism brand story is the story behind your brand. As humans, we love stories. Think of how you pass the time sharing with your friends and family over dinner. Or the movies and shows you see advertised every day. We’re suckers for narrative.

Your tourism brand’s story is how you create that same narrative for your customers. When done well, your brand story recounts the moments that led up to your brand’s creation, then shapes them into the purpose that continues to drive why you do what you do.

It answers questions like:

  • Where’d you get the idea for your tourism business? 
  • What inspired you? 
  • How are you different from your competitors? 
  • Or, what makes you and your competitors in your area different from other regions? 

Through that, your customers see the emotional arc and the reason you care. Soon, they’ll begin to see themselves as a part of that story, too.

Today’s exercise:

We’ll use an exercise called The 5 Whys. Developed originally for Toyota, this series of questions (which can sound an awful lot like a kid asking the same question over and over again!) is designed to get to the root of a problem. 

In this instance, the problem is separating your brand from all of the others. Solving it will make it easier to talk about yourself and easier to get travelers to want to be a part of that story, too.

  1. Why do you do what you do?

Why you? What was the defining moment, the problem you wanted to solve, the reason you had to start the business?

  1. Why do you do that better than anyone else?

If you could do something else better, you’d probably be doing that. So whether it’s your experience, passion, connections, or something else, write a sentence or two about what makes you uniquely qualified.

  1. Why should people care about what you do?

Here’s the secret ingredient about a brand story: it should include your customer. Each person is the hero of their own story, so when you can make them feel like their own journey, adventure, or exploration is a part of yours, your own brand story is stronger.

  1. Why should they tell their friends and family about you?

This is key not only to getting someone to that first booking, but also to generating bookings after. What is it about your customer service, your attention to detail, your experience that’ll keep people talking?

  1. Why will you make the world a better place?

In your own way, think about the positive impacts that come from what you’re doing. Even on a small scale, like supporting a family-owned business, this continues to allow customers to play a part in your brand’s story.

Our next post is all about your tourism brand growing up. It’s about to say its first words.

So, what will your brand sound like? Get ready as we dive into personality, tone of voice, and ideal customers!

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