Written for the Occupancy Marketing blog

Destination Marketing is a term for marketing a city, a region, an island or even a whole country. Occupancy Marketing has quite a lot of experience of each – we’ve worked with Edinburgh (DEMA), Cumbria (GoLakes) and Scotland (VisitScotland)… and Murdo (our Head of Internet Marketing) is a one-man marketing agency when it comes to marketing the Scottish Western Isles!

Marketing a whole city or country should be easy as there should always be an abundance of events, activities, places to visit and things to do but sometimes showcasing somewhere that’s as culture-rich can be tough – where do you start? Looking at countries and cities around the world there are some fantastic examples of content that really sucks people in.

Australia – there is nothing like Australia

One of the first things that greets users on Australia.com is information about recommended driving routes with nice imagery, maps and suggested destinations – immediately making potential holiday-makers imagine how they would organise their visit and explore a country that is renowned for its huge expanses of wilderness beauty. Although the routes are primarily contained as PDFs (which can’t necessarily be indexed by search engines) the downloadable/printable nature is sure to add to the holiday planning mind set. Other highlights of the Australia.com site include a satellite photo of the country that shows photos outlining great places to visit, links to a highly active Google+ account that focusses on animals/nature, a brilliant Facebook app linking off to each of the local Facebook pages, a simple Facebook app that helps answer frequently asked questions and a beautifully illustrated map showing the best jobs in the world.

The Isle Of Wight – England in a nutshell

slick website greets users – as well as a slideshow suggesting things to do there are several ways to find accommodation and several visual cues to push users to look at brochures (either via post, download or an app). YouTube itself doesn’t get much attention (and there appear to be two separate accounts – VisitWightTV and VisitIsleofWight) but the Dinosaur Island experience YouTube videos are vital in helping explain the unusual concept of exploring the island’s prehistoric past via an augmented-reality app.

St Petersburg – Everyone is talking about St Petersburg

The official website, is all about events and the arts but the Facebook and VK pages show more of the attractive buildings, unusual vehicles and winter/weather scenes, tailoring the different approaches to the different demographics on each site.

Denmark – Discover your new favourite place

Denmark’s official website, has recently run a competition to find the best Copenhagen blogger via a scavenger hunt – a pretty awesome idea that looks to have created a lot of interest on social media, especially on Instagram. The site also maintains a Flickr poolwith great photos of Denmark from other Flickr users and has produced some brilliant videos on YouTube exploring Danish culture such as the meaning of the term Hugge and a genius “choose your own adventure” style series of videos to help you learn Danish.

Tokyo – GO TOKYO!

On first look the Tokyo site isn’t quite as quirky as you’d expect but features like the “Charms of Tokyo” mini-blog/zine, and a guide to Tokyo’s Anime & Manga Map, which gives the site a good feel.

Hamilton Island – Where in the world would you rather be?

A beautiful place with big money, it’s no surprise that they can pull of some great marketing but the content created from hosting an “Instameet” gathering of keen Instagram photographers generated over 850,000 likes and thousands of comments.

It’s clear from looking at a range of the travel portals that there are some great examples of marketing going on, especially when websites make use of social sites. Something to note about every travel portal that we looked at – there are far more that look cluttered and ugly than there are that look friendly and organised! In many ways making use of social sites makes this easier as it makes everything look uniform and leads with images.

We hope you’ll find some inspiration here to use in your own online media.