The Promotion of Destinations

Whatever the types of attractions (or combination of them) of a particular destination, if tourists are to visit it - in the numbers which can be catered for - it must be ‘promoted’. By this we mean that potential tourists must be made aware of it and its various attractions. Obviously, if people do not know a destination exists, or what its attractions are, they will not visit it.

Advertising and other publicity is carried out for many destinations, and they and their attractions need to be described (often with the aid of color photographs) in brochures, pamphlets, leaflets, videos, DVDs, etc, in such a way as to appeal to potential tourists; these documents are so important that they are dealt with at length in Module 12, where we also consider the equally important matter of the promotion of destinations using websites. In very many cases, effective and regular promotion of destinations is essential for their continued success.

A “free” form of promotion which should never be overlooked, however, is “word of mouth”; tourists who have enjoyed a visit to or a holiday/vacation at a particular destination are likely to recommend it to other potential visitors - a vital reason for always ensuring “customer satisfaction”.

However magnificent the scenery of a destination, however beneficial its climate, however appealing its other attractions, tourists to it will be limited if :-

They cannot reach it easily and conveniently (for example, by road, rail, chair lift, cable car, etc, as appropriate) or if they cannot be accommodated or otherwise catered for there.

We therefore now consider amenities and accessibility.


By definition, amenities are “facilities” provided to meet requirements or needs. The “basic” requirements which tourists want at a destination are, of course, accommodation, catering, and WCs/washrooms, cloakrooms or restrooms.

But the standards of the facilities which are expected by different tourists can and do vary enormously. What one tourist might consider a “luxury”, such as a private en suite bathroom in a hotel, another tourist might consider a “bare necessity”. Some tourists might be perfectly happy accommodated in tents, caravans, chalets, etc, whilst others demand “five star” hotel accommodation. The same applies to food, as some people are content with self-catering or self-service canteen facilities, whilst other people demand full restaurant services, or even “gourmet” catering. Good local transport facilities are often also essential.

The amenities expected are closely allied to motivations for travel; different people might require different entertainment, sporting facilities, guide or sightseeing or other excursion facilities, and so on. In addition, and as we have already mentioned, facilities might be required to enable tourists to reach particular attractions or to engage in the activities for which they are visiting a destination, for example ski-lifts need to be provided at a skiing resort. Adequate facilities for the safety of tourists - for example, safe vehicles for tourists visiting game reserves; and beach guards or life guards on dangerous stretches of water or coast - are also very important.

The costs of the amenities offered are often important considerations, notwithstanding the fact that the better the standards of amenities offered or expected, the higher their costs are likely to be. The individual costs of some amenities (such as a ski lift pass, or green fee for golf) might, of course, be “included” in the price of a “package”, but nevertheless they will of necessity contribute to the overall cost of that package.

Cost-cutting in relation to amenities by tour operators, to try to keep prices down, can easily be counter-productive. A golfing enthusiast, for example, might be prepared to overlook uninspiring meals or even inadequate accommodation, but would complain bitterly if his golfing facilities were not up to expectation! Similarly, package tourists staying at a beach resort are often upset at being called upon to pay extra for beach chairs or loungers - even though they are often prepared to pay “over the odds” for drinks served to them on the beach.

It is important that travel brochures and websites, and other promotional media - such as advertisements in magazines, travel supplements and guides and on television - state clearly and honestly, without ambiguity, what is - and equally what is not - included in the price of what is described as an “inclusive” tour.

It can happen that the amenities which are offered at or by a destination become themselves the “attractions” to that particular destination. For example, hotel and/or resort complexes have been constructed in many countries, sometimes in previously unexploited areas, offering a wide variety of entertainments and other facilities which in their own right attract tourists in substantial numbers.


Ease of access to - and from - a destination is an important factor; this is especially so if ‘mass tourism’ is what is being sought.

To large numbers of travelers, the actual time spent travelling to (and back from) a destination is considered “dead” or “wasted” time, is boring and uncomfortable - delays caused by strikes, congestion, security and immigration checks, and the like, add to the displeasure, whether travel is by rail, road, air or water. (And that can apply equally to the travel necessary to the “starting point” for coach tours and cruises, and travel back home from the “finishing point” or port of disembarkation.) It is generally important for a destination to have regular, convenient and reasonably priced modes of transport to and from it. Distance and travel-time from and back to the country/area of origin might be important considerations in deciding whether a particular destination will be visited or not.

Another matter to be considered under this heading concerns immigration procedures, visas, etc. If it is a long and tedious matter to obtain a tourist entry visa, for example, then the destination is likely to lose much of its appeal to tourists - because it is not easily accessible.

The amenities for arriving/departing tourists in the ‘host’ country, or area of it, are also important, such as good, clean and efficient airports, sea ports, coach and railway stations, and good railway, coach/taxi services. Delays caused by slow immigration or “entry” processing, at baggage reclaim/handling points, and for customs clearance can all be frustrating - and can deter tourists from a further visit to the country/destination in the future. And “bad experiences” will be passed on to others “back home”, who might also be deterred from making visits there. “Bad publicity” does not help any destination.

The needs of disabled travelers should be taken into account when considering amenities and accessibility at destinations. For example, ramps are needed for wheelchair access, special toilet/WC/cloakroom facilities have to be provided, and suitable transport must be available. In addition, adequate medical services must be on hand, and peoples’ special needs must be catered for in relation to security, such as in the event of fire.


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