Destination marketing is the marketing or promotion of a specific destination or geographic location. The most common uses of this line of marketing are for promotion within the tourism industry or government works to draw new residents, businesses, and visitors to an area.

Want to know more about this type of marketing? Let’s take a quick look at five, common characteristics of the select marketing of destinations.


The first, and most abundantly obvious characteristic of the marketing of destinations is the promotional nature of the publications being offered. Per the usual marketing publication, the destination is certainly one of choice and prestige, not to be overlooked when planning that getaway. A government publication may likewise look to draw the new via idealistic statistics, pictures, and storytelling of lush histories gone-by. No matter the reason, every justification and psychological prompt may be used to promote the destination in an attractive light.

Rarely Negative

Again, touching on the aforementioned premise of promotion of the destination as an attractive locale, there will typically only be positive statements and feelings expressed by the presenting media. The plentiful positivity certainly aims at the destination as a whole, but the uplifting of the parent company, brand identity, and the surrounding area’s perks may also take place.

There is however one exception to this general rule. In the rarest of occasions, and for some deep, corporate reasoning, mention of the competition may take place. In such cases, you may find this one exception, with negativity tactfully targeting the competing interest.

Coupons and Contests

What better way exists to attract more people to any location or business than via the use of irresistible contests, sweepstakes, and coupons? The first official use of such special offers for product promotion came to us courtesy of C. W Post, cereal manufacturer and marketing pioneer of 1895. Ever since these first, primitive efforts at coupon-based promotion, the world of contests and coupons quickly grew and evolved to today’s current state.

Win a free getaway. Win a free friend ticket for the entire stay. Get the price reduced by half by booking today. The chance to win big and get free things is a regular characteristic of the marketing of destinations.

Nods to Affiliates

In many cases of destination marketing, an additional nod will be given to an affiliated business. These inclusions of affiliates can take place in many forms, from discreet reference to intentional sensationalism. The reasons for such helpful acts are typically those of a financial and business makeup.

Perhaps a resort and soda company do regular business together, on-location, serving the same customers. At the time of marketing, the two companies may then coordinate a cosponsored contest or giveaway in order to draw more people via this united, two-company, marketing mission. This is merely one example of the many ways that affiliate acknowledgment works as a characteristic of typical efforts in the marketing of destinations.

Plays on Weather, Climate

Yet another common characteristic of modern marketing efforts for destinations is that of weather sensationalism. In nearly all cases of destination-based marketing, plays on idealistic weather are made. This can be through written literature, videos, pictures, and more.

This does not always mean that sunny skies are what is being promoted though. If the location is one where sunshine is ideally expected, then certainly, the image of constant sun and blue skies will be offered. However, destinations such as ski resorts may choose to promote the snowiest of conditions. This all depends on the ideal image manifested of that geographic location and climate.

Destination-based marketing is an important industry that serves the interests of all involved. The destination gains business while the consumer is provided destination information, registration directions, and even special offers as a compliment. This is the world of destination marketing as well as the oft-seen characteristics that accompany it.