If you’re a travel and hospitality business and you’ve received one of the many tourism grants available for you, then you face a tricky question…
How do you use your award to maximise your success?
A powerful answer is to develop public activities and events to promote your business and attract more visitors!
Supporting the Tourism Sector can be a Challenge.
If you run eligible businesses in the tourism sector, it can be a real challenge to know just how to use the financial support you’ve received.
Not all local authority funding programmes give clear guidelines for the critical areas in which you can spend your grant funding.
As we all know, it can be hard to develop your projects whilst supporting local tourism businesses.
However, organising a range of engaging activities is a great way to use recovery funding to build growth.
High-profile public events hosted by your business can promote responsible tourism and bring investment to a range of leisure sectors.
They can also go a long way to aiding a region’s economic recovery, which is of invaluable benefit to you!
7 Awesome Ideas for the Tourism Industry
I’ll give you 7 great ideas for things that tourism businesses can spend their grants on. They’re guaranteed to increase visitor numbers and boost businesses impacted by Covid 19.
I want you to bring your marketing strategy to life, so keep reading to learn more!
1. Host a Local Food and Drink Festival
Food and drink festivals are a great way to attract visitors and promote your business. They can be a lot of fun, too!
You could host the festival at your site, bringing new visitors to your destination.
Alternatively, choose a high-profile location and promote the full range of your services to a big crowd.
When organisations and communities come together, the tourism industry thrives. That’s just the kind of scheme that benefits visitors and businesses alike.
Working with partners, local suppliers, and producers gives you an excellent opportunity to support one another and contribute to the local economy.
It’s also a fantastic way to achieve your aim of increased bookings and profits!
What Kind of Festivals Work Best?
There are many different food and drink festivals, so you’re sure to find one that suits your business.
Some ideas for local food and drink festivals include:
- Fresh local produce festival (seafood, poultry, cheeses, bread, fresh vegetables – any local specialities will work)
- A wine or beer festival with tastings and talks
- A food truck festival full of diverse cuisine
- A chilli cookoff
- A themed festival that links with an event or your brand
2. Organize a Citywide Scavenger Hunt
One of the best things you can spend your money on to support the hospitality and leisure sectors is organising events and activities to attract visitors to your city.
A scavenger hunt is a perfect way to do this – it’s fun and family-friendly, and there are endless possibilities for directing interested customers to specific attractions.
Bringing this kind of financial support to your community is great for every industry, as many different businesses can contribute, from advertising agencies to restaurants!
How Could a Scavenger Hunt Support Businesses?
Scavenger Hunts need prizes, and not only could you provide these (they make great advertising opportunities), but you could develop projects to provide financial support for other companies too.
It’s an excellent chance to generate publicity and encourage potential customers to seek further information about your brand.
I think it’s a great idea to include historically significant locations by focusing on tourism destinations and attractions like museums or monuments.
A scavenger hunt is interactive and fun for participants – so make sure the clues aren’t too challenging!
3. Plan a Series of Outdoor Concerts or Movie Nights
Concerts and movie nights are great opportunities to build goodwill, celebrate your brand, and network within the tourism industry.
You’ll also have a fun time, which is a great bonus!
You’ll need a venue of significant size for this kind of activity, but that’s where teaming up with other tourism businesses in your sector can be so effective.
Regular community projects can get businesses like yours the kind of support it deserves.
You can build links with other organisations or publicise a product or service you’ve launched. If the guidance indicates that your business is eligible, concerts and movie nights can provide tangible profits in the tourism sector.
The Added Bonuses of Outdoor Events
I recommend using funds to create a marketing video that showcases your services and make sure it’s played at every concert or show.
Where large groups gather, you’ll also have the opportunity to build partnerships with local food and drink providers and create a myriad of advertising opportunities.
That means you can boost your brand, from marketing holiday accommodation to selling your projects or products.
4. Sponsor a Local Art Exhibition or Photography Contest
Sponsorship is also an incredibly effective way to use some of the financial support you receive to market your business.
Whenever your funding allows, sponsoring high-profile initiatives in the community will help boost your visitor numbers and add to your retail opportunities.
Why not sponsor an art exhibition or photography contest?
It’s a great way to show off local talent and promote your properties, branding or service. It can also be a fun event for guests to attend!
What’s in it for You?
Exhibitions with an extended display period offer a significant opportunity for business support. After all, they give businesses like yours the space to communicate messaging and products within the community.
Contests can also generate lots of local and online publicity opportunities, and you might even get the chance to judge the winner!
5. Create a Themed Walking Tour of Your City or Neighbourhood
Your neighbourhood is a powerful, often untapped resource.
So, why not create a themed walking tour to promote your area’s tourism and generate publicity and sales?
That’s a terrific way to show off your city or neighbourhood and attract interested visitors.
It can also be a fun activity for locals to explore their city differently.
Walking tours work well when linked to an allied initiative or event. They could also be part of a tremendous stand-alone strategy to promote tourism in your industry.
After all, the hospitality sector lends itself to engaging and entertaining guests, and with suitable investment, they could become excellent marketing opportunities.
What Kinds of Tours Could I Provide?
The only limit is your imagination!
There are many different ways to create a themed walking tour. You could choose an interesting or unique theme, such as:
- ghost tours of your city
- art galleries and murals in your neighbourhood
- historical buildings with interesting stories to tell about them (such as haunted houses)
- tourist attractions in your area (such as parks, museums and monuments)
- local businesses and services that are worth visiting or trying out.
You could even develop marketing and print publicity materials for these tours to provide information and advertising space for local businesses!
6. Create Community Outreach and School Visit Opportunities
You can generate projects that reach out and connect with the local community with funding available.
More than that, you can develop exciting opportunities for community groups to access your services or even get mutually beneficial connections going with schools and colleges.
That could mean organising visits for school groups, hosting meet-and-greets or other events that welcome locals or putting together special offers for residents.
It’s also a powerful way to get the word out about your business and create some goodwill in the community.
Be an Industry Known for Local Investment
Maybe your business can support school groups on field trips, offer advice to students looking for careers in your sector or even contribute resources and equipment?
Businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector have a lot to offer in the way of expertise and advice. The marketing opportunities often make the investment in the local economy worthwhile.
7. Run a Sporting or Gaming Event at Your Venue
Hosting a sporting or gaming event is always a great way to bring in new business and give people a reason to visit your venue!
That could be anything from darts tournaments to golf competitions or even video game challenges.
It’s the perfect opportunity to show off what your venue has to offer and attract new customers.
Liaising with visitors in sports and gaming communities is ideal for developing a more extensive online network and might even boost your digital marketing campaigns.
The influx of participants and guests to your site is sure to bring a great deal of investment to the communities you serve.
Just remember to research the options, visit similar events and make sure you’re eligible to use your funding for this kind of initiative!
Conclusion: Using Tourism Grants for Activities and Events Leads to Massive Growth!
Tourism and hospitality businesses that create exciting community projects will always generate opportunities for sales and marketing.
Need help with your marketing and branding? Let us know. We are here to support you on your journey.
Your local profile is likely to increase, and the online marketing opportunities caused by this kind of one-off payment are priceless.
Providing business support to eligible tourism and hospitality companies is a priority for many funding bodies. Now’s the time to plan big and make the most of the loans and finance options available.
Comment below if you have any questions!
Have you used tourism grants for activities or events and seen growth in your business as a result? We would love to hear about your experience!