Skip to main content

Some of the best marketing strategies are the most obvious – you just need pointing in their direction.

Take destination marketing. It’s a relatively new term and while it is often (and understandably) linked to the destination itself, it’s just as useful for service providers within the destination.

For instance, if you’re running a marina business, how often do you talk about the destination in which you’re located? Does your marketing focus solely on the services you offer, or does it celebrate where you’re based?

If you’re new to destination marketing, here are five tips to get you started.

1. Define the USPs of your destination

What is it that makes your destination special? Whether you’re located in an area that’s already popular with tourists, or one which sits below the radar, there’ll be something to shout about.

It might be short-lived – but that’s fine. For instance, if there’s a blockbuster movie filming nearby or a sports tournament taking place, those are the times when you can up the ante in your marketing and begin talking about how your business can add to the experience of anyone who visits.

2. Strike up a partnership or two

Have you got any partnerships with local businesses? They don’t have to be intrinsically linked to what you do, either; local tie-ins are excellent ways to promote the benefits of visiting your destination.

Tourist attractions are the obvious targets, but there’s no reason you can’t approach local hospitality businesses such as hotels and restaurants and work on a joint offering that speaks highly of the area.

If nothing else, you can learn from the destination marketing strategies employed by hotels – they’re just as relevant in the marina industry.

3. Get involved in charitable endeavors – and celebrate it

Mixing business and charitable endeavors isn’t just a great way to give something back – it’s also an opportunity to celebrate your destination.

This is why it’s worth taking some time out to look into charity and not-for-profit organizations in your area. Which chime with your beliefs or experiences? Which can you actively get involved with and, in turn, learn more about what your region (or state) is doing for the people that need help the most?

4. Become local experts

When you receive a new booking or meet a customer for the first time, how often do they quiz you on the area?

A bit like a hotel receptionist, being able to offer advice on where to go, what to do and how best to spend their time while in your locality will reflect very well on your business.

Ensure your team is focused on keeping their local knowledge topped up, either via in-house training or by proactive learning on their part.

5. Invest time in local SEO

This is a big topic, but one that’s vitally important in digital marketing.

Speak to your marketing team or external agency about local SEO (search engine optimization). It’s all about tuning your website so that it appears when people search for services like yours within your area.

It isn’t something you can do yourself without the right skills and knowledge, but it’s a very worthwhile investment as part of your destination marketing strategy.

Wrapping up

It’s important to find a nice balance between traditional marketing for your service and destination marketing, but it’s at the intersection of those two approaches where you might find the vast majority of your new customers.

We hope this brief introduction to destination marketing has given you inspiration for the rest of this year – we’ll certainly dive into it more in future blogs.

DockMaster Software is an industry leading management system for marinas, boatyards, and boat dealerships. DockMaster includes Unit Sales, Prospecting and F&I with fully integrated financial management and numerous integrations with CRM applications, dealer websites and text/messaging services. The Service module includes estimating, labor tracking, and complete parts management with ordering/receiving, subcontractor fulfillment and invoicing. DockMaster Mobile allows technicians to clock on/off jobs from any mobile device. Visual Marina™ management includes storage & billing, occupancy tracking, reservations and dry stack management, including integrations to leading consumer applications for boat rentals, online reservations, concierge/launch scheduling and our new Fuel Integration with FuelCloud. DockMaster also includes Point of Sale, Order Entry with eCommerce and a complete accounting system. Learn more at and follow DockMaster on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn. Or email

Leave a Reply