BOURNEMOUTH’S tourism trade is set to benefit from a major autumn marketing push. Visitors from the M25 area will be targeted in a promotional effort being led by a local company. The Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) has awarded Tandi Creative Media a contract to promote the town in the off-peak months.
An advertising campaign on 60 London Underground stations will promote autumn breaks in the resort. And visitors will be encouraged to share their best Bournemouth ‘moments’ via social media in return for the chance to win £300 worth of prizes.
Alun Williams, manager of Bournemouth Coastal BID, said the strategy had drawn on research by Visit England and the town’s own National Coastal Tourism Academy. “We were looking to promote to people who have not been to Bournemouth previously,” he said. “We want to target people who are aware of Bournemouth but have not been and who live within the M25, mostly couples aged 35-55. “But also we want to provide local hotels – who are sitting on huge databases of past visitors – with the tools to go and market themselves and bring those people back again.”
Tandi Creative Media will use the Colour Your Life theme – which has been a feature of past marketing activity – but has also come up with the theme All In Bournemouth, highlighting the diversity of activities and attractions within reach of the resort. Mr Williams added: “The other thing for hotels was the idea of running a competition so hotels could say ‘Come and stay with us in autumn, take a photograph of your best moment in Bournemouth, pop it on our Facebook page and every month for two months there will be a £300 prize’.” The prize will consist of £250 in accommodation and £50 to spend locally on food and drink or an attraction, with hotels able to add in extra prizes if they wish. Social media users will be encouraged to use the hashtag #bournemouthselfie.
Mr Williams added “Those people who come back to Bournemouth in the autumn, post their best moments on Facebook, are acting as ambassadors for the town and attracting other people through social media.”
Kevin Cowlard, director with Tandi, was one of six bidders for the Coastal BID contract. He said: “We like to think we’re a fresh, innovative, small team. We take pride and passion in what we do. We entered the bid knowing we were only a small agency. It was our passion hopefully that shone through in the end. “Our clients are spread around the UK and a few internationally as well. It’s nice to bring something back to home.” Tandi will be working with hotels to help them exploit the marketing initiative as well as using the data they have on past visitors. He said he was enthusiastic about promoting his own area. “I’ve travelled many places in the world and enjoyed many of them but I still end up here,” he added.
Research suggests people make decisions about autumn breaks within days of taking them and Mr Williams said the Tube adverts would help catch their eyes. He added: “If you’re in London sitting on the Underground on a hot autumn day and see this fantastic image of the coast, you think ‘That’s where I want to go’.”