How to sell your destination – creating PR hooks that will bring guests to your hotel

By Mika Bishop

Your hotel’s location can be just as much of a selling point as the hotel itself – capitalising on what’s around can provide fantastic hooks for editorial and getting journalists interested in what you have to offer.

Promoting a hotel isn’t just about selling what’s on-site – the surrounding destination can provide fantastic hooks for storytelling and enticing guests to visit. By creating and developing stories based on local knowledge and linking them to your hotel, you are giving journalists a more compelling reason to visit your hotel and more fodder to work with to create one or more articles.

By working in tandem with what’s happening in the local area, hotels can widen their appeal to the consumer. Consider creating packages with a well-known nearby museum that includes a dinner, bed and breakfast stay and tickets to the museum, or work with a new local attraction to offer added value for guests’ stays.

Travel and lifestyle journalists are always looking for new angles to base reviews on, so be sure to research nearby spectacular walks, famous local historical figures, vineyards, festivals or new openings. Take ownership of these kinds of media-friendly hooks and become the hotel that journalists associate with them.

Working with the local community also generates a lot of goodwill. Try to build relationships with lesserknown local historical pubs, tiny, family-run restaurants that serve amazing food, the local gardener who has worked on the same hotel estate for 40 years or the local forager whose family has foraged for three generations. Research and building relationships take time, but it is these local stories that often grab the attention of the national journalists.

Finally, enter your hotel into local and regional awards. A journalist may not write about an award win or shortlisting in the consumer travel press, but if you make enough strategic noise on social media and in your e-comms, word will spread fast directly to your target market that your hotel is one of the best places to stay in the area.

This article first appeared in Curious – issue one.