What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Jamaica – Get All Right.

Why do these two tourist slogans work? It is because they do not try to sell the location, instead the focus on the experience. Take Las Vegas: the tagline does not bother to discuss the casinos, the entertainment, or the nightlife. Instead, this tagline focuses on the wild time you’ll have in the city. You’ll do things you’d never do at home, and experience things you can’t find anywhere else. These taglines focus on the experience, not the events. Or, in simpler terms that we’ve discussed in previous posts, it focuses on the ‘why’, not the ‘what’.

Tourism offers a very unique challenge for marketing. Although the market is massive (an estimated 1 billion tourists travel each year), it is difficult to convince people to spend not just their money, but hard-earned vacation time at a destination. There is no such thing as an accidental tourist; customers are incredibly deliberate about where they choose to travel, and in such particularly scrutinizing to tourism marketing.

To shine through that scrutiny, tourism marketing needs to focus on experiential travel. It’s difficult to avoid focusing on the hotels, events, attractions, and entertainment as the focal point, but this must be achieved if the marketing has any chance of appealing to an audience emotionally. Experiential travel marketing is advertising the authentic experiences within the destination, and calling the audience to action around emotional appeals.

Take the Jamaica tagline line, for example. A lazier copywriter would of proposed “Jamaica – great beaches, wonderful resorts.” Instead, ‘Get all right’ sells rest and relaxation, while the beach, hotel, and coconut drinks are all implied. In three simple words, this tagline successfully sells a complete experience, without ever saying it.

These taglines don’t live in a vacuum, mind you. Rather, they take in account the desired brand messaging that the destination has achieved and leverage that in their marketing materials. In combination with visuals, these taglines only gain strength.  A great example of utilizing an experientially focused tagline with complimentary visuals would be the Visit Jamaica website.

At WJ, we have worked for many years with Tourism Saskatoon to develop a brand strategy and print campaign that focuses on the experiences of travel to Saskatoon. For a detailed look, visit our portfolio page.