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There’s much more to finding and targeting your ideal demographic than meets the eye. The ability to hone in on a niche market or a broader demographic often takes companies years to achieve. But there are a few simple things you can do as a tour and activity operator to ensure you’re targeting the most appropriate customers and getting those all-important sales. It is about knowing what different customer types are out there, what they are looking for, and then adapting your content, marketing, and media to appeal to them. So let’s get started!


Who are the customers?

We’ve talked about the different types of customers(opens in a new tab) before, which can range from budget and solo travellers to culture vultures and thrill-seekers. What is important to remember, is that a specific individual will often fall into various categories, so you should never expect to attract just one group. Moreso, knowing what types of customers to target also requires an understanding of the age and nationality of your guests, or the guests you want. While it isn’t possible to guarantee that the users who book with you are the ones you were targeting, employing different techniques, that will be explained below, will certainly help to engage those whose eye you are hoping to capture.

The reason why finding your ideal customer base is important is a matter of saving. If you can identify a specific group of customers then it is much easier to figure out what works best to get the sale. Every business owner’s goal is to spend their money efficiently and effectively. For example, if you know where your customers are finding your business, then you can invest in that revenue stream(opens in a new tab) and stop investing money elsewhere. Don’t waste your time and money trying to appeal to everyone.


How do you find your demographic?

There are a few ways that you can work out your demographic. For some tourism companies that have been running for longer, the most simple and straightforward method is to look at the guests you’ve had. Keeping track of your customer data is a great idea for a lot of reasons. If you aren’t already, we would recommend gathering basic information such as the age and nationality of your guests, as well as how they found you. Knowing this information allows you to see what is and isn’t working, but also where you should be focusing your marketing attention.

A second way to decipher your client-base requires some analytics. Google Analytics could be your best friend but understanding how to use it effectively is a challenge for many. We have a few articles on the matter, even a beginner’s guide(opens in a new tab) for those who are completely unfamiliar with the topic. One of the perks of having a website with Tourism Tiger(opens in a new tab) is TigerCare(opens in a new tab), which provides annual reviews of our sites’ analytics to ensure that our customers are doing the best business they can.

A final tip to determine your market is to look to your social media. Take a look at the demographic of your followers and maybe even those who are engaging the most with your social media content. If it isn’t the demographic you had hoped for, turn to your competitors and compare what works and what doesn’t. Are they using more Instagram Reels(opens in a new tab) to appeal to millennials? Even sign up for your competitors’ newsletters to gather inspiration, just don’t make the mistake of copying anything word-for-word as that is plagiarism and why not create something that is uniquely you.


What now?

You’ve discovered your demographic but you’re not sure how to get them to click that book button? There are a few steps that you can take immediately.


Knowing your guests means knowing what will appeal to them. The most obvious point would be using US-English if you’re trying to attract a US market. Other ways might include highlighting an aspect of your company that will appeal to your target audience, such as noting the price if it is a good value, or having your sustainability statement on your homepage if you’re looking to attract eco-conscious travellers.


If you’re spending money on marketing then you should be doing so with your guests in mind. Wherewolf has written about marketing techniques to attract locals(opens in a new tab), which many tour and activity operators are looking to do right now. Other ideas to remember include using social media to effectively engage your audience or having a strong newsletter to draw customers into your website.

Media & Branding

The first impression that users will have of you is of your photos, videos, and logo. A logo should encapsulate your business effectively and give your brand a strong identity. Giving your business a rebrand with us(opens in a new tab) might be just the thing to increase interest and activity. However, the photos and video content that you display on your website is just as important. If you’re looking to engage an older customer-base then include photos of more senior individuals on your tour pages so that they know they are not only welcome but able to comfortably enjoy the experience.


Job done?

Although I would love to tell you that targeting your audience is a one time job, I would be lying. We live in a world where things can change in a matter of days or minutes, if Covid-19 has shown us anything. As important as it is to find and target your ideal customer, it is as important to know when that changes. Many in the travel industry are now having to shift their focus to local communities(opens in a new tab) or domestic travel, while others have mentioned the importance of Generation Z in tourism recovery(opens in a new tab). Shaping and selling your business is an ever-evolving task, and it is important to keep adapting and remain relevant. And I know, this is all a lot easier said than done but I feel confident that with a little inventiveness your business is up to the task!

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