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Marketing Tips for Tourism Businesses in the Dales

Marketing Tips for Tourism Businesses in the Dales
Jane Ellison-Bates
Digital marketing, Marketing, PR
Find out more about Jane Ellison-Bates

In this article you’ll learn

  • The advantages of collaboration
  • How to be brand aware
  • How to utilise your area

If you can’t see the wood for the trees - or the dales for the hills – take stock of what this glorious landscape has to offer and imagine life for the city dweller by comparison.  By selling the sheer bliss of the spectacular scenery, the cry of the curlews, the breeze on the tops, the drystone walls criss-crossing the river valleys to the tarmac-and-traffic-weary-worker is a cinch.

Celebrate the Yorkshire Dales’ heart and they will come.
Show them the dream that you are living.
Celebrate the Dales’ heart and they will come.

Be Yorkshire and Proud

Another top tip for tourism businesses in the Yorkshire Dales: be a Yorkshire-man or Yorkshire-woman in all your glory. People want the warmth of genuine hospitality and to meet quirky characters when they come to visit. Play host to your visitors and welcoming them with warm Yorkshire fayre and locally made toiletries to cement in their minds that this is a living, breathing corner of the world like no other.


Remember, you are not in business in isolation, however remote your farmhouse B&B or hilltop café might seem. Work together and partner with other tourism businesses. It’s a simple step to building your customer base.  
Team up with the local visitor attraction to share the cost of marketing initiatives.  Offer to run a competition for them on your customer e-shot in return for similar exposure on one of theirs.

Ask other tourism focused businesses to display your literature and offer to display theirs
Ask them to display your literature and offer to display theirs.

The best marketing is simple marketing - Add details of local attractions to your own website so that visitors can appreciate how much there is to do in the area.

Add details of local attractions to your own website so that visitors can appreciate how much there is to do in Yorkshire
Aside from the most stunning walking, cycling,
riding, caving and climbing country to explore.

Work with tour guides and group operators so that you’re included in their itineraries and turn competitors into allies by looking for ways to cross-pollinate customers.

Weather Or Not

It’s no use worrying or griping about it, Dales weather is, shall we say, changeable.  For our visitors, rain in the dale is still probably preferable to rain in city streets and there is plenty to do.
Our show caverns with their magnificent limestone wonders are a perfect wet weather destination you can champion, along with museums, castles, craft centres, artisan studios and browsing in the antidote-to-the-High-Street-chain-shops in pretty dales towns.  
Meanwhile, for the hardy outdoor types, the waterfalls and rivers are even more glorious in full spate!

Dales Discoveries is a valuable resource for the visitors to Yorkshire, and one which you can use for marketing tourism businesses in the Dales


Run by tourism guru Susan Briggs, the site encapsulates the spirit of the Dales and helps to position your business and others as an idyllic destination. Susan urges tourism businesses in the Dales to create unique experiences for visitors and offer a hands-on flavour of Dales life.Dales-discoveries

From lambing and calving through to haymaking, farm life is fascinating for those whose daily lives are spent commuting and staring at a computer screen.  Maybe your café could offer a Yorkshire pudding workshop for foreign visitors to learn the secret of our great cuisine!  Offer guided walks sharing your favourite spots.
Inspiring and adding value to your offering helps you to attract new business and retain it.
Added options are a winning technique that is a positive alternative to discounting prices in order to attract business and can help increase your visitor’s spend.

Be Brand Aware

You and your staff are your business.  Be the face of it and make sure that all your promotional material, website, signage, uniforms, menus, decor and messages present a consistent and welcoming impression.
Write in a natural, simple conversational style; one real person to another.
If you know it’s not your forte, consider enlisting the help of a copy (content) writer and beware do-it-yourself design and print in the same way you would avoid servicing your own car or dentistry! - Professional help is usually worth the investment.

Media Mix

Tap into the zeitgeist, from The Brontës to The Calendar Girls, Herriot to Jericho, the Dales have already been championed in the literary and broadcast media, so why not help the visitor to join up the dots and see how you fit in to the tapestry.

Wuthering Heights has attracted Dale tourists for generations
Timelessly capturing Yorkshire’s dramatic landscape,
Wuthering Heights has attracted Dales tourists for generations.

Tell the media your own stories, exploit the potential of PR and utilise the mighty force of social media to make a noise and offer a tantalising taste of your business, both visual and free.
Consider allocating advertising budget to the marketing engine that is Welcome to Yorkshire, The Yorkshire Dales National Park’s ‘The Visitor’ and The Dalesman which has a devoted following worldwide.

For more information on how to utilise the force of social media read this article

Don’t Undersell Yourself

Not everyone is driven by budget considerations and the Dales' attractions have what it takes to hold their own against tourist destinations across the world.

Face The Music

Seek reviews and testimonials in your visitor book and on sites like TripAdvisor.
Trumpet the good ones and address the bad ones quietly, politely and constructively. Learn from the feedback to enhance customer experience and turning criticism into an opportunity.

Leave Them Wanting More

When it’s time for them to go home, remember the enthusiasm with which you welcomed your visitors and be as warm with your goodbyes. You hope they will return soon, so make them feel you would genuinely like to see them again and remind them of all they have still to see and do, so they must come back or recommend a visit to their friends and family.

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Jane Ellison Bates talks about how you can use local identity and the area in the dales to help market your tourism business.