Cost effective recovery marketing ideas

After you complete your financial assessment you’ll know what level of additional business you’ll need to generate to cover your operational costs in a post-emergency period. In developing a new marketing plan, here are some recovery marketing ideas to consider.

Adapted from Top 10 Marketing Tips for the ‘credit crunch’ by Laurence Bresh, July 2008.

Previous guests

Send a newsletter or email to your previous guests to inform them about any new products, experiences or special offers. This is a quick and cheap way to get a message out to people who already know about your business and who could be encouraged to return again.

Be sure to comply with the Australian Privacy Princples. For more information visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website External link

Public relations

Public Relations (PR) opportunities, such as journalist familiarisation programs, may arise through your Tourism Crisis Management Group. However, it can also be useful to seek out your own PR coverage.

Public relations activities are a great marketing tool if your region is experiencing a downturn in visitation from an emergency even though only a small section may have been directly affected.

If appropriate to your market, approach your local media for exposure within your region. Remember: you have to have a story that will be of interest to the general public, not a sale offer. Consider press, radio, TV and online options.

For more tips, download Tourism Australia's Working with the media guide External link

The little extras - adding value

You know the saying, "it’s the little things that count". This is never truer than for a tourism business. To encourage positive word-of-mouth promotion (the cheapest and most effective of all) and return visitation, think about the added extras you can put in place in your business that will make people feel happier and more satisfied with their experience.

Research about accommodation businesses tells us that cleanliness is the highest priority for a satisfactory experience. However, consider a few others:

  • Welcome drinks or a basket of local produce
  • Discounts on local attractions and services
  • A pick-up and drop-off service, and transfers to and from accommodation to a restaurant for dinner
  • Games for children in the winery, restaurant or accommodation
  • Books and magazines
  • Take-home mementos - photos of the tour, a booklet about local natural and cultural sites, quirky fridge magnet

Direct marketing to special interest groups

After a crisis event it’s even more important to be targeted about where you choose to advertise. Working with small budgets, direct marketing can be a cheaper way to reach your target markets. If your customers have specific interests, for example fishing, hiking or cycling, it can be useful to advertise in dedicated magazines or newsletters of relevant interest clubs. If your product appeals to people in a particular life stage, such as the seniors market, consider targeting relevant recreational groups such as Probus clubs.

Packages promoted to special interest groups can also work well.

Digital Marketing

As you’re aware, the use of websites and mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads to research travel information is rapidly overtaking all other forms of communication. If you’re not using these mediums to the greatest effect already, it’s a good idea post-crisis to embrace these opportunities.

Make sure your website information (on your own website and other tourism websites where you are listed) is up-to-date and effective.

  • Are your latest offers listed there?
  • Do you have any new packages you can promote?
  • Should the copy and images be updated?

Also consider investing in some search engine marketing. This is where you purchase keywords in search engines such as Google. This is a cost effective marketing tool as you will only pay when someone clicks on your paid advertisement. For more information, visit Google Adwords External link

For more information see the Digital marketing page or download the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse Tourism e kit External link


Events can often be the trigger to bring people to your business at different times of year. A winery may use a series of music events to bring a new audience to their winery. A town recovering from a bushfire may create an event to celebrate a lifestyle or cultural aspect of the area to give people a reason to visit other than its natural features.

Also look at opportunities to link your product or service with events being held in the region - can you develop a package, for example, your accommodation plus a ticket to the event, or provide an offer of a tour or tickets to a show to raffle at the event?


Packaging is the grouping of products and experiences together to sell them to customers as a single purchase item. You can package within your business, or link your product with other experiences in your area or region. The package must provide one or more advantages to the customer, e.g. convenience, greater value, cater to special interests.

Packaging has the potential to make your product more appealing or exciting by linking it with other products or services that would be of interest to the visitor.

When marketing dollars are especially limited after an emergency, packaging also allows you to share promotional costs with other businesses. Look around you to see who you can package with.

Ask yourself:

  • What would interest your customers as a package?
  • How would the package be booked?
  • How would it be promoted?
  • How long would it be available for?

For more information, see the Packaging your product page in the Business Tools and Support section

Work with your accredited visitor information centre

Are you taking full advantage of the promotional opportunities available through the extensive network of accredited, professional visitor information centres in Victoria? Your local visitor information centre should be your first focal point.

Ask yourself:

  • Do they always have adequate stocks of your brochure?
  • Have the information centre staff and volunteers visited your business on a familiarisation tour?
  • Have you offered a discount to the staff and volunteers to encourage them to visit your business for the full experience?
  • Have you investigated opportunities to receive additional profile in the information centres, such as a window promotion or special offers made available through the centre?

Work with the Tourism Crisis Management Group and your regional and state tourism organisations

As part of the recovery process from a crisis event that affects your region, the Tourism Crisis Management Group, in association with DEDJTR tourism branch, will establish a marketing program that is designed to bring people back to the region. This may include subsidised promotional opportunities to participate in press, radio and email promotions, or other initiatives. Spending your money on cooperative activities rather than going it alone can provide greater returns on your marketing spend.

Useful questions to ask before you get involved:

  • What specific markets is the promotion targeting?
  • How much exposure will your business get?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How much business will the promotion need to generate to cover your participation costs?
  • How will you track whether it generates bookings/sales?

To do

Whatever promotional activities you think would work best to attract your revised target markets, list these in your Marketing action plan: template (19 kb)PDF Identify who will do what in your business to make the plan happen and use it as a tool to brief them.

Case study: Kookaburra Motor Lodge, Halls Gap

 “When a major event like a bushfire comes through and threatens all our livelihoods, we’ve got to work together as a team. To encourage people to return, we need to market the town as a group of businesses, it’s too hard to do it on your own. Do what you can to support each other - it also helps to keep your sanity!”

John Petty, Kookaburra Motor Lodge, Halls Gap

Last Updated 4th September 2017