Resources: Preparing for Promotion

Visitor Guide

Tips for Visitor Guides

The community visitor guide is intended to be included as part of a mix of destination marketing promotional tools that support the visitor throughout the purchase cycle (Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Purchase, Loyalty). The guide benefits potential visitors to the area by providing critical information in a functional format with a call to action for more information.

Hiring a design firm that will undertake the communications suite is important for branding to be effective; this includes copywriting and editing services.

Tumbler Ridge Visitor Guide
Tumbler Ridge Visitor Guide Companion Map
Sunshine Coast Visitor Guide Vancouver Coast and Mountains

The full-colour magazine-style publication is the primary fulfillment piece for all marketing activities. The 8×9″ format expands to 16×9″ providing ample opportunity for double-page editorial and photographic spreads; the soft-fold option on part of the print run allows for a rack-size format to 4×9″ expanding distribution to include racking options. In addition to the centre spread of a local map, a regional map with a gatefold, double gatefold or double centre spread fold-out would display the tourism features and orientation effectively. The guide should open with a summary of key features enticing potential visitors to the area. A series of double page spreads targeting each activity would follow. Typically, maps are located in the centre spread. The back part of the guide would be more for visitor services highlighting access and transportation, services and economic development information.

Advertising/Editorial Ratio: Maximum 50% advertising and 50% editorial as per Destination BC guidelines for visitor centre distribution; for visual esthetics a recommended ratio is 60% editorial and 40% advertising.

Determine distribution channels before developing the content outline.
Content Outline:

  • Cover
  • Introduction — Opening Double page spreads with summary of unique features and top 10 experiences.
  • Table of Contents/Visitor Centre/Credits/Acknowledgements/Disclaimer
  • Key attractions
  • Centre spread map
  • Routes and itineraries
  • Supporting activities
  • Our Story
  • History and heritage
  • Services section for display ads: dining, accommodation, tours, churches, health, vets, etc.
  • Call to action toll-free phone number and website repeated on page footers throughout.

Project Components
The components that make up the project include:

  • Administration
  • Project Management
  • Concept Development (content outline/dummy/editorial outline)
  • Budget and Cash Flow / Funding Partners (criteria and reporting requirements)
  • Sales Materials (rate card and mechanical specifications)
  • Traffic (Excel spreadsheet)
  • Advertising Sales (space and design services)
  • Production for display ads / listings
  • Graphic Design
  • Map development and production
  • Copy writing/ Editing
  • Images (high resolution for print media)
  • Print Production Management
  • Printing / Shipping
  • Distribution
  • Tracking
  • Evaluation and Planning

Visitor Guide Project Milestones and Budget Template