All the marketing techniques in the world are no substitute for great writing. You have encouraged potential customers to visit your website, but now you have to keep them there. When you’re competing with dozens of guidebooks, online travel guides, Google Maps and Wikitravel, how can you create content that goes the extra mile to inform, entertain and ultimately entice?

Here’s a quick seven-point checklist to refer to each time you write a description, to help you produce content that captivates readers, without reverting to tired clichés to sell your destination.

  1. Paris is beautiful. So is the Namib Desert. And a Dominican beach… Conclusion? “Beautiful” – just like “nice”, “interesting” and “lovely” – doesn’t paint a picture since it can be used to describe just about anything. Pick a word that really sums up what your guests will see– Paris is grand, elegant. The desert is empty, with endless horizons. Get creative – get geeky! – and use a thesaurus if necessary to pin down the ultimate description.
  2. Make it sound like your readers are already in your destination. How? Use local wordsAperitivo, matooke, banda, colectivo… these are all words that travelers are sure to hear, so use them in your descriptions, but be sure to explain any that are not obvious.
  3. Discover the meanings behind place names. Kikorongo means “too much sunshine”, Katutura means “the place we don’t want to be.” Instantly, we have an image in our heads of these places – and a dozen more questions we want to ask about them. Why is Bwindi the “impenetrable” forest? Find the stories – and be the one to tell them.
  4. Give small details that demonstrate you were actually there. We all know that you can see the great migration of wildlife across the Serengeti – but where is the ideal spot for a post-safari sundowner? Every visitor to Istanbul goes to the Grand Bazaar – but what about the little lamp-shop down a side street across the river? Tell your readers something that they can’t find by spending five minutes on Google, and demonstrate your on-the-ground experience at the same time.
  5. “Ruboni is in Kasese District, just a few kilometers from the A109”. Accurate? Sure. Enticing? We think not. Edit out irrelevant details and spice up your desctiptions. “Ruboni, in the foothills of the legendary Mountains of the Moon, just a few miles from the equator” might not tell me how to get there – but it definitelymakes me want to try.
  6. Emphasise interaction and education –Use words such as experience, participate, meet, visit, interact, discover, learn; while avoiding passive verbs such as see andwatch. Demonstrate that the communities and guides are actually involved in the tourism experience, and not just there to be looked at. Encourage people to actively learn about biodiversity and conservation.
  7. You’ve told your audience all about this amazing place, enticed them, got them excited – what do they need to do to book a trip there? Use calls to action and tell them what to do next!

This article has been re-posted with permission from

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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