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If you’re a cafe or restaurant, an activity provider or have accommodation services then you’re a key part of our visitor sector.  This section outlines some of the key tools and tips for our visitor sector operators, such as where to list for maximum exposure, free resources and more.


Download the Visitor Business Marketing Guide



Your checklist for best practice marketing

1. Have a Marketing Plan

Having a marketing plan is important for any size business. To create a marketing plan, you will need to:

  • Identify your unique selling point (USP)
  • Build an understanding of your target market
  • Research your competition, in the region and nationally
  • Set some clear targets on what you want to achieve with your marketing
  • Outline how much budget you have available
  • Choose your marketing channels
  • Outline an achievable action plan
  • Put in place simple reporting metrics to measure success, always measure your return on investment (ROI)

CEDAs team of Business Growth Advisors may be able to connect and support you in developing a marketing plan. To find out if you qualify, contact [email protected]

2. Improve your digital marketing knowledge

Digital marketing is now more important than ever. Put your best foot forward in the online space by upskilling yourself on your website, social media presence, and the advertising options available.

Upskill with Digital Boost

Developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE), Digital Boost offers more than 100 training videos in all areas of digital business practice. It’s free to join and through the registration process, Digital Boost is able to tailor a programme to suit your individual needs. Once registered you have access to a large suite of resources.

Digital Boost covers topics such as Google My Business, Websites, Social Media, Digital Tools, Digital Marketing, Accounting, Business Insights, Future technologies, the list goes on. Register here to discover this amazing resource.

3. Tourism New Zealand and FREE listing

Create a FREE listing on Tourism New Zealand’s website, putting your business in front of over 41 million potential visitors each year. To be eligible to list on businesses must operate within the accommodation, attraction, tours, or transport sector. Your listing on will then be replicated on our regional website, creating an operator page for your business. For instructions on how to create your listing, visit

4. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has over 375 million visits each year and is FREE to create a listing for accommodation, restaurant/cafés, attractions or tours. Listing on allows you to actively respond to reviews and update your details. Your business may already be on TripAdvisor without you knowing, due to people reviewing it, so it’s best to create your own listing or claim your listing so you can actively control content and respond proactively to reviews.

Top Tip: Always respond to feedback, whether positive or negative, as this demonstrates attentive customer service skills.

An example response to a positive review:
“Thanks for leaving a review, and mentioning our barista. You’re right, she is always smiling! Next time you’re here, you should try the [insert product here]! We hope to see you again soon.”

An example response to a negative review:
“I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have a great experience. We are normally known for our high standards and we regret that we missed the mark. My name is [first name] and I am the [Owner / Manager]. If you’d like to discuss this further, please contact me at [phone number / email].”

5. Social Media

Through social networking sites, you can keep in touch with your individual followers and build brand trust in your business. Some of the different social media platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok and YouTube. Look into which platforms best suit your company – it is best to pick one or two and do them well rather than be on all platforms and not keeping them updated. Look at what your competitors are doing, or businesses similar to yours in other regions to get an idea of what works for your market.

6. Website

Your website is your digital storefront and is vital to the promotion of your business. A website allows people to find you online, educates people on who you are and what you offer, showcases your products and services and provides an easy way for people to get in touch with you. Keep your website relevant and engaging with good imagery, up to date business information and any news and offers. Don’t forget that Google measures your websites quality by mobile usability only (no longer desktop), ensure you check your website experience on your phone as much as possible and after any changes you make.

A great place to see how your website stacks up is with Google Page Speed Insights. This FREE tool will give your website a ranking out of 100, will tell you how fast your website loads (First Contentful Paint needs to be 1.5 seconds or less), and will highlight any issues that you may want to discuss further with your website developer.

7. Google My Business

Attract new customers with a free Google My Business listing. This is a really important, and FREE tool for your business, and will ensure your business will appear easily when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search or Google Maps. 90% of people use Google daily as a search tool to find local businesses making this a key marketing tool. Creating or updating your Google listing is easy and can be done by heading to and following six easy steps. This is also the most important place for Google Reviews – a much used tool of visitors. Keep an eye on your reviews and take the time to respond where needed.

The GMB resources uncover the secrets of the most successful businesses online. Get free access to the Google My Business Workshop webinar, the Marketing Academy and the Google My Business Checkup. There are also a host of other free resources to help make the best of your Google Business Listing. If you need help verifying your business on Google Maps or Google My Business please get in touch with the CEDA team.

Play Video
Learn how to use the Marketing Academy Portal, here.

Need a Google My Business Checkup?
Connect your account to this Google My Business tool and get a personal dashboard that includes best practices recommendations, conversion performance numbers, sentiment analysis and more! The tool is FREE for you to use, a service provided to local businesses by CEDA.
Click here to get started.

For a few extra tips on Google My Business click here.

Play Video
Learn how to use the GMB Check-Up tool, here.

8. Email Marketing

Reach your customers cost effectively through an email newsletter. Email marketing platforms, such as MailChimp, help you create and manage customised email campaigns, offering newsletter templates to get you started with a FREE plan available. Keep customers informed of your business updates, promotions, events, and new product offerings which can be easily shared with their connections. Measure engagement through tracking open rates, click through and conversions. By building a database, you can survey your customers to seek feedback on their experience at your business. This will give you important insights for assessing, developing, and improving your ways of working.

9. i-SITE and Information Centres

Be sure to let the Palmerston North City i-SITE and Feilding & District Information Centre know about your business. Discuss how you can best work with the info centre teams to get the word out to their customers and neighbouring i-SITE’s and information centres, and how their Visitor Consultants manage accommodation and activity bookings. Get in touch on [email protected] and [email protected] or pop in to see them.

More marketing ideas to consider

Domestic Market Insights

TIA identifies which Kiwi leisure travellers you should target, when they want to visit, their motivation for travel, what else they want to do and their preferred type of accommodation. This FREE online tool can also suggest the best way to market to your target audience.

Employer Toolkit for Tourism Based Businesses

Another great resource library from Tourism Industry Association, this Employer Toolkit has tips, health and safety information, online training and more.  


Live availability accommodation bookings, with instant confirmation, are available to i-SITE’s who operate on the IBIS system and to the public through TravelBug. The booking process is quick and simple for customers and agents. The payment process is fully automated and payment to you is via direct credit from Bookit.


Eventfinda is a national events database so any listing you make with them will be distributed out to multiple websites including,, and more.

Download how to list on Eventfinda


Qualmark accreditation gives you the opportunity to leverage off the work Tourism New Zealand carries out offshore, and ensures your business remains competitive and current. Get more info here.

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