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Honeymoon Marketing: Aiming Cupid’s Arrow

Let’s talk about love. No, we aren’t quoting a Celine Dion song, even if it’s a good one. We’re talking about creating honeymoon marketing strategies for your destination to attract couples.

Why think about honeymoon marketing?

With 21st century love taking on a more multi-faceted definition than what our grandparents might recognize, it’s important to think deeply about strategy before deciding how you want to target the romance market. There’s a lot to consider.

There are already so many destinations that attract couples almost reflexively, but don’t think they didn’t cultivate their image for some time through destination marketing efforts. It takes some careful planning and a bit of luck to land Cupid’s arrow, but with these travel marketing suggestions to guide you, the target should be achievable.

Avoid clichés

First and foremost, we have one suggestion, or more of a request. Skip the clichés. Virginia is for Lovers, but your destination isn’t – at least not in those exact terms. Think outside of the box to create a campaign or brand that is unique and fresh, not tired and rehashed.

Is your destination a “great place for a romantic getaway”? Sure, maybe it is, but so are dozens of others. Look at your destination’s unique selling points and find something more offbeat, more interesting, more engaging to entice lovers to choose your destination over all the “romantic getaways” out there.

When it comes to clichés, apply the same creative approach to your offers. Couples want a romantic dinner and spa treatment, sure, but don’t pigeonhole them. Hang-gliding, hiking or sailing can be just as romantic. Profile experiential classes for couples – a cooking workshop, or even some unique cultural experience that they wouldn’t even have imagined, like learning how to salsa. As long as couples are together, any experience can be a romantic one.

Show inclusivity in honeymoon marketing

Love is love is love is love.

Are all your romance images of attractive young men and women holding hands as they stroll along the beach at sunset? We get it. Sex sells. But what about every non-heterosexual couple, senior couple, or non-athletic traveler out there? Can they see themselves in your destination on a romantic getaway? Are all colors and creeds reflected in your marketing materials? Let’s face it, there are more prospects out there who don’t look like fashion models than who do.

Our own Janelle McKinsey knows a thing or two about marketing destinations as romantic retreats. “It’s important for destinations to consider that your target audience may not just be husband and wife. There are countless couples in long-term relationships who never marry.”

Cater to buddymoons

Not every couple has a big fancy wedding and thousands of dollars to spend on a honeymoon. Sure, you want those high yield visitors, but if you’re looking to increase visitor arrivals, don’t shy away from providing romantic ideas for destination wedding and honeymoons on diverse budgets. Those of modest means still want to spoil themselves on a nice romantic vacation, even if the financial investment is more modest.

Some millennials are opting for “buddymoons” rather than traditional honeymoons. Saving money is important to these younger travelers, and honeymoon marketing strategies should reflect that. If your destination can pivot itself towards welcoming these groups of friends, while still mingling it with romance, you’ll easily attract this budding market.

…and then there are familymoons

And then of course there are “familymoons” where newlyweds bring children or parents along for the journey. If they’re traveling with children, travelers might not want to pay for private babysitters, so having kid’s clubs and events for all ages helps to make sure couples can still have a bit of time for themselves while also sharing their getaway with the rest of the family may be a priority.

If the couples’ parents are along for the ride, make sure you address their unique multi-generational needs are met (more on that trend in this post!).

Collect stories from former honeymooners

One of the best ways to show how romantic your destination is should be by telling romantic stories. Don’t just show photos of fancy hotels and beaches. Let prospective visitors hear it from a couple – or a few – about all the reasons they fell in love with your destination. Think of it like a very targeted TripAdvisor comment, but in an article or a filmed media clip. It’ll be easier to understand how amazing your destination is if we’re hearing it from someone who experienced it themselves.

A series of media pitches or marketing campaigns revolving around love in your destination, featuring lovers themselves, is just one of many ideas to start thinking about before you decide if you want to be a considered a romantic destination. Skip the generic happy couple and let’s meet some real people already.

Brag when you can

Don’t be shy when it comes to the accolades that have come your way. Did T+L list your destination or one of your properties, or did Conde Nast Traveler name you one of the 21 most romantic destinations to stay in the world? Let travelers know. Did a famous couple honeymoon in your destination? Don’t be afraid to mention it. Any positive press about your destination as a romantic rendezvous will take some of the onus off your marketing efforts to position yourself as such. Of course, getting the press to notice your romantic leanings is the whole challenge in honeymoon marketing to begin with, right?

At DCI, we have spent 60 years with some of the world’s most romantic destinations, including The Island of Tahiti. We’re eager to discuss how we can position your destination for lovers of all walks of life. Get in touch with Janelle McKinsey at [email protected] to learn how we can help romantic endeavors.

Written By

Kayla Leska

Kayla is Managing Director of DCI's Tourism Public Relations Division. She oversees communications strategy for DCI’s tourism clients and directs the firm’s tourism crisis and recovery communication efforts. Kayla leads publicity teams in the U.S. and Canada. She earned her BA in Public Relations at SUNY Oswego.

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