Boosting Tourism with Strategic Billboard Advertising

May 31, 2024
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Tourism drives economies, supports local businesses, and fosters community pride.

As destinations vie for the attention of potential visitors in a crowded market, effective advertising strategies become crucial. Billboard advertising is one of the most powerful tools at a tourism marketer’s disposal. With the ability to catch the eye of passersby quickly, billboards can be a game changer in promoting tourism. This post explores how billboards can be leveraged to increase tourist interest and visits, benefiting destinations and local stakeholders alike.

The Visual Appeal of Billboards in Tourism

Billboards offer a canvas that is hard to miss. Placed strategically along highways, in busy city centers, or near airports, they serve as large-scale invitations to explore nearby attractions, cities, or regions. The success of a billboard in attracting tourists often hinges on its visual appeal. A compelling billboard can communicate the essence of a destination through stunning imagery and engaging messages.

historic route 66 sign used for tourism
The famous Route 66 sign in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Capturing the Essence of the Destination

The most effective tourism billboards capture the unique spirit of the destination they advertise. Whether it’s the serene beaches of a coastal town, the bustling streets of a city, or the tranquil beauty of a rural landscape, the imagery should transport the viewer to the destination. For instance, a billboard for a beach town might feature crystal-clear waters and sun-kissed sands, while one for a city might showcase iconic landmarks or vibrant street scenes.

Strategic Placement for Maximum Impact

The placement of tourism billboards is as crucial as their design. To maximize their effectiveness, they should be located where they most likely influence travel decisions.

Highways and Major Roadways

Billboards along highways and major roadways are particularly effective because they catch travelers already on the move. Placing billboards along routes leading to tourist destinations can spark interest and potentially alter travel plans, directing more visitors to a location.

Airports and Transit Hubs

Airports and transit hubs are also prime locations for tourism billboards. Travelers arriving in or passing through an airport often look for local attractions and activities. A strategically placed billboard can inspire last-minute plans and excursions, significantly boosting local tourism.

a view of bricktown in oklahoma city oklahoma tourism
Oklahoma City’s Bricktown

The Role of Billboard Advertising in Event Promotion

Billboards are not only effective for promoting places but also events. Festivals, concerts, and other cultural events can benefit greatly from billboard advertising.

Timing and Relevance

The timing of billboards promoting events is critical. These advertisements should go up well before the event to ensure they reach potential attendees who may be planning their trips. However, they must also remain relevant and visible until the event occurs to capture last-minute attendees.

Integrating with Digital Strategies

While billboards provide a broad reach and high impact, integrating them with digital advertising strategies can amplify their effectiveness. This dual approach ensures that the message reaches a wide audience and engages them on multiple platforms.

QR Codes and Social Media

Modern billboards can feature QR codes that link to dynamic online content, such as videos, booking forms, or more detailed event information. Additionally, promoting the same destinations or events on social media platforms in conjunction with billboard campaigns creates a cohesive marketing message that resonates across different channels.

Measuring the Impact of Tourism Billboards

To continually improve billboard strategies, it’s important to measure their impact. Techniques include tracking increases in website traffic from regions targeted by billboards, monitoring hashtag usage related to the campaign, or analyzing changes in booking patterns and tourist inquiries.

Case Studies: Successful Billboard Campaigns in Tourism

Many destinations have harnessed the power of billboards to increase tourist numbers significantly. For example, a hotel advertiser in Tulsa might use billboards featuring the local NBA basketball team’s next playoff game. The effectiveness of these campaigns can often be seen in increased hotel bookings and a higher number of visitors during the tourism season.

Billboards as a Pillar of Tourism Marketing

Billboard advertising remains a formidable tool in the tourism industry’s arsenal. By combining eye-catching design with strategic placement, billboards can effectively capture the attention of potential tourists and entice them to visit. As part of a broader marketing strategy, including digital elements, billboards help create a comprehensive and engaging promotional campaign that can significantly enhance a destination’s appeal and visibility.

For tourism marketers looking to elevate their visibility and appeal, leveraging the power of billboards is not just a strategy—it’s a necessity in today’s competitive market.


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