Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Museum tourist strategy

National Museum Cardiff. Source: VisitWales.com.

June François, Bring foreign tourists to museums with a great marketing strategy, The Guardian, 7 March 2016

More international tourists are visiting the seven museums run by Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales than ever before. In fact we’ve seen a 26% increase in overseas visits in the past three years, accounting for one in four of all visitors to National Museum Cardiff. Not only is it a great example of how museums can be drivers of tourism, it also begs the question: why?

As head of marketing for the museums’ body, here’s my take.

1. Strong brand saliency

Brand saliency defines your brand strength and can be improved through marketing activity to raise awareness. Done well, it develops a sense of familiarity even among irregular users. It means that your brand springs more readily to mind when a person is looking for places to visit, so that your museum makes it on to that person’s mental shortlist.

Outdoor advertising, for example, is great for catching the attention of people who only occasionally visit museums.

2. A well-defined core proposition for the tourism market

Tourists are a priority audience in our marketing strategy. It’s easy to get side-tracked into pouring all your efforts into promoting the public programme, neglecting the core offer.

Marketing is about understanding the needs of your customers. Tourists have a curiosity about the place they are visiting and a desire to understand its history and culture. The museums in Wales tell those stories so well through their collections. We refocused our efforts on the core offer of the permanent collections in our marketing aimed at tourists.

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
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