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What is a tourist board? A SIMPLE explanation

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A tourist board is an important type of travel and tourism organisation that makes up a key part of the structure of the travel and tourism industry. But what is a tourist board, what does this organisation do and why are tourist boards so important? Read on to learn more…

What is a tourist board?

What is a tourist board

A tourist board is a tourist organisation that is founded with a view to promoting and creating the identity, and to enhance the reputation of tourism in a particular location. They are official organisations that encourages tourists to visit a particular city, country, or region. 

What type of organisation is a tourist board?

A tourist board is a not for profit organisation that is usually government owned. This means that the focus is on providing a service to the general public, as opposed to making a direct profit. However, indirectly, tourist boards do help to make money for the country because their aim is to promote the tourism industry, which in turn brings in revenue. Tourist boards are publicly funded, meaning that the money needed to operate comes from money that is raised through taxation. Tourist boards operate within the public sector.

What does a tourist board do?

A tourist board is generally a point of information for consumers or tourists. The primary aim is to promote tourism in a particular area. They may do this through a range of marketing initiatives including targeted campaigns and advertisements. Tourist boards may run adverts on TV and place advertisements on bus shelters or on the tube, for example. Tourist boards have also been known to partner with influencers such as bloggers and Instagram influencers who will promote the destination to their followers. Sometimes these can be sizeable campaigns.

Tourist boards will also provide information about a specific area, including transportation options, popular tourist attractions, and types of accommodation available in the area. Tourist boards also provide information about the history and the culture of a specific area.

Behind the scenes, tourist boards also do a lot of work to help manage and facilitate the tourism provision in a particular area. Some of their duties may include:

  • Conducting market research
  • Analysis and appraisal of tourism business in the area
  • Liaising with other Governmental organisations
  • Managing tourist representative and the provision of tourist information
  • Cooperation with tourist boards in other destinations
  • Developing the tourism provision in the area

Different levels of tourists boards

There are different levels of tourist boards that focus on different levels of tourism, I will explain each of these below.

National tourist boards

National tourist boards oversee tourism at a national level, in other words, they are responsible for tourism throughout the country, or the nation. National tourist boards typically set the agenda for tourism and support the sector to improve what is has to offer. National tourist boards provide funding and help to promote a positive image of the country. They will also work closely with other areas of Government at a national level.

Examples of national tourist boards include Visit Britain, Amazing Thailand and Incredible India.

Regional tourist boards

Regional tourist boards are organisations that are in charge of promoting and managing tourism at a regional level. Regional tourist boards will often work closely with national tourist boards. Their main role is to lead the regional tourism strategies in the area. Regional tourist boards will collaborate with local authorities, tourism businesses and other organisations to undertake a range of marketing, product investment and business support activities within the travel and tourism industry.

Local tourist boards

A local tourist board is a tourist board that focusses on a specific local area. Many local tourist boards will support local tourism groups and associations that help to bring together the private and public sector. Local tourist boards will address issues at grass roots and will demonstrate a higher level of understanding of tourism in a particular area than a national or regional tourist board will. They will work closely will the local authority and local Government.

Local tourist boards will often have responsibility for tourist information centres. These are centres that provide a range of information to tourists on attractions, accommodation, hospitality options etc within the local area. There will often be trained staff who work at the tourist information centres who are able to advise and help tourists. There may also be a small gift shop onsite.

What is a tourist board: Further reading

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