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8 ways to maximise the Beer Tourism potential of your beer business, brewery or taproom.


Next in our series of Hot Tips from a recent co-presentation with James Davidson from Bright Brewery at Brewcon, here’s 8 ways to maximise the Beer Tourism potential of your beer business, brewery or taproom.

  1. Understand tourism – target markets, seasons, marketing and trends
  • Like understanding beer consumer trends, it takes time to get your head around what works and why. Much of your efforts in addressing a market are in response to how consumers act, influenced by a multitude of factors – all of which affect the effectiveness of your efforts.  Tourism is no different.  What is important for beer businesses wanting to be tourism ready is the efforts required to understand tourism – it’s cycles, trends, supply chain and language.  And whilst tourists are people, serving them as a market requires market understanding.
  • Get connected to tourism markets through your local tourism association, chamber of commerce or operators. Consider the tourism trends and cycles in your region and who are the tourism businesses that affect how and when travelers interact with your brand and venue.
  1. Engage with other local businesses and operators to create (or be part of) a tourism experience
  • A rising tide lifts all boats… But you need to put a few boats in the water to benefit from the rise. Like other collaborations your beer brand or venue may do, connecting with local businesses and operators around tourism experiences is about attracting more visitors to your region.   Creating a collective or group of experiences worth visiting on what nowadays can be very full itineraries for travelers leverages individual strengths and strengthens a regions tourism offering.  Be your regions’ leading beer experience within a group of leading experiences for visitors.
  • Trails are a great way to collaborate and draw visitors to a region. The best trails share a common threads, theme or experience outcome.
  1. Work with your fellow local breweries to create a common thread or unique regional quality
  • Is your brewery or venue amongst a group of similar businesses? Do you all share a unique regional quality, benefit from an areas’ history, culture or natural elements? Be part of a collective and use the common thread in marketing the collective as a tourism experience.  Generally, people wanting to visit your venue will be interested in a similar venue down the street, so any effort by your neighbor to attract tourists will likely benefit you, and vice versa.  Get smart, work together with a common visitor message that make it compelling to visit you all.
  1. Develop a tour program and value add to the tours
  • Tours and a tasting paddle for $25. Sure, that makes sense. As a venue owner, you need to cover staff and beer costs in conducting tours. But is that enough to entice people to take a tour of your venue?  Can you offer something else, something different that others don’t or won’t?  People interested in touring your brewery or venue are generally already into beer, just getting into beer or have an interest in production.  Venues that add value to their tours generate more interest and enthusiasm from tour guests, which translate to greater venue sales.
  1. Train your team to deliver tourism activities
  • The tourism experience at your venue goes beyond having a tour program. Staff need to be aware that out of region visitors may require more information or support as part of their experience.  Being able to guide visitors to the next “hot spot” on their travels, making recommendations or simply guiding them through their experience at your venue with more care and patience can have a profound effect on a visitor’s experience.  And in the world of instant online reviews, positive visitor experiences translate to patronage.
  • Your tour program needs to be delivered with passion and flair. Breweries and production environments offer a wealth of opportunity to not only impart education and information about how things are made.  They are awesome places to tell your brand story, business genesis and vision.  Finding and training your teams to deliver tours over and above the “this goes in there, and comes out here” cookie cutter tours is vital in using a tour program to deliver your brand deeply.
  1. Treat your tourism contacts like TV journalists (you’ll do anything for them to get your business on TV for free!)
  • Tourism contacts can open access to new markets and influence how your venue is exposed to the visitor economy. You can only rely on your contacts do as much as they can with what they have.  To maximize the potential that tourism can bring, you need to enable tourism contacts with information and access to your brand and venue to allow them to do all they can.  Make it easy for them to promote you, because they not only know about your brand and venue, but because they like you.
  • Famils is a term common in tourism circles. Familiarisation visits by tourism contacts are the best way for you to get your brand and venue in front of tourism influencers.  Work with a trusted tour operator to get tourism contacts into your venue. The better operators will already have appropriate contacts ready to roll through your venue.  Trick here is making it easy for these tourism VIP’s to do so, and as you would expect, sometimes you should foot a bill to get them in.
  1. Enter tourism awards
  • Nothing impresses like an award. And whilst many beer producers are busy chasing beer awards, venues seeking to be “tourism ready” need to consider entering relevant tourism awards as part of their efforts.  Not all awards are created equal.  In Australia, each state has a tourism award program, which culminate in the Australian Tourism Awards.  Participating in awards such as these are an excellent way for a business to review its approach to tourism and uncover ways to better move into the tourism space.  Awards that include a challenging submission process supported by robust assessment provide your business with far more than a trophy and can be used as sound foundations for any tourism offering and business planning.
  1. See your business as part of the tourism eco-system.
  • Probably the most important and fundamental piece of it all is having a view that your business and venue is part of the tourism game and there is benefit in playing in this space. The believe needs to flow through all aspects of your operation and be a driver for many business decisions.  The benefits from being part of the visitor economy can only be realized if you believe it is worth it and you position your business within it.


If you have a brewery, taproom or venue and need support to get it tourism ready, or you want a tourism ready health check feel free to get in touch