Way too often I hear the sad story of high expense, consternation and confusion from travel professionals desperate to figure out how-to profitably promote their offerings. It’s not unusual for them to spend 10′s if not 100′s of thousands on brochures, websites, advertising, trade show booths, E-marketing, etc. trying to increase sales and arrivals. The worst part is, they often do not know if their promotional message or vehicle even worked or had positive return on investment. Or if it did, why?Does this sound at all familiar? Maybe like you?Good news.This is the first of five articles, where you will learn some simple, but highly effective marketing strategies that most travel professionals totally overlook. Let me be your guide into the sometimes “perilous land of promotions” for destinations, tour packagers, lodge, resorts or anyone in the tourism industry. On this important journey, you will learn how-to break down the critical elements of your marketing communications into bit-sized pieces that has more then doubled the results of travel professionals I know.How Effective Is Your Marketing?One of the primary ways the majority of your prospective clients are going to find out about your tourism destination or tour is through the written word (copy) on your web site, brochure, ads, etc. The effectiveness of the copy used in your marketing materials has a significant impact on your bottom line. If you don’t grab and compel a prospect in their first exposure to your offerings, especially on your home page, trade show banner, headlines of ads or flyers, they are gone – and fast.Don’t believe me? Next time you have are exhibiting at a travel trade show, count how many seconds it takes for a prospect, whose bags are stuffed with brochures they may never read, to pass by your booth. Maybe 4 – 6 seconds?How about your website visitor logs. Check them out and you’ll find that a HUGE percentage of your prospects are not staying or are leaving in less than a minute.Guess what. It is the same with your brochures, print and electronic ads, postcards, sales letters and more.Creating clarity and quality in your marketing communications, so that your prospective buyers quickly find what they are looking for, is the winning combination to increased sales and arrivals.Your Marketing Communications Don’t Automatically = SalesNo matter if you’re trying to put together a group or promote a tour company, lodge, destination or even a whole state, you have got to be able to communicate your marketing message effectively. Unfortunately, most tourism professionals don’t know how to write marketing and sales oriented promotional materials. They usually hire graphic artists or web designers for this.Bad news.Graphic artists, designers and web technicians are not usually sales people either. So your travel marketing and sales investments suffer.Creating Marketing Collateral Material That Sell!The tourism marketing communications guide I use to create copy that sells is: Tourism Marketing Success and the Defining/Credibility (D/C) Statement.A good D/C Statement© will help you qualify your best prospects FAST and then speak quickly to their basic motivators; their needs, concerns, desires and fears.This is a core influence on their purchasing decisions.The D/C Statement is a four-part marketing communication building block that quickly:1. Defines your travel offerings2. Provides descriptive clarity3. Speaks to your companies level of experience & professionalism4. Motivates the reader to want to know more about your business/destination.In part II of my IV series on tourism marketing communications, I’ll reveal step #1 – the Credibility Statement©. This is one of the most important parts of your new promotional strategy you cannot afford to miss.