Seven Blog Post Ideas for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

This month, I was asked by the Dutchess County Tourism office to speak about blogging during two “Lunch and Learn” programs for representatives from local hotels, attractions, restaurants, and other travel and hospitality businesses. The first half of my presentation covered best practices for attracting and working with travel bloggers in order to increase publicity and exposure.

During the second half, I made it my mission to convince every tourism business in the room to have a blog on their website. I told them why, and I told them how. But the part which made people raise their heads and look me in the eyes were the tips on what to blog about.

It seems like content is a stumbling block, but it shouldn’t be. Content is important! Provide useful, relevant information, and go light on the sales pitches. Here are some suggestions on what to post for variety and engagement:

● Suggestions for local things to do and see, places to eat. Keep the business in your local community! Example: Best Seafood Restaurants Within 15 Minutes of Our Hotel

● Lists work really well for blogs. Top Five, Top Ten and Top 20 lists get shared and retweeted. Example: The Top Ten Things You Should Pack for a Trip to the Hudson Valley in the Summer.

● Recipes and “sneak peeks” at new menus, music playlists, tips which showcase your staff members’ niche expertise. Example: Zone 5 Gardening Tips from our Landscaping Team

● Staff profiles. Interesting back stories about their personal and professional accomplishments, or what they do on their days off. Example: Our Team’s Weekend Working With Habitat for Humanity

● Photography and video. Take a break from words with an occasional photo or video clip. Example: Last Night’s Sunset View From Room 101.

● Guest posts from others. They will in turn promote their contribution on your blog to their own audiences. Example: Five Ways to Freshen Your Interior Décor This Spring, from our Designer Jane Smith.

● Special offers (occasionally!) Example: Mention This Blog Post and We’ll Take 10% of Your Next Dinner Tab.

Interested in learning more? Send me an email ( and I’ll be happy to send you my entire presentation. If you need help writing or editing your blog, let me know. I can help!

Telling a trade show’s story through exhibitor profiles

My favorite part of writing the copy for the pre-show planner for NY NOW™, the Market for Home + Lifestyle (formerly the New York International Gift Fair®), was profiling show exhibitors; in this case, a select group of innovative designers and makers from companies like Alchemy Goods, Strand Design, Matouk, and Hand in Hand.

Sharon and Ted Burdett, Strand Design
Sharon and Ted Burdett, Strand Design

“Everyone should work with their spouse. At least, that’s what Sharon and Ted Burdett think, and it works well for them. In 2009, they left their respective design careers to open Strand Design in their home town of Chicago. From their studio in the West Loop, they provide product design services for clients, but also craft objects, by hand, from sustainably sourced and locally manufactured materials.”

For the past two years, I’ve been creating the written content for this digest-format print piece, mailed to more than 90,000 registered and prospective attendees – mainly retailers and interior designers – of this semi-annual trade show.

Signage and Display Copywriting

So often, I send copy off to a client in a Word document, never to be seen again. It was gratifying to see the copy I wrote for these displays in real life at the NY NOW home and lifestyle trade show this week! This exhibit featured fine handmade craft from global artisans who were participating in Artisan Resource ™, a one-of-a-kind market offering U.S.-based importers, direct import retailers and wholesalers the opportunity to meet with international artisanal producers.

Artisan Resource signage

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A Corporate Blog Case Study: NYIGF

NYIGFWhen the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF), one of the nation’s largest trade shows for the gift, home and lifestyle industry, wanted to establish its preeminence as a sourcing destination for design-driven products, it launched a blog. And asked me to write it. For the past year, I’ve contributed weekly posts on 100 Days of Design, and I’ve completely enjoyed it!

Each week, the blog focuses on a different product category, such as handmade craft, home décor, juvenile resources, and personal accessories. Three superlative products offered by NYIGF exhibiting companies are highlighted with copy and images.

Attention is also given to New York City attractions, restaurants, and stores which fit these categories, because the city is part of the appeal which draws 35,000 buyers from across the globe to this trade show.

This blog is promoted through email to all registered and prospective NYIGF attendees, as well as on the show’s facebook page and Twitter feed. It serves as a weekly marketing tool to sell the show, build attendance, promote its exhibitors, and encourage conversation. And yes, in addition to all that, it does what it intended to do: support the event’s standing as a design-driven market.

Some of my favorite posts include:

Making a Case for “Made in the USA”

On-Trend Textiles

Seeing Green

If you are thinking about how a blog can set your business apart, let me help you craft your message.

John Robshaw
Abaca Pillows by NYIGF exhibitor John Robshaw