Whether it’s down to the cost of international travel, safety concerns amidst terrorist threats or changing visa regulations, holidays closer to home are more popular than ever.
The rise of the so-called “staycation” is great news for your hotel; not least because it reduces a reliance on high season international guests (domestic travellers are far more likely to book trips fairly spontaneously all year round). With a little marketing know-how and a touch of creativity, you can capitalise on this local travel trend and help guests see the value of exploring their own country.
Big up your affordable prices
International travel has an exciting, life-enriching appeal that’s hard to beat, but unfortunately, it normally has the price tag to match.
Make sure your guests are in no doubt that your resort and location provides a far more affordable alternative, while still offering plenty in terms of enjoyment and rejuvenation. As an example, if you advertise your room rates in foreign currency, be sure to also display them in the national currency, and consider whether you can afford to give domestic travellers a discount. Don’t forget that even ultra-cheap rates will fail to win over staycationers if they don’t represent excellent value for money. Without the magic of a new and exotic country to win them over, guests are less likely to overlook anything that’s not quite up to scratch.
Make the most of local events
Arts festivals, trade shows, concerts and expos in your local area all offer a valuable chance to amp up your marketing to domestic guests. Try making special packages or discounts to tie in with these events, and where possible throw in a few enticing extras such as free transport to set you apart from the competition.
Capitalise on national holidays and publicise your own events
Why wait for local events to draw in nearby travellers? You can stage your own themed events, such as local wine and cheese tasting evenings or music nights, as well as capitalising on dates like Valentine’s Day and Easter as much as you can through social media and email promotions.
If your property caters for weddings, birthday parties or conferences, revving up your marketing around these services is another great way to attract more domestic guests.
Tell your unique story
To stand the best chance of luring in those considering holidaying “at home”, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd and offer something a little different. What are the small or not so small details that differentiate you from your competition? Perhaps it’s the boutique local beers you serve in your bar, your talented cocktail staff or your excellent vegan menu? Play up your strengths and show guests that they can experience something new and special, even when holidaying closer to home.
Focus on experiences
National tourists tend to be less interested in sightseeing than guests from abroad. Sure, they probably still want to see the most famous attractions when visiting a new city for the first time, but they’re more interested in taking some downtime from work, spending some quality time with friends and family and trying something new, fun and relaxing.
Get in contact with local “experience” based businesses – indulgent day spas, horseback tour operators, fishing cruise companies etc- and work together to create activity packages designed to appeal to your audience demographic. Show that your hotel and destination has just as much to offer in terms of relaxation and ‘bucket list’ experiences as somewhere overseas, and that better still, it’s far cheaper, easier to plan and more convenient to get to.
How do you market your hotel to domestic travellers? Let us know in the comments below!