With more aeroplanes being grounded, an increasing and rapidly changing list of countries requiring isolation upon return, and many insurers no longer covering for pandemic related cancellations; unsurprisingly brits have been looking closer to home for their holidays.
In June alone, staycations had risen by 127% and following the confirmation that we have entered the second wave of the pandemic, we expect to see this figure increase even further. And really as 2020 marks 250 years since Ross-on-Wye launched tourism in Britain, it’d be rude not to bundle our suitcases and wellies in the car, and head for a UK-getaway.
Moreover, last year 40.9 million overseas visitors came to the UK and spent and estimated £28.4 billion and the leisure, tourism and hospitality industries are responsible for employing over 1.72 million workers. So, especially for businesses who may be feeling the impact of this, we have pulled together some tips on how to attract staycationers.
Market the experience
Most people going away want to treat themselves for working hard, or spend quality time with friends and loved ones. Staycationers are less likely to want to go sightseeing, so you need to give these potential customers a compelling reason as to why they should visit your establishment and area of the country. One of the most effective ways of doing this, is to market the product or service as an experience. By making it less transactional, and talking about the experience holiday makers can expect from your city or town as a whole, you are more likely to attract them.
For example, if you run a B&B in Dorset, it makes sense to not only market your B&B, but the relaxing weekend with fantastic views, that potential customers can expect from a weekend in Dorset. In some instances, it may even make sense to partner with various activity businesses or nearby tourism operators to create holiday ‘packages’ for customers.
Introduce local discounts
One of the best ways to grow any business is through word-of-mouth. By introducing a discount for locals you can hope to attract the very people who may be interested in your businesses products and services all year round, and may also bring friends and family members from near and far.
Give people a reason to return
Especially when marketing to a domestic audience, it’s possible they’ve already visited your leisure centre or escape rooms, so think about what you can offer, to keep customers coming back. This may be a potential discount, or simply a campaign to market a new escape room, spa treatment, or even menu. By continually switching it up, you can ensure even returning customers thoroughly enjoy their experience with your business.
Harness the power of SMS
There are so many use cases for the humble SMS when it comes to businesses in the leisure and tourism, and hospitality sectors, but if we had to name just three…
1. Marketing campaigns
Not only do text messages boast an open rate of 98%, compared to email’s rather piddly 20.9%, but with SMS, businesses also benefit from a click through rate between 8-32%. So it’s also a great way to encourage those all important customer conversions.
2. Loyalty schemes
For businesses hoping to reward local customers and encourage repeat business, it’s worth noting that 90% of mobile users who participated in an SMS loyalty program felt they gained value from it. What’s more, SMS marketing campaigns opt out, is less than 5%.
3. Booking reminders
Plain and simple, booking reminders reduce no-shows. But for businesses willing to get a little creative, they can also help manage customer expectations for instance if you require them to scan the track and trace app upon arrival, or begin to enhance and get customers excited about their booking prior to arriving at your establishment.
By prioritising marketing efforts to domestic travellers, businesses are able to not only enhance revenue during this uncertain time, but better position themselves for the future. Afterall, attracting a domestic audience reduces reliance on seasonality and is particularly useful for SMEs, who may be positioned in more remote locations and therefore overlooked by overseas visitors.
If you’d like to discuss how SMS could help your marketing efforts, please get in touch with one of our friendly team at firstname.lastname@example.org.