How travel and tourism PR can help your business make the most of the Staycation trend
‘Wellness Tourism’, ‘Serial Weekenders’ and ‘Transformative Travel’ are a few of 2017’s hot tourism trends and Staycation (stay in the UK and vacate) has truly bedded in.
A latest survey reveals that following the Brexit vote, 16% of British travellers had changed their plans and decided to holiday in the UK rather than travel abroad.
The falling value of the pound and pressure on household income combined with rising tensions in former popular tourist destinations and soaring summer temperatures across Europe could be contributory factors to the rise in ‘Staycations’
Fashion comes in waves so perhaps we are turning back the clock to the time when the first British holiday camp was set up in 1906 by John Fletcher Dodd in Caister-on-Sea and a holiday in a British seaside resorts was considered a luxury.
Or is it just that we are finally appreciating the UK’s natural scenic beauty, fantastic beaches, range of tourist attractions and rich art and cultural heritage in spite of or as well as (dare I say it?) the British weather.
So how does the UK take advantage of the increase in domestic holidays and how do you ensure your tourist attraction, hotel, restaurant or museum stands out from the crowd?
1/ Engage with the ‘try before you buy’ online market
The consumer is certainly more discerning with 24 hour access to online information. They want to get a real taste of where they plan to stay and what to expect when they get there – a virtual experience before the real one.
Update your website frequently with accurate and engaging content which reflects what you have to offer but also highlights other unique experiences which visitors can expect to discover on your doorstep.
Ensure photographs or videos truly enhance the image of your business – it is worth having a suite of photographs taken or producing a promotional film which have high quality production values and quite simply look good (video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019 – an increase from 64% in 2014)
The use of professional footage and shots on your website can be used in conjunction with those more authentic moments captured on mobile cameras.
2/Create a virtual sales team
Talking of snap happy visitors – ask your guests for permission to post and share the best of these shots and footage on Facebook, Instagram and Tweet about their experiences – and of course Staycation has its own hashtag!
Produce a social media strategy which highlights the best social media platform (s) to reach your audience (s). Create social media groups so your visitors can also post engaging content and you can in turn engage with these loyal customers on a daily basis with particular offers or competitions.
Promote positive feedback from your customers by highlighting Trip Adviser and other review sites.
And above all we know that word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool in a particular locality.
3/ Fine tune your key marketing messages
Leisure and Tourism is a highly competitive sector in East Anglia which has a strong tourist economy and a high number of day trippers, weekend sight seers and holiday makers.
Stay confident in your knowledge and experience of your target audience – whether it is young families, retired ‘silver surfers’ or teenagers.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Remain confident by continuing to market to those who would most appreciate what you have to offer – there will be an increase in those type of visitors too.
Bear in mind that some of your key messages and what makes you unique may need to be adjusted to make the most of the current Staycation trend– what does your audience most want to hear and why are they choosing to stay closer to home?
It is also worth paying more attention to where they are likely to travel from – are you able to capture that data? Do you have the media and network contacts to raise publicity and market your offer in neighbouring counties?
4/ Raise your profile through partnership
Tourism and leisure businesses are joining forces to raise the profile of their locality. If there isn’t a network in your immediate locality then consider joining your DMO or look into other partnership opportunities.
People are increasingly more enticed by immersive travel experiences – where they get to meet the locals, stay in unique places and dive into the culture – than “sleep by the pool” holidays. This is something the sharing economy can provide.
In addition there may be sponsorship opportunities or the opportunity to enter regional or national business awards – both powerful ways of raising your profile.
You may be facing a long and busy season ahead armed with what has always been a successful strategy and you just haven’t got the time to take stock.
With the increase in Staycations predicted to continue, the team at Reflection PR can help shape your PR and Marketing strategy, develop key messages, strengthen online content, gain media coverage as well as highlight advertising opportunities and recommend partnerships.
Find out more about our tourism and leisure PR expertise at http://reflectionpr.co.uk/success-stories/