Launched in September this year, Visit Britain released ‘Escape the Everyday’, a nationwide campaign designed to reassure consumers, tap into their pent-up desire and build their confidence to book travel in UK regions following the months of lockdown.
The campaign’s three major themes of ‘Discovery’, ‘Freedom to explore’ and ‘Treat Yourself’, aligned perfectly with what research has been indicating and our own predicted key drivers for travel in 2021.
Though many of us are currently in higher-level tiers of restrictions, if the last lockdown is any evidence, there will be pent up demand for travel that offers space, calm and experience with a particular investment in rural areas.
For the beginning of the year, international travel will be off the agenda for most and we will be looking for an adventure closer to home. Make sure you take advantage of this by reaching relevant audiences now.
Drive actual bookings short term
We know that February and Easter are incredibly important holidays, especially after this year, but it’s important to not fixate on them. The competition will be fierce and there is plenty of capacity at other weekends and during traditionally quieter weekdays, and an audience that will fill them.
People are more willing to travel and book during off-peak times if it means a quieter and more pleasant experience. So be sure to highlight the benefits of travelling sooner rather than later, and outside of the key holiday periods.
Driving bookings in the short term will not only give a much-needed boost of revenue in the first quarter, but it will also have a positive impact across the whole year. Word of mouth will be an even more important driver for booking next year, so early bookings will build confidence, gain good reviews to inspire others, and maybe even return visitors.
Use the right channels to reach relevant audiences
With people mostly being at home, simply put the best way to reach anyone is through digital channels. During lockdown, there has been a massive spike in social media usage and it is where audiences will be interacting with brands, with each other, and most importantly doing their research for their next break.
- Convert those with intent – By providing the right information on key terms to those who are actively searching through an effective PPC strategy will massively increase their likelihood to convert.
- Inspire through social media – Use channels like Facebook and Instagram to make it easy for people to imagine travelling to your destination through rich imagery and easily digestible itineraries.
- Encourage direct bookings through your website – make sure to have a good user experience, as well as clear refund policies to help put nervous bookers at ease.
- Retarget those who don’t book – Conversions for repeat visitors is up to 3x higher, so make sure to remind those that didn’t initially book what they would be missing out on.
- Review and adapt – Digital channels allow you to be able to monitor and measure your campaign quickly, allowing you to optimise your initial campaign for maximum effectiveness.
Digital Visitor’s mission is to inspire people to do the things worth doing. We specialise in driving bookings, footfall and revenue for tourism businesses.
If you are looking for help in filling your capacity across all your available booking times then please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to help.
Simon is one of the founders of Digital Visitor and has over 20 years marketing experience in the tourism sector, particularly with destinations and visitor attractions.