October half term is a battleground. After the loss of two half terms and most of the summer holidays, countless tourism businesses are competing for the attention of the UK population in an extremely overcrowded space.
Though you may be able to gain some breakthrough to a select few, this won’t be what fixes everything. The traditional holiday period has changed for 2020 with many people considering trips away during times that would normally be considered off-peak, so it’s useful to look past half term and build an autumn/winter strategy and target new audiences to fill your booking for the rest of 2020.
Young couples, in particular couples without children, have never been tied to school holidays and historically been more likely to travel during off-peak times so are the perfect audience to reach out to at this time.
A lot of young people fall under the ‘life goes on’ COVID consumer segment, which means they want marketing messages to return back to normal as soon as possible. Your content should be positive and focus on the excellent experience you will be able to give them during the holiday they are wanting right now. Inspire them to book with a rich media campaign on the digital channels they expect to hear from you.
Small group trips
Friends and family who have been separated due to lockdown are desperate to see each other again and are looking to combine their potential break with seeing those that they care about. With the new social distancing ‘rule of 6’ coming into effect this week, these groups will be small, but by offering small a small group offering with adjacent rooms or a joint group experience this will give them a sense of unity and encourage them to stay with you.
Right now, people aren’t wanting to travel too far for their domestic holidays, so make sure to start your campaigns by focusing on those who are within a 2-hour drive to increase their effectiveness.
The 55+ audience
This group may need a little more coaxing, but it has proved to be our most engaged and successful audience for The Trout Hotel. They are a little more cautious than other groups, but messaging should still be positive with a hint towards safety, space and distance.
Start with inspiring them by showing images of the relaxing break that you can offer, but make sure they feel comfortable at every step of the way with easily accessible safety measures and any refund policies in case they change their mind.
There is still hope for the rest of this year to fill all the potential booking slots, it’s just knowing how to talk to the right people. I hope this article has helped your thinking on what you could achieve with the right strategy and If you would like to explore further, please do get in touch.
Anthony Rawlins is the Founder and CEO of Digital Visitor and has over 15 years experience in crafting digital and media strategies. He has worked with businesses across the tourism industry, including UK and international DMO’s, global travel companies and attractions. At Digital Visitor, Anthony is responsible for service innovation and works alongside the agencies biggest clients to shape their strategies and to target hard-to-reach audiences.
Anthony speaks at major industry events across the world, sharing his insights and providing thought leadership content. His personal passion is communicating the UK ’s travel offering to the ‘EasyJet generation’, many of whom have travelled the world but have never explored the UK.