2020 has been a devastating year for the tourism industry, and especially accommodation providers. With people cancelling stays and delaying travel, it has meant that businesses have had to take a step back and re-address strategies for the rest of the year.
We are still facing uncertain times, with more local lockdowns potentially coming into effect it means domestic travel may be halted, which was set to be the lifeline for UK tourism.
However, it is not all bad news. Even if it is outside of traditional peak times, there is still a huge demand from British holidaymakers to have a break at some point this year, so now is the time to reach out and gauge interest to put yourself in the best position possible.
There are many things that can be done right now and here are a few easy tips that can make a difference quickly.
Engage with those you already know
Most tourism businesses have a wealth of data already available to them, it’s about using that data wisely. When worrying about new bookings, it’s easy to forget to reach out to those that have stayed with you before who know and love your brand.
Run an engaging email campaign and remind customers why they came to stay with you in the first place and let them know how they can have the same great experience again if they re-book a visit.
Potentially introduce incentive schemes to encourage multiple future booking or to refer stays to loved ones which will widen your audience in a way that is organic from a loyal fanbase.
Inspire new audiences
Outside of your regular audience, really think about who you want to attract. Where will they come from? When can they come? What interests do they have? Use this as a basis for a series of targeted social adverts, filled with rich media that helps inspire and engage potential customers.
Right now people are looking closer to home for their holidays, so make sure to focus on target audiences within a couple of hours drive away from your accommodation for greater effectiveness of your marketing spend.
Convert those with intent
Having an effective SEO strategy allows you to reach people at the exact moment that they are looking for you. Running a paid search campaign with specific keywords will mean that you are front and centre while potential customers are in their planning stage for their holiday and will give them the satisfaction of feeling like they discovered your hotel, rather than being advertised to.
Most websites only convert 2% of web traffic on the first visit, so make sure you don’t stop at search and run retargeting across all of your campaigns. The returning visitors can then be used to create additional lookalike audiences to feedback into the initial targeting of the paid social campaign, making sure your activity was the most effective it can be.
Build your database for next year
Some audiences simply won’t be willing to book with you right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to them. Running a data capture campaign for a stay next year will build up your pool of contactable people for future campaigns when they are ready to stay with you.
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 of marketing experience in the tourism sector, particularly with destinations and visitor attractions.