Staycation Marketing Tips for Hospitality Businesses

2021 staycations are soon set to surge. If you run a hospitality business in Scotland, follow these tips for staycation marketing success in 2021.

 

Staycation Trends

If everything goes to plan, it's all change in Scotland from the 26th of April, with staycations set to recommence, and travel permitted between England and Wales.

And, if events in England are anything to go by, all forms of holiday accommodation, including self-catered and hotels, will be in high demand.

That's not just in the immediate term. Hotel bookings for August are up 239%, and July bookings have increased by 166%. (HotelOwner)

Crerar Hotels, which operates a number of premium hotels in highland Scotland, reports a 170% increase in website visit following confirmation of the lockdown roadmap. (HotelOwner)

Advance bookings suggest consumer optimism, as supported by a recent poll which shows 77% of people in the UK believe that the Covid-19 pandemic is now improving. (YouGov)

It's also believed that complexities around foreign travel are fuelling staycation demand. In Scotland, there has been no timeframe given for international travel, while the traffic light system proposed by England has done little to alleviate confusion about travel restrictions. 

With the potential for an expensive and less-than relaxing experience abroad, staycation will be king in 2021 until the summer months at the very least.

 

Staycation Marketing Tips

With many a staycation planned this year, hospitality accommodation businesses can expect to recoup some of the losses made over the past 13 months. 

To make the most of this surge in the demand, here are a host of steps that business owners can take now.

 

Staycation Marketing Tip #1: Communicate Safety

Although eager for a bit of R&R, coronavirus safety measures are still a top priority for tourists. According to a report by 80 Days, 96% of travellers said cleanliness & hygiene measures were important or vital when booking a trip.

To those in hospitality, enhanced Covid-safe standards are now commonplace, but it's still important to communicate the steps you are taking to ensure visitor safety at every opportunity. 

That means providing guests with detailed information through accommodation websites, social channels, email interactions and on site. Make sure your Good to Go checkmark is clearly displayed to give added reassurance to visitors.

 

Staycation Marketing Tip #2: Build Your Customer Database

Now is a great opportunity to develop a top-spec customer database. If you don't have one already, it's time to transition to a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool like HubSpot.

That way, you can significantly improve your inbound marketing efforts by segmenting your customers into demographics for better, targeted communications.

By implementing a CRM, you'll receive an enhanced insight into your customers and their behaviours. You can identify who's booking, who's interested, and who's not engaging.

As a HubSpot Gold Partner Agency, we're well placed to help your hospitality business transition to a CRM.

 

Staycation Marketing Tip #3: Keep Inspiring

Although demand for staycations is through the roof, you'll still need to work hard to persuade guests to stay with you over your competitors. 

One way to do that is by introducing a content marketing strategy designed to inspire. Audiences want to look forward to idyllic getaways, so providing them with inspirational imagery and messaging will help to draw bookings.

Make sure all of the content on your online channels is up to scratch, including your website and social media channels. Introduce experience-led messaging that helps guests to start fantasising about their stay before they've even booked.

When the first of the new guests arrive, be sure to create a bank of shareable photography, including user-generated content from guests, which you can repurpose on your own channels. That way, you can continue the cycle of capturing imaginations and generating sales.

 

Staycation Marketing Tip #4: Free Up Your Team's Time 

While you're in high demand, providing a high-quality service to guests while also responding to queries will be a challenge. Free up your staff's time by introducing automated solutions. 

A recent study found that: ”60% of customer service calls are requests for assistance with common, uncomplicated tasks." (Tech See) 

You can cut that down significantly with automated chatbots — popups that can interact with customers and answer frequently asked questions. Some chatbots are sophisticated enough to provide information about specific customer bookings. Only the complicated queries that chatbots can't answer are passed to the team.

With less time spent answering standard queries, your team will have more time to focus on giving current guests a stand-out experience. 

Chatbots don't only benefit your team: they're an asset for customers, too. Unlike administrative teams, chatbots are available 24/7 and can provide quick answers without the need to phone up or wait for an email. 

 

Staycation Marketing Tip #5: Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

We're all hoping that the most recent wave of coronavirus will be the last, or if not, then the least damaging. But as the events of the past year have shown, nothing is certain. Although hospitality is slowly reopening, it would be unwise to assume that further closures won't happen in the future. 

Of course, there's no need to dwell on the negative. Rather, a proactive approach is required. It's recommended that hospitality businesses plan for several scenarios, including no closures, partial lockdowns and reduced capacity requirements. 

Putting an action plan in place for how to communicate with customers in given circumstances will help to reduce uncertainty, and ensure that your business has direction, even if change occurs. 

 

Final thoughts

We're going to see an influx of staycationers in Scotland and across the UK. Tired of being shut indoors throughout much of the last summer, people are itching to explore new places and get some much-needed relaxation. 

Hospitality businesses have a real opportunity to flourish this year, but they'll need to make sure they're using a smart approach to marketing. By communicating both the experience and safety elements of their service, they stand to convert hesitant customers into happy guests.

 

Next steps

Whether you've had an influx of bookings or want to make the most of the recent staycation trends, Moment can help. Simply get in touch  to arrange a call. Let us know your goals and we'll take care of the rest.

To contact the Moment team, click here .