February 10th, 2022

Five ways to drive your staycation bookings

Posted by Laura Sherlock

International travel is back. With red lists scrapped, isolation periods shortened and tests for the fully vaccinated abolished, overseas holidays in 2022 are almost…normal. 

The travel industry has seen an uptake in customers booking summer holidays abroad, so what does this mean for tourism businesses closer to home?

While there is clearly a huge pent-up demand for foreign shores, our prediction is that staycations will remain popular, and domestic visitors continue to have a high number of accommodation options to choose from. Working holidays provide a welcome change of scenery, repeat visitors will book their familiar holiday spots, and new visitors will discover the draw of the Cornish coastline. 

Cornwall has long been one of the top UK destinations. A recent survey by Visit Cornwall revealed that 79% of visitors in 2021 had a holiday in Cornwall that exceeded their expectations. 94% of respondents said they were likely to visit Cornwall again in the future, and the majority of respondents considered Cornwall ‘as good as’ or ‘better than’ their usual overseas holiday.

Demand for holidays in the South West will remain strong, but with more competition than ever we’ve outlined five ways to improve your company’s prospects for the coming year.

Sensible pricing 

Whilst this may seem obvious, sensible pricing should be at the forefront of your mind whilst looking at availability for later on this year. With demand outstripping supply, prices for accommodation rocketed in previous years. There were reports of price gouging in Cornwall last year, with one article claiming a holidaymaker had been quoted £71,000 for a week’s stay in St Ives. 

Research your competitors’ pricing and see how it compares to your own. Consider value for money; what features can you highlight to account for your business’s price point? And bear in mind that holidays abroad feel like a much more accessible option this year. 

Flexible cancellation terms

COVID isn’t disappearing any time soon, and with variants becoming more transmissible, there’s still a risk of having to cancel a holiday last minute and equally, a risk of a company losing business. An easy way to give a customer the confidence to book ahead is having a clear cancellation policy, which protects both parties financially.

Provide a clear, stand-alone cancellations page on your website, which outlines acceptable circumstances in which a customer can re-book, to avoid unnecessary or costly cancellations.

Invest in your photography and presentation

As we have mentioned in our previous blog post, investing in good photography can have a massive impact on sales. Hiring a professional photographer who understands your vision is essential, and the end result will present your offering in the best possible way. 

If customers are able to see neatly presented photography of what they are booking, they are more likely to buy with confidence. Video content is also a great way to show customers every angle and evoke the emotion they may feel when walking into a room, ready to begin their holiday. 

Website optimisation

A well optimised website helps with two key parts of driving sales. It helps a customer find your website when searching the internet, and helpful and engaging content will convert browsers into bookers.

Keyword research combined with structural improvements to the way your website is built will give you the best chance of moving up the rankings in search results. It is also important to review your website to ensure that the content shows off your business to the best of its ability. Good photography and useful, relevant information will drive a customer to action.

Our website audit service looks at the technical and qualitative content elements of a website, as well as benchmarking against competitors. We provide a report with our recommendations for improvements, planning a full content strategy and content creation project. To find out more about this service, please contact us.

Email marketing to previous guests

Nurturing relationships with previous guests is an effective way to increase bookings. Use data that a guest has legitimately shared with you (such as their birthday or previous booking information) to create emails which are tailored to their personal preferences. 

Returning guests will also be more likely to want to know about future offers, loyalty schemes, and any covid precautions you are taking to provide a safe trip. 

Active holidays, family reunions and disconnection trips are popular trends for this year, and through email marketing you can provide links to blog posts which feature what the surrounding area has to offer, as well as any extras you are providing such as walking tours, spa treatments or feast nights.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to find out how we can help with these services, email Chris Penfold or call the office on 01208 895089.

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