The pandemic has changed many things in our lifestyle, so it makes sense that, from now on, vacationers are wary of flights and crowds that can be found at airports. In this way, there is a growing trend of bookings and short-term stays in destinations closer to home.
In a survey conducted by BVA BDRC As of early June this year, 68% of respondents look forward to a leisure activity outside of their homes, compared to 42% about a month ago.
Regarding the destinations where the trips will be made, 25% of those interviewed stated that they want to travel this year closer to their homes, within a range of 400 km around their homes. In the survey of PYMNTS, around 44% of consumers who hope to resume the activities they did before the pandemic, will choose to travel within their country.
At the same time, countries that are slowly recovering from the pandemic are encouraging domestic travel. Bloomberg reports that this new trend can be a great opportunity for hoteliers to recover their income, betting more on this market segment. Therefore, it is sensible to use this time to change the focus of the offer of stays for this 2020 and prepare the hotel to react to this change.
Here are some recommendations on how to adapt your hotel strategy to the growing trend of local tourism.
Define your local audience
Meet your Customer Person It's crucial to running a hotel, but if your pre-pandemic target audience included international tourists, it's important to rethink the detailed descriptions of the guests you want to attract. In this way, you can redirect your marketing strategies and keep them focused on your specific needs.
Check again the profiles of your clients and update them. Faced with the new normal, people have different factors and criteria when planning their vacations this year. By making a profile of your local audience you can create a stay offer to attract your target audience and promote it correctly.
Update your website
Your website should become your main strategy to attract new customers henceforth. For that reason, make sure you have up-to-date information on your home page about your current status, if the hotel is still closed or the dates for its reopening and the new hygiene measures that you will be adopting.
You can add a page especially dedicated to local stays and the offers you are offering. Highlight the main benefit of your accommodation, and why it is the best option to vacation at this time.
Finally, work on your digital marketing strategies to adjust them to your new goals. It is very important that you focus on local SEO, that you adjust the target of your ads and keep your page updated. Google My Business.
Remember that in Guru Hotel we have the best tools to launch the website of your hotel in a couple of clicks.
Adjust your communication plan
To really reach your audience, you will most likely have to modify your communication plan. You can advertise in local media such as magazines, radio stations, or make agreements to get mentions on the fanpages of the most popular media in your region.
You are trying to attract domestic travelers, so speak to them in a way that they will listen to you. If you haven't addressed local tourists before, do a deep research on their profile as it is really important to understand who you are targeting. The more you know about them, the more personalized your message can be, which will give you a higher response rate to your communication efforts.
Use geo-targeting, and create different landing pages that target people from different areas. For example, someone who comes from a country area and someone who comes from a big city may have different reasons for choosing your hotel. So this will help you communicate with them in a different way.
Adopt hygiene measures for your guests
In the same study of BVA BDRC, guest expectations were reviewed prior to their next stay: 56% expects to see sanitizing gel or wipes throughout the hotel; the 50% expects to see better cleaning regimes; and the 40% wants to see that the staff are wearing face masks.
Although cleaning measures have always been a fundamental part of the hospitality industry, today more than ever it will be important to openly communicate all cleaning procedures that are done before and after each guest, in addition to the additional measures to ensure that all clients feel safe.
More flexible policies
Lastly, if you offer a flexible cancellation policy, people will feel much more comfortable booking at your hotel. Nobody knows what the future holds. We do not know for sure if there will be another wave of infections that could return the restrictions and force people to cancel their trips.
In that sense, try to propose options to reschedule the trip instead of canceling it or offering refunds and vouchers for the value of the stay in case of some other extraordinary situation. Put the option to "Cancel at any time" without charge and to change reservations at any time, also without charge.
So if possible, take these steps, and in addition to gaining the trust of your guests, you can be sure that when possible, people will certainly return to your accommodation.
We cannot deny that the trend of travelers this 2020 is for local tourism, so we must adapt our hotel's strategies to successfully overcome the crisis of the pandemic.