A significant part of 2020 has almost gone wasted due to the Corona Pandemic. The Travel & Hospitality industry, in particular, is expected to experience a long-term impact. Despite businesses opening in phases and life getting back to normal, things will never be the same. The coming months are not expected to see a substantial surge in guests and tourists either.
Especially travelers from abroad will probably be negligible this year. We can expect people would prefer to travel domestically, and as a B&B, Guest House, or an Inn owner, you better try to play upon that silver lining. These three categories are expected to perform better when compared to the 5-star properties, as the budget will be an important factor. Hence plan your strategies in such a way that you can start building your business together.
If you want to dive deeper into understanding domestic travelers, check out this amazing blog post by Booksterhq.
So, what should you be doing to attract domestic travelers this year?
There are several measures you can take to build confidence among the visiting guests. They include sanitizing your property, increasing hygiene, maintaining guidelines issued by the governing local authorities, etc.
Changed Mindset of the visiting travelers
Previously most vacationers had limited time to spend on their vacations. But this time it's different, people traveling to domestic locations may prefer to spend more time away from their homes. Their motive would either be to stay at a place for days to destress, rejuvenate and unwind or escape the self-isolation of months that they have been through. As a B&B or a guest house owner, you will have to tweak your marketing plans and offerings.
These tweaks could include stating your rooms have high-quality bed linens, promote how the stay is a peaceful escape, mention how far your property is from the busy corners of the city, etc. Marketing your property with words like relax, unwind, recharge, and rejuvenate could be game-changers this season.
Other ideas include:
- Promoting pictures of hot-tubs, sauna and large bath-tubs to relax
- Selective collection of books backed by a peaceful ambiance
- The hygienic kitchen which is well-equipped with kitchen essentials
- The facility of music systems, board games, and such
If you were mostly accomodating business-travelers, here is an interesting insight into how will business-travel look like after covid-19.
Highlight Your Perks
When staying away from home and looking for comfort, guests often seek facilities offered at your property. It is highly recommended to highlight your perks to people looking to book a stay for a few days or weeks. These could include:
- High-speed Wi-Fi internet
- Installation of smart devices
- Equipment to work-out inside or outside
- Inclusion of kitchen tools like espresso machines or smoothie blenders
Target the Millennials
Not only are the millennials likely to spend more money on their vacations, but they are also less likely to be affected by the Coronavirus. A good bunch of them are already doing remote work and some will have a decent disposable income after the pandemic gets over. Although it should not be exclusive to millennials, they could be your primary focus in these times.
Uploading professionally shot photos, and appealing decoration choices can attract them easily. Millennials often research and check out these factors before zeroing on a particular property. Your photographs and promotions should be Instagram Friendly as millennials are very active on such social media platforms.
Since social media is the best way to target that audience, feel free to check our Guide to marketing your Bed and Breakfast on Instagram. It also includes an amazing Freebie!
Offer Competitive Deals
Lowering your room rates is another thing you might want to consider. With the pandemic around and other competitors giving fierce competition, it's worth offering attractive deals to the domestic travelers. A good deal will eventually help in filling cancellations and improving occupancy rates.
Reach out to customers who had booked your property for their stay during or post the pandemic period gets over. With almost 60% cancellations or rescheduled trips, recapturing them would be a good idea. Launch an email campaign to promote with offers like if cancellations are rebooked they come with complimentary perks or bonuses.
Make a flexible cancellation policy as it will help in maintaining strong brand loyalty. It will allow you to enforce confidence among guests to rebook. Promote the stress-free cancellation policy for the next six months.
Consider The Criteria of Minimum Stay
You must be flexible to take advantage of domestic travelers who often look to spend a few days. In case you had a policy of a minimum stay of 4+ days, its time to reconsider and change that to flexible as per the needs of the guests.
Revamp Your Marketing Strategies
Promoting through your website or social media platforms is one thing, but the way you do so determines its conversion. Be different to attract visitors. Steps like sharing local secrets through your profile pages with pictures is a useful idea indeed. Highlighting the local cultures and present exciting facts about the surrounding areas to make probable guests curious.
You may even suggest some activities they could do during the stay. Integrate the factor of Social Distancing, your measures to maintain hygiene, and highlighting your social efforts during the pandemic can be a game-changer. Tie-up with local businesses and promote their products to guests is another thing you may do. It not only shows your efforts to support those small businesses but also ensures the counterparts are promoting your business too.
If you want to find out why (and how) should you use social media for your BnB, your Inn, or your guesthouse, check out our blog post on that subject.
Craft Plans for Local Activities provided by Experts
Instead of creating content that targets keywords, or only speaks about your brand, be a bit different by building guides. These exclusive activities can be added as an additional service at minimal charges. Think about cooking or artisanal workshops, walking and cycling routes, photo tours and so on.
Develop your content and promote it on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, while highlighting these activities and their costs. They could be anything from 5 must-sees around the city, visit a nearby farmer's market during the weekend, exclusive Guide for crafting breweries in the city, etc.
The above list is just a small list that can help you attract domestic travelers to post the pandemic phase. I truly hope it helps and sparks some ideas. When implemented correctly, they can help in starting your business again. I’m afraid we’ll all have to accept that business will no longer be as it was.
Things will improve, but we must be in line with the changing scenarios and adapt quickly to start operating again. Me and my team wish you the best and hope you will be able to manage through the storm as you have been able to do for the past few months.
We are here to help people like you – travel entrepreneurs and small hospitality businesses, such as b&bs, inns, cafes, guesthouses, etc. That's exactly why we created Tremento Tribe Membership program – to provide you with everything to make communication and social media easy.