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Make sure it's you that guests want to stay with

Insights


Make sure it's you that guests want to stay with

Make sure it's you that guests want to stay with

55% of businesses have seen demand for UK stays increase by more than half and it’s a figure only set to rise in 2020. The sudden collapse of Thomas Cook last month, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and travel to the EU after we leave, combined with an increased awareness of the environmental impact of flying, has given holiday makers more incentive to try a staycation.

With searches for UK holidays up by a third compared to last year according to research from Barclays , this provides the perfect opportunity for UK hotels and holiday lets to impress a growing audience. So, when guests start looking, how can you make sure it’s you their booking with?

Not everyone wants sun, sea and sand on their holiday. 70% of guests said that their break was used as a digital detox, wanting to disconnect from their exhaustive world and switch off . Despite the unpredictable UK weather, the UK offers lots of ways to switch off, so from city breaks to adventure holidays to health retreats, staycations are taking care of their wallets, the environment and their wellbeing.

For guests looking to detox, how can you turn your offering into something of pure relaxation? If you don’t have a spa, perhaps you could partner with one. Better yet, turn your offering into an exclusive health retreat, hosting meditation and yoga classes, and work with your chef to create a wellness menu.

For more adventurous guests, a hiking tour or partnering with local activity centres who can offer discounted tickets could be a good option. The possibilities are endless but marketing yourself as a place to escape will really attract Millennials.

As much as guests want to switch off, Millennials can’t help themselves when it comes to showing off on Instagram, and it’s worth baring this in mind. Make your offering look beautiful and Instagramable and you’ll have your guests tagging and shouting about you all over social media!

When it comes to staycations, pubs with rooms also have a huge opportunity. When looking to unwind, a small cosy establishment is somewhat more appealing than a big hotel where it’s harder to create such an atmosphere. Are you shouting about your rooms? Often pubs are overlooked with hotels and holiday rentals taking centre stage.

Pubs however can provide a slightly more affordable option and a personal service. From wine tasting to live music, pubs are a fantastic location for hosting intimate events. Perhaps you could even partner with local businesses, creating a community feel.

Don’t forget the ‘locals’. Something we’ve discussed many times but could provide a valuable new income source. A great way to attract locals to your venue is via your restaurant - do locals know that they can dine with you or do they think you’re exclusively for residents only? By enticing guests with your food, 57% of guests we surveyed said they would consider booking an over-night stay with you.

With more opportunities to get away, guests are splitting their traditional two-week annual holiday in the sun into short breaks across the year. Making time for coast, rural and city breaks. In a recent poll by Travelodge, city breaks are first choice for 29% of guests, with London, Bath and Birmingham most popular .

HGEM’s Head of Client Success, Jason Horn shares his insight from his experience of working in the UK holiday camp industry. “The old image of the low-cost, low expectations for a UK break have diminished over time, and this is great news for the UK hospitality industry and our staycation market. While the weak pound has helped turn the heads of many a UK holidaymaker, in my experience, we have had to up our game since having to compete with overseas experiences. The understanding of why people holiday and what they are looking for, along with the need to ensure the experiences delivered are the best they can be, has led to a resurgence.”

“Attracting employees who love the hospitality industry is part of the winning recipe, and the key for staying in business is driven around having a real purpose which both teams and guests can believe in and understand.”

“With great British institutions like Butlins knowing their WHY: “Our true intent is all for your delight”. And Bourne Leisure’s mission statement: “Our purpose is to provide products and services to our holiday home owners and holiday guests so that they can enjoy the Bourne experience in a safe, secure and appealing environment”, is it any wonder the UK’s holiday parks are receiving investment offers from all over the world?”

“If you combine this with the desire to be more sustainable and health conscious, you have all the ingredients for shouting about your offering. Brexit or not, to ensure you are delivering the experiences your guests expect, review your purpose and your WHY. Consider what the experience is that you’re trying to deliver and make sure everyone in your team from KP to CEO, understand and commit to delivering it.”

With guests tapping into the staycation market, it’s worth refining your purpose and looking at how you can incorporate more wellness into your offering – a trend set to stay. Promotion is also key - ensure that guests know just how great you are both on and offline. And don’t forget your locals - a discount on an overnight stay for locals could be a great way to encourage them to check out your offering.

Make sure you take advantage of the rise of staycations by discovering what your guests think of your venue, booking process and overall guest experience. Get in touch today to discuss how HGEM can work with you to collect this guest insight and turn this information in to action. Call us on 01225 470999 or email enquiries@hgem.com.

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