The travel mantra for 2020 can categorically be classified as “Staycation”.
Staycations are probably the most popular tourism trend currently, and Google Search trends show that the search term “staycation” is bigger than ever. Social media platforms are flooded with #staycation posts in what will hopefully boost businesses in domestic tourism, following a devastating period for the sector, globally.
With the pandemic triggering layoffs and pay cuts, employees — especially those who work from home — perhaps feel the need, or may be required, to work longer and harder. With this in mind, “holidays” may feel like a luxury and indulgence, but given the spike in depression, a short break now may be more essential than ever before.
Tourism, globally, is playing along to the “Staycation” tune of 2020. Tourism Australia and the State Tourism bodies have spent a great deal of time and energy in their effots to tap into the emotional stages of dreaming through to planning, inspiring travellers by creating 8D sounds, and continually working with Tourism and Hospitality partners, to push its Holiday Here This Year campaign, with various iterations, the latest campaign to launch is “Holiday Here This Year, For Australia”.
Over in New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand’s Do Something New campaign showcases unexpected things to do in the region, and the latest summer campaign from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) complements this nicely, as it extends a personal invitation to friends and family, to reunite with their loved ones in Auckland and experience all that it has to offer – “Dear NZ, Love AKL”
In the UK, I quite liked how Thistle Hotel Group extended their Summer Staycation campaign messaging – “See the sights on a Staycation like no other – Summer holiday turned into an autumn adventure or winter wind-down in the UK.”
Then we head over to what a Staycation looks like in the USA, people are preferring these over a traditional holiday, and this is for 3 main reasons:
Save money, save time and save the environment.
The average person, from US, who travelled or planned to travel, in 2020, kept their vacation destination within four hours of home, according to research by VactionRenter.com.
Families who have had to stay locally, have been rediscovering new ways to appreciate their neighbourhoods as well as their own homes. It has been the perfect time to explore and carve out moments and create lifelong memories.
2020 is the perfect time for all hoteliers to really drive the “Holiday At Home” message, here are a few suggestions on how to create your compelling campaign:
- Push the long stay message and make it value driven – Pay 5 Stay 7
- Drive direct bookings with an incentive – Save more when you book direct
- Generate incremental revenue through your on-property F&B and Spa facilities – welcome drinks, discount on treatments etc…
- Create the experience guests won’t be going on their overseas dream holiday, so draw upon the USPs and Experiences of your property and destination
- Create various packages that will appeal to various target guests – design an itinerary of local activities, offer a late check out to give them more time to explore, offer free parking, room upgrades, include breakfast, kids stay and eat free…
- Time is of the essence – an exclusive deal, this offer is for a limited time only. Be clear in setting an end date for bookings, through your campaign messaging.
A holiday is about “Escaping”. This desire to disconnect is not likely to go away any time soon and some experts are saying this could be the new thing here to stay – a staycation may already be the new vacation.