A portmanteau of “stay” and “vacation”, a staycation is simply the choice to stay near home for a vacation. Naturally, there are pros and cons(opens in a new tab) to this type of holiday. Whatever reason people are choosing a staycation, this trend(opens in a new tab) is a fun opportunity to showcase your amazing tours to the locals! A few creative adjustments to your website and marketing strategies can help you tap into this travel trend. Read on for easy suggestions you can try…
But First, Why Choose A Staycation?
Staying at home or in a nearby destination provides all the fun of a traditional vacation, plus the benefits(opens in a new tab) of being close to home. Shaving off lengthy travel times is obviously attractive: less time traveling means more time relaxing! For example, replacing a 10-hour flight with an hour drive. And, that also equates to a redistribution in cost. Less money spent arriving at the destination means more money for the fun part! This could also translate as staycations being a budget alternative to traditional travel. Consider if the costly long-distance travel expenses are removed from the equation. More money and more time for fun, because all activities are close to home. Plus, a staycation can be spontaneous! An increasing number of people work remotely(opens in a new tab) these days. This evolved workforce is looking to enjoy the benefits of a more flexible schedule, such as a spontaneous long weekend getaway (AKA a weekend staycation!).
Because of the undeniable reduction in travel time, staycations are often better for the environment as well. They support the local economy, and can strengthen community ties. Also, furry family members likely do not need special arrangements during a staycation. Perhaps they can even go along?
Appeal Directly to Locals
There is sometimes a stigma about a local participating in a “tourist activity”, but you can overcome this aloof attitude with direct language addressing the concerns of the hesitant local. YOU know that you have great tours that everyone can enjoy! All you need to do is tweak your language to attract the attention of the staycationers. Try teasing questions like “Do you really know your local history?” Intrigue or challenge: “Have you ever kayaked in your hometown river?”. Locals feel like they are the area experts, so tell them that your tour is worth their consideration. Make them feel special, maybe with a discount exclusively for locals. Or reframe your existing tours to appeal to the locals: “Fall in love with your hometown all over again”, “Rekindle the magic with new insight into your city”, or “Look at your city with new eyes and a new perspective”. In February, put a different spin on Valentine’s Day marketing with a ‘Fall in Love with Your Hometown” campaign. Or, consider designing a brand new tour explicitly for the locals. Adding a new tour page to your website keeps it fresh. Appealing to the local market is an opportunity for you to get creative.
Remind locals of the benefits of a staycation: lower costs, decreased travel times, better for the environment… focus on a few reasons and tie them into your pitch. This could inspire people to rethink the way they plan their leisure time and try something new close to home.
Reach out to local organizations for a dynamic appeal to staycationers. Try something different from your usual marketing strategies to widen your audience. For example, many municipalities have recreation departments that often organize tours for their residents. Contact these nearby departments and brainstorm together to develop a partnership that will benefit both of you. Schools, senior centers, and social clubs are all great places to explore to develop this type of partnership. Not only will you be connecting with your neighbors, but you will also be appealing to the staycationers. A win for everyone!
Collaborate with local hotels or AirB&Bs to create a special offer designed for staycationers. This could be especially beneficial to organize if you have an “off-season”.
Get Creative with Your Marketing Language
When you are marketing your tours, keep in mind the words you use. Make sure you create some content (such as social media or advertisements) to appeal specifically to the local market. After all, a staycation is a fun buzzword, but it is essentially the local population vacationing from home. You can capitalize on this trend without needing to reinvent all your offerings.
Getting customer feedback is always valuable. If you know a participant is a local, reach out and ask them if they can spare a few minutes to write a review. Feeling shy? Read here(opens in a new tab) for more suggestions on how to ask.
Consider Your Website SEO Language
Try updating your SEO to include relevant buzz words. Optimize the inclusion of “staycation”, “local”, “local tourism” and of course the name of your locations, in order to appear on the searches of locals in addition to the out of town visitors. TourismTiger can help(opens in a new tab) you with this complicated task, or you can read more local SEO tips here(opens in a new tab).
For even more ideas, this webinar(opens in a new tab) has a wealth of detailed suggestions for appealing to your local market.
Appealing to the staycation trend is a fun and easy way to expand your target market. If you prefer to have an expert capitalize on this trend for you, TourismTiger is always here for you(opens in a new tab)!
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