Workationers & Your Tour Business
Workationers – a trend that has accelerated in 2021. But what is it? Workationing is the act of combining work and leisure. Recent changes within the workplace have obliged employees to work from home and have subsequently opened doors for people looking to combine this opportunity with their love for travel. When lockdowns began to ease, working remotely became more of a choice and combining this with travel became an attractive option for many ‘workationers’.
Digital nomads, as they’re often referred to, often look for exotic locations to go about their daily business. Needs vary from person to person but in general, they look for extended-stay accommodation, immersive tours and experiences, and a bit of adventure.
But is there a difference between workationing and a digital nomad? Short answer, yes. A workationer is arguably more organised. By organised, it means they have their steady income secured, they set out a monthly budget and follow it, and they tend to look for a more comfortable, immersive type of experience, akin to that of a real holiday. A blend of work and holiday.
The term digital nomad, on the other hand, comes from the definition of nomad. It tends to be someone who has jumped on a plane and will work out the logistics of living and working abroad second. A traveller first and a worker second but like the workationer, enjoying the fruits of working abroad. The digital nomad will tend to book cheaper accommodation as comfort/luxury compared to the workationer isn’t as big a factor. The type of experience changes slightly too, looking for more cost-effective tours that won’t break the bank.
Today we’re focusing on the workationer and how you and your tour business can appeal to them.
What Governments Are Doing
First thing’s first, does your country permit workationers? Special international freelance visas are becoming available for a whole host of exciting locations: Cayman Islands, Dubai, Barbados, Bali, Costa Rica, Croatia, Germany, Mexico, Portugal – you get the idea. Each respective location has a number of slightly different requirements including minimum monthly or yearly incomes. But what it does mean is that more countries are open to the idea of having these mid-long term travellers working within their borders.
We have talked previously about business tourism MICE(opens in a new tab) (meetings, incentives, conferences & conferences) groups but as more online accommodation marketplaces have shifted to welcome those in search of the workationer life, what can you be doing as a tour operator? Let’s take a look.
What Tour Operators Can Do
Professional workationers are generally looking to embark on a journey filled with adventure and exploration. Not only that, but communities have begun to form where like-minded individuals can live, work, and travel together in amazing destinations. Simply put, they’re looking for reasonably priced mid-long term accommodation, an opportunity to dive into the local culture and community, and to meet some like-minded people.
With this knowledge, accommodation marketplaces and tour operators alike have shifted their focuses.
Do you offer tours and experiences that allow visitors to have an authentic experience?
Take these for example: Eat Mexico’s 19th-century Santa María la Ribera tour in Mexico City(opens in a new tab). This tour offers guests the opportunity to discover a lesser-known neighbourhood in the Mexican capital where they’ll learn about the history of the area, meet the local vendors, cooks, and entrepreneurs, and taste some authentic Mexican dishes.
Another is Insight Cities’ In Search of Jewish Berlin(opens in a new tab) tour where guests are invited to explore the German capital with a Jewish Studies scholar. On the tour, they will dive into the different challenges faced by German Jews during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and extensively cover Berlin’s 19th and 20th-century Jewish history.
Another culturally immersive tour is Taste of the Bahamas’ Cooking & Culture Tour(opens in a new tab). Here, guests will get a real taste of Bahamian culture and cuisine by cooking with local Bahamian cooks, using fresh local ingredients, while also learning about this beautiful island’s extensive history.
These only scratch the surface types of tours that would attract workcations so ask yourself, could you add a more authentic experience to your repertoire?
The next step is finding where to market them.
Where Are You Marketing?
Find your area’s busiest online platform that will help promote your offerings to those coming to stay. For example, Facebook groups are a powerful way to reach out to and stay connected with those workationing and by promoting your tours there, you can direct traffic to your website. For those on more of a budget, check out some budget marketing ideas(opens in a new tab). And, if that isn’t enough, we also have a list of 95 places to list your tours!(opens in a new tab)
Another slice of advice is to consider reaching out to other local businesses with a view to resell their tours could help extend your reach. Maybe you don’t have the capacity to begin offering new experiences but a joint partnership with a local business that does offer the experiences that appeal to workationers and beyond could benefit you both.
Review Your Rates
Do you offer tours that offer guests the opportunity to learn more about the area and the culture? If yes, great. But if not, can you appeal to those workationers by offering a bundle package for those on long-term stays? Perhaps you offer surf lessons and a selling point of that experience is ‘learn a new skill!’ Consider offering bundle packages to those who are staying on a semi-permanent basis at a discounted rate if they book more than 2 lessons with you.
And as a last final side tip, keeping your social media accounts active(opens in a new tab) is imperative in this day and age, especially when trying to appeal to those researching what to do in their area. People want to see your business is alive and well and you are out touring. Showcase what you’re up to by posting photos and videos of real guests enjoying your experiences — it will only do you good!
In summary, the way we travel has evolved and will continue to change. The key is to stay on top of trends(opens in a new tab) and be ready and willing to pivot offerings to appeal to the altering markets.
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