Numerous sources are suggesting that domestic travel is going to be the first area to pick back up after the crisis. We must acknowledge that there is a distinct difference between the end of a lockdown period and the return of customer confidence. We might be physically able to travel but it’s unlikely that guests will be willing to cross borders straight away.
As a result of this, we are putting a small series together on how we can optimise our offering for domestic travel to make the best of the short to medium term market conditions. This particular post will focus on the product with future installments covering persona development, website optimisation for domestic travel, and finally digital advertising changes required for a domestic audience.
Adjusting Hotel Offering for Domestic Market
While this is not designed to be an exhaustive list, hopefully, it will act as a springboard for inspiration across different areas of travel.
Families will be wanting to travel with their pets is a great area for differentiation. Around a quarter of households in the UK have a dog and represent a great demographic to capture. When considering pet packages, think further than simply accepting them, are there local groomers that can perhaps do pet pampering bundled in with the cost of the stay? One of the other benefits of being pet friendly is all that dog-related photography for future marketing!
Offering parking as part of the package
A lot of hotels don’t offer parking with their rooms but due to hygiene, cost and flexibility people may prefer to drive in a post-Covid-19 world. The deterrence of public transport might mean that people will find it harder to come to the hotel if parking is not offered so make sure you’re reaching out to local parking options, perhaps offering to discount their parking or including it as part of the direct booking room rate?
Parents have had their work cut out recently! The home-schooling, working from home and being the sole source of entertainment for the kids for months on end! Parent pampering will most likely go down rather well.
For those hotels that have a strong focus on F&B, the kitchen represents an exciting opportunity to differentiate as well. Households will have most likely been cooking the same thing for quite some time, however there have been some huge spikes of interest in home cooking and baking. Why not tap into this surge in culinary creativity by offering to bundle in cooking classes?
Providing Digital Detoxes
While working from home gives people flexibility and the chance to get the slow cooker going at midday, it does mean that we blur our lines with work and connectivity. Social media, Netflix and general digital usage has surged throughout lockdown. As a response to this, why not offer a digital detox package?
Leading with Experience
Local businesses have all been in the same boat, albeit to varying degrees. We can all support each other by using each other’s offering under the same banner. The weekend away package could include a bottle of wine from a local wine merchant, a meal out next door at a local restaurant, tickets to a local attraction, an in-room massage by a local masseuse, pet grooming etc. Currently, these are very disjointed but there is no reason we can’t bundle and create unique value.