The idea of escaping doesn’t exactly line up with the act of sticking around your hometown when you’re ready to take a vacation. Most people look forward to the idea of getting away to relax and unwind.
However, according to one AP-NORC poll reported by the Chicago Tribune, 43% of Americans won’t take a summer vacation with 49% of that group saying they can’t afford it. Could that mean a weekend staycation is feasible for those who are limited either because of travel cost or time off work?
The goal of a relaxing, vacation experience can still be achieved by planning a staycation. It’s all about how the experience makes a person feel. Staycationers may not be a key target audience for hotels, but they do still make up a portion of revenue who choose to stick close to home.
More importantly, it can help hotels run the exercise of a staycation promotion and meet the challenge of creating a memorable experience for local guests. Here are three ways hotels can promote a weekend staycation, while also providing a boost to their overall brand.
Make It Special: Host Events
In addition to amenities, what kind of events make sense for hotels to host? Ideas include hosted happy hours, special dinners created by local chefs, guided city tours, and co-sponsored events with vendors in the neighborhood.
Brainstorm a list of ideas and then, create a schedule of how often these events will take place. A hosted happy hour, for example, can occur daily. But a special, local chef dinner may occur once a quarter as part of a special staycation promotion. Also, by partnering with local restaurants or businesses, there’s an opportunity for cross-promotion and a bigger buzz.
A local guest wants a relaxing, weekend or night’s stay, but they also often want to be entertained or be introduced to something special. Get creative and review guest responses after hosting an event to decide what can be kept, improved upon, or discontinued in the future.
Make It Personalized: Include Extra Perks
A personalized experience creates delight for the guest. As part of a staycation promotion, what perks are available? Perhaps a complimentary spa treatment or drinks at the bar? The perks also don’t have to be property specific only. These can coordinate with events occurring in the city.
For example, in a city with a popular sports team, include discounted game tickets, a specialized happy hour menu for game day, or free transportation to the stadium. The idea is to give guests an opportunity and another reason to enjoy their own city while becoming a “tourist” during their stay.
Make it a Packaged Deal
Remove the stress of planning for guests by offering multiple staycation deals. Plan different packages per season and give your guests the chance to build their own itinerary as well. Allow them to choose the perks and events they care about most. Customization will help them feel more like they’re on vacation even if they’re just driving across town.
Staycations often mean a switch up from a regular routine, while not straying too far from home. This combination provides more options for people who aren’t able to travel as frequently as they’d like.
It’s a more affordable opportunity for local guests to take a much-needed break. And it gives hotels an additional chance to create guest loyalty through positive experiences and exceeded expectations.