Updated: Feb 22
Hoteliers need to change their marketing strategy towards attracting local guests. Because of COVID-19, the fascination with going away to far-away places and saving up holiday leave for a long getaway has sadly dwindled. People are still not comfortable and the low travel confidence has given rise to new trends and travel behaviors that hoteliers in Ghana need to explore.
Domestic tourism and staycation are a few of the new rising trends. But how do you attract this in-demand – sometimes even elusive audience – through the door?
1. Focus on the off-season
If you looking to attract locals whiles optimizing costs, you will need to concentrate on the offseason. Take note that the locals are most likely itching for some fun or change of scenery.
You can entice them with special promotions and package deals. Putting together last-minute deals is good if you have lots of empty rooms or sell staycation vouchers. You also need to look at giving away free nights – good for publicity and brand building.
2. Promote staycations at your hotel
Staycation has always been fun and it is back now. If you want to stay on top of things, you need to jump on it as soon as possible. If your hotel is located in the city, promote a night in the city break to the locals. If you are an off-beat location like Prampram or Kokrobite, create staycation packages that involve exploring lesser-known areas of the city. You can collaborate with local businesses such as breweries, wineries, or local restaurants to build packages that have greater appeal than just accommodation.
3. Create an event
If COVID19 rules permit, organize up an event that will have guests lining up to join.
Create an event that the local community will enjoy such as a bonfire night, comedy night, cooking classes, or live music. Make it a room + event offer so guests have a greater incentive to attend and make it a mini getaway for a day trip or so.
4. Shine a Spotlight on your space
If you’ve got the facilities, flaunt them. Guests will more easily leave their homes if they also get facilities that are not available in their own homes. Play up the “you won’t get this at home message” in your marketing strategy, talking up your pool, gym or sports facility, spa, good views, etc.
5. Leverage local influencers
If you’re creating packages and promotions specifically geared to locals, you’ll need to let them know. Reach out to local influencers to get your word out because remember, they too are affected by COVID and looking for opportunities. Don’t miss making the most of these opportunities for brand growth, conversions, and revenue.
6. Be creative with how you use your space
Working remotely from home has become the new normal. Naturally, people get tired of staring at the same walls in their home office so you need to offer your rooms as a respite. Let guests book in a day to “work offsite”.
Remember to include free WiFi in the packages you create to attract such guests.
An amalgamation of marketing strategy, the right hotel software, aesthetics, love for local elements, and creativity can make your hotel a popular getaway not only among locals but also among international guests. Use this time to experiment & build your brand!