27.6.2022

How to be Prepared for the Summertime Staycation Boost

Written by Lauren Valensky

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With the current global situation seeing more and more people choosing to stay closer to home, staycations have become a popular vacation choice for British holidaymakers. Considering 61% of adults said they would take a staycation before February 2023, compared with 44% planning to travel overseas in the same period, this increasing demand shows no signs of slowing down [1].

While this might mean fewer accommodation options for UK travellers, this staycation boost presents a much-needed window, to increase revenue and drive business growth within the hospitality sector. However, making the most of this summertime surge requires careful consideration and can actually pose quite the challenge.

So with summer right around the corner, there's no better time to start preparing your business for the staycation boost. But how, you might ask? Keep reading to find out.

What is a staycation?

A staycation is a holiday or 'vacation' that you take close to home, without leaving the country or even venturing too far from your doorstep. These trips provide an interesting opportunity for people to explore different, or typically unexplored parts of their own country, whilst omitting the need for expensive airfares or long-haul travel.

What are the benefits of staycations for businesses?

While staycations provide a range of benefits for travellers, these local holidays also hold a myriad of benefits that can boost your business' bottom line. These include:

Increased upselling opportunities

Since they're typically lower in cost to begin with, holidayers on staycations are often more willing to spend a bit extra on activities, food and drink, and other services while they're 'away'. 

This provides businesses with plenty of opportunities for upselling and cross-selling different products and services. Hotels could offer day passes to local attractions or restaurants could offer special staycation dining deals for example.

Widened customer base

Staycations are a relatively new phenomenon, and as such there are still a large number of people who haven't taken one. While your usual clientele may consist of overseas guests or working professionals, these getaways provide the opportunity for extending your business's reach out to a whole new market of potential customers - the ones closest to you!

If your business relies heavily on tourism, staycations can help to offset any lulls in demand due to global events or recessionary periods.

Greater customer loyalty

Since staycationers are more likely to live close by, there's a greater chance they'll become regulars at your business if they have a positive experience. This could lead to a consistent stream of income for your business, especially if you're able to encourage them to visit multiple times throughout the year.

What challenges does the summertime staycation boost pose?

Of course, while staycations have a whole host of benefits for businesses, there are also some challenges that come with this increase in demand. These include:

Higher expectations

With holidayers often 'sacrificing' sun or overseas hotel etiquette for their staycation, they will have higher expectations for the quality of service and facilities on offer. This means it's important to make sure your business is up to scratch and able to meet (and ultimately exceed) the expectations of staycationers, incentivising them to opt for another holiday at home.

Peak-season pressure

The staycation boost has led to much higher demand during the traditional summer holiday period. If your hospitality establishment doesn’t have the capacity to meet this increased demand. This can put pressure on both your business’ staff and resources. So it's important to plan ahead and make sure you're prepared for the influx of staycationers, or you may risk disappointed customers and missed opportunities.

 

Changes in customer behaviour

Since staycationing is a relatively new phenomenon, we're still learning about the habits and preferences of staycationers. This means that businesses need to be prepared to adapt their offering to meet the changing needs and wants of this customer group.

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How to prepare your business for the summertime staycation boost 

So, now we've discussed some of the boom's benefits and challenges, let's take a look at how your hospitality  businesses can get prepared for the influx of staycationers this summer:

Optimise your online presence

Given that staycationers are often researching and booking their holidays online, it's important to make sure both your business's website and social media channels are up to date and easily navigated. 

This means having high-quality visuals (including images and videos), as well as clear and concise descriptions of what your business offers. As studies show staycationers are more likely to book from their phones, it’s also crucial to ensure your website is fully optimised for mobile use.

Review your capacity 

The first step in preparing for the staycation boost is assessing whether your business will actually be able to meet this increased demand. If you conclude that you don't have the capacity to cope with staycationers, then you may need to consider making some changes. This could involve hiring additional staff, extending your opening hours, or refurbishing previously unused rooms.

Prepare targeted marketing

Since staycationers are often looking for things to do close to home, your business should make the most of the 'captive audience' these holidays provide. Focusing heavily on one close-by area makes your marketing and advertising campaigns more effective in terms of both impact and cost since you can be far more targeted in your approach.

This could involve including localised keywords like "staycation ideas in London" in your online marketing materials, using staycation-specific hashtags across social media, or running live targeted advertising campaigns in staycation hot spots.

Support your staff

As they're the face of your business, it's absolutely crucial to make sure staff are trained and prepared to deal with the increased demand. As aforementioned, staycationers often have higher expectations than other customers, so it's important that your team are knowledgeable about your product or service and can provide an excellent level of unwavering customer service.

Consider running staycation-specific training sessions for your staff, which could cover topics like how to deal with peak-season pressure or changes in customer behaviour, as well as putting processes in place to help them deal with any challenges that may arise.

Push flexible policies

Research has shown that staycationers are more likely to book last-minute than those going on overseas holidays. As a result, your business needs to be prepared for last-minute cancellations and have a flexible cancellation policy in place or you could risk losing out on undecided staycationing guests.

Additionally, flexible cancellation isn't just attractive to staycationers, and can often result in increased bookings across other customer groups too.

Look at local attractions 

One of the key reasons staycationers choose to holiday at home is to take advantage of all the great things on their doorstep that they wouldn't otherwise get to experience. 

As a business, you can prepare for this by partnering with local attractions and offering staycationers special deals or packages. This can cover anything from family amusement parks and day trips to couples’ massages at the local spa. Ultimately, it’s a great way to add value for staycationers whilst improving your business's reputation in the local community.

Offer staycation deals

Another great way to attract staycationers is to offer special staycation deals and discounts. This could involve offering a percentage off bookings made in advance, or providing a discount for staycationers who book multiple nights.

Stay on-trend

If there's one place you want to stay as a hospitality business owner, that's on-trend. It's crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest staycation crazes so you can ensure your business is offering exactly what staycationers want, whether that’s yoga packages or luxury in-room amenities. You can do this by regularly checking staycation-related hashtags and conducting market research

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If you're interested in finding out more about Epos Now, get in touch with our expert team below. 

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