Back in March, GlobalData’s Nick Wyatt made an astute prediction. When people were asking themselves where they wanted to go on holiday in 2020, he said, “there is a very good chance that they might actually land on their own country”.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to holiday-makers staying closer to home than ever, and it is a trend that is unlikely to end soon. Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG, predicted at ABTA’s Travel Convention in October that staycations would be strong again next year.
So what is the best way to satisfy guests who are opting for staycations? A good place to start is to know exactly what it is they want. Here are five things your guests will expect from their staycation.
When people travel to a new country, they might be happy to accept a stay at an uninspiring hotel because it is the destination that fires the imagination. On a staycation, a lack of character or personality won’t fly.
When the surrounding area is familiar, with people talking the same language and shops selling the same everyday products, the hotel is what makes the trip unique. Ensure that your guests are inspired by your hotel by imbuing every aspect with a personality. Make it an experience your guests could get nowhere else, even if they travelled thousands of miles away.
Put your local area front and centre. The country may not be new to your guests, but the area could well be, and by providing as much information as possible about local attractions and points of interest, your guests will be able to get the most from their stay, especially if it is only short.
Technology is such a huge part of everyday life now that it is not acceptable to scrimp when it comes to your digital offerings. And that no longer means just providing free Wi-Fi. Guests in 2020 want to check-in remotely, get all the information they need from their smartphone, and keep in touch with you via instant messaging.
Digital solutions are also the best way of keeping everyone safe in a post-COVID world, when physical interactions between guests and staff are limited. And using a digital app, for example, can allow you to still provide a personal and effective service.
Read how Griffin Group implemented a digital app to improve their guest experiences and the way their hotels are run.
A boutique hotel should be the opposite of a chain. It should not conflict with the local area, it should enhance it. Guests want an authentic experience of the place they are visiting, so give it to them. Work with local businesses, buy local food and showcase local talent. It is not enough to pay lip service; guests will spot if you are faking it.
Of course, comfort means soft towels, a hot bath, and a warm bed. But it also, in 2020, means security, safety, and sanctuary. Your guests want to escape, if only for a few days, to a place where they don’t have to work, or cook, or clean.
You cannot give your staycation guests the novelty or adventure they would get from a trip overseas. But you can make everything as easy as possible for them and send them home relaxed, refreshed, and restored.
Watch how Tewkesbury Park used Vamoos ensure their guests left their property feeling like they’d had a luxurious escape.