What are staycations?
For guests, a staycation is the perfect blend of convenience and escape, offering a holiday experience without the need for long-distance travel. It’s a trend that has seen locals becoming tourists in their own cities, or within a short drive from home.
For hoteliers, this opens up a new avenue of guests who are looking for quality experiences without the fuss of airports or lengthy road trips. Staycations offer an opportunity to boost occupancy rates by appealing to a nearby audience who might otherwise have overlooked the luxury and relaxation available right on their doorstep.
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What is the staycation trend?
While continuing travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19 worldwide was the primary driver of staycations, the overall staycation trend has remained strong, despite many previously closed international borders now being open for overseas travellers.
Take the United Kingdom for example. Research from holiday home operator Verdant Leisure showed that the vast majority of survey respondents (84%) say they are likely to go on a staycation in 2023.
And it’s not just Britons who are choosing to holiday within their own borders. The staycation trend is rising globally. Here are a few reasons why…
Why are staycation trends popular?
As the pace of life accelerates and the cost of living rises, more people are discovering the benefits of holidaying closer to home. From the allure of convenience to the promise of affordability and the joy of local exploration, staycations offer a compelling alternative to traditional vacations.
Staycations are quick and convenient
The need to balance professional and personal responsibilities makes it increasingly difficult for the average traveller to go on the trip of their dreams.
This is why a quick road trip or short flight across the country for the weekend can offer a good alternative for the time-poor.
Staycations are more affordable than overseas trips
For some, the option of international travel simply doesn’t exist because of the costs involved. Even with cheap flights and a great hotel rate, other costs like car rental push expenses up. Looking back to the Verdant Leisure research, over half of those saying they are likely to go on a staycation in 2023 were leaning towards doing so due to the cost-of-living crisis.
So instead of saving all year for one expensive trip, travellers are finding they can take multiple refreshing getaways and enjoy it just as much.
Staycations can be rewarding
People can get so wrapped up in the excitement of overseas travel that they forget their own country is also a tourist destination with its own unique history and natural beauty.
Staycations provide an opportunity for travellers to visit the big tourist sites they’ve never had a chance to, or unearth hidden gems in smaller locations.
Alternatively, a staycation is the perfect way to really ‘switch off’ from a day job and find time to reconnect with family, focus on hobbies and personal enjoyment, relax and recharge, or take a short course and learn new skills.
How hotels can increase staycation bookings
Independent hotels are in the best position to benefit from the current staycation trend.
There are eight recommended methods to boost your chances of attracting more guests and driving more bookings:
1. Localise your marketing
‘Staycationers’ are probably going to be more resourceful when it comes to finding the best places to eat, drink, or visit in the local area.
They won’t be going to coffee shops they can find in their hometowns – instead, they’ll be following local food and event bloggers.
It’s these types of outlets hotels need to develop relationships with to promote their properties credibly.
2. Make your promotion relevant
Constantly promoting your own hotel with the same messaging will get stale quite quickly and travellers won’t be interested.
Instead, they’ll be looking for things to do and places to go once they arrive at your hotel.
You can easily provide them with this, based on a vast amount of existing ready-made content. Source the local newspaper, event websites, and regional blogs for fun ideas.
Not only will this give you great content for your website and social media feeds, it will help generate interest for the local community.
3. Take advantage of local events and experiences
Festivals and roadshows are fantastic opportunities to amplify your domestic marketing efforts. Think about creating special local staycation packages or discounts around them, or throw in some extras that might set you apart from your competition.
You may also want to contact local tour operators and activity-based companies to see if you can work together to create packages that appeal to your audience demographic.
4. Consider discounts for domestic travellers
This is something that you would have to balance carefully to make sure your revenue is where you want it to be, but in quieter seasons it could be particularly effective! Consider implementing promotions via your internet booking engine to convince local staycation guests they’re getting value for money.
5. Offer gift certificates
Offering gift certificates—or even specialised vouchers for your hotel’s spa and wellness facilities—can be an excellent strategy to not only boost revenue but also introduce new guests to your establishment. It’s a win-win: your regular guests find the perfect gift for their loved ones, and you gain potential long-term customers who might have never considered your hotel otherwise.
6. Apply member-only benefits
By offering special rates, late check-outs, or even a complimentary breakfast, you create an inner circle of guests who feel valued and are more likely to return. These perks don’t just keep your current guests happy; they also act as a magnet for new guests seeking those extra touches that make a stay truly memorable.
7. Provide upgrade incentives
Consider offering room upgrade incentives, such as a discounted suite or an amenities package, to guests who book directly through your website. This not only enhances the guest’s experience but also encourages direct bookings, allowing you to build a more personal relationship with your guests.
8. Implement an easy booking process
A cumbersome booking process can deter even the most eager guests. Streamline your booking system to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Fewer clicks, clear information, and a straightforward payment process can make all the difference in converting a browsing visitor into a confirmed guest.
Creative ways to improve a guest’s staycation holiday
Elevating a guest’s stay doesn’t always require grand gestures; sometimes, it’s the small, thoughtful touches that make all the difference. Here are some creative ways to make your guests’ staycation holiday not just a stay, but an experience to remember.
Whether it’s a local delicacy, a handcrafted item, or even a simple handwritten note, a small token can make guests feel truly valued from the moment they step into your hotel.
Themed packages or rooms
Why not transport your guests to a different world without them having to leave the hotel? Offering themed packages or rooms—be it a romantic Parisian weekend or a tropical island escape—can add a unique twist to their staycation.
Arrange classes or workshops
Offering classes or workshops, like a cooking class featuring local cuisine or a photography workshop for capturing scenic spots, can enrich a guest’s staycation experience and give them a new skill to take home.
Guided local tours
Offering guided local tours can help guests rediscover their own city through a new lens. Whether it’s a historical walk or a food-tasting journey, these tours can add an educational and fun layer to their stay.
Enhance your guests’ wellbeing by offering wellness amenities like yoga mats in the room, guided meditation sessions, or even a wellness corner in your breakfast buffet featuring healthy options.
Souvenirs or keepsakes
The end of their stay shouldn’t mean the end of their experience. Offering a small souvenir or keepsake, like a branded postcard or a small trinket that represents the local culture, can serve as a lasting memory of their wonderful staycation at your hotel.
Tap into the staycation trend and reach a new wave of guests
- Optimise pricing for local guests: SiteMinder’s dynamic pricing tools allow you to adjust room rates based on local demand, ensuring you offer competitive prices that attract staycationers.
- Streamline booking for spontaneous trips: With SiteMinder’s user-friendly hotel booking engine, you can offer real-time availability and instant confirmation, making it easier for last-minute planners to choose your hotel.
- Enhance online visibility in local searches: SiteMinder’s search engine optimised website builder helps your hotel rank higher in local search results, making it easier for nearby residents to discover your property.
Get started with SiteMinder for free or watch a demo to learn more.