Hopping on the “Staycation” Bandwagon

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The popularity of staycations is on the rise and you can take advantage of it.

When someone refers to a vacation, we tend to think about visiting far away places. Nowadays, people have started vacationing in their own neighborhood; both out of curiosity and to stay within budget. The increase of “staycations” – vacationing in your own city or a nearby town – has forced businesses to realign their strategy and marketing to tap into this sustainable tourism market, especially with Millennials. According to an annual survey by MMGY Global, thirty-three percent of Millennials took at least one vacation within 50 miles of their home in 2014.  

Why people are choosing staycations

The most compelling reason to choose a staycation is for budgetary reasons. According to the most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, people expect to spend an average of $941 per person on a vacation. But with staycations that are within driving distance, travelers can receive a unique, local experience at a more budget-friendly cost. By lowering your cost per trip, vacations can take more trips over the course of a year than they otherwise would have been able to. And the reduction in travel time but vacationing close to home allows staycationers to maximize their vacation time and take shorter trips. Two-week vacations can be challenging to schedule, but a few two- or three-night trips are easier to plan and enjoy.

Why businesses should cater to staycationers

By catering to the influx of locals wanting to vacation close to home, businesses can see a reduced reliance on seasonality. Domestic tourists don’t put as much emphasis on traveling over the holidays, and instead vacation all-year-round, whenever it’s most convenient for their schedules. For tourists traveling to new places, they’ll want to have an itinerary of the most well known hot spots. But locals will try out new spots that are less well known or are in remote areas. This gives lesser-known hospitality businesses an opportunity to attract new customers. Since staycationers will expect to take a hand full of “mini-trips” per year, these hospitality businesses can create a more loyal customer base – a market of repeat customers who are looking to spend money close to home. By offering local perks, hospitality businesses can establish an ongoing relationship as well.

How to market to staycationers

Leveraging the benefits of local food can attract staycationers. The Ritz Carlton, for example, has developed concepts centered on “food and drink experiences” for its five-star hotel chains. Upgrading their hotel’s restaurants included tapping into local tastes. In their hotel in Philadelphia, they developed an open-kitchen Latin grill and season restaurant called Aqimero. This gives locals encouragement to enjoy local fare from a nearby restaurant, rather than thinking of it as “the restaurant in the Ritz.”

Another opportunity for marketing to locals is to promote or cross-promote with local events, such as music festivals, markets, or fairs. Organizing packages that include spa treatments and fun activities, or setting up a special dinner for event-goers, can further immerse your hotel into the community.

In today’s technologically driven world, it is more important than ever for hotels and hospitality businesses to evolve with the generational shifts. This market of staycationers provides opportunity for local businesses to attract a loyal customer base and make their hotel or business the go-to staycation spot. Make your hotel unique to your community with local foods and furniture that can further define your business based on their surroundings. This will allow staycationers to enjoy the comforts of their community while still enjoying the amenities of a vacation.