While we’re all eagerly awaiting the government’s traffic light system to kick start holidays abroad, the appetite for domestic travel is unquenchable. This year, Visit Britain forecasts 82% growth on overnight staycation spend and 82% growth on day trip spending compared with 2020* (Visit Britain 2021). With swathes of UK media reporting on the ‘Great British Staycation’, how can UK hospitality get a slice of that media action and cut through the 2021 ‘staycay’ buzz?
Travel sections have been awash with roundups and features to whet the domestic travellers’ appetite; from UK foodie pilgrimages with cosy bolt holes to refurbished hotels with a plethora of few-trodden walks on their doorstep. Understanding how to be heard through all the noise and secure placement in these features is key.
Research is fundamental in this process. Know your onions. And by onions, we of course mean your desired publications. What format does the travel section typically take? Does it have regular slots? Do they tend to include statistics, industry insight or case studies in the features? Having up-to-date sales and web traffic data or senior opinion quotes in your toolkit are great to have up your sleeve for those reactive opportunities – which often have a deadline within hours of request landing in inboxes. Proactively, these nuggets of info are perfect for pitching in story ideas to writers and editors, for example: ‘How COVID has increased UK hotel guest average stay duration’– it’s a winner if it can be backed up with noteworthy data.
Hone in on the USP, whether it’s a new opening, an existing hotel wanting to be seen or a package. The hotel might have an eclectic history, notable family connection or be the first of its kind in the area. The hotel might tie nicely into a current or forecasted trend – for example, does it have the space, the technology – and importantly, the work-leisure balance – for ‘workations’? Easy hits can include leveraging and bolstering any existing or niche hotel packages, weaving in elements of upskilling in inspiring or unusual locations work well… like learning guitar on a beach or novel writing workshops on moorland.
Location, location, location! Unsurprisingly, Cornwall and the Lake District are the most in-demand holiday hotspots in the UK and therefore have a lot of hospitality businesses competing for attention. What is your point of difference? Is your offering fresh, timely, unexpected or – PR gold – all three?! Do you have an interesting spokesperson who can share locals’ tips on where to escape the crowds?
Locations outside of the big hitters would be forgiven for thinking they don’t stand a chance vying for media attention. Right now, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Lesser-known destinations and hidden gem corners of our isles are exactly what the media is crying out for. As a nation, we’ve spent the best part of a year discovering the delightful nooks of our own neighbourhoods; we’re ready to get out there and expend that pent up explorer energy in the farthest reaches of old blighty.
The post-Covid travel landscape is looking different and the hype around UK domestic holidays doesn’t look like it will be going anywhere soon – so how to cut through that noise and get on the medias’ radar is more important than ever.