Smooching staycationers

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Chatting to one tourist official in the UK this week, I was told that they didn’t need to market their destination this summer since the accommodation was nearly full and the attractions were rubbing their hands at the prospect of finally earning some money.

picture-postcard scenery won’t necessarily bring tourists back. Tourists want to feel wanted

But what are you doing with those that are coming this year to persuade them to return next year I asked.

Right now, I was told, that was of less concern.

It shouldn’t be.

It is even more important this year that visitors have a good time, have fond memories and want to return. In other words smooch them, caress them and make them feel like only they matter.

Scenery won’t, by itself, get visitors to return

With so many people visiting destinations this year there is a golden opportunity for destination to leave a ”warm” indelible impression on people to return. It could mean that accommodation providers do a little extra something like washing the cars of people who stay for a week or leaving a bottle of wine in people’s rooms as a thank-you for coming. It is the little somethings that people will remember.

It is too easy to lose a visitor than to gain one.

Local authorities must also do their part. Toilets should be open, clean and in sufficient quantity. There should be enough car parking. For those that come by train, the stations should be clean and homely. Hy shouldn’t tourist office staff, council employees or volunteers meet specific trains and hand out guides to the destination? Why shouldn’t these same people put guides on the windscreens at car parks? Why shouldn’t local restaurants and cafes offer a free cup of tea and somewhere to rest your feet in a tourist happy hour at a time when those same places know they will have fewer paying customers? I bet once sat down, a customer would but a slice of cake or a snack to go with their tea.

Next year when, we suppose, people will be able to travel abroad secure in the knowledge that they can, destinations will want people to return and those visitors may not.

What destinations and people involved in tourism do this year will play a big part in what happens to their local tourism next year.

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