Across the US, hotels still struggle with travel restrictions. Some states have largely opened up, while others have not.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
Some nations have opened travel internationally, while others have not. One country might have a travel ban while another has thrown its doors wide open. It’s mass confusion. The result of this is that the hospitality industry is in shambles and hotel properties cannot rely on national or international travelers to meet their booking needs. How can hotels hope to stay in business if they are denied these sources of guests? The answer is to look toward your local area to drive local guest bookings to your doors.
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Of course, the question remains: how do you do that? We’ll discuss what you need to know below.
Your SEO Strategy
The place to start capitalizing on local guest searches is your SEO strategy. By exploiting localized keywords, you can improve your relevance in search for local guest searches for what you have to offer.
What does “localized” mean, though? It’s really nothing more than adding nearby place names to your content and creating new content around local events, attractions, and the like. So, let’s say you operate a hotel in Smyrna, Georgia. Sure, you could use Smyrna in your marketing content, but you can also do more.
For instance, Smyrna is quite close to Marietta, Austell, Powder Springs, Lithia Springs, and Atlanta, so using those place names in your content is also worth considering. As a note, the farther away the place, the less relevant it is to your marketing, though.
You should tie those place names into other content. For instance, on a page discussing nearby attractions, you could mention that your hotel in Smyrna is just a 30-minute drive from Six Flags over Georgia via I-285. If you can work in other place names along with attraction names, it’ll make things even better!! For instance, you could promote your hotel as an affordable alternative in Smyrna, conveniently located to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, as well as Six Flags over Georgia in Austell.
Why focus on these keywords, though? It’s all about bringing in relevant traffic. The more targeted traffic you’re able to bring to your website, the more hotel guests you’ll book.
Work with Local Operators and Businesses
Want to avoid problems related to a domestic travel ban? Tap into local guests bookings demands by making your property stand out from the competition. One way to accelerate hotel guests booking with your property is to offer things they cannot find anywhere else.
You can do this by partnering with local operators and businesses, and then offering special packages on your website. Ideally, you can tie your localized keywords and content into these partnerships.
What businesses and operations should you consider? Really, the sky’s the limit. For instance, you might find that connecting with a local spa to offer discounted access or even in-room massages gives you a way to stand out from the competition. Other things to consider include partnerships with local breweries and wineries, local restaurants, and even event-focused businesses, like arcades and laser tag facilities.
Tourist Attractions and Festivals
Most areas have some sort of tourist attraction, whether it’s something on the scale of natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, or something more American, like the World’s Largest Ball of String. Chances are good that you also have a wealth of local festivals throughout the year.
Both tourist attractions and festivals can be great ways to offset the impact of international travel restrictions. By creating content relevant to these events and attractions, particularly including city, place, and event/attraction names, you’re able to up your SEO game, but you can also take things further.
Don’t limit yourself to only creating content for the sake of attracting website traffic. You should also find ways to turn these to your guests’ benefit through promotions. Again, you have any number of options open to you here. For instance, you could offer a discount to guests who show ticket stubs for a local event or attraction. You could work with the festival producer or attraction manager to offer bundles that allow your guests to save money on both their room and the ticket price. These are just a couple of basic examples – there are so many more options!
Moving Forward Despite Travel Restrictions to Attract Local Guest Bookings
While interstate and international travel restrictions may well be with us for some time to come, hotel owners and property managers can target local guest searches and make their properties more appealing.
With special deals, unique partnerships with local businesses, and the right approach to SEO, you can up your local guests booking game and book more rooms.