How to attract domestic and local tourists to your destination

It is obvious by now that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the tourism and travel industry. With travel restrictions, more and more hotels and tourist destinations need to attract locals and domestic tourists. Domestic tourism can bring significant business opportunities for hotels and destinations alike. Domestic tourism refers to residents of a country travelling within that same country. Also referred to as a staycation. Travellers can take quick trips for less money to amazing locations right on their doorstep.

Here are our simple tips for attracting more domestic tourists:

Get to know your local customers

Understanding what your local customers are looking for will be the foundation of your new business strategy. Domestic tourists will have different needs and interests than long-distance travellers. For example, domestic tourists may want to stay for shorter time frames.

Local tourists may also be more interested in hidden gems rather than well-known tourist locations. Explore the areas around your destination to see which local attractions you can promote.

Adapt Accordingly

Attracting domestic travellers will rely on you being flexible with your pricing and policies. Have a clear cancellation policy in place and offer last-minute staycation getaways that are easy to book on short notice. Local tourists will have smaller budgets for travel, and you will have to consider that when adapting your pricing. Think about offering a discount to locals.
Think about what kind of lifestyle your ideal domestic tourist lives. Domestic tourists are more likely to travel with children (or fur children) and it is, therefore, important to adapt your destination to be kid-friendly or pet-friendly.

Reframe your safety and hygiene norms

The ongoing pandemic may make some travellers wary of visiting destinations. You, therefore, must ensure that your destination adheres to the strictest safety and health protocols. Make sure that you are transparent about your protocols. To create a sense of trust and comfort for your guests, hang posters showcasing your safety precautionary. Think about adapting your location to highlight these protocols. For example, you can install hand sanitisers across your premises and offer disposable masks at reception.

Rethink your marketing

One of the best ways to promote your business/destination is to make full use of social media. Social media platforms are a great way to showcase what your destination has to offer local visitors.
Reach out to local newspapers, magazines, tv stations, and local social media micro-influencers to see if they’re interested in writing about your business. Encourage visitors to write reviews and set up aesthetically pleasing settings that will inspire visitors to take pictures and tag your business on social media. You should also try reaching out to your local tourism board to see if you can work together.

Despite the tough circumstances domestic tourism holds a lot of opportunities for businesses. There are several ways to tweak your business strategy to appeal to local tourists. Research what local tourists want, adapt your business strategy, focus on safety, and remember to advertise correctly!

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