A domestic tourist boom can do wonders for the hotel industry. If you’re a hotelier, it gives you the opportunity to reveal your property to a brand new audience, and one which is likely to return time and again – providing you get the experience right.

With borders likely to remain closed to international travellers until 2022, the focus of 2021 for hoteliers will be on domestic tourism. As the tourism industry anxiously awaits the return of normalcy, hoteliers can take the year to evaluate not only how they can get Australians from around the country to visit this year, but to book a stay again in the future, even as things progress to a normal travel scene.

So, here are five simple ideas that you might not have considered for attracting more domestic tourists to your hotel.

1. Think about offerings that’ll bring them through the door

What is it about your area which attracts people to spend time there? Is it a bustling nightlife, range of highly-regarded restaurants, or the stunning sunsets?

Clearly, you can’t replicate all of those elements within the confines of your property, but if it really is a ‘foodie’ location you’re in, head to tip 4. If there appears to be a wealth of fitness fanatics in the area, try out tip 2.

Think carefully about why people come to the area and reference it heavily in your offering.

2. Separate your gym and/or spa offering

If you’ve got a gym or spa (or both) at the hotel, this is a great way to attract domestic customers.

It’s why many hotel gyms and spas offer a membership package alongside the obvious service provision for guests. If you can draw people in at a local level to use your amazing spa, massage facilities or top of the line gym, who’s to say they won’t think to book a room one day?

Word spreads, fast. If you can promote the health side of your hotel and successfully attract a local audience, it might lead to more domestic accommodation bookings.

3. Focus on F&B

Restaurants and bars are brilliant tools for attracting local customers. Much like the health angle, if the area you’re in is known for its amazing food, make sure your hotel sits at the heart of it.

This might result in you assigning more of your marketing budget to the F&B operation, and while that might feel counterintuitive at first, it’s likely to be a great lead-in to more accommodation bookings.

When people dine at your hotel and love the experience, they’ll naturally begin to explore your other offerings. So, what was originally a Sunday afternoon lunch reservation suddenly becomes a future weekend break accommodation booking!

4. Celebrate the ‘buzz’ of your area

It’s common for certain locations to gain a ‘buzz’. It might be the fact that a big Hollywood blockbuster is being filmed nearby, or that it’s hosting a sporting tournament.

Whenever there’s a tangible buzz about the area your hotel resides in, make the most of it. Latch on and up your marketing game by highlighting that your hotel can contribute handsomely to the overall experience for anyone who decides to visit.

Areas that have a buzz usually attract lots of domestic tourists, so why shouldn’t you grab a slice of that pie?

5. Try targeted social media ads

If all else fails with your domestic tourist attracting efforts but you still want to see if there’s a market out there willing to visit your hotel, you can do a lot worse than hit social media.

Unfortunately, doing so in an organic fashion (i.e. without spending a penny) is increasingly difficult these days. However, if you’ve got a bit of budget left over, try using a tool like Facebook Ads to target a specific audience.

The great thing about this approach is that you can control the advertising spend and narrow down your adverts to just one geographic area. If you’re willing to lose the small investment you make during this test, there’s absolutely no harm in trying.

Wrapping up

There’s no escaping the fact that the above tactics take time, dedication and, in some instances, a bit of investment.

But if you focus your efforts on attracting domestic tourists right before a suspected boom, you’ll thank yourself for every hour spent on the project.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hotel property management software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.