In Ireland, we have been blessed with a new Bank Holiday - St Brigid's Day (this year, falling on Monday February 6th).
The origins of her Feast Day, on 1 February, are thought to originally be a pagan festival called Imbolc, which honoured Brigid as the goddess of poetry, healing and fire, and marked the beginning of spring.
The day is also seen as a way to celebrate women, and the Celtic goddess’s heritage as a “symbol of feminine energy”. Lá Fhéile Bríde celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days, and an emergence from the darkness of winter.
This piece is predominantly directed towards Irish hoteliers who can maximise their direct bookings by creating the right offers around the new Bank Holiday, but we also want to point out that hotels internationally could benefit by being aware of this new holiday - Irish people are much more likely to take the opportunity to go away at this time given the extra day off.
As this is a brand new holiday, and it's coming up pretty quickly, we wanted to make sure you were aptly prepared. Here is our little guide on how to prepare yourself for selling rooms around the St Brigid's Day Bank Holiday.
Create a unique package
Diversifying your offer and being as creative as possible, while keeping the specific occasion in mind will increase your chances of direct bookings. Your guest will be looking for added value. How can you do that while also being mindful of what St Brigid's Day represents? Play on the idea of restoration, peace, meditation, relaxation. Think simple, yet smart. A perfect example is this offer from The K Club, 'The Healing Escape', which includes a Grounding Ritual, yoga, wellness walks, meditation and more.
Develop the right landing page, use your action bar
Landing pages should help convert your paid traffic into profitable direct bookings. The simple reason is that your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks more to your overall brand and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site.
Make sure your landing page uses the same headline, benefits and prices as your social ads/email campaigns. Strong message match increases conversions because it reassures people they’ve come to the right place.
Enable your action bar for your St Brigid's Day Bank Holiday offer. The benefit of an action bar is that it directs your guests straight to where you want them to go (in this case, your Bank Holiday landing page).
Partner up with local businesses
A Bank Holiday like this allows you to create something really special, make the most of what your area has to offer and support and champion other local businesses. Whether it's a local yoga studio, a health juice cafe or a vegan restaurant, are there any businesses around your area you could work with to create something really appealing?
Extend it out
Take the opportunity to extend your offer out to try and get an extra night or two out of the booking. Consider a ‘Stay longer for less!’ package. Your language is important, because you want to try and get your message across smoothly. Once you have your package offer decided on, brainstorm a snappy line to sell it. If you can say what you need to say in a different way to set yourself apart from your competitors, do so.