Irish hoteliers… there’s still time to secure bookings for the August Bank Holiday!

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The August Bank Holiday is fast-approaching (cue chants of… where has the summer gone?!) and there’s still time to secure bookings for your property.

It’s been the strangest summer, and most of our typically treasured bank holidays have come and gone, with hotel doors closed and ‘isolation’ the word of the moment. With phase 3 well underway we’ve noticed bookings steadily increasing as consumer confidence returns – slowly, but surely.

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As we all emerge into the new world post-lockdown, shaking off the cobwebs and searching for the right staycation, a lot of us might not have bank holidays top of mind. With huge numbers of the country now working from home, the days tend to melt into each other in a way they never did before. Bookings increasing gives us confidence and the bank holiday feels like an opportunity to try and creatively sell your new domestic market a long weekend or even a 4 or 5 night stay away.

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Make your packages unique

What with more competition for the domestic market than ever, diversifying your offer and being as creative as possible will increase your chances of direct bookings. Your guest will be looking for added value and an eye-catching offer. What’s unique to your area that you can treat your guests to as part of your deal? What little token can you throw in to treat them with? It doesn’t have to be complex! Think simple, yet smart. A nice example of this is Bloomfield House Hotel’s Summer Sizzler offer – along with their two night stay, they’re including ice-cream cones and passes to Belvedere House & Gardens.

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Remember as well to keep your language clear and simple – you want your guests to understand what you’re offering with a glance.

Partner up with local businesses

Now that everyone is vying for the precious eyes of the domestic market, you need to rethink how you’re selling your hotel or property to guests. Instead of just a hotel, just a room, it needs to be so much more. The ‘staycation’ has given us a newfound awe and appreciation of our beautiful country, which quite literally holds treasures at every corner. Make the most of your town, village, area – wherever you are. Maybe it’s the local restaurant you can partner up with to offer a discount on dinner, or maybe it’s passes to a local attraction. It could be a discount on local water activities. Make a list of all the local businesses surrounding you and get creative with your package additions! It’s a win win for you and for your area.

A perfect example of local businesses partnering for the good of all involved is Hotel Westport’s partnership with local restaurant Cian’s for a pop-up dining experience, and Gracy’s which is based in the farmyard of the Westport House Estate.

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Extend it out

Take the opportunity to extend your offer out to try and get an extra night or two out of the booking. Think ‘Stay longer for less!’ packages. 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.

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Make use of your action bar

Enabling an action bar for your summer bank holiday offer means that the second guests land onto your homepage, they’re faced with a clear, concise, eye-catching pop-up encouraging them to click and book. Remember you don’t want your guests to have to search or sift through your site to find what they’re looking for – hand them what they’re looking for before they know what that is!

As always, give us a shout on hello@netaffinity.com – we’re here to help!

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