Guest Blog: CT Office of Tourism Business Partners
As many of you know, last month we launched the Tourism Insights: Tips for Recovery program, a research-based program that generates Northeast-specific insights to support the Connecticut tourism industry’s recovery. In case you missed it, you can find last month’s tips and report on the Tourism Partner Portal.
And now, based on November’s data, here are 11 new tips that can help you navigate these difficult times. To review this month’s full report, click here.
1) Limit the crowds. The top reason visitors choose one restaurant, hotel or attraction over another is limited capacity and fewer crowds.
2) Tout your safety steps. Research shows that businesses who tell their customers how they’re keeping them safe attract more visitors.
3) Offer rooms for new consumer needs. Fill rooms by serving office-less office workers, remote learning students and locals looking to escape their homes for a day.
4) Tell them when you aren’t busy. Our study revealed the #1 action that entices hotel stays is informing potential guests when you’re less busy, so the customer can avoid larger crowds.
5) Make a safety protocol video. When considering hotel stays, consumers particularly want to see a video detailing safety procedures. For ideas, view the Office of Tourism’s safety videos for hotels, restaurants and attractions here, or feel free to repost our video as needed.
6) Create a contactless experience. This trend is likely to stay long after Covid. Consumers are really embracing the ability to control aspects of their rooms from their own phones, mobile check-in/out, reduced housekeeping by request, and other no-contact offerings.
7) Seat them in individually covered outdoor spaces. 63% of our target audience ranked outdoor spaces like igloos and greenhouses as the top offering they consider when dining out. These spaces are now permitted in Connecticut if properly ventilated — and they’re sure to be in demand.
8) Package your most popular dishes. The trend of enjoying restaurant meals at home continues in full force. In addition to “take and bake” options, try packaging your most popular items too.
9) Provide a touchless menu option. Our survey shows that touchless menus are an important consideration impacting the decision to dine out. Try offering a scannable QR code so consumers can view the menu from their phone.
10) Send them real goodies for virtual events. Paid virtual events are getting traction, and now a new trend is emerging: swag. Deliver physical items to attendees’ homes to enjoy during the virtual event. This could be logo items, food, or little gifts to add to the experience.
11) Connect with millennials. Our research shows younger consumers are more likely to visit attractions right now. Take a page out of The Uffizi Gallery’s book and reach them with creative social media content like these TikTok videos.