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Lessons from a Staycation Calculator

What can we learn from Greene King Inns' latest initiative?staycation-blog


  09, Sep 2022

 Tags: Hotel Stories Creativity Personalization

Imagine your next vacation spot being tailored specifically to your preferences, without the hassle of endless research. That’s exactly what Greene King Inns accomplished with their latest innovation: the Staycation Calculator

You may be wondering, why is the tool staycation specific? Research indicates that just 13% of adults in the UK would prefer traveling abroad over a more local destination. The pandemic, rising cost-of-living, and airport disruption are some of the many motivators to stay closer to home. This leaves hopeful travelers seeking out domestic locations, but not always sure of where they should ultimately book. Greene King Inns took note, and acted on their market’s current needs. 

This online calculator takes a somewhat backwards approach to travel planning, with the destination being the final piece of the puzzle. First, this calculator focuses on the traveler’s preferred activities, such as hiking, shopping, or listening to live music, as well as the location’s environment, inquiring if the searcher prefers the seaside or countryside. Other factors including the destination being budget friendly, full of history, or featuring interesting architecture can also be taken into consideration. It is only once the traveler identifies their preferences that the calculator will recommend a location and property.

Staycation Calculator by Greene King Inns

Staycation Calculator by Greene King Inns

First things first, this initiative positions the brand as a one stop shop for hotel decision making, as they prove through this calculator that they have properties that can satisfy the needs of any preference submitted. From the outdoorsy types, to travelers looking to visit museums and be immersed in history, they have a hotel for every potential booker. And, they can prove it. 

For example, let’s say a family with young children is looking to book their next stay. They choose Zoo, Outdoor activities, and Food & Drink, to keep their children entertained while exploring a new destination that’s a bit closer to home. The calculator selects a Greene Kings Inns property in Mulberry Green, Old Harlow, accurately recommending they stay at a hotel near an award-winning zoo, a garden and nature reserve, as well as communicating its easy access to London and Essex, where the guests could explore diverse dining options.

Staycation Calendar results-1

Staycation Calendar results

By providing an experience tailored perfectly to the potential guests’ needs through personalized recommendations, Greene King Inns boosts the odds that the searcher will book with their brand, and through their direct channel. Especially by strategically placing the link to reserve on their website on the calculator’s final page. 

The creation of this calculator shows their local market of potential bookers that they’re paying attention to the current travel environment, while showcasing their properties as the solution in a creative and innovative way. This improves Greene King Inns’ overall recognition as a brand, specifically with guests in their own backyard, and offers a fun and friendly answer to the current struggles travelers are facing while planning their next holiday. 

Let’s not forget the final step! How will your potential bookers know about your creative initiatives if you don’t promote them? Communication is key, so make sure to reach out to relevant local publications to spread the word, and don’t underestimate the power of your social media accounts. It goes without saying that you should also highlight these campaigns on your hotel’s website, helping to grab the attention of visitors on the homepage and reducing bounce rates. Using website personalization techniques, you can take it to the next level and ensure your messaging is perfectly tailored to each and every visitor, just like the calculator’s recommendations.

Staycation Calculator on Greene King Inns’ Facebook-1

Staycation Calculator on Greene King Inns’ Facebook

Innovative approaches like the Staycation Calculator can serve as a valuable lesson of how personalization is a key component of meeting guest expectations, and inspire other hotels to use guest’s own preferences to guide them to a stay aligned with their likes and dislikes. It offers bookers the peace of mind knowing their reservation is made based on information they provided themselves, while boosting reservations for the hotel at the same time.

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