Up to now, the United Kingdom has been the primary source of tourists visiting Spain, but after the demise of Thomas Cook and Brexit, logic appears to cast doubt on whether this state of affairs will continue. Although the general mood in the tourism sector is one of relative tranquillity, the annual holiday in Spain has become an important part of British culture, therefore it is important to try to forecast how things may change after these tumultuous events.
So, if you are from the hotel sector, and you want to keep your direct bookings flooding in, then keep in mind the following 4 marketing tips:
Having a solid understanding of the socio-economic situation of the British market, in addition to a perspective on the demand for your services, is crucial when it comes to planning.
To do this, it can be helpful to consult the daily press to find out the latest news, as well as analyse studies or reports that may shed any light on the British tourist trends, their wishes or preferences, for example.
The objective is to gather as much knowledge as possible, this allows you to create more precise marketing strategies and to identify possible alternatives that you have not yet considered.
Defining your target buyer is another key to gaining an understanding of both your existing customers and potential customers, this allows you to create the right content and customize your campaigns to the fullest.
At this point, it would be interesting to review your history of British leads in your database to detect any possible behavioural patterns within recent years, such as what information they consume and how.
That way, you can find out what their needs, your campaigns can be better focused and segmented.
The British Pound has already begun to decline, affecting the purchasing power of the British.
Therefore, the smartest thing to do is to organize your calendar, marking the most popular holidays in the United Kingdom and design tailored and creative campaigns that offer tempting discounts to your potential audience. A very important aspect to keep in mind is that each campaign should be more aggressive and shorter lived.
As saying goes, you should never put all your eggs in one basket, so now it is time to expand horizons and strengthen those markets that you may have previously marginalized. The study which other nationalities have visited your website and in what proportion, armed with this knowledge, allocate more resources to those which you believe will give you greater results.
Keep in mind that one of the consequences of the loss of Thomas Cook’s is that tourists have lost confidence in the traditional travel agencies both online and high street, and they are now turning to alternatives such as direct booking, it is essential that you take advantage of this momentum and reinforce it with the advice given above.
So, to minimise any possible impact, the most important factor is to anticipate your market, continue to advance and strengthen direct bookings.
2019 was a year, first marred by the shadow of Brexit and then by the fall of Thomas Cook in late September; the uncertainty about the possible consequences of both events have shaken the tourism industry.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, 2019 was a record year for Spain, with 83.7 million international visitors. Despite this overall growth, there was a slight drop of 2% in tourist numbers from the UK, Spain´s main source of tourists. But yet, according to the INE, until October 2019, of all of the foreign tourists who stayed in Spanish hotels the largest group were British, accounting for 26.1% of all overnight stays.
Although it is early days to draw any conclusions about what will happen in 2020, Affilired has analysed how this development could affect the direct bookings for Spanish hotels. Affilired looked at the trends in the British market when comes to booking holidays directly in 2019 and the first month of 2020.*
* Exposed data extracted from the volume of direct bookings made by British tourists from January 1st, 2019 until January 31st, 2020 with a representative sample of 8.000 Spanish hotels.
In spite of the slight decrease in tourist numbers from the United Kingdom, Spain remains the country with the most direct hotel bookings, surpassing the previous year by 2.74%. ( 2018)
In 2019, the Balearic Islands led the direct hotel bookings made by British tourists with 44%, the hot spots were Palmanova, Alcúdia and Puerto Pollensa. The second region was the Canary Islands with 35%, Playa de las Americas, Corralejo and Maspalomas being among the most popular destinations.
Many of the direct bookings are made during the month of January, known to the hotel sector as the «Early Booking». A period when tourists take advantage of the offers available to book the holidays they will enjoy during Easter, Summer, etc; early booking is especially popular in the United Kingdom.
During the Early Booking campaign, the number of direct hotel bookings increased by 25% more than the annual average, being 47,2% from the United Kingdom.
When comparing the data of the direct bookings made in January 2019 and January 2020, slight changes were detected such as a decrease of 1.3% of the British bookings in Spain.
This drop particularly affected the Canary Islands and Valencian region. On the other hand, the Balearic Islands, Andalusia and Catalonia, have seen their direct bookings increase.
However, according to a report published by the European Travel Commission, the number of British tourists is expected to fall in 2020 by 7%, the most affected areas being the Balearic and Canary Islands.