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While you focus on attracting customers from out of town, you may be overlooking an important market right under your nose: locals.

As the number of people hopping on planes to their next vacation continues to dwindle—a recent survey found 52% of Americans did not take a vacation in the previous year—many people are instead seeking out local activities to save money. In fact, Google reports1 that searches for "staycation" have been up 10% over the past few years.

Tour and activity operators can tap into these trends by tweaking their marketing efforts to appeal to local residents. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Promote Community Events

Increase your visibility in the community by showing support for local events—from local sports team activities to sponsoring area festivals. If you're a member of your city's chamber of commerce, you'll find it easier to stay up-to-date on upcoming events and community organizations seeking out sponsors.

Local residents will notice your active participation in and support for the local community—a subtle way to market yourself and get the attention of local residents that may be interested in booking a tour or activity in the near future.

Refine Your Website

Updating your website will help you maintain a high ranking on Google search results. You will need to use relevant keywords (words prospective clients will likely be searching) throughout your website to make it more likely that Google and other search engines to find you. Include your city and state, along with points of interest such as landmarks and other attractions in the area, so that those pages appear high in search results.

Tweak some of your pages to specifically target local searchers. For example, set up a dedicated website page that lists staycation packages or sample itineraries that local visitors would be interested in. Include photos and video clips as teasers to promote your offerings, and highlight your venue as a must-see attraction or must-try activity in your city.

Share Content About the Local Area

If you maintain a blog, create posts about things to do in your area. Not only will you be providing fresh reading material for site visitors, you'll increase your chances of being found through Google searches. Your posts will rank on the search engines based on the topic—in this case, the city and state, and the activities you write about.

The goal with the strategy is to create localized information that is relevant and newsworthy for your local audience—the type of content local residents will want to subscribe to or tune in to on a regular basis. If you send out a monthly or quarterly newsletter, be sure to drop links to these posts or create content about local events for readers as well. This can help to spark a local subscriber's interest and steer them to your site to read more and, ideally, make a reservation.

Use Traditional Advertising Methods

Promote your offerings using traditional advertising strategies, such as print ads in the local newspaper, securing billboard advertising spots around town, and running radio ads on local stations. It would be best to hone in on the staycation theme, encouraging locals to enjoy activities in their own backyard, while also highlighting discounts for local residents.

Your local market could be a hotbed of business opportunities for your business. Don't overlook the opportunity to promote your offerings specifically to local residents looking for things to do on a long weekend or those who want to take a mid-week break. From setting up special packages for staycationers to promoting local events, there are several ways to pique your local market's interest.


1. Google study