While creativity is important for developing resort promotions, the ability to create targeted marketing messages to specific audiences is even more valuable. Promotional ideas for resorts should provide specific goals, objectives and measurable outcomes. Understanding how to combine research, strategic planning and your creative side will help you develop successful resort promotions.
Conduct Your Research
When creating resort promotions, learn the property’s goals for revenues. Talk with the marketing and sales departments to learn what their objectives are for rooms, food, beverage, audio-visual, events, gift shop, golf tournaments and any other specific income streams. Determine the target demographic the resort is seeking, which might include a focus on couples, business travelers, families or singles. Look at when you’ll be doing promotions -- some resorts want promotions during slow times because they are booked solid with little marketing effort during the high season. Other resorts want to spend most of their promotional budgets during the busy season, when competition for customers is highest.
Ideas for business promotions can include a variety of activities that offer organizations and business travelers discounts, bonuses and extra amenities. For individual business travelers, consider a frequent traveler program, free breakfast or discounts on personal travel they can use later. Provide groups and associations a cash bonus for each room their attendees’ book, or a complimentary room for each 10 rooms sold. Promote free evening babysitting for children if you’re hosting an annual meeting that families will attend, or a free spouse’s trip or activity.
When creating promotions for consumers, focus on why they head to a resort, rather than starting with a message that touts your amenities. Once you know why couples, families, singles or seniors visit resorts like yours, create promotions that offer them what they’re looking for. If your audience is value-conscious, offer a free night when they book three nights. Provide free breakfasts or a package that lets them choose a free golf or tennis lesson or trip to your spa. If you’re located in an area with a unique cultural aspect that attracts visitors, promote off-site trips that offer guests who want to do more than sit on the beach a chance to try different foods, hear local music or visit historical and cultural sites. When targeting families, create promotions that offer activities families can do together and a chance for parents to get away alone one or two nights.
Group Leader Promotions
One way to promote your resort is to encourage coaches, teachers or other group leaders to bring their followers to your resort. Offer to design a group outing and give the group leader a free stay if he brings 10 paying guests. Target tennis and golf professionals who might have students looking for a weekend or weeklong getaway. Offer a family week, filled with entertainment options, to a religious, fraternal or civic group. Help the organization set up a seminar, workshop or other group activity relevant to the organization’s purpose.
Work with other organizations and companies to create cross-promotions that benefit both of you. For example, if your resort targets affluent couples, offer a regional or national magazine your target guests read a trade. Offer a free stay at your resort in exchange for advertising in the magazine, a blow-in card or banners on their website. The publication can increase returns of its annual reader survey or boost subscription renewals by holding a drawing to win a free vacation. Partner with a consumer products business, asking them to include information about your resort on their website and a small flyer in their packaging in exchange for giving the company one or two vacations to give away in a contest. If an organization holds it annual meeting at your resort each year, keep in contact with that organization’s members year-round by offering the organization a free vacation to raffle off in exchange for a website banner ad, link, ad in their newsletter and access to their mailing list.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.