As the shape of tourism continues to flux across the globe, England is heading into a new national lockdown and once again attractions across the country will close their doors to visitors. This comes as a difficult blow to the industry as a whole; to attractions big and small. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the changing shape of our vital industry, some of the trends beginning to grow and how you might be able to take advantage of them.
The Rise in Online Ticketing
There’s no disputing the fact that online ticketing has become increasingly vital in this ever-changing world of Covid-19. Previously, the attractions and leisure industry were further behind in this digital shift than other parts of the tourism industry, such as hotel and air travel; which rely heavily on online bookings. For attractions, moving to a more digitalised world is a big change from the previous norm of ‘walk up’ ticketing. Today, it’s becoming ever more difficult for attractions, experiences, and events to offer this type of ticketing. Many venues need to know exactly who is arriving on any given day to manage their capacity, customer flows and COVID-secure measures. Whilst there are some drawbacks to this more rigid approach, Online ticketing does provide businesses with more forward planning ability. Online ticketing also gives businesses the ability to pre-plan visitor numbers and therefore plan ahead, manage staffing according to advanced ticket sales and prep any necessary food outlets. In the future, it may be that striking a balance between reserving some capacity for walk ups and continuing with majority of online ticketing will be the way forward for many attractions.
Experiences and Experience Bank
For the last few years, experiences have become increasingly sought after by travellers. The idea of doing something more unique and experiential is something which appeals to many. Whilst recovery may take a while, businesses can if possible, use this period to reshape some of the products they might be offering. For many, the demographic of visitors is changing as it becomes more localised with increasing travel restrictions. To appeal to a more local market attractions may have to alter their products to suit. A great way of changing your offer is to create an experience of either a half day or even a full day. Although, this may sound daunting many attractions have combined products they already offer like a guided tour and cream tea or general admission with an experience. The key idea is to change and offer something exciting and new or recreate an existing offer.
Going hand in hand with experiences is the change in using distribution partners to sell your tickets. Sites such as Expedia, Viator, Virgin and many more have become more and more popular and are a great way of marketing your product, for free on these highly trafficked platforms. By using our integration with Experience Bank you can distribute your tickets through these leading sites which show availability in real time. Chat to our Client Services Team to find out more.
Another entrepreneurial shift is the move into Virtual Experiences. The Christmas season is one of the biggest markets in the UK and many businesses have been hit with uncertainty into whether a Christmas event might be feasible for their business. Some have been able to shift into virtual or digital based Experiences. Some fantastic examples are Safari Quest who are running an app-based adventure which is self-drive around the wonderful Palmerstown House Estate or Goulding’s Garden Centre who have also introduced a VR Magical Sleigh Ride! For one family household at a time you’ll be transported to the North Pole in your own VR headset.
There’s no doubt that a new cultural shift is changing the face of tourism. Businesses are doing a fantastic job of adapting to this shift in the hope of the sector bouncing back in the years to come.
DigiTickets Marketing Comms
4th November, 2020