Writing a bucket list is becoming an increasingly popular pastime, particularly among people of a certain age who might have retired and want to see as much as they can of the world and their environment while they can.However, plenty of young millennials also have bucket lists that they share on social media and post pictures of each time they achieve one of the goals listed. Popular items include swimming with dolphins, riding in hot air balloons, climbing mountains, walking behind waterfalls and horse riding on the beach – those experiences that will remain happy memories for many years to come. While plenty of bucket list experiences might be location-specific (such as standing at the top of the Empire State Building or gambling in Las Vegas), others could potentially be done anywhere – and that means that with some clever marketing ideas, you could sell your hotel as a bucket list destination.
Think outside the box You might think that your property isn’t particularly geared up to be part of a bucket list, but this is where you need to think creatively. Even the smallest, most rural hotels will have something nearby that you can give a spin and market as a must-do-before-you-die. For example, is it near a famous sports team that you could offer trips to? Was a famous person born in a house nearby that is still standing? Does your closest town have a claim to fame that outsiders might find really interesting, even if you take it for granted? Was it a location for a film once? These are your unique selling points and these are what you can promote as special experiences that link up to people’s desire to do something fun.
Promote it everywhere you can Once you’ve got your ideas, you’ll need to get them out there so they’re visible to your potential guests. Take photos of your experiences and put them on social media to inspire people, write blog posts about how to write bucket lists and put together articles on the attractions near you that travellers could use. The more you write about your ideas, the more likely people (and Google) are to find them. Sell packages If people are searching for ‘bucket list holidays’, you can capitalise on this by putting together package holidays that incorporate must-do experiences using your hotel as a base. For example, you could offer a stay that includes a meal on the beach at sunset, a hike into the wilds and a sail on a narrow boat. Just think about something you could put together, come up with a price and then offer it up for would-be guests. Continue the branding at the hotel If you’ve marketed your property as a bucket list destination, you don’t want people to feel cheated when they get there because there’s nothing at the hotel remotely related to bucket lists.
To avoid this, ensure you continue the theme in the lobby and in rooms by providing branded guide books, maps and other materials that guests will find useful as part of their mission. You could also leave a guest book in the lobby and invite people to record their day’s experiences upon their return to encourage other guests to book future stays.Encourage sharing Bucket list experiences are made for sharing and people will feel proud if they have checked something off their itinerary. If they happen to have done it at your hotel, then you can capitalise on this and hopefully attract future bookings. Create hashtags for hotel social media and put them on your branded material and emails to guests, then ask people to upload their photos once they get home. You can then use these on your Twitter, Instagram and other feeds so that you become part of travellers’ daydreams if they are creating their own lists.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, by marketing your hotel as a bucket list base could make a real difference to your revenues.