The past year has been a difficult for people, businesses and entire industries. The tourist attraction sector, for example, has been hit especially hard. However, with the lifting of restrictions and Easter holidays looming, the right approach could help you expand your businesses services in line with restrictions, maximise ticket sales and help your business recover!
March 29th saw the easing of some restrictions, allowing groups of up to 6 people or two households to meet outdoors. The message to stay home, has once again become a message to stay local, with the government advising that “people should continue to minimise travel wherever possible”.
Depending on the type of establishment and where in the roadmap out of lockdown we are, your visitor attraction may be able to adapt its services in line with regulations and open up to the public. Therefore, businesses need to consider how they are going to safely introduce people back into their venues, what approaches they can take to engage with local audiences and how to monitor numbers to allow them to open up again with ease.
For example, our customer Thornton Hall Country Park, are advertising new events that started on March 29th, in line with the changes in government guideline. They are offering an EggVenture in Wonderland – outdoor fun for families – through to mid-April.
The roadmap out of lockdown – what does it mean for business?
The government’s three-step roadmap out of lockdown began on March 29th with Step 1 – which permits a group of up to 6 people or two families to meet outdoors, and some settings to open (e.g. outdoor facilities such as outdoor gyms, golf courses and riding arenas at riding centres).
Step 2 will come into action on April 12th, or later, which allows a single household or bubble to meet indoors and a group of 6 or two households to meet outdoors, in line with wider social contact limits. This step includes the opening of outdoor hospitality venues (e.g. cafes, restaurants and bars) and outdoor attractions (e.g. adventure parks, animal attractions and theme parks).
From May 17th, or later, Step 3 will be introduced, which allows a group of 6 or two households to meet indoors, or 30 people to meet outdoors. Indoor hospitality and entertainment will open (e.g. cinemas, theatres, museums and galleries) and spectators will be allowed at sporting or performance events with capacity restrictions.
Finally, Step 4 – from June 21st, or later, all remaining settings will open (e.g. nightclubs) and restrictions on social contact will be lifted.
Get involved with the local community
As a visitor attraction, you need to get the message out there that local residents can still visit your attraction. The easiest way to tap into local markets is to have a presence in the local community.
This can be achieved by using your expertise and knowledge and attending local virtual events other businesses in the area may be running or giving talks, if safe, in local schools and colleges.
Not only this, but if you become an active member of the local community, you can network and look for local partners too. Essentially, it comes down to making sure you and your venue is welcoming and helpful to those in your local area. It is also important for local businesses to support each other and help one another to recover from the financial difficulties imposed by the national lockdowns and restrictions.
Offer discounts and offers to those who live close
Sometimes, those who live local to you will want to come to your attraction but just don’t get round to it. Now is the perfect opportunity for them to do just that.
To encourage this, offer time-limited offers for over the spring period as the restrictions lifts to local residents. With everyone looking for fun activities to do as they are released from lockdown, this could be an excellent opportunity to increase ticket sales.
Not only this, but if you offer local people long-term discounts on annual passes or repeat visits, you can encourage them to visit more often and support your business in the recovery from the financial impact of the pandemic.
Consider how you can adjust your services
Think outside of the box to reflect on what your venue can offer to the local, and possibly wider, community. If you are used to charging for day-passes, consider offering half-day passes or hourly timeslots at discounted rates so that local visitors can visit more frequently.
Consider what services you can offer in line with the government guidelines to the roadmap out of lockdown. As some restrictions have lifted, up to 6 people or two households can now meet outdoors – could your venue become that location? Could it become a scenic attraction for local residents to do their exercise every day?
It can be beneficial to ask your existing local customers what they think and what they would like to see more of in the local community and adjust your services to offer just that!
Our attraction booking software
At Vennersys, our attraction booking software is versatile and can be used in a number of different ways. We understand that visitor and capacity management remains a concern following the coronavirus pandemic, and offer advice on important considerations for capacity management as well as support with the provision of our VenposCloud.
VenposCloud is an all-in-one system that is key for the successful operation of your attraction as we follow the roadmap out of lockdown. Offering detailed visitor information and reporting modules, you can analyse your sales, process admissions and memberships and rest assured that you are doing everything possible to protect local visitors at your establishment.