It won’t have passed you by that lots of families have decided to remain in the UK for their summer holiday this year. And why not when it seems risky to book a trip abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantines? Self-catering and B&B breaks in virtually every corner of the country were fully booked by the start of the summer. Amazingly, business owners are reporting that they are already getting booked up for next summer! If you’re hoping to diversify from farming to tourism, you will need a platform for people to find and book with you. Here, Danielle Holmes from Calne-based web and IT firm Black Nova Designs explores the importance of websites in helping you make the most of the staycation boom.
2020 – the year of the staycation
The UK is seeing a staycation boom, with searches for ‘travel UK’ up 103% versus the same period last year. Thousands of people are also searching for ‘staycation’, ‘self-catering UK’ and ‘UK holiday’ online. Lots of Brits have still ventured abroad this summer, but fears about the 14-day quarantine measures being imposed upon return have kept many families on home soil. UK accommodation providers are able to ride a small the staycation wave.
Why you need a website of your own
The idea of farmers and landowners diversifying into the tourism industry is not a new concept, but there is now greater demand than ever. If this is something you’ve pondered for a while, now is the time to act. Once you’ve completed any build, renovation and decoration work, you can start promoting your accommodation to the wider world. There are multiple online portals to list properties on, but a website of your own is essential. Here are just a few reasons why:
- In this increasingly digital era, an online presence is essential. People expect to see a website link, even on a booking portal or social media. They want to take a closer look at your property and see lots of lovely images. Plus, it helps to build trust that you are a legitimate holiday let and not a scam.
- You’re protected if the booking portals go out of business! It’s easy to assume that Airbnb or Facebook will be here forever, but there’s no guarantee of that. A website that enables people to book directly with you and you will still get bookings if a Facebook is no more!
- You can avoid paying a percentage to the booking company by driving web visitors to your website to book directly, You could have a listing on a few booking portals to capture people searching there, whilst driving direct bookings from social media and appearing when people search for holiday accommodation in your area.
A helping hand to navigate the world of websites
The lingo and tech-y words can be really off-putting to those getting their first ever website. Plus, having a website can seem like a relatively big cost to front up when you’ve just invested your money developing or renovating a holiday let. At Black Nova Designs we understand how confusing it can all be and hate how complicated some web firms make it all!
That’s why we help our customers, particularly sole traders, to understand how we design and host websites. We also guide them to decide which features they need and which ones they don’t. We pride ourselves on being totally clear on the costs up front. A decent booking form is one of those must-haves, making it easy for people to enquire about staying with you. We can also advise you on photography/images for the website. Imagine that the website is a shop window for people hoping to book a holiday let. Your potential guests will want to see where they stay so you need clear, high resolution images for us to use. It never makes a website look good when the images are fuzzy or blurry!
Making the most of your new investment
Once your website has been built and launched, we can help you to make the most of it! Black Nova Designs has the expertise to give you advice on SEO, email marketing software and anything else web-related! We also offer an affordable hosting package for businesses, which is just £7.99 a month for secure and super-fast hosting. That’s amazing value for money and such a popular choice with sole traders. A website is an investment to help you generate bookings for years to come, so it’s worth taking a look.
Black Nova Designs has helped farmers and landowners diversify from farming into tourism with websites over the past 18 months. Just a handful of examples include:
If you are interested in doing the same, visit the Black Nova Designs website: https://www.blacknovadesigns.co.uk