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Holiday Home Marketing Tricks

Thursday, 1 October 2009 18:47 by Brian

There are a few useful tricks we regularly use to market new holiday home sites. Invosoft recently blogged about holiday home SEO and the importance of having your own web presence. However, there are a few specific tricks I have learnt since then that I’d like to bring to your attention.

Find London vacation rentals on FlipKey

Get your past guests to write reviews

These could be on your website but are far more effective on popular travel sites like travelpod.com and ivebeenthere.co.uk. Both sites are really popular, ranked heavily in the search engines and let the reviewer leave live links in back to your site.

Sign up for Flipkey.com 

Not only do they have a great review service which allows you to send out review reminders to all your past guests, you get a listing on both FlipKey and TripAdvisor! (the FlipKey page has a link back but the TripAdvisor page doesn’t). There are also a host of cool widgets you can use to promote your listing and reviews (like the one on the right).  The only drawback is it’s a paid for service. However, at a current $1.99/month until December, it’s worth a shot – you never know, you may get a few extra enquiries!

Thanks to Tom Henry of YouPR - journalist-inspired public relations for contributing to this article. 

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Expect a bumper summer in the Lakes and across Britain for 2009!

Friday, 17 April 2009 16:02 by Brian

Living in Lancaster, in the North West of England is great. One of the finest aspects is the proximity to the English Lake District; it’s less than half an hour’s drive from the Southern Lakes. The  Lake District is a great place to escape to, and when the weather is clement, I will often head up there on a weekend, sometimes leaving straight after work on a Friday.

I did my first such trip two weeks ago, one that I did many times last year, camping wild near Easdale Tarn above Grasmere. It was the first time there was enough daylight to make the trip viable after a full days work, the clocks only having gone forward the previous week.

I hiked up from Grasmere with everything I needed on my back - at what in previous years had been a tranquil wild camping spot - ready for some solitude, peace and quiet only to find six other people had the same idea as me! Bearing in mind this is the beginning of April and the first time this trip has been possible. I’ve never seen that many tents wild camping in one spot in the Lakes before. And by the time morning came, there were a total of five tents, eight people and two dogs.

Walking near Grasmere in Englands Lake District

The next day, the streets were absolutely flooded with people in Grasmere, Windermere and Ambleside. By all accounts the following Bank Holiday Easter weekend was even busier. It was plain to me, that on Easter weekend, which is traditional one in which we witness all the major international airports bursting at the seams, people were deciding to spend their time and money in the UK. This got me thinking about shifting trends in tourism during a recession and how it’s a good sign for holiday home owners in the UK.

If we combine the recession with a diminishing pound (against both the euro and the dollar) then it comes as no surprise that British families are spending their leisure time closer to home. I did some research and found some official figures to back up my anecdotal assessment:

  • Cumbria Tourism confirmed there was a busy Easter period last week with Lake District tourism information centres reporting a 45% increase in footfall over the same period in 2008.

  • Recent history shows that a busy Easter period leads to a bumper summer for the hospitality industry especially hotels, B&B’s and self-catering accommodation.

  • In the previous year, the worst hit retailer s have been the top and bottom end of the Lake District tourism industry, including hotels and B&B’s but a good recovery is expected, along with self-catering and holiday-home accommodation providers benefitting from the forthcoming influx of visitors.

  • Financial injections have also been announced to boost the tourist industry, with Cumbria Tourism benefitting from over £5 million made available from the Northwest Regional Development Agency. Creating “high-quality, high-value visitor experiences” is a main concern, as is capitalising on the “increasing trend to holiday at home”. Some of the regions first areas to benefit from this grant are the refurbishments of the Tourist Information Centres and National Park Centres of Ullswater, Bowness, Hawkshead and Keswick.

All this is great news for the local holiday home industry, especially in Lancashire and Cumbria. Expect a bumper summer in the Lakes and across Britain for 2009!

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