Travel marketers in a right, royal wedding spin

Travel marketers in a right, royal wedding spin

Headline grabbing events like this Saturday’s royal wedding in the UK are a great way for travel and hospitality firms to boost the bottom line and marketers have been going all out

Walk around London today, or for that matter Windsor or anywhere else in the UK, and businesses everywhere are looking to capitalise on this week’s royal wedding. Everyone, it seems, wants a slice of the cake. Not surprisingly! Estimates are that the royal nuptials will boost Britain’s economy to the tune of around £500 million.

Shop windows tout offers and showcase tat, billboards advertise wedding-inspired deals, the British high tea has never tickled as many taste buds…and so the list goes on. Online marketers are spinning a royal yarn in equal measure, judging by the raft of wedding related PR in EyeforTravel’s news inbox!

Shop windows tout offers and showcase tat, billboards advertise wedding-inspired deals, the British High Tea has never tickled as many taste buds

Purple PR, for one, the agency doing the PR for official wedding baker Claire Ptak has certainly been in full spin. Its ‘Royal Wedding Newsletter’ is keen to highlight the wedding inspired promotions of some of its hotel clients. The take of Blakes Hotel in Kensington  is to target American passport holders with a free Manhattan cocktail, at the LONDON Edition Hotel it’s an afternoon of dancing and drinks with royal lookalikes, while at the Shoreditch Nobu, guests can have a royal Meghan Markle workout!  

These hotels are not alone. The Travel Corporation (TTC), the umbrella company for brands that include Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Uniworld and Red Carnation hotels, is always looking to remain timely and relevant with its campaigns, says Dan Christian, the company’s chief digital officer, who will be speaking at EyeforTravel Europe. One successful initiative involved encouraging travellers to experience the UK like the royals do with a high tea at one the group’s 5-star hotels near Kensington Palace. “This particular initiative by Trafalgar had an incredibly impressive open rate and led to many bookings,” says Christian. 

So, good for TTC’s bottom line! But if you want to talk big bucks, then hotels in Windsor, where the wedding will take place, really have hit the jackpot. Here, the revenue-generating opportunities for hotels has been huge with some charging up to £10,000 for suites with balconies overlooking the high street.

Top digital tips

Also riding the royal marketing carriage is Expedia, which has practical B2B advice. Expedia Group Director, Market Management, UK & Ireland, Irene Roberts has been “offering guidance to ensure hotels maximise on the royal wedding opportunity and attract the attention of potential travellers”.

Among Expedia’s recommendations, which apply to other campaigns too, are to:

  • Use strong imagery – Expedia has developed an interactive engagement tool for its hotel partners, marketing and revenue managers so that they can quickly gauge if their properties require additional images, and replace those of a low quality.
  • Show points of Interest – Roberts argues that creating a custom list of points of interest is powerful when looking to appeal to destination travellers.
  • Consider package bookings – Expedia Group data shows travellers that book holiday packages tend to stay for longer and cancel less often than standalone demand, which clearly directly impacts a hotel’s bottom line.

Hello honeymoon

The marketing machine shouldn’t begin and end with the wedding day! Insight Guides and Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island have understood this. With the rumour mill pointing to Namibia as the likely honeymoon spot, Insight Guides, the content-driven trip-planner has used this as an opportunity to encourage people to ‘follow in royal footsteps,’ a phrase also [over] used by Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island. Prince Harry visited the resort in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Targeted messaging around events, both the regular and the headline-grabbing one-offs, is not, of course, uncommon

Targeted messaging around events, both the regular and the headline-grabbing one-offs – is not, of course, uncommon, says EyeforTravel Europe speaker Daniel Wishnia, a digital marketing consultant for Germany’s GCH Hotels. He advises that as a first step, hotels should analyse the possibilities with respect to the event location, and the opportunities for hotels in the vicinity. Next hotels should research the digital spectrum by looking at what queries are coming up in search engines so that it is possible to run very focused campaigns and produce relevant content. 

Aside from online efforts, Tom Magnuson, CEO of Magnuson Worldwide, urges hotels to return to some good old traditional marketing. Those located near a cricket ground like the Oval in South London, for example, could do more to sponsor local schools or charities to show they are at the centre of the community.

Had enough of the wedding-fuelled spin machine? Worry not. It will all soon be over. 

Join us at EyeforTravel Europe, June 4,5,6 to hear marketing tips and tricks from leading travel brands including Magnuson Worldwide, Hilton, TheTravel Corporation, Contiki and more