This article is part of our Brexit Survival Guide: Practical Tips for Hospitality Businesses series, and is written by Sally Raith-Riches, who is the Group Director of Sales Foxhills Club and Resort.
Consumers are looking for ‘experiences’ on their holidays, and providing that, we believe, is central to encouraging active families to vacation in the UK. Previously, resorts may have simply rested on their laurels by concentrating on one activity, such as golf, but that’s not enough anymore.
Many people who currently travel abroad are looking for a better value for money in their holiday experiences— yet, access to most of a resort’s facilities is included in standard packages. But for resorts to attract staycationers, it all comes down to how well they communicate with potential guests.
On top of that, resorts must consistently refresh their packages to make it much easier for those looking for a particular type of weekend, which could be anything from training bootcamps, relaxing getaways or sports weekends for all experience levels (beginners golf, group tennis or experienced cycling packages).
As part of creating unforgettable experiences, resorts also need to look at the level of service they provide customers. Service expectations are higher than ever, and immediate access to online reviews means it’s important to treat each individual customer like an exclusive member for the duration of their stay. For us, that means Foxhills is each member’s club to enjoy and be a part of for as long as they stay with us.
We also think the resort experience doesn’t just begin when guests arrive— it actually begins when they travel to the resort. To that end, we are trying to emphasise how much easier it is to travel to the Surrey countryside rather than abroad (just minutes from the M25 vs. a long international flight!). But re-educating the market to think about those little luxuries takes time. Foxhills is a popular corporate venue during the week, but, like other British resorts, we’re investing in the long process of growing our domestic leisure market.
Despite the concerns Brexit brings about, it’s also important not to neglect the international market. To be frank, we don’t know what Brexit will mean for the tourism industry. But it’s important to focus on developing the appetite for ‘staycationing,’ as well as put international guests at ease. It will likely be a long road, but it’s better that businesses be proactive and start now. We certainly have!