How do you attract domestic tourists to your hotel?

Domestic tourism: what is it, why is it important, and how do you ensure that your hotel accommodation is visible for this target group? We discuss it all in this article so that you´re up to date and can prepare yourself accordingly.


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What is domestic tourism?

Domestic tourism is the day trips and holidays that are enjoyed by travellers in their own country. An example of this is a couple from Berlin who goes on holiday to Munich. When the same couple goes to Amsterdam for the weekend, we talk about outbound tourism, but we’ll not be discussing that in this article. That’s because it’s likely that domestic tourism, with the travel restrictions that currently apply, will be the first to return.


Why is domestic tourism important?

Although there has been a trend in local travel in recent years, it’s been a hit in 2020. It’s been forced by the coronavirus, of course, but we cannot deny that many people have become more aware of the beauty of their own country. For hoteliers, this trend is an opportunity to respond to.

The possibilities for travel are limited. However, the restrictions do not reduce the average person’s desire to travel. As a result, people are looking at what’s still possible, and it seems that the need to travel can be satisfied in one’s own country.

Besides the desire to travel, most of society has been at home for almost a year now. Their own home is the most visited place this year, and people are getting tired of being stuck in one place. The solution for this group of people is to stay one or more nights elsewhere, just to go out and spend a weekend away, in a new environment.

Also read: Welcoming back guests: prepare your hotel for post-coronavirus time


How to attract domestic tourists?

Of course, you want to attract this type of booker to your hotel, but you don’t know exactly how. We have listed some tips in which we make a distinction between internal and external factors. With internal factors, you can think of aspects that take place within your accommodation. By external factors, we refer to communication to the outside world.


Internal factors

  • Comfortable - Your potential guests will probably spend more time in the room than before. The reason for this is simple: fewer attractions are open (depending on the lockdown stage), which forces the guest to spend more time in the room. It makes it even more important that your rooms are comfortable, with a pleasant environment to spend time in.

  • Clean and safe - This goes without saying, but we’ll name it again. With the arrival of COVID-19, hygiene and safety requirements have increased. How do you assure your guests that your accommodation complies with all regulations? Ensure clear communication, both in advance and on location, so that your guests know what to expect.

  • Dining - There is no guarantee that you will be able to eat out at this point. It’s therefore important for guests to know what options are available for dining at your location. If you have a hotel-restaurant, it’s fantastic for the guest, and they can dine in the hotel. But if you don’t have one, what are the possibilities when it comes to catering? Inform your guests and convince them that this does not make your hotel any less attractive.
Useful article: 6x Unforgettable Experiences for Your Guests [also during COVID-19]


External factors

  • Last minutes - Domestic tourism in corona time means a more wait-and-see attitude among bookers. The situation can change from week to week, so if bookers want a weekend away, they book their stay at the last minute. Please take this into account when setting your room availability. You can think of offering last-minute rates but be careful not to stunt your prices; this is a waste of revenue and does not help the hotel industry. You can also choose to relax your cancellation policy so that bookers can cancel free of charge up to the very last minute.

  • Packages - Bookers are looking for more luxury and comfort. As previously mentioned, guests will spend more time in their hotel room. How can you ensure that guests remain well entertained? Now more than ever, taking care of your guests is essential. Provide your guests with a complete holiday feeling and develop some appealing packages. The most common packages are an overnight stay, including dinner, or an overnight stay with (private) wellness facilities.
Related article: Hotel packages: why are they (especially now) important for your revenue? 


  • Local marketing - In a changing market, you must keep up with these changes. Think of adapting your (online) communication. If you focus mainly on international guests in ‘normal’ times, it is advisable to focus more on national guests in the upcoming months. Connecting to nationally recognised booking sites is the first step, but have you also thought about adjusting other sorts of communication? Your website and social media are part of this. Make it clear that your doors are open to domestic tourists!


The target group domestic tourists is not a new one, but because of the coronavirus, it is the only one active in the hotel industry at this point. Even when the pandemic is under control, it will probably be the most prominent type of traveller for a more extended time. Therefore, make sure that the hotel and marketing communications are focused on domestic tourism.


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SmartHOTEL Channel Manager


About SmartHOTEL

For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.


By Chantal Mieremet | December 09, 2020

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