Noreen Henry, Sojern
"Securing bookings earlier not only bolsters net profits, but it also helps attractions win relationships, offer upsell opportunities, build more brand awareness and continue engaging after the attraction ends."
Quote from Noreen Henry, chief revenue officer at Sojern, in an article on PhocusWire this week on how attractions can boost sales.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered by PhocusWire that week.
It's difficult to change a mindset that travelers have held for a very long time.
Visiting attractions and working out what to do on a trip often comes on the eve of the journey, or when a traveler is physically in a destination.
This is an issue that ticket sellers - be they the product owners or intermediaries - have grappled with since online bookings for tours and activities joined their counterparts in hotel and air.
Apart from, say, leisure trips that are based solely on the attraction itself (Disney-themed destinations, for example), travelers might figure out a plan for their trip ahead of time but will be reluctant to book too far advance, with elements such as the weather and other practical considerations taken into account.
As such, attractions are at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to their attempts to foster direct relationships and upsell opportunities in advance of a trip.
But 2020 has given all pause for thought - and perhaps that long-standing trend will be overhauled.
On the one hand, trips are being taken at far shorter notice than ever before, due to coronavirus-led restrictions on travel being implemented quickly as infections rise and fall.
This does not play into the hands of those trying to capture the attention of travelers months in advance.
But, equally, consumers are perhaps more conscious now about what they can and cannot do in a destination, including what their visits to an attraction might be (social distancing, masks, etc.), so they might be searching and booking these products earlier.
The best bet for any of those operating in this sector is not to pin their hopes on one particular trend happening at scale and, through technology and agile strategies, attempt to cater for both.
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