The Rise of Twixmas Travel
Twixmas travel has risen in popularity over the last few years; let’s explore what it is, why it matters to hotel owners, and how to approach this rise in demand to benefit your hotel.
What Is Twixmas? Twixmas is the period when people are stuffed full with Christmas dinner, the kids are slowly but surely getting bored of the presents Santa brought, and parents are tidying up empty boxes. Extended families that came to stay are on the roading fighting through traffic to get home and everyone is experiencing the lull that exists between Christmas Day and New Year.
The word itself originates from betwixt which means between so it fits quite nicely with this idea. How popular is Twixmas? Well, a quick look at the Google trends will show that searches for this keyphrase tend to balloon around November. This means that before people even manage to get through the festive season of celebrations they are thinking about how to spend their time after the presents have been opened.
Marketing is always going to be key when encouraging travellers to commit to the idea of ‘Twixmas.’ Sure, the idea of having a lovely rest before New Year sounds great, but what about enjoying that break in a luxury hotel? Instead of heading back to work, why not head away for a week and start again after New Year? These are the ideas that hotels and travel companies should be pushing if they want customers to embrace this period.
Marketing needs to be more creative than the typical campaign. In 2018, 250,000 households on the mainland received postcards encouraging them to visit the Isle of Wight during the twixmas break. Crucially, these postcards were sent out on Boxing Day 2017, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘early Christmas advertising.’ Another 250,000 emails were sent out as well encouraging families to come enjoy some late festive celebrations on the island. The cards and emails specifically mentioned the exciting possibilities that families would be able to explore and the potential options that were available for hotel stays.
This campaign was a success because it tackled the lull that customers were likely feeling while also giving them some unique ideas on how they could spend their ‘twixmas’ break.
You might think that a good discount will lure customers into the comfort of a hotel in the gap between Christmas and New Year. However, don’t be so sure because polls suggest that customers want a little more than a great price these days.
Furthermore, competing with price could cause you to lose your unique value proposition. If you drop your prices, then you’ll be basing the new price on what competitors are charging for their own twixmas deals. The problem is that they may not be offering the same value of service. As such, you could end up undercharging customers and lose out on revenue. You could also become engaged in a dreaded price war where there are never any real winners.
Changing the price will also mean that you attract low-price guests. This isn’t an issue in the short term but in the long term it will mean you’ll never gain their loyalty. They will always be loyal to the company that can offer the lowest price.
Instead of relying on discounts and offers to keep occupancy high around this time, you should consider opting for a more personalised approach. This could be based on highlighting the USP of your hotel so that guests understand why they should stay there during the ‘twixmas’ break.
Ideally, you need to make sure that you are treating your customers as individuals rather than lumping them all into one group looking to save as many pennies as possible. The best kept secret of customers is that they’ll always be willing to pay a little more if a company is delivering the right value.
There are lots of different ways that you can customise the options that you bring to the table for your customers. You need to find the model that works for your business.
As you can see, “Twixmas” presents a great opportunity for hotel owners who are interested in bringing bored and drained customers out of their homes after festive celebrations are over. This doesn’t have to be a slow or quiet period for your business. You just need to understand what customers are looking for when they book a trip like this and hopefully understand there’s a little more to it than just a low price.