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Tips Five simple strategies to increase revenue from your attraction’s drive markets.

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photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

While a focus on drive markets may be new to many attractions, it’s not something you should overthink. The experiences folks are looking for will largely be the same. Their behaviors and the types of products they’re looking for, however, will differ. For example, expect to see:

  • Shorter length-of-stay
  • Shorter lead time
  • More ticket-only bookings

Here’s how a few attractions have made simple, strategic adjustments to cater to these behaviors.

Shorter Minimums

Because drive markets will typically stay fewer nights, you may want to take a close look at your minimums. If you require a 3 or 4 night stay, you may be asking too much of these guests. On the other hand, a minimum of 2-nights like Great Wolf Lodge did with a recent promo will usually be more aligned with the behaviors they’re comfortable with.

screenshot of great wolf lodge promo

Same Discount, Local-Themed Name

Sometimes you’ve already got a deal that’s perfect for locals, you just have to speak directly to them. WaTiki had such an offer – 15% off – that had likely been used for other guests, so they called it Locals’ Discount and spoke directly to that group.

locals discount tweet

Same Promo, Made Local

Likewise, if you’ve ever done a promotion to build your database of destination guests you’ve already got something that’s ready to be tweaked for locals. Drop the lodging component and you’ll have a great promo tailored to locals like Rapids water park did.

Look at Midweeks

While a destination guest may want to focus on weekends to avoid taking a lot of time off work to travel to/from a destination, midweeks are often easier for drive markets to make a quick day trip of it. A recent deal from Laguna is a perfect example of this.

screenshot of laguna waterpark promotion

Imperfect Conditions

A waterpark in cooler temps or overcast skies may not get someone on a plane, but it may get them in a car. And the last-minute nature of weather forecasting makes deals on these less-than-ideal days a perfect way to sell tickets to a group that can make a visit with less time and less commitment. Golf courses are really good at doing this when they’re aerating greens or heading into shoulder seasons.

Again, don’t overthink this.

  • Build your drive market database.
  • Focus on the behaviors unique to this market.
  • Tweak products and messages to match.

It’s not impossible to build your resort’s stream of drive market revenue, but it does take a bit of time, thought, and effort to ensure that the products they’d be willing to buy are the ones you’re selling.

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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