By Hazel Brynes

It was thought staycations were a fad but their soaring popularity means they now sit at the heart of many UK destinations’ tourism marketing strategy.

The nickname for holidaying at home emerged during the credit crunch, when tightening purse strings meant many families opted to say in the UK rather than vacation abroad.

And while the trend wasn’t expected to last, it seems it gave people an opportunity to fall back in love with their homeland.

Perhaps it’s down to the value of the pound or anxiety around Brexit but, almost a decade on, the trend has shown no signs of losing momentum – with 57 per cent of UK holidaymakers saying they’ll be staying on these shores.

Many of our visitor destination clients have geared up their holiday marketing to welcome visitors from all over the UK to enjoy the entertainment, culture and heritage that’s on their doorstep.

Travel marketing and PR has had to closely watch this trend in order to showcase destinations to a domestic audience like never before as brands compete for a slice of the staycation business.

This has resulted in many brands upping their game and creating a competitive offering to keep regular visitors coming through their doors

This additional focus on keeping the locals happy has the knock-on effect of improving the offering for visitors to the country. 

We work on holiday marketing for the Duke of Buccleuch’s castles and stately homes across the UK. His properties and estates includes Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire, Bowhill House in the Scottish Borders, Dalkeith Palace and Country Park outside of Edinburgh and Boughton House in Northamptonshire.

Soak up the grandeur

This additional focus on keeping the locals happy has the knock-on effect of improving the offering for visitors to the country. 

We work on holiday marketing for the Duke of Buccleuch’s castles and stately homes across the UK. His properties and estates includes Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire, Bowhill House in the Scottish Borders, Dalkeith Palace and Country Park outside of Edinburgh and Boughton House in Northamptonshire.

Summer visitors are flocking to enjoy the stunning estates to see the historical artefacts, outstanding art collections or simply to soak up the grandeur during a lovely day out.

The business has invested heavily in its customer experience, with specialised tours of the homes, newly launched exhibitions, added value activities with the rangers at weekends and new equipment in the adventure playgrounds.

As a result of all that effort – and the profile raised by careful proactive holiday marketing – it is no surprise the destinations are widely recognised as five-star visitor attractions, with TripAdvisor excellence awards.

Capture the audience's imagination 

The tourism marketing strategy has followed suit in its attempts to make the Buccleuch estates stand out in a busy arena. We paid particular attention to the destinations’ points of difference.

The creative team has pushed campaigns that bring the homes to life and really capture the imagination of the audience, such as the exhibition launch at Bowhill which showcased the life and times of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. That could be linked to the ITV hit Sunday-night drama Victoria, which featured his widow as a character.

Drumlanrig Castle also had its own taste of celebrity, featuring in the hit Amazon Prime time travel drama Outlander. That gives the castle appeal nationally and internationally, as well as an association with romance and adventure.

Staycations have really put a focus onto the UK tourism offering and it has been for the better, helping transform our visitor destinations into world-class experiences that puts the consumer front of mind. 

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