Recommendations & community
[Image: Ceri Oakes]
I've often talked about the importance of insider tips and recommendations. As money gets tighter, visitors will hesitate to spend their hard-earned cash and they will need more reassurance than ever before. Even when people have money, they appreciate insider tips.
Visitors won't want to waste money so they want to know they're doing the 'right thing' to spend. They'll also want to feel they're spending money with businesses and individuals who 'deserve' their custom.
Visitors need to know that it's worth making the journey to the North York Moors National Park. Many visitors look for similar things, whether they're taking a day trip or coming for several days: somewhere to stay; something to see, something to do, something to learn or discover, something to eat and drink.
Your local economy and community will benefit if we can all recommend independent businesses (so money stays in the local economy) and make it easy for visitors to give their car a holiday or limit driving.
Where are your favourite places to do all these things? Is there somewhere visitors might not know about?
Can you gather together a small list of personal recommendations for places near to your businesses so you're creating a cluster of great places to talk about? You might add these details to your website or perhaps write a blog? Or even just include a selection of photos with a link to the relevant businesses. You could include them in guest information or on a social media post. Perhaps tell the businesses that you're doing this, and ask them to reciprocate?
You don't need to do long lists. In fact, it's better to be more selective so you don't overwhelm visitors and so your recommendations sound more like they're coming from the heart.
Everyone benefits: visitors, you and your local community, and the environment.