Whilst on holidays in Seahouses and Devon this summer, we ditched the National chains and opted for local accommodation and we’re so pleased we did.

Checking out of both places at home time I tried not to go into marketing mode, but did end up talking shop with the owners. In order to stand out small business owners, (especially holiday accommodation) need to approach their marketing differently to encourage direct bookings.

If you start with things in the room(s) when they are staying.

Those little extras, added up make a difference to your customers and will ensure they recommend you to a friend/facebook friends. A bookmark is always a good one, so they can use it for their holiday reads or a pack of readily-stamped branded postcards, to spread the word to friends and family.

Think about sending postcards as Direct Mail to encourage repeat bookings. Every year I get a postcard from a cottage company we use in Devon, often with a sweet 10% discount to encourage me to book last minute.

Remember, it’s the little things that count and they don’t have to cost the earth. Just show that you take a little more care and attention to detail.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on marketing in the tourist accommodation sector or little ideas you do as a smaller business.

If you like this article you’ll like one on the Trip Advisor effect from RCM Stocktaking