Lots of naturist resorts depend on foreign visitors during the summer season.
Do we dare to ask the question?
What if your country keeps its borders closed throughout the summer?
You may wave this question away with the idea that this just isn’t possible. This would hurt the tourism industry way too much. But then again, if we had told you 3 months ago that a large part of the world’s population would be locked up in their houses, you wouldn’t have believed us either. These are extraordinary times and extraordinary measures are being taken on a daily basis.
Even if your country opens its borders by this summer and starts welcoming tourists, who says that the other countries will do the same?
Even if all countries open their borders, will people still be willing to travel abroad? We’ve all seen the news, tourists getting stuck in hotels and on cruise ships with no possibility to go home. The COVID-19 virus won’t be gone, that much is sure. Will people want to risk getting stuck in a foreign country? Risk getting sick in a foreign country? How about job security during this crisis? Will people still have paid vacation days left?
There are many reasons to believe that international travel during the summer of 2020 will only be a fraction of what it was last year.
So it’s better to be prepared and start focusing on the market that is most likely to recover first: Domestic travel.
Organise an open day
The idea of open days is relatively new in the naturist world and is still covered with a “monkey watching” atmosphere. Yet, the resorts that do dare to open their doors for the textile world often agree that this has been a great step forward. Of all the people who enjoy a nude beach now and then, only part of them will also book a stay at a naturist resort. Why? Fear of the unknown. Fear to pay hundreds of Euros or dollars for a place where they may not feel comfortable.
Open days are often difficult to organize because you want a good chance for nice weather but also not too many guests around who may not like the clothed tour. The late start of the season this year and the lack of visitors create an excellent opportunity to show the neighborhood what’s really going on behind your huge gate.
Give people the chance to have a look around your property and make sure to have some information ready about naturism in general, the etiquette at your resort and the who-when-where of obligatory nudity.
Whenever the quarantines are lifted, people will want to get out of their homes. They will want to do something and the options will be limited. Most large events will be canceled, cities will still carry a higher risk of getting infected and there will be a need for social distancing. You can provide the perfect option: What about a day at the naturist resort?
Day passes give people the opportunity of a day trip and also the chance to get to know your resort. Next time, they might come for a couple of days more.
Collaborate with the local naturist organisation(s)
Many countries have a national naturist federation and often also a number of local naturist clubs and associations. If someone knows the local naturist, it’s them.
Additionally, many clubs and federations are seeing their summer events being canceled and are looking for other ways to provide value to their members. In exchange for a member discount or small happening, lots of these organisations will be happy to promote your resort among their community.
Bring a friend
If you already have a number of local visitors, now is a great time to encourage them to bring their friends, colleagues and family. Bring a friend actions are a great way to do so. This can be done via monetary value (2nd person half price) or added value (free cocktail, massage,…).
Contact the local press
Nudity sells. It’s a bit sad that this is still the case but it’s also an advantage. The media loves content about nudity. Also important, after months of reporting the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and mortality rates, they’ll all be happy if they can bring a positive message now and then. You can give them both nudity and positivity.
The first thing you want to think about is which message you want them to bring. Naturism and COVID-19 is an obvious choice: How social distancing and hygiene are already important for naturists, how clothes carry the virus longer than skin (this could be a rumor, make sure to check it first), etc.
There are also other subjects that will make the news. The eco movement is still big and naturism perfectly fits into that. How naturists like sports, good to get rid of that extra weight you gained during quarantine. How naturism is good for body confidence, and so on.
Just write a small press release and send it around to all the local media you can find.
Make sure that your Google My Business is up to date
Google My Business is an excellent way to reach a local audience. Not only because you’ll appear first in the search results, but also because your information will be shown on Google Maps.
If you are not registered on Google My Business, now is the time to do so. And even if you are already on it, make sure that your data is still correct (especially opening times), add some new photos, etc.
Go local on social media
Lots of people are spending their quarantine time on social media. They pretty much read everything that passes by, often more than once.
The easiest way to reach a local public is through paid advertising, where you can target a certain geographic range. The downside is that most social media channels don’t have the option to focus on naturists in particular.
Another way is to join local naturist social media groups, which are especially popular on Facebook. Keep in mind that some of these groups don’t allow direct promotion of your resort. The best way is to join those groups with an account or page that has your resort’s name and then just join the conversation. Or you could casually mention your resort. “Well, at our resort the Naked Monkey, we do allow sarongs but no bathing suits”.
Or you can leave all this to the professionals and work with social media influencers. Most naturist influencers have a large reach which will also include naturists from your country. Local naturist influencers are scarse, but you could work with local travel influencers instead.
Use geo-targeted advertising
Today is the perfect day to review your current advertising partnerships. Often you will have built a relationship for many years, but will they still provide added value in the (post)-corona-era? What is their geographical reach? In times when air travel is little to none, it doesn’t make much sense to advertise in countries that are several thousands of kilometers away.
Geo-targeted advertising will be very important. At first, you will only want to advertise in your own country to increase your number of domestic guests. When people from the neighboring countries are free to travel, you want to focus on them as well. And then the rest of the continent, and so on.
Here’s a tip: Geographic targeting is one of the most important features of NaturistAds!
Adjust your website to attract local tourism
As soon as you have been able to catch the eye of the local traveler, the first place that they will look is your website. So it’s very important that your website is up to date, contains all the necessary travel information and doesn’t look like it was built in the 20th century.
Also important are your website languages. Many people won’t spend much time on your website if they can’t read it in their own language.
Even more important than the user experience on your website is your appearance in the search results. Lots of websites use a dynamic translation plugin. This means that the text is translated on the spot as soon as someone presses a button. This works well when people visit your website and want to read it in another language, but the text is physically only stored in the main language.
Why does this matter?
Because Google only indexes the physically stored pages, so only when people search in the original language of your website, it will appear in the search results.
Here’s an example: You have a naturist resort in Portugal, your website has one of those fancy on-the-spot translation plugins but the original language is English.
If someone Googles “naturist resort in Portugal”, they are likely to find you.
But if they Google “resort naturista em portugal”, your chances of being found become much less.
Now guess what a Portuguese naturist will search for…
Another very important thing to consider is that your website has to be mobile friendly. Research has shown that travelers to foreign countries still often use a desktop to explore the options. For domestic vacations, on the other hand, a smartphone is used more often.
Promote your rural and outdoors factor
The most probable situation for this summer will be that people are allowed to leave their homes but that the COVID-19 virus will still be around. Many travelers will link “rural and outdoors” with good health, and “crowds and public spaces” with higher risk. City trips are likely to be less common than natural getaways.
Because most naturist resorts are in a natural environment, away from the crowds, this is something to take advantage of. Your open space and fresh air will be very attractive.
Go to the nude beach
A great place to find local naturists is on the local nude beach, so make sure to be there as well. Have a chat with the people on the beach, tell them about your resort and the measures you’ve taken to keep the place safe and healthy. Tell them about your current discount, your day passes, your bring a friend action, etc.
Focus on short stays
Other than the risk of getting ill, also the economical situation will play a big role in the holiday decisions for this summer. Lots of people have lost their jobs, have earned less or had to spend most of their paid vacation days during the quarantine. But even if the economy is in bad shape, people still do stuff, just cheaper stuff.
The worst you can do is to slash your prices. This will have you end up in a pricing war with your local competition of which nobody will get better. Instead of going low cost, it’s better to create cheaper options. Lots of resorts only rent out the rental accommodation on weekly basis during the high season. Recalculate your maintenance costs and consider 2/3-day rentals as well.
Or give your guests the opportunity to clean after themselves and eliminate the cleaning fee.
There are many ways to promote your resort as a great place for a short stay. You could write a blog post about how to spend a long weekend in the region for example. Or promote your place as an “experience” rather than a vacation destination.
Collaborate with other local tourist attractions
Not only you, also all other nearby tourist attractions will have to start focusing on a domestic audience. From bycicle tours, to cave visits, to wineries and restaurants. Now is a good time to get your heads together (keeping social distancing in mind though) and look at the opportunities to collaborate.
On one hand you could look into options for communal promotion of the region. None of you may have large advertising budgets today, but by working together you could invest in marketing campaigns that you could never cover on your own.
On the other hand, since many of the local tourist attractions will also suffer from less tourism, now is a good time to talk about nude activities. This will bring more visitors to them and gives you the chance to provide more added value to your guests.
You are a local too
If you really want to attract local visitors, you have to get into their heads. What are they looking for? Where do they want to go to? What are their worries and doubts? What are their requirements?
Here’s some good news: You are local in your market!
Think about what you would want. Once you’re allowed to leave your house, where would you go? What things would you do? And what measures should places take for you to feel safe and comfortable? And most importantly, what would influence your decision?
Never waste a crisis
Every medal has two sides, even the one for worst crisis after world war two. Every crisis comes with new opportunities. Don’t focus on the market you are losing today, focus on the new one you can gain. This is a chance to expand your business with local naturists.
If you don’t know where to start or if you want help with this, we can guide you through every step along the way. Just contact us, we are good at these things!
Also make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, keep following this blog, join the Naturist Business COVID-19 Support Facebook Group and have a look at our FREE GUIDE for Naturist Resorts about how to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.