Attracting Staycationers: Heads In Beds Just Isn’t Enough

Every quarter Central Counties Tourism receives a hotel report with stats on occupancy levels, room rates, room supply and demand, and year-over-year comparisons.

As you would expect, right now the line isn’t climbing. However, there is a promising story in the data as we move forward in 2021.

For those in the hotel industry, this time of year is known to be the low season. It is for many in the tourism industry in the best of times. With that in mind, we looked at historical hotel data over a four-year period, and the trend in month-over-month occupancy has stayed consistent. That’s surprising considering the COVID-related measures that have ranged anywhere from modified closures to full-on lockdowns.

Typically, March and April are when we start to see hotel occupancy ramp back up, reaching its peak in August, then gradually declining to its lowest again in February. It’s still predictable and a cycle that businesses can plan for, especially when you can draw from the visitor “Ready to Travel” information provided by our Abacus Data Report, which was released in December.

Knowing that hotel occupancy numbers have been relatively steady, even during these times, and combining it with information on who will visit Central Counties is a solid foundation for building staycations and must-do experiences across the region.

Here’s what we know

  • Our visitors consider travel to be a basic need
  • They’re most comfortable staying within 100km of their homes and visiting familiar destinations
  • Staycations will be popular
  • There will be a rise in exploring the Central Counties region

Visitors are looking forward to getting outside and being a tourist in their own backyard as soon as it’s safe to do so. With restrictions gradually being lifted and vaccines being administered, we can expect a steady rise in visitation heading our way.

People still want to feel like they are taking a holiday. In the early spring, we could see an increase in more local residents staying at near-by hotels to replicate that traditional pre-2020 vacation experience. There is a need to go somewhere, but also to play it safe by staying close to home; creating a staycation instead of a traditional vacation.

This is where your business has an opportunity to reconnect with past visitors and introduce yourselves to a new market. Take the opportunity now to reach out to your local accommodation providers so they know who you are and what you can offer their guests.

Connecting is key

  • Remind accommodators of your great products or services
  • Pitch them a truly unique or exclusive experience for their guests that they can package with an overnight stay
  • Ensure you have a presence at their front desk with brochures and information
  • Invite their staff for a complimentary tour or experience so they can tell guests first-hand

It’s a win for the hotel, their guests and your business. So, start brainstorming, get connecting and create experiences that will have staycationers exploring all that Central Counties has to offer!

Learn more on the most recent Hotel Reports and Abacus Data Ready to Travel reports.


Central Counties is located North of Toronto


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Chuck Thibeault

Executive Director, Chuck Thibeault