With 2022 having flown by and the end of the year looming ever closer we’ve been looking at the expected trends for the attractions industry in 2023. In a post-COVID world with an ongoing cost of living crisis it’s not an easy one to call, but we have a few hints and suggestions to help you to boost ticket sales and increase profits.
2022 was the first year with no COVID restrictions in the UK and as a result we saw a clear increase in foreign travel as our friends from abroad began to tentatively return. We’re expecting more of the same in 2023, with the general public gaining in confidence and starting to book the trips they’ve been putting off. UKInboard and ABTA both have positive predictions for this in 2023, with the trend reinforced by the pound being at an all-time low, increasing the appeal of visiting from abroad.
It's also looking likely that visitors will be booking ahead this year. With the last few years having featured an increase in pre-booking alongside a number of different shortages, it’s not surprising that people are keen to secure their bookings in advance, rather than hoping that there’ll still be space on the day. This has been further compounded by increased awareness of the cost of living; with belts being tightened around the UK many visitors will be looking to book ahead to allow careful budgeting, rather than buying tickets on the spur of the moment.
With a large number of out-of-area visitors expected it’s more important than ever to make sure that your marketing strategy is getting you in front of them. If visitors aren’t already familiar with the area they’re unlikely to find you via your website; instead, they’ll be relying primarily on ticketing marketplaces, looking to find exciting days out with the minimum effort. If you aren’t already present on a range of marketplaces then now is the time to look into it.
One of the best-known marketplaces, Viator offers more than 300,000 experiences for companies around the world. With fantastic brand awareness, they’re a go-to site for a range of different customer demographics and a great place to advertise your attraction.
GetYourGuide focuses on presenting their customers with unique and unmissable experiences, using personalised recommendations to make sure that users get the most out of their trip and find the attractions that most appeal to them.
Tiqets are a relative newcomer to the market, but they’ve quickly become a well-known name. With links to both AirBNB and Apple Maps they attract users from around the world, with a focus on museums and attractions.
The main complaint about using marketplaces is the difficulty of managing capacity across them. Typically, if you want to use more than one marketplace – and we recommend that you do – then you’ll need to allocate a set number of tickets to each one, estimating how many sales you’re likely to sell via each channel and trying to work out how many you want to keep to sell yourself. You’ll then need to manually change those allocations if the sales patterns don’t work out how you’re expecting, or run the risk of selling out in one place while you still have tonnes of capacity elsewhere.
Using Experience Bank handles all of that for you. All ticket sales, whether through a marketplace or directly via your DigiTickets account, draw their capacity from the same centralised pot in real time. This allows sales to naturally flow from whichever channel is the most popular, boosting your revenue potential. You’re able to log in and see where their sales are coming from, as well as being able to set different ticket prices for different channels to offset marketplace commission.
Experience Bank connects with all of the marketplaces featured above, as well as a wide range of others, giving you the pick of the bunch. You can sell through a single targeted marketplace or advertise tickets across the full range depending on your preferred strategy and inclination. You’re also able to change which marketplaces you use over time, refining your approach as you learn what works best for your business. Whichever route you choose, using marketplaces is a great way to get yourself in front of new audiences, enhancing your revenue potential and giving you a far greater marketing reach.
After signing up with DigiTickets earlier this year, we’ve made use of their integrated Channel Management feature; Experience Bank. This has allowed us to sell our tickets through GetYourGuide, Viator, Tiqets and more. Now, we’ve been able to capitalise on marketing ourselves on multiple channels and increasing our ticket sales.
Aidan Alcock, Director
Windmill Lane Recording Studios