If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my time in a British university, it is this - students in the UK love to travel. Every other person I met whilst in university has either taken a gap year or is planning to take one to travel the world.
So how do you attract British students to your tours and activities? Here are 4 things about students you need to know to help you get started.
1. Students want unique experiences
Just like other modern day travellers, students seek out unique experiences too. Although they might be more budget conscious compared to other target markets, students are just as keen as everyone else to make the most of each travel opportunity.
The question is, what’s unique about your tour or activity? Is it a pub-crawl that you’re trying to sell? Or perhaps an expedition through a rainforest in Asia?
Each product will have a unique selling point that would appeal to students. It may be that you offer the cheapest pub-crawl or exclusive access to the hottest clubs in town; or that your expedition brings students to rural villages and exposes them to alternative lifestyles. Whatever it may be, once you’ve figured it out, it’ll be easier for you to tell students about it.
2. Students like other students
18 year olds love meeting other 18 year olds. Students like to know that they will be able to make new friends and have a good time when they sign up for your tours or activities. Therefore, a student-specific tour could be beneficial, especially if most of your customers are already from that demographic.
Some other benefits of a more targeted approach would be crafting more customised tours for students, such as scheduling activities later in the day to allow your hungover guests to get a little more sleep. Trust me when I say students will appreciate you more for this.
You could also consider collaborating with study abroad programmes or other similar student-centred programmes to attract students to your tours. Each year, more students are opting to study abroad for a term or two in hopes to broaden their horizon and learn more about different cultures. Depending on your tour or activity, you could even approach universities societies with special offerings to entice students to join your tours.
3. Students love social media
They share pictures with friends and family through Facebook and Instagram, they Snapchat moments with their friends, they use Pinterest to create a #wanderlust board to stay inspired. Tour and activity providers need to meet students wherever they are online to attract them to their tours.
Having a steady stream of content on your social media helps you build your brand and communicate better the value proposition of your tours and activities. If you’re a little lost when it comes to social media, read this to learn more about building a social media strategy.
You could also partner with national student publications such as The Tab or national student societies like the National Union of Students to promote your tours and activities. Another student-focused site that you could also consider is UniDays that provides students with unique discount codes for various online retailers. Most of these student-focused companies have a strong social media presence and having a Tweet or Facebook post about your company could boost traffic to your site.
4. Students are glued to their mobile devices
Naturally, the next step would be to go mobile. Is your website optimised for smartphone screens? Is it responsive? There are many web hosting services that provide seamless such seamless integrations between desktops and mobile screens. Read this article we’ve published about the importance of tour and activity companies going mobile.
Here are a few things to think about so you’re not going in blind:
- Communicating through mobile is inherently different from communicating through desktops. Try not to focus too heavily on converting via mobile.
- The content you offer through mobile should be short and to the point - no one wants to read a lot of information on a tiny screen.
- Videos and attractive images are a great way to engage your audience through mobile.