Harnessing the Potential of School Visits for Your Attraction
Ask any visitor attraction manager or operator and they will tell you just how important school trips and school bookings are for them.
They offer the security of additional revenue during the quieter times during the week and out of season, but they also offer the opportunity for upselling. Well, when we say upselling, we don’t just mean those additional purchases in your gift shop at the end of the visit, we also mean the upsell to welcome those individual children back with their families.
Whilst school visits can be time-consuming and awkward to set up sometimes our advice is don’t overlook how important they are.
Make that day out so special for those children visiting that all they do is talk about it when they get home and drive their parents to bring them back for another visit. Making it a day to remember should secure you the school trip again next year too.
A great way to help encourage children to come back with their families, is to incentivise the next visit. Depending on how your visitor attraction is set up and whether you’re a charity of not, you could offer a free return trip for the child to prevent them from paying for the child to visit again. Other discounts and promotions could be early access to the park or attraction for families that book online using the school’s discount code or even half price adult tickets.
The ticket pricing you decide on will have to be well thought out by your operations team to ensure that you can offer something enticing enough to encourage the visit.
Once you’ve got them in your attraction, they are more likely to spend in your cafes and gift shops. Lowering ticket prices is a great way to drive that secondary spend onsite. This might be revenue you wouldn’t have cashed in on if the parents weren’t incentivised to come back with their child.
If you’re not keen on discounting ticket prices have a think of what else your attraction could offer that doesn’t impact your bottom line too much, that could be anything from discounted desserts with any main meal purchased or kids eat free promotions. Like we said earlier, to ensure this is profitable you’ll have to do some calculations, but if you aren’t offering some kind of exclusive promotion to entice those school trips back in, you could be missing out.
How do you get the offer in front of the parents? There’s loads of ways.
You could send vouchers back with the school teachers to be handed out at the end of the school day or directly to parents. This could include a voucher code that works with any online booking through your ticketing platform. You could even hand them out with receipts for any purchases made in your gift shop during the school trip. Why not write a handwritten postcard and pop it in with their purchases, you never know it might just make it onto their fridge at home as a constant reminder for them to book their return visit.
If you’re not already using these trips to encourage return trips, we recommend you start as soon as possible! We just know it will work.