Understanding the International Market

“As well as being a valuable revenue stream, inbound tourism also provides a means of balancing out regular – sometimes more seasonal – domestic patterns.” – Visit Britain, 2018

A Growth in the International Market

Mulberry Cottages has experienced a great level of growth over the last five years, driven not only by the domestic market and the ‘Brexit staycation boom’, but also from the international market.

Our overseas customers now accounts for 21% of our total bookings and produces the highest percentage of repeat trade for us against volume.  This is a massive uplift from our base in 2010 of 8% of bookings..

As our international market began to increase, we actively grew and with the help of our tourism partners, Visit England and Visit Kent we began a dedicated campaign of promoting our properties in Northern Europe. At the same time the Euro strengthened against the Pound and guests were offered really good value for money by holidaying in the UK. Our particular focus has been Northern Europe, concentrating particularly on Holland, Belgium, France and Germany as all are within an easy drive of Southern England.

Why market your business internationally?

As stated by Visit Britain, there are a number of reasons the international market are important to us - Increasing yield, counteracting seasonality, minimising fluctuating risks associated with reliance on just the domestic market are just a few reasons. There are many other benefits to attracting visitors from overseas:

  • International travel patterns aren’t focused around weekends, and can help level out your footfall as they often stay for a week or more.
  • International visitors provide a much higher yield and spend on average
  • By spreading your efforts across a range of international markets you can minimise the impact domestic, or single market changes may have on your business
  • Booking lead times for international travel are usually longer, giving you the ability to plan ahead and forecast more effectively

So who is booking?

Our key audiences include NL (making up 28% of all non-UK bookings), US (16.9%) and DE (19.4%).

Where are they travelling to?

The regions booked include:

  • 20% South West
  • 69% South East
  • 10% Cotswolds
  • 1% East Anglia

Predictions

As the international market has become more comfortable with booking holiday accommodation direct, this is increasing the number of visitors and we predict that this trend will continue.  In 2017 alone, we saw an increase of 33% in international visitors and whilst we are not predicting a continuing increase of that level, we are expecting double-digit growth for the next two years.