Promote your home to wildlife and nature enthusiasts
Wildlife and nature holidays have become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s fair to say that the majority of us have a love of nature and simple pleasures like strolling though a field of bluebells or watching birds of prey on the wing are sought after by many holidaymakers.
You don’t have to have a home in Africa with safari parks on your doorstep; fascinating wildlife can be found anywhere from inner city London to the suburbs of Sydney. What’s more, watching wildlife and exploring nature is more often than not a free activity that all the family can enjoy. Targeting nature lovers can help you to fill your off peak weeks and attract out of season bookings. Spring and autumn are particularly interesting seasons to observe wildlife so you're more likely to attract enthusiasts at these times. Start making tracks marketing your home to naturalists by following our top tips:
Promote wildlife and nature attractions in your area. You could pop down to your local tourist information office or check online to see if there are any wildlife reserves, museums or arboretums and include this information in your advert. Many local wildlife trusts hold events such as guided walks, activity days and talks from experts. Animal sanctuaries and farms often open their doors to the public for them to take a look around free of charge, or for a small contribution to their charity/work.
Provide a wildlife welcome pack for your guests. You could include your own guide containing information about what wildlife can be seen in your area and when. Include maps of the local places of natural interest, a 'spotter's guide' and some binoculars. For children, you could put together a 'wildlife watchers kit' including some bug catching jars, an insect identifying book, net, flower press and some coloured pencils and paper so they can draw what they see.
Invite wildlife into your garden. It doesn't matter what size your garden is, there are lots of ways to attract wildlife to it. From frogs to foxes, garden wildlife is both surprising and fascinating. By encouraging wildlife to your garden, your guests won’t even need to travel to find interesting nature when they stay at your home:
Hang bird feeders in your garden. By using a variety of seeds you’ll attract a wider variety of birds. Install a bird bath which will keep the birds happy and provide entertainment for your guests.
To attract insects, do some research about the kind of plants that insects - such as butterflies and bees - will be drawn to.
Make a wood pile that will be a hive for snails, beetles and amphibians.
You could even consider a pond. Keeping it shallow with sloping sides and a safety grid across the top will make sure it’s safe for children.
Include photos of the local wildlife in your gallery. Many holidaymakers look at the gallery first so if they can see straight away that your home is the place to stay if they want a naturalist holiday they are more likely to make an enquiry. Pictures of scenery, local nature reserves, birds and wild mammals - such as hedgehogs - are all very appealing.
Sign up to your local wildlife organisation. Most groups send regular emails and leaflets by post containing information about wildlife events in your area. In turn, keep your advert updated with this information so that visiting holidaymakers will be encouraged to make a booking.
Author: Kate, customer communications executive
Date: February 2012