The news cycle often presents travel marketers with timely inspiration for a brief — and effective — departure from our thoughtfully crafted PR plans. In the spirit of a favorite summer pastime — sailing — think about adjusting your business sails windward to test a new direction. Here are interesting 2016 events and anniversaries worth coming about for:
- Shakespearean Storytelling — The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is the perfect excuse to weave storytelling into your guests’ stay, perhaps via a series of author-led readings and chats. Or, pitch journalists on favorite reading nooks for bookworms as an easy but effective nod to the famous playwright.
- 100 Years of the Indy 500 — Celebrate the centennial of the famous race via a partnership with a local exotic car dealer. Car enthusiasts will be racing for a chance at a complimentary road test during their travels.
- Global Wellness Day — This June 11 marks an international day dedicated to living well. In the interest of wellbeing, consider a simple guest experience, such as a small turndown amenity that promotes restful slumber (lavender sachets, perhaps). It’s a simple opportunity to connect with your guests and earn a mention in related editorial.
- Summer Solstice — Let the sun be your guide on June 20, as we enjoy the longest (read: brightest) day of 2016. A complimentary sunrise yoga class or poolside drink special are two easy ways to toast the sunshine and earn travelers’ favor.
- Olympic Fever — Press will be clamoring for ways to fill the 24/7 news cycle this August while the world’s best athletes descend on Rio de Janeiro. Why not gather summer training tips from your ace fitness team (geared to the everyday sportsman) to earn a gold medal media placement?
- Find Your Park — The National Park Service’s 2016 centennial campaign aims to connect us with the country’s most glorious natural wonders. For hotels and resorts within distance, consider special day-trip packages that will lure travelers to the great outdoors.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month — October presents an opportunity to support those fighting and recovering from the disease. It’s a natural time to underscore specialized oncology massage training by spa staff, or raise awareness and money for trusted charities.
- Bottom’s Up — Five hundred years ago, Germany signed a law guaranteeing the purity of beer by specifying its ingredients. Oktoberfest celebrations are a perfect time to introduce travelers to locally crafted ales, or special beer-paired menus that underscore your unique location and culture.
- November 8th — Nothing will dominate this year’s news cycle like the presidential election. Whether you lean far left, far right or somewhere in between, savvy destinations can offer travelers a creative reason to hit the road. Those looking to recover from or celebrate a victory will certainly need a break this winter.
As Mr. Shakespeare wisely wrote in Hamlet, “Brevity is the soul of wit,” so I will leave you at that.