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By Simon White, Business Development Director, Protravel

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Research consistently shows that, despite household budgets remaining stretched, the one thing hard-pressed Brits are reluctant to cut back on is their annual holiday. In fact, travel association ABTA’s recently released Consumer Trends Survey 2013 showed that for many Brits a holiday is a necessity they cannot do without, with one in five (21%) feeling this way about a longer overseas holiday and one in ten (11%) for a longer holiday in the UK.

With this in mind, brands, businesses and organisations that tap into this love of holidays by offering them as a reward or prize in a sales promotion campaign can achieve success. The right reward will capture the consumer’s imagination, create awareness, reinforce brand values and enable the brand or business to benefit from an important opportunity to collect accurate data.

With careful planning and the right advice travel promotions don’t need to cost the earth and can deliver a high ROI.  However, there are a number of steps that should be put in place to ensure a promotion offering a holiday as a reward or prize goes smoothly.

Identify your business objectives

What is it that you want to achieve? An uplift in sales? Increased market share? Heightened brand awareness? To instigate product trial? This is the essential starting point in order to establish the right mechanic and reward for the promotion.

Identify the right reward

The reward must achieve the set objectives, but also be aspirational to the target audience in order to capture their imagination, engage them and make them excited. Depending on the preferences of your audience, it could mean offering  £200 to put towards their next holiday, or the chance to win a trip to the Lake District, New York, or even the Bahamas.

Choose a cost-effective mechanic

The key to a winning mechanic is to keep it simple as consumers are turned off by overly complicated requirements.  It is far easier to text or email in to enter, than to collect coupons, find a stamp and enter via post. Make use of digital technology in order to keep the cost of fulfilment/redemption down, but remember to test any technological aspects of the promotion to ensure it works.

Consider using fixed fee

Agreeing a single ‘Fixed Fee’ with a supplier at the beginning of a campaign allows you to budget for the promotion and offer more big rewards for the available budget, while also giving you total reassurance by removing the uncertainty of redemption levels and allowing someone else to take the risk.

Appoint a supplier who can handle the whole process

Appoint a supplier who has the resources, capacity and experience to handle all the administration and will look after the winners carefully and thoroughly. Booking and finalising travel arrangements, for example, can be very time consuming and people may request changes be made to the original booking.  A promotional prize that is handled incorrectly can leave a lasting bad impression and blacken a brand’s reputation not only in the eyes of the individual prizewinner, but wider among consumers at large if there is negative publicity in the media, not to mention on social media channels.

Overall, remember the promotion is not over until the winner has enjoyed the prize and only has positive comments to make about it.