Low season is an inevitable reality for all businesses, but it's especially pronounced for tour and activity operators. Whether you only operate for high season or your doors are open all year 'round, you can make the most out of the off season with a good strategy in place.
In this post, I hope to share some insights about how the lower traffic months can become your most useful.
1. Adapt your offer
Many businesses will take low season as a time to diversify. If it's fitting to your company, offering different experiences at different times of the year can guarantee continuing business. For example, a hiking tour company that offers a summer hike and picnic during the warm months can offer a winter walking tour similar to MySwitzerland when the snowy season arrives.
Courtesy of MySwitzerland
Additionally, this could be a good time to market to those who like to travel away from the crowds. Rather than shying away from mentioning the off-season, consider building a campaign around it. Highlight the features that make your activity appealing for those who dislike the traditional hype marketing travel.
This is also a time when travelers can engage more with locals. Getting a genuine cultural experience is an important part of a trip for many people. As more travelers are in search of authentic experiences these days, this adds a clear value to your offer.
2. Create good content
Well-written content drives traffic to your website. The main purpose of website content is to present your offer clearly to potential customers. But if presented well, it can serve as an additional resource and service you provide.
The priority of your website content is information. You want it to answer any questions the readers may have. It should also go without saying, but your website should be formatted in a way that's easy to read and free of common spelling and grammar mistakes.
An equally important goal of your website is to help bring in traffic. A great way to do this is to write a blog. Here, you can keep your regular subscribers up to date on what's happening with your company and offer helpful insights that will bring more views to your site. If you write to your target audience, you will be able to offer something valuable to your customers even during the low season.
3. Focus on locals
Local business is sometimes overlooked in an effort to catch "bigger fish" in the industry. Vacationers are often the target of marketing campaigns in tourism, but business owners can't overlook their own community. A steady stream of business from locals may be of more value to you than high seasons with visitors coming from afar.
Tours and activities bring more value to communities by increasing recreational options. Locals look for opportunities to do something interesting on a weekend or staycation, such as kayaking, rock-climbing, or surfing. These activities are also sought out by those looking to celebrate special events such as milestone birthdays and anniversaries.
By reaching out to the community, you also have an opportunity to attract tourists. Since most locals will have friends or family members visit from out of town, it's important to highlight your business as a beloved local activity.
To draw more traffic to your business, consider offering locals a discount. This is a great opportunity to help encourage loyalty and secure more return business. Some ideas for locals promotions include:
- A discount for law enforcement
- A discount for medical professionals
- A discount for students & school employees
This is a solution to drum up business during the low season in two ways: It builds a community network that becomes well-known to locals. It also rewards customers for returned business and their community contributions.
Above all, stay proactive all year.
Your marketing campaign shouldn't solely exist in one season. Many businesses have a habit of preparing more for one season than the others. Some believe the focus should be on the low season, while others make the high traffic their priority. In reality, you should prepare for both.
This is the time to think about your yearly goals. What's missing from your marketing campaign that is costing you business? Is it a good website? How about a local partner network? This is the time to polish off your year-round marketing campaign so you can make the most of every season.
Want to make even more of this season? Learn more about what TrekkSoft can do for you!
Written by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.