Let's talk about seasonality. In tourism, there's high season and there's low season. And in low season, you want to be keeping costs down.
For that reason, it might seem counterintuitive to keep using an online booking system year-round. You might also ask, "why would I pay when I'm not open?" Which is an understandable question.
But it turns out that your booking software is a cost that's worth budgeting for (and we're not just saying that as a booking software provider, I promise). Here are the facts of the matter.
1. Tourists don't tend to think in terms of high and low season
You need to be ready for people who want to book your tour or activity online, be it two months, four months, or even further in advance. Just because it's low season doesn't mean that potential customers aren't making plans.
The main advantage of keeping your online booking system year-round is always being ready for bookings. We can't stress enough the importance of advance bookings in generating cash during the off-season.
2. You can be ready for the results of low season marketing
Low season is prime time to up the hype, create content, and get more organic traffic to your website. For more on this, check out our advice on how to drive sales during the off-season.
When your marketing starts getting results, you need to be ready to convert web visitors into booked customers. And for this to happen, you need your booking system in place.
3. You can keep selling through marketplaces
With a booking system like TrekkSoft, you can use its channel manager to make money from OTAs like Viator and GetYourGuide all year round. Use your booking system to keep your pricing up-to-date on all distribution channels and even offer discounts for advance bookings.
Here are 10 tips to make more money from OTAs, no matter what time of year it is.
4. You can get imaginative with off-season offerings
It's always advantageous to be creative as a tourism company, but even more so in the low season. It's a great time to try something different and tailor your offerings to the people in your destination, even if it's a different audience from what you're used to.
As one idea, you could plan corporate events and reach a new target group. It can also be a smart idea to market to locals at this time. Here's our advice on staycations to help you do just that.
Have you also thought of partnering and cross-selling with busier local suppliers during the low season?
5. You can drum up interest with voucher and gift codes
One of the handiest features of your booking system is the ability to generate discount codes and gift vouchers. And what better time to market these than in the off season? To generate voucher codes and let customers redeem them in their basket, you need a live booking system.
To maximise your results, here are 10 tips to sell vouchers online as a tour and activity company.
6. Yearly price plans often make business sense
When looking for a booking system that suits your business, see if there is the option for a one-year or two-year discount. That way you've got the full year covered and at a discounted price too.
Bridge the gap between the seasons with help from our blog articles:
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.