Building your brand isn’t an overnight affair. Once you’ve made a name for your tour business, you must sustain and grow your fan base for future success. According to a 2021 survey by Expedia, almost 44% of consumers are tipped to take more trips than in 2020. Despite this surge, things are still unpredictable when it comes to the future of tourism businesses. With remote work still going strong at different locations, the usual cadence of ‘peak’ and ‘off-peak’ seasons might look different even in 2021.
A lot of tourist destinations may experience elongated off-peak seasons and struggle to attract new visitors. The good news is that with a strategic destination-marketing plan, tourism brands can get their businesses back on track.
Here are five marketing strategies for your tour business to make the most out of off-peak seasons.
1. Accept Online Bookings All-Round the Year
It’s pretty natural if your tour business fails to attract adequate visitors at the opening of the peak season. You might be wondering what wrong have you been doing? The truth is, you are NOT! Instead, focus on accepting bookings way ahead of time, even maybe for the following year.
With an online activity booking software in place, website visitors are benefitted from the convenience of checking availability and making reservations without any human help. This can turn out to be a passive form of business for your tour agency, where you are not actively involved yet in driving sales.
You just have to set up exclusive availability dates in advance and leverage automated booking notifications. The rest is up to the activity reservation software system to take care of. Following this, you never miss an opportunity for a new sale while staying online and attending to current visitors.
Run an early bird campaign and go the extra mile to impress travelers with your tour business. It’s not mandatory to offer insane discounts to attract travelers, simply having a value-adding bonus along with tour tickets can work wonders.
2. Modify Your Seasonal Offerings
The majority of tourism businesses in a place may shut their operations. However, that does not force your own business to close doors for visitors. Many bloggers promote off-season travel making a year-round profit for a destination by filling the market gap.
For instance, hotels like the Asbury in New Jersey offer half the price of its room tariffs during the off-peak season. Make the most out of such marketing campaigns to lure customers to visit your proposed destination at low-occupancy timings.
As evident from the above example, your destination might have an untapped opportunity during the off-season. You just have to acknowledge the creative mind within you to present the tourist place in an entirely new way, highlighting the benefits that travelers can enjoy if they visit you at this time of the year.
3. Focus On Customer Reviews
The Local Consumer Review survey depicts that nearly 52% of consumers consider using a business if they are rated four stars and above. Based on these reviews, companies can benefit heavily. During peak season, gather customer reviews in as many methods as possible and use them to promote your product or service for the rest of the year.
Use positive feedback on all forms of travel resources, starting from your website, social media pages, email marketing campaigns, and much more. By staying active online and creating a solid social presence, customers will remember your business even during off-peak seasons.
4. Unlock the Power of Social Media
Social media is one of the most effective tools to stay connected to your customers throughout the year. Apart from your website, potential customers use social networking sites to gather information about your business. Hence, it’s crucial to maintain and update content on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages. After all, these are the sites that leverage new opportunities for customer engagement.
Use these platforms to interact with followers, promote special offers, highlight positive reviews, organize competitions and giveaways. All these offerings would attract traction and generate hype for the next season.
Here’s an example of a social contest organized by Klook that attracted a lot of engagement.
5. Offer Something ‘Extra’ For the off-Season
Unlock the potential of the purse to compliment your tour operator software. Start attracting more visitors to your preferred destinations even during the quieter times of the year. This can only be achieved by offering customers crazy deals that might be too good to refuse.
For instance, if your BnB in a beach town experiences less traffic during winters, lure them with an attractive ‘off-season’ package that costs much less. Some hotels even go up to the extent of offering a free stay for a night on the booking of two consecutive nights.
To create a sense of urgency, convert this campaign into a ‘flash sale’ or a limited-time offer. More people would opt for the promotion with the fear of losing out on such a great deal.
Seasonality is one of the most significant challenges that the tourism industry faces. Holiday periods and school vacations affect a touring decision to a particular destination and the role of weather and temperatures. So, it’s detrimental for tour and activity agencies to have their low-season marketing ideas ready to be implemented. We hope that the strategies mentioned above will benefit your tour business to attract visitors during the next off-season. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.