Running a tour or activity business during the off-tourist season comes with its own set of challenges.
Along with a drop in sales, a business may have to cut staff or find ways to retain them, cut expenses, and refocus its marketing strategy. You might also be dreaming big about how to take advantage of next season’s trends. That’s a lot of changes–but instead of fearing these changes, embrace them!
There are so many low-season opportunities that your tour or activity business can take advantage of, and we can even show you how to get more bookings in low season.
Here are 8 low season strategies that we’ve come up with so that you can keep your tour or activity business-relevant during the low season. Want more? Check out our ebook, Low Season Strategies to Prime Your Tour and Activity Company for Success.
1.Prepare During the Peak-Season
Anticipate the low season by taking advantage of the peak season.
When people are visiting your website, booking tours, and sharing your business with their friends, collect as much information from them as possible.
Ask for their emails, contact information, and anything else that could be useful for your business.
You can then send out emails, surveys, information, and promotions to customers during the low season.
Action Step: Use Call-to-actions (CTAs). CTA’s are buttons that ask a customer to perform an action. Use CTA’s throughout your website, blog, on your social media profiles, your product/services pages, and your resource centers.
Check out this article by Hubspot on 50 CTA’s you can’t help but click.
2.Gather Customer Feedback and Testimonials
Gathering customer feedback is important, not only for your business, but also for building relationships with customers. Low seasons and shoulder seasons are a great time to take control of your online reviews.
Gathering Feedback and Testimonials:
- Improves customer relationships: By asking past customers what they thought about your service, you are showing them that you care about their experience and that you recognize there is always room for improvement.
- Generates excitement for potential customers: There’s nothing better than a well-written, descriptive testimonial to get a potential customers excited to travel.
- Improves your business: Receiving positive or negative feedback from customers tells you what your business is doing well and what areas your business needs to improve.
Action Step: Ask customers for their feedback right after their trip so that their memories are still fresh in their mind.
Examples of customer testimonials:
- Ask previous customers to submit photos and videos from their trip to paint a picture for potential customers.
- Ask previous customers to write reviews on Rezgo, Viator, Google and other review sites.
3. Publish Dynamic Content
Publishing dynamic content keeps your customers engaged, even if they’re not booking tours right then and there. Furthermore, writing content that is well-researched and meaningful shows that you are an expert in your field.
Action Step: Create a blog where you can publish dynamic content. Take a look at this article about how to start a blog for your tour or activity business.
Examples of topics you can write about:
- 10 Fun Things To Do At A Ski Resort In The Summer
- Rainy Season In Thailand: How To Look For Sunshine In The Rain
- How To Prepare For Your Summer Vacation (even when it’s still cold outside)
4. Stay Active On Social Media
Social media enables you to maintain relationships with your past customers and build relationships with new ones.
Make sure to leverage Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social media platforms your customers use to keep your tour or activity business in your audience’s mind for when the peak season comes around.
Action Step: Try posting about promotional activities during low season to get potential customers engaged and excited about the peak-season.
Examples of promotional activities:
- Photo Contest: Ask customers to post their favorite photo or video from their trip on Instagram with the hashtag of your tour or activity company. The best photo wins a prize.
- Events: Throw a destination-themed party that will get potential customers excited about travelling.
- Twitter Updates: Keep customers engaged with daily Twitter updates about all the travelling adventures that your tour or activity business offers.
- Influencers: Ask Influencers to promote some of the low season activities that your tour or activity business offers.
Click here for an article by Social Media Examiner about learning how to run a successful Instagram contest in 4 easy steps.
5. Use Your Email List
You didn’t spend all that time gathering emails during the peak-season for nothing.
Use your email list to send out information that will remind your subscribers of your business.
Action Step: Use tools like Mailchimp to send out scheduled emails.
Examples of weekly email ideas:
- Coupons: Send your loyal customers a coupon for the peak-season (i.e $10 off their next booking).
- Newsletters: Send weekly newsletters to your email list with the dynamic content that you’ve worked so hard on.
6. Get People Dreaming
Create a buzz around the peak-season when it’s low season and get people dreaming about the possibilities. Be ready to jump on the current trends, like these top travel trends of 2022.
Action Step: Post photos and videos from past trips and activities to create a hype around peak-season.
Examples of content to share:
- In the cold of winter, collaborate with swim suit stores and offer discounts on swim wear and beach hats. This will get your customers excited about going to the beach.
- In the heat of the summer, describe the cool winter chill to your audience in a blog post or video.
7. Offer Promotions to Locals and Loyals
Entice locals to become a tourist in their own city by offering them promotional deals. This is a great way to take advantage of some extra profit during the low season and tap into a new market.
Also try rewarding your repeating customers for being loyal with promotions.
Action Step: Post ads, use Google Ads, or simply promote via word-of-mouth to let locals know about the promotional activities.
Examples of promotions for locals and loyals:
- 25% off coupon for repeating customers who book an activity during the low season period.
- 2 for 1 discounts during the low season for a local tourist activities (i.e discounts for seeing a temple in the city during the low season in Thailand).
Read this article on the blog Pack Me To on how to be a tourist in your own city and get an idea of what locals are looking for.
8. Stay On The Lookout
Always keep an eye out for other low season activities going on in your city.
Keep track of what low season business strategies your competitors are implementing.
Action Step: Follow relevant people and businesses in your city on all social media platforms.
Examples of what you should look for:
- The city’s latest events.
- Hot new trends.
- New restaurants in your area.
Conclusion – So …How To Get More Bookings In Low Season?
The key to staying relevant during the low season is to show your customers that you are still around and that you still have a lot to offer. However, it’s more than just marketing to the right people, staying active on social media, and giving out coupons. You also have to make make sure to stay productive, actively seek other opportunities, and continue working hard.
Still not sure where to start? This might just be the best time to review some marketing fundamentals so you’re ready for your next season.
Your tour or activity business can stay relevant during the low season using these 8 low season strategies:
- Prepare during the peak season
- Gather customer feedback and testimonials
- Publish dynamic content
- Stay active on social media
- Utilize your email list
- Get people dreaming
- Offer promotions to locals and loyals
- Stay on the lookout
If you would like to learn more about strategies for the low season and ways to prime your tour or activity business during the low season, download our eBook.