When it comes to scheduling and pricing your tours and activities, you need to be able to predict the demand for your product. It may seem impossible to predict the future, but it’s entirely possible to forecast demand based on the season of the year, the day of the week and even the type of tour you are offering. Whether you are running a business in a snowy ski town, or you operate your tours next to the beach, you will want to be able to accurately forecast the demand for your products.
When you look at the data you have stored from previous seasons, you will likely begin to notice a pattern. Of course, there will be circumstances and situations which impact an individual season, but you can use booking data in order to see which months, weeks and days are the busiest for you. You should look at the patterns that develop around specific holidays throughout the year, but do not incorporate data that was the result of a one-time event, such as an usual weather pattern or a special occasion in your community.
Once you have compiled the data, you will want to break it down into several different categories in order to forecast the demand for your tourism products more accurately. For instance, you might want to create a breakdown of the days of the week that one specific tour is most popular. You could also break down the data by repeat customers, price paid per tour and hour of the day that the tour was booked. You want to have the ability to make your forecasting as detailed as possible.
Decide how far in advance you want to forecast the demand for your product. Some tour and activity providers forecast 12 months in advance, while others focus on quarterly forecasting. In fact, some tour operators and activity providers prefer to forecast once per week for the next two weeks. You need to decide what works best for you and your business, keeping in mind the time and effort that it takes to forecast. Once you have established a schedule, stick with it and continue to forecast demand in order to accurately price your products.
Forecasting the demand for your tourism products can be time consuming and tedious, but there are ways to make it easier. When you invest in a booking system that instantly compiles your data and provides you with accurate, relevant information about your business, you can forecast your demand quickly and easily and change your strategy accordingly.