Regardless of destination, pretty much all tour and activity providers are subject to the power of the seasons.
There are seasonal ebbs and flows to your bookings, and you need to know how to maximize your use of each unique season throughout the year. Whether you are a tour operator near a ski resort that attracts more customers during the cold and snowy months, or you offer surfing lessons on a coastal beach town whose season peaks during the summer, you will want to adjust your marketing strategy in order to best accommodate your business and your customers.
The off-season is your time to prepare your marketing campaign for the next year. Since you will not be spending as much time out on tours or guiding activities, you can focus on market research. Discover the upcoming trends for the current market, and also the latest trends within your own niche industry. Figure out how you can apply these trends to your own marketing campaign, and take advantage of them during the high season. You also can take the time to connect with other tour providers or agents and see what they will be doing in order to promote their business in the coming season.
This is when you begin to put your research into action. Implement yield management, and develop your variable pricing strategy for the year. Note that you may want to offer more discounts during the down season in order to attract more customers during a traditionally slow time, and you likely can increase your prices in the busy season when you will have high booking numbers regardless. During the pre-season, you can set up a campaign and promotion strategy that will make you stand out from other tour and activity providers in your region.
This is the season where everything is in motion, and you are capitalizing on the fact that you have a surplus of customers. You might want to implement a promotion during this time in order to raise awareness about your products and drive in even more tourists. However, you should know what you can afford to pay in order to gain new customers. Don’t offer discounts so steep that your bottom line takes a significant hit. Make sure your Return on investment remains positive.
Once the busy season is over and you are winding down into another off season, you can test the waters by playing with your pricing strategy and adjusting your yield management techniques. This is an ideal time to try a new promotion or test a different price in order to see the impact on your business. By doing this, you will be able to maximize your profits during this quieter time.