For a tour operator low season is a time to reassess and plan for the year ahead. If you’re not closed and business is slow, its also a time to maximise efforts to stay competitive and get more business. There are things that can be done and we’ve outlined some of the strategies our customers use to boost business during the low season.
Freebies, reductions & rewards
People love free stuff no matter what it is. Whether it’s offering freebies such as merchandise, food/drinks or a reduction on your normal price through special promotions this is a great way to encourage people to book with you. If you are running a promotional offer, run it for a limited period to encourage people to act and use social media platforms to announce these special offers and give out promotional codes. It is an inexpensive marketing technique to drive sales traffic.
Running rewards programs like ‘Book 3 activities and get one free’ can really boost your sales because it requires your customers to buy more of your product than they might normally for the opportunity to get a free one.
Referral programs are also a great way to gain new customers and reward your loyal customers who recommended your business. There are many options when creating a referral program. Reward customers directly with cash or offer them discounts or free products as reward for their referrals.
As a Tour Operator You Can Organise An Event
There are so many different ways that this can be done. There is the option of running an event showcasing your tour or activity, inviting customers along and giving them some sort of incentive to attend. This could be providing them with either gift bags, food, music, run competitions and generally providing a fun atmosphere. A sponsored event could also be an option, where you sponsor a local event that is relevant to your business.
Any type of event will draw people to your business and give you a promotional opportunity. Events can turn into annual things and become quite popular within local communities, so be sure to advertise yours with posters and flyers and especially boost it on your businesses social media platforms.
Create demand: Best things to do during Autumn/Winter
It’s part marketing, part advertising – you can create demand by giving your customers ideas to book with you over the low season. For example, as a tour operator this could be highlighting your exceptional tour or travel to this incredible place or do this incredible activity and why this is the right moment to do it, that they can’t miss this opportunity! Businesses do this all the time, showcasing why it’s so special or different to do their activity or tour at a particular time of year. Does Winter make a place more magical or rugged? Does certain weather conditions make something more challenging? (which you can turn into a positive).
These types of strategies will obviously have a greater impact if used alongside a special promotion and if you stress that this offer is limited.
Adapt to your customers needs according to the time of year
Businesses can adapt what they offer depending on the time of the year or what’s on. For example a tour or activity could be run to coincide with Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day, or any special festival or event that your local city or town might be hosting. If there is a particular festival that your local town is hosting, jump on the band-wagon and put on a specially tailored tour. Use the keyword of the event on your website and get some extra traffic from people researching it. With Christmas approaching (I know no-one wants to talk about it!) there are numerous themed tours or activities that can be run to tap into that, adapting your tour to weather conditions.