All industries and businesses face seasonal challenges, and this stands especially true for the travel and tourism sector. With the summer months remaining the most popular time to travel for many people across the United States, travel destinations of all sorts are often affected in the colder, “off-season” months. But the colder weather and lower visitor rates don’t have to get destination marketers and tourist destinations down in the dumps. The off-season is a perfect time for these organizations to market and interact with their customers to assure soaring tourist visitation during peak season.
1. Create Remarkable, Seasonal Content
It’s crucial for every destination--whether it be a beach town or a snowy mountain resort--to harness the beauty of their destination during the off-season. Creating unique, seasonal content that highlights the beauty of your destination’s off-season months is a great way to do this. Seasonal content that shines helps to encourage off-season travel and to inspire travelers to take a vacation there in peak season. In 2018, Visit Napa Valley did just this with their “Cabernet Season” campaign; they worked to highlight the undeniably unique offseason experiences and sceneries in the region on their specially dedicated Cabernet Season blog.
2. Focus on Local
The off-season is the perfect time to show locals in your area some love. Many places around the United States, like Destin Beach in Florida, offer special off-season promotions to locals to encourage exploration in their hometown. By tapping into these essential, local customers, destinations can continue to see sustained business during the off-season, all while fostering a sense of community with local residents.
3. Build the Hype
The off-season is a perfect time for marketing teams to create engaging, exciting campaigns that excite their market. Working to build the “hype” surrounding your destination during the off months is a natural, effective way to see increased visitation during peak-season. Use both traditional and online marketing strategies to promote your destination, continue engagement with your customers, and create hype for the upcoming peak season.
4. Keep in Touch
Keeping in touch with customers is something all destinations should practice year-round. The off-season is an excellent time to continue fostering communication with customers, even though they might be far from your market. Engaging and interacting with customers via social media and email marketing is a critical part of staying on the top of consumer’s minds. Destination marketers should use the slower pace of the off-season to improve their social media presence, send informative newsletters to customers, and interact with them through all means possible.
5. Prep and Prepare
While the off-season does bring lower visitation to many destinations, it also brings ample opportunity for destinations to do everything they can to prepare themselves for the upcoming peak season. The slower months are an excellent time for destination marketers to put on their researcher caps and begin examining visitation data surrounding their market. By taking a look at who visited their destination during the peak season, destinations can better prepare their marketing campaigns and promotions for the next season. Learn how AirSage is helping destinations to do exactly this with the AirSage Travel & Tourism application.