The lead up to peak season can be exciting with the promise of new upcoming sales and the chance to replenish your bank account after the off-season. But it can also be stressful—and sometimes daunting. Hopefully after a successful season the year before, you’ve been enjoying some down time. As a tour business owner, however, you’ll always have an eye on the approaching season and be asking yourself when the preparations need to begin. Trying to ensure everything is in place before the hordes arrive can seem overwhelming, but in this article, we will walk through some tips to ensure you can begin to fully prepare before peak season!
Budget & Promote
It’s possible you won’t be the only tour business preparing for the upcoming season and that your local competitors will be looking to attract customers. You should too! Start promoting early, even months in advance, with a structured marketing and promotional plan to help drive customers to your business. Create promotions and start advertising by hanging your adverts in stores and publishing them online and/or on social media. The promotion you choose can be applied during the high season but sending them out early plants seeds in the heads of customers researching that area. When executed correctly, your efforts will eventually drive traffic to your tours!
In conjunction with this creative marketing strategy, look to add some preseason income by aiming your promotions at larger groups and in turn, securing bigger deposits. Also, look at enticing customers to buy gift cards by offering a promotional 10% off gift card purchases all year round. This is effective during the holidays but also works throughout the year and will hopefully earn you some extra revenue.
Marketing will cost money, and having a clear budget in mind before and during the peak season is incredibly important. Coming up with a budget plan for all expenditure ensures you aren’t overspending unnecessarily. Consider your pre-season marketing cost while creating it—it’s a necessity to ensure that you don’t put yourself in financial trouble before peak season even begins. Prepare, budget and promote!
These days having a website that’s fully functional, user-friendly and allows users to book via computer/mobile with ease is fundamental to any tour business. Upgrading/improving your website during the down season is the perfect moment to add new features and replenish old content. No one likes to read what you had in 2017 when booking a tour in 2020 or click on a link that doesn’t exist anymore!
Upgrading or changing your booking software can take time and effort, but it can be very beneficial as well. Adding new tours, updating prices and descriptions, and changing the layout of the widgets are all things to consider while preparing for your busy season.
Another important website upgrade to consider is renewing your photos and galleries. There are certain personality types that customers adopt when browsing your site in search of a tour, and having an attractive picture gallery appeals to ‘Experience Eddie’. ‘Experience Eddie’ wants to see engaging and exciting pictures and videos, and such media will quickly influence his decision on whether or not to book the tour. Overall, always try to have a wide selection of high-quality pictures and up-to-date videos showing real people having a great time in a great place.
If you have a budget that can be stretched to replace and renew equipment for your upcoming busy season, do it! Although the upfront costs may seem daunting, it will decrease overall maintenance costs and reduce the risk of something breaking in the middle of your busy season.
Another big thing to remember is to contact your lawyer and ask for all the up-to-date liability and insurance information. Tourism industry regulations change yearly, so it’s best to have the correct coverage throughout your business as standard. You can also ask them to review your waivers, documents, cancellation policy, etc. to make sure they are all amended correctly.
Overall, preparing for the busy period ahead is exciting. With a strong plan, a solid budget in place and your technical side all figured out, nothing should stand in your way of another successful peak season. We hope these tips can help you prepare for the peak season, and if you feel like you need to upgrade your current site, speak to the experts today.
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