Off Season Tour Strategies – How Tour Operators Can Maximize Their Profit

Off Seaon Tour

Ups and downs are inevitable parts of any business, and tourism isn’t an exception. It’s quite common that there are a few moments in a year when the tourism business goes downhill. We know you also struggle!  If you seek off-season tour strategies to end those rainy days, you’re in the right place!

We’ll help you follow different plans and apply various techniques to keep your business running smoothly. We don’t guarantee success, but these ideas and techniques are undoubtedly helpful for most tour businesses. So, let’s buckle up and dig deeper.

Why are off season strategies essential? 

For your information, off season in the USA begins in the winter months (December to February). Usually, tourists avoid traveling to the best places in the USA during this time. This affects tour operators as they see a decline in their business revenue. 

Even though off season runs for a few months, some tour operators still face loss based on which state they include in their tour packages. For example, according to CBS NEWS, the number of travelers traveling to Florida during the second quarter of 2023 significantly decreased compared to 2022. 

So, hard times can knock on your door at any time of the year. It’ll be wise to prepare yourself to battle those challenging days. And off-season strategies can greatly benefit you in this case. Apart from this, you’ve many more reasons to apply off-season strategies. Some of these are as follows:

  • Build a sustainable and profitable tourism business all year round.
  • Increase your brand identity.
  • Reap the benefits of reduced competition.
  • Give travelers unique and memorable travel experiences.

That said, let’s now discuss powerful strategies you can apply in your tourism business to rock even in the low season.

Ten off season tour strategies to follow to overcome seasonality in the tourism business

Here are the ten best tour strategies to see sales even in the low season and stay carefree during this challenging time. 

1. Build a separate marketing strategy for off season

Build a marketing strategy

When the off season starts, utilize the time to educate your existing travel audience and build some new ones! At this time, you can update your website to make it SEO-friendly. You can rework your content plan. 

Additionally, you can share inspiring travel stories and run successful campaigns during this time. We recommend you try to engage more with your audience and stay connected with them. Lastly, you can plan various marketing strategies such as email marketing, event hosting, and partnering with other brands and influencers.

These smart moves will keep you ahead of your competitors and yield satisfactory results in the long run.

Pro tip: You can create off-season travel guides and send them to your audience through email marketing. You can also run social media campaigns focusing on off-season deals!

2. Increase your online presence

Increase your online presence

Do you know avid travelers spend a considerable amount of time traveling? Even when they don’t travel, they might think about it. Usually, they go through the dreaming phase before planning any trip. They think about the place they’ll travel. 

They plan their vacation, especially during the off-season. This is when you can put your business in those travelers’ minds. You can do this by staying active on social media platforms and publishing travel-related content. It’ll help you show up on travelers’ social media feeds. 

And once you catch their attention, travelers may start planning their journey with you! So, publish photos and videos and get influencers to promote off-season activities aligning with your business. The goal here is to spread your online presence as much as possible during the off-season.

Pro tip: You can ask your existing customers to post their favorite photo or video from their last most enjoyable trip on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Ensure those customers post content on different social media platforms using your company’s hashtags. 

3. Run special offers

Run special offers

Running special offers during the off-season can immensely benefit you as a travel business owner. You can attract many eyes if you offer discounts on trips. Not only this, but such special offers can also help you get new customers even in this low season!

This strategy works incredibly well when turning one-time customers into repetitive ones. Indeed, running special offers can boost your travel business in the low season.

4. Partner with other tour operators

Partner with other tour operators

You’ve probably heard of the famous motto, “Unity makes strength.” It’s the national motto of Bulgaria, Belgium, and Georgia. Working with others as a team can save you during hard times. That being said, you can collaborate with local tour operators to create unique travel experiences.

After teaming up, you can offer joint packages to give travelers a more complete experience. As a result, your business reputation and the number of new customers will increase. Thus, it is evident that partnering with other tour operators can give your business a boost when you need it the most. 

5. Gather customers’ feedback

Gather customers' feedback

You can attract new customers and encourage them to book tours by gaining their trust. To do that, you need to make them believe you provide world-class tour service. One of the best ways to get customers to put their belief in your business is to gather feedback and testimonials. 

Then, resolve the issues they complain about and display the customers’ best experiences on your website. This will build trust among potential customers. Hence, gather feedback during the off-season. Also, always encourage customers to leave reviews whenever they get your service.

6. Promote tours to locals

Promote tours to locals

Many travel business owners focus on promoting their business to international travelers. However, they forget that there is a high number of potential customers hidden in local communities. Who knows? Some local travelers might prefer visiting local or international tourist spots during the off-season.

Therefore, it’ll be wise to promote your offers to locals. You can offer locals special discounts on your tour packages. Also, You can choose special weekday or weekend prices for your tours. By doing so, you can promote your less popular tours to locals. 

Apart from all these, you can organize local community events to make your brand name popular and attract travelers. You know, luring local eyes can help you benefit from word-of-mouth marketing, which will bring more guests/customers in the future. 

Hence, prioritize promoting your business to locals, even during the off-season.

7. Utilize email marketing strategy

Utilize email marketing

Do you know what helps a normal business to become a brand? It’s continuous communication and long-lasting relationships with customers. That means nurturing relationships with your customers even during the low season is vital. So, always send those thoughtful newsletters to your customers through emails. 

This marketing approach can help you re-engage some of your subscribers. Since there is no holiday influx, there is a high chance that subscribers will open your emails! However, besides sending newsletters, you can send thank-you notes to your customers. You can also ask them to participate in customer surveys or leave reviews on your business website. 

The point is that you have to stay in touch with your customers during the off-season. And build up excitement for the peak season. This way, you can always put your brand in your customers’ minds and get them ready to travel when it’s time. Thus, you need to utilize an email marketing strategy during the low season.

8. Take bookings for off-season tourism

Take bookings for off-season tourism

Taking bookings for the off-season may seem unnecessary since you’ll only get a few customers – yes, we understand. Still, we recommend you do this job. As you know, you need to stay connected with your customers during the off-season. You can get some customers to buy your tour packages at this time. 

Hence, always keep the bookings on for customers, whether it’s peak or off-season. Also, ensure you utilize the best online booking system to help customers smoothly complete bookings. In doing so, you’ll always take advantage of every opportunity for a new booking and keep your business on the go. 

9. Work on maintenance and upgrades

Work on maintenance and upgrades

Off-season is the perfect time to do activities related to maintenance and upgrades of your physical office and websites. At this time, you can focus on improving your business by renovating your office and travel website. You can refine the website’s design and implement some new tech upgrades. 

On top of that, you can work on improving customer service, booking systems, and destination information. These improvements will help you prepare your travel business for a remarkable and successful high season. 

10. Prepare for next season

Prepare for next season

Off-season is the ideal time to plan some off season tour strategies based on the hits and misses your business experienced in the previous year. You can work on a plan for the next season at this time. You can begin planning by writing down all the events for the upcoming months. 

You can be strategic and think about how to keep your business ahead. In short, think about the do’s and don’ts to follow to succeed in the following year. 

Pro tip: Prioritize completing tasks in advance that usually require you to spend more time during the peak season. 

FAQs

How do tour operators overcome seasonality?

The very first thing they can do is to create seasonal tour packages. Then, promote those packages both locally and internationally. Also, they can offer special discounts on their trips to attract travelers. Apart from all these, they can follow all the other strategies shared in this article. 

What are the biggest issues in tourism alongside the off-season?

Climate shifts and extreme weather events can lead to unpredictable flight cancellations, which is one of the biggest issues in tourism alongside the off-season. Additionally, geopolitical instability is another vital issue the tourism industry regularly deals with. 

Final Words

These are all the off season tour strategies to follow to overcome challenges during the hard times. Although this period will let you experience a drop in sales and other unwanted events, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will sit back and wait for the peak season. 

As you know, it’s the perfect time to be productive and rework different plans to keep your business running. Hence, embrace the challenges in the off-season, view it as a chance for growth, stay in touch with your customers, and try to work hard.  We wish you the best of luck with your upcoming session.

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