6 Ways to Thrive During Shoulder Season

September 28, 2015
how to thrive in shoulder season
Photo Credit: standret/iStock/Thinkstock

Peak season is in the rear view mirror for many destinations around the country. However, that doesn’t mean that your business has to take a huge hit when the majority of people aren’t thinking about vacation. That’s why we’ve developed 6 ways to thrive during shoulder season.

Create Experiences for Your Guests

Some of these experiences you are going to create for your guests will come naturally. For example, if you are near a college or pro football team, you can easily expand from just game day to having a “Game Weekend” experience package. You should also be leveraging the changing of the leaves in your area, as well, to get people to come marvel at the fall foliage.

Some that aren’t necessarily season-specific (but work) are yoga retreats, cooking classes, or art classes.

Partner with Local Businesses

One of the easiest ways to do this is to find the restaurant you refer to most your guests and establish a partnership. Purchase $50-100 gift certificates for the restaurant, include the price in your Fall Getaway Package, and help ease the stress of planning a vacation for your future guest. Also, be sure that the restaurant (or any other local business) is willing to promote you in their marketing, including social media posts and email campaigns.

Capitalize on Your Area

The first two go coincide with capitalizing on your area, but let’s go a little deeper. Make sure that you are promoting any fall or winter festivals, as well as all the holidays that come up this time of year.

Work with the Chamber to Bring in Groups

Make sure you have a presence with the chamber, and help those folks create reasons for more and more travelers to come to your area. You interact with dozens of guests a day, so your input is invaluable to knowing what people want.

Can you have a Corvette Festival like Eureka Springs? Or maybe an Octoberfest celebration? The possibilities abound, so don’t be shy in helping create the next big thing in your area!

Utilize Yield Management

Just because it is shoulder season doesn’t mean that you have to always offer a lower price! The best way to utilize yield management is to use a booking engine that can help automate the process for you. Set some rules, and watch your revenue increase!

Remember, if you sold out for a shoulder season weekend well in advance, you were priced too low from the beginning.

Invite Your Guests Back

You know those guests who loved coming to visit you during the summer? I bet they’d love to come back again! Make sure that you are capturing return guests frequently. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing. You should be marketing to them consistently, but especially when you are looking to fill some empty rooms!

We hope this was helpful in planning for your shoulder season. If you have more questions, please feel free to get in touch with us by clicking here!