Winter, spring, summer, and fall. Each season ushers in its own unique set of holidays and reasons to travel. More often than not, it feels as though the holidays creep up and are upon us before we know it. Let’s catch it ahead of time this year. Continue reading for our thoughtfully compiled suggestions for holiday and seasonal travel marketing that will set you up for success throughout the year.
You can implement so many of the following tips via social media and email marketing. Where does your business’ strategy fall on the spectrum of success? Try out our free Social Media Grader to see if you're prepared to market for the coming holiday season adequately!
6 Tips for Holiday and Seasonal Travel Marketing
Did You Know: Last year, AAA reported that one-third of Americans traveled for the winter holiday season.
1. Start Now!
If you want to market for the holidays properly, you must prepare ahead of time. Start planning a couple of months before the holiday or season so that you can adequately execute your strategy. Whether you're creating new specials or packages to entice visitors, working on creative campaigns to push gift certificates, or have special breakfasts planned, giving yourself time to get everything done makes a world of difference.
2. Differentiate Yourself and Create Your Own Traditions
One of the best ways to attract potential guests to your property for a particular holiday or season is to set yourself apart from the rest. How are you celebrating the holiday? What are you doing that your competitors are not doing? Many of our clients go above and beyond for the holidays. They understand how important it is to create an experience that guests will remember for a lifetime. Here are just a few examples and ideas:
The Orchard Inn’s Charles Dickens Dinners
Each year around the winter holidays, The Orchard Inn hosts their Charles Dickens Christmas Dinners! The Inn's chef prepares a delicious four-course meal for guests to enjoy. Additionally, a special guest reads from Dickens' A Christmas Carol. These dinners sell out fast, and guests reserve their spots almost a year in advance.
The Fairbanks House’s Thanksgiving Holiday Package
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, The Fairbanks House has decorated their beautiful Queen Anne Victorian mansion for the holidays. Their Thanksgiving Holiday Package includes a daily gourmet breakfast, group dinner at a local restaurant, and more. What makes this package stand out is their Black Friday Pajama Party! Everyone dons their most impressive pajama sets, and the guests with the "most fun" PJs win a prize!
Cameo Heights Mansion Lights
Many properties celebrate the winter holidays with glowing Christmas lights. Cameo Heights Mansion hosts an open house holiday event where guests and locals alike can tour the mansion and admire their beautiful displays.
3. Provide Guests With Incentives
Providing an incentive is crucial no matter the occasion, but offering guests a "carrot" to stay with you during a particular season or holiday can go a long way. Incentives come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you're offering special pricing, seasonal packages, or hosting holiday events, these things stick in the travelers' minds as they plan their vacation.
The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant, & Spa
The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant has a restaurant, and their regular dinner hours are Tuesday through Saturday. But, when there is a special holiday, like Mother's Day or anything else that falls outside their normal hours, they offer a special "brunch" or holiday menu.
Fill your rooms quickly with deals that offer special rates for guests. Pilgrim’s Inn runs an Autumn Special to fill those gaps in availability before the inn closes for the winter!
4. Tap Into a Sense of Nostalgia for Your Brand
Everybody is familiar with Starbucks' red cup. We all know that when our coffee starts coming out in this red cup, the holiday season has arrived! Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. Equip this powerful marketing and branding tool in a way that applies to your business and helps establish your unique brand voice.
Engage with your audience on social media and via email. Transform your outreach with seasonal touches, reminders, and branding that ties into your business. By showing your awareness of the season or holiday through relevant campaigns, you connect emotionally with your audience and prospective guests!
5. Closed for the Season? Stay in Touch With Your Audience!
Just because your business is closed for the holiday or season doesn't mean you can't engage with your audience. In fact, that is the perfect opportunity to go full force. Push gift certificate sales. Share updates on renovations or decor changes. If you're snowed in, share pictures with your audience! The more you interact with your followers on social media or via email, the more you establish a relationship with them, and the more likely they are to return!
6. Sell Your Destination
Destination marketing is one of the most important parts of what we, at Q4Launch, can do for our clients. We understand the importance of selling the destination and what it offers seasonally and during the holidays. Maybe you have vacation rental properties on the beach. In this case, sell a sunny escape from cold weather up north. Perhaps you have cabin rentals in one of the United States' trendiest ski destinations. In that case, you want to sell the snowy wonderland of winter. In most cases, the destination matters just as much as the property itself. You want to play into that as much as possible.
Candleberry Inn sits right on Main Street in Brewster, MA, so they are the center of a ton of seasonal events. We always make sure we promote their location. For example, Brewster in Bloom is a celebration of spring, and the parade goes right by the inn.
Keeping SEO in mind, promoting specific months in a particular destination can go a long way. For example, this Paramount Destinations blog about what to do on the Outer Banks in April sells the destination during a particular time of year.
Here’s How Q4Launch Can Help
Our marketing strategies take all of this into account and more. We factor in the importance of seasonal and holiday travel marketing while building your business’ game plan by providing a Future Proof® Platform from the very beginning of our relationship together. We know how hard it is to juggle every aspect of running your business. Do you need that extra boost? We’ll take it from here! Learn more about how we can get you and your marketing back on track.