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Lean, mean and green: seven ways to keep income high in the low season

Here are seven tactics to maintain high income for your sustainable tourism business throughout the low season.

1. Get creative

There is a season for everything – and that is particularly true for tourism. During the brief summer months, hotels are often filled to capacity but it can be more difficult to attract visitors to your sustainable tourism business during the low season.

Maximise profits by thinking creatively to fill your spaces all year-around – for example, by designing packages for specific target audiences.

2. Develop your online marketing

In the age of digital communications, social networking and review sites, a well-planned and executed digital marketing strategy is an important tool to attract people to your sustainable tourism business. Increasingly, people use the internet, either at home or on their mobile phones, to research and book their holidays. Your online presence is all important.

3. Offer low season package deals

Consumers have become more savvy as the recession has left many with less disposable income. While few would consider giving up their holidays altogether, most are carefully researching various offers.

Offering a little extra for free, as part of a package deal provided by your sustainable tourism business has great appeal – since it is usually the little luxuries that have been eliminated in order to make ends meet. Offers that include special bonuses are perceived as compensation to make up for the lack of treats in other areas of life.

4. Maximise destination appeal

Make the most of your local environment. Are there any local attractions with which you can cooperate to create interesting packages? Or, are your facilities perhaps large enough to host workshops with special themes such as photography or art?

If your hotel is close to a major walking or cycling route, or even just has some nice local trails, why not include them in your promotions? Make your hotel walker- and cyclist-friendly by offering extra services and conveniences such as a dry room to store bikes and to dry gear. You could also offer a shuttle service to take people to the trailhead and pick them up at the end of the day if public transport is inconvenient.

Connect with local guides and experts to offer guided nature walks (for example, wild-flowers, bird-watching or archaeological tours), if there are ancient sites in your vicinity.

5. Offer bad weather alternatives

Nobody expects uninterrupted sunshine when taking a vacation in the UK. However, bad weather days can be made more enjoyable by offering some indoor entertainment options, especially for the kids. An interesting playroom or a good DVD library can help to pass a rainy day.

6. Collaborate with your community

Collaborate with your local tourist office, chamber of commerce and other hotel owners to stage special events, such as a food fair, music or film festival. This is a great way to vitalise the community spirit, attract visitors and maximise networking opportunities.

7. Cut costs

Consider cost saving measures, such as installing energy efficient lighting, improving insulation, reducing water usage and implementing a more rigorous waste recycling program.

There are many ways to increase business to fill spaces all year round. Combined with savvy cost reduction and improved energy efficiency, you can maximise income and make significant savings on your operating costs.

Summary:

  • Combine creativity with effective marketing to reach your clients
  • Promote low season specials and themed packages
  • Make the most of your local area appeal
  • Network with your community to host special events
  • Offer bad weather alternatives/entertainment
  • Make your facilities walker and cyclist friendly
  • Cut your operating costs.

How to finance your sustainable tourism business

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