The holiday park industry naturally has its off-seasons, as any holiday accommodation does, so how can park owners continue to drive bookings through these quieter periods?
While you’ll never be as busy as you would be during the peak months, there are still holidaymakers out there looking to grab a bargain, so with some clever marketing, there are definitely ways to draw in some extra custom.
Lots of parks operate policies requiring guests to stay for a minimum number of nights, or require that they arrive and leave on certain days, but during the down season it can be a good idea to drop these kinds of restrictions.
At this time, potential guests will probably only want to stay for a couple of nights and will be working around school and work hours, so the more accommodating you can be to people’s needs, the better.
It can also help to be a bit more flexible with your pricing structure too, as people simply aren’t going to want to pay full price at this time.
Analyse when your bookings usually spike and drop throughout the year and adjust your pricing accordingly.
Just make sure that you make it clear to your guests that they’re getting a discounted rate, as they’re more likely to book if they think they’re getting a good deal!
Discounts and Offers
Introducing special offers and discounts is also a popular way to entice more guests to book during the off season.
These could come in a number of forms, such as loyalty discounts, giving guests who previously stayed with you some money off their next booking, or perhaps something such as a complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival.
You could also team up with a local business such as a restaurant or attraction and offer a free meal or discounted entry, which will benefit both of your businesses.
Buy one get one free is also a popular incentive, or granting people an extra night’s stay for free.
Perhaps our favourite type of incentive is to offer a word of mouth referral, giving guests a discount if they recommend a friend, because word of mouth is probably the most effective form of promotion there is!
Email and Social Media
Email and social media are powerful marketing tools, so you need to make sure that you’re getting the most out of them during this period.
If you’re planning on using any offers or discounts, these need to be heavily promoted through these channels and you should also be looking to make use of hashtags related to your park.
We spoke to Elite Dynamics, who developed the Elite Parks holiday park management software, who said: “If you’re using an online booking system, you have access to a huge database of all of your previous guests’ contact details, so be sure to make use of them and regularly remind them of the latest goings on at the park and any deals or offers you might have on at the moment.”
What’s best about both email and social media is that they’re totally free too! It’s quite in-depth, but this social media guide from Moz is a great place to head for more information.