Seasonal is most likely one of your most dreaded words as a hotel marketer.

Slow seasons mean finding inventive ways to re-frame an offering or get it in front of new audiences, which can be creatively draining and leave you wondering whether your efforts will pay off.

And busy seasons, while welcome, are stressful because there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

However, with a proper strategy in place, not only will you be able to capitalize on busy seasons without running yourself into the ground, but you’ll also be able to maintain healthy levels of demand all year long.

Be Proactive

If you’re currently in the slog of a slow season, don’t spend all of your time trying to drum up demand now.

Your time would be better spent looking ahead to configure the best ways to harness increased traffic for your upcoming busy seasons to convert that traffic to sales.

That means getting your marketing materials and policies created for a solid strategy moving forward. For example, B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale strategized for their peak season of college students heading down to Miami for Spring Break. They set-up special housekeeping requirements for Spring Break hotel guests that might not be so worried about having tidy hotel rooms.

Also, with the majority of travelers now conducting trip research and purchasing travel accommodations via their mobile devices, your site must be mobile-responsive. The Hawaiian Inn Beach Resort took this approach by creating their mobile-friendly site and developing a strategy for their peak Spring Break season well in advance, which meant a busy season of securing sales instead of playing catch-up.

Hawaiian Inn Beach Resort

Photo Credit: Hawaiian Inn Beach Resort

Take Measures

There’s a reason behind every flux in demand, so it’s your job to know those reasons and either uses them to your advantage or create something enticing that will make your slow season a much more appealing time to travel.

For example, when couples are considering tying the knot, 24% of couples are opting for a destination wedding according to the results of the Real Wedding Study.

There is a growing popularity for boutique hotels that offer custom wedding packages for guests. Take a look at Hotel Lindrum, during their off-season they ramped up efforts by offering an all-inclusive package to wedding parties by renting out the whole 59 hotel accommodations.

Hotel Lindrum

Photo Credit: Hotel Lindrum

These soon-to-be newlywed travelers lookout for good deals, so discounted rates and leveraging the lengths of their stay can help ramp up your typically slow season.

Get Ahead of Trends

While looking at past analytics is important for measuring growth and determining what has worked (and what hasn’t), looking forward to current trends is what will keep you in front of future guests when they’re in the shopping phase.

Trends such as group-packaging during off-seasons have become big sellers because of the value, and having specials for mid-week stays is another way to fill rooms. Ibis Styles Melbourne, The Victoria hotel runs this deal as well as a special for rooms booked 20 days ahead, which are only offered during off-peak seasons and provide travelers a great bang for their buck.

The Victoria Hotel

Photo Credit: Hotel Vistoria

To keep your SEO boosted and online presence current, encourage your guests during the slow season to share and post their experiences to social media and respond to postings on travel review sites.

Slow seasons for hotel stays are usually busy seasons for travel planning, so even if you don’t reach as many people who will travel during slow seasons, you’re getting in front of them while they’re planning for a busy season getaway.

Although seasonal marketing strategies won’t create demand for your hotel (only quality service and valuable amenities can do that), they will help to shift your demand so you don’t get stuck in slow periods or bogged down in busy ones.

Be proactive during slow seasons to prepare for busy times. Put in the work to find out what your specific audiences want and when they want it. And get on top of the trends during slow seasons to keep your offerings relevant.

Those are the things that will keep the doors of your hotel lobby revolving all year long.


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Bio: Anna is a self-taught designer and digital media strategist working with a gallery of hotel brands globally. Anna works together with hotel brands to build a seamless approach from social to SEO. She also loves peanut butter and her dog, Norman. Follow her on Twitter @annaleacrowe.

Anna Lea Crowe

About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Marketing Coach. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram| Podcast