The silly season is well and truly here!
At this time of year, many tourism businesses are busy preparing fun and exciting activities for families and releasing special Christmas and New Year deals. This is also the time of year where you might close for a short period of time, or have different operating hours to usual. While this is all completely normal activity for a tourism operator looking to make the most of the summer school holiday travel market, it’s easy to get lost in all of the other end-of-year noise and forget one very important part of the process: customer communication!
As we get closer to Christmas and the New Year you should be sharing information with your customers about any changed business hours, specials or product offers that you have coming up.
This post briefly outlines some of the things that might be changing over these few months and ways that you can keep your customers informed of what your business is up to. So, here are three important things to add to your holiday checklist:
1. Changing operating hours
Tourism operators and their teams need a break too – so you might be planning on taking some time off, or changing your operating hours slightly.
If your operating hours are going to change over the Christmas and New Years period, you will need to update any online platforms where customers might find you to ensure that you don’t accidentally disappoint anyone. This guide will help you make sure nothing slips through the cracks:
- You should have your operating hours displayed on the (footer of your) home page of your website, or at the very least on the ‘Contact Us’ page. Edit these to include the altered hours or to highlight any temporary closures.
- If you have a ‘News’ or ‘Blog’ page, write a post about what’s on for the New Year period and highlight that you will be changing your hours temporarily.
Google My Business
- Google allows businesses to set up special hours in advance so that anyone looking up your business will see the relevant information
- Set yourself a reminder to edit your opening hours on the ‘About’ section of your page on the day that the hours change.
- You might also like to create a post letting your customers know of any temporary closure or changed hours, you can then ‘pin’ this post so that it is the first thing visitors will see when viewing your page.
- Similar to Facebook, you will need to set yourself a reminder to edit your opening hours via the TripAdvisor Management Centre on the day that the hours change.
2. Promote your specials
December is a great time of year to organise some summer specials and packages to stay competitive with other local operators. First and foremost for those running specials for the holiday period, you will need to update your website with all the appropriate information about what you are offering. Be sure to include this somewhere on the landing page of your website so that it is in prime position to be seen by any visitors.
Then, you will need to get the word out; make sure that you are creating posts to promote your specials on social media. It’s a busy time of year, so make the most of the scheduling function on Facebook and consider using a third party planning tool (such as Hootsuite) to plan posts on Instagram and Twitter to plan ahead.
3. Family activities
The long Christmas break is, of course, a great time for families to hit the road. So it follows that it is the perfect time to put on some extra activities for people who are travelling with little ones. If a scuba-diving Santa Claus is coming to visit, you will want to let customers know!
Operators who are putting on any extra activities for kids or families will need to let them know what is planned and when.
- Create a post highlighting what’s on so you can pin it to the top of your page for all to see.
- It might also be worth your while to create Facebook events so that your customers can find the event details easily. Plus, if guests click ‘attending’ or ‘interested’ your event will also be shared with their friends, giving you some bonus (free) promotion!
- As with the earlier advice for changed operating hours, if your website has a What’s On, Latest News or Blog page (which it definitely should), bonus activities and events should definitely feature here.
- Update your Instagram bio to include a link to your What’s On/News/Blog page on your website.
From all of us at Tourism Tribe, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!