Tourism operators, here are some tips to reduce your down time and increase productivity!

All tourism businesses have busy and quiet times. Thinking creatively to highlight the positive experiences that can be had during your down times and marketing them is the key to success.
First published on December 31, 2015
Last updated on December 16, 2019

Whatever type of tourism business you’re in, you are bound to have busy and slow times. Whether it’s seasonal, or you suffer from a mid-week slump, or your cafe is empty mid-afternoon. Consider these tips to reduce the “down time” and increase your productivity.

Firstly, don’t fall into the trap of discounting, instead “value add”. For a definition of value add please click here.

Restaurants and Cafes

Let’s take the Cafe for example. Perhaps your Cafe is located near a school, have you ever considered a “Cake and Coffee” special for the parents on the way to pick up the kids or an “After school Happy Hour” with menu specific items that kids will see as treats, for example Ice cream Sundays . Or have you considered special mornings for book clubs or Mothers groups with special themes?

Tour operators

Perhaps you could add a “additional attraction” if time permits or an extra something, gift or menu item during the tour. It may be simple but gives the consumer the view they are receiving “value for money” If you know your numbers are going to be low adjust your pitch to a more customised, personalised experience. With fewer customers you’ll be able to spend more time and make the experience more intimate.

Accommodation providers

Mid-week is often difficult to fill, perhaps you could target shift workers using your CRM?, offer discounts at recommended restaurants, provide local produce as gifts, flowers or bathroom products. Free coffees at the local Cafe, which will probably benefit both businesses. Wedding season is often great for business but can be limited to Saturdays, perhaps consider promoting Friday or Sunday weddings.

Seasonal variations are also a challenge for many businesses, beach destinations can be a great getaway during winter if they are marketed correctly. Imagine the cosiness of a beach villa with captivating views over the dark and stormy ocean, curled up with a great book this is very inviting for those needing a break.

So in essence it’s all about being creative, what does your business offer in your “down time” what makes this appealing?, develop the story, align the product and market it!


Let me provide you with an example, let’s look at a wine region in Australia. It’s mid-summer and it’s hot! What are the positives?

  • Your accommodation and car will most likely be air-conditioned.
  • Most venues are air-conditioned and have cool shady outdoor areas to sit in.
  • It probably won’t rain!
  • You won’t be queuing for anything.
  • The early mornings are brilliant to take a look around the towns followed by a hearty breakfast.
  • The evenings are majestic when the sun is setting; it’s still pleasant outside for a walk or beverage on the patio.
  • During the heat of the day you can nap, take a dip or watch a movie.

So think about working together with local businesses, maybe you could brainstorm at a Chamber of Commerce meeting how you could work together. Think creatively and value add, highlight the positives and provide alternatives.


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