You have three months. Three short months to capture the frenzy that is summer travel. The kids are out of school. The polar vortex has receded. Families everywhere hover over their computers deciding on where to go and what to do. Meanwhile, you’ve just spent nine months booking romantic getaways, social events, and business travelers. Now you must convince mom and dad that your hotel is the best place for their family’s summer vacation.
89% of Americans plan to take a summer trip this year.
The good news is summer travel forecasts look better than last year. According to TripAdvisor’s annual summer travel survey, 89% of Americans plan to take a summer trip this year. That is a 6% increase over last year. In other words, you have the opportunity to make this the best summer in years. Here are some tips on making it happen:
Promote your location:
While your winter travelers may be more interested in staying inside, summer travelers want to get out. Focus your social media posts on local historical sites, things to do outdoors, and shopping areas. Don’t forget to include a little something for everyone in the family. Mom and Dad might decide on the hotel, but Junior is the catalyst for that choice.
Make everything sunny:
If you haven’t done it already, replace any winter and spring website pictures with summer photos. Update the main photos on your social media pages to reflect summer on your property or in your city. People are looking for daylight and sunshine. Give it to them!
Summer-ize your menus:
While fine dining restaurants change their menu every season, your casual restaurants and pubs tend to serve similar food year-round. The easiest (and least expensive) way to make your menu ready for summer is to simply change your menu wording. Your appetizers can become School’s Out Snacks and your salads can become Summer Salads. However, if your menu is full of heavier fare, you will need to add some lighter options. Every summer menu should have at least three salad choices.
Summer means watersports. Spruce up your pool and post pictures on social media. Throw a few rafts and swim noodles in. Offer beach towels for pool users. Make it look more fun than every other pool in town. Then, go outside the hotel. Write a blog post describing all of the local swim locations and water activities your guests can enjoy.
Be ready to offer last minute packages and incentives for any slow periods. A recent study by the National Association of Convenience Stores found that 84% of vacationers will travel by car this summer. Create a Jump in the Car and Go package that you can pop online on a Wednesday to bulk up a slow weekend.
Now it’s time to make 2014 your best summer yet!
Are you ready to amp up your marketing this summer? What will you do differently? Let us know what summer changes you’re making in the comments below.
Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.