Tips on how to reduce seasonality in tourism through creative marketing and designing more sustainable tourism experiences.
This article is part of the “Sustainable tourism insights” interview series with speakers and participants of the Green Destinations Conference in Athens, Greece held in September 2022.
Xavier Font is a Professor of Sustainability Marketing at the University of Surrey in the UK. Prof. Font was one of the the keynote speakers at the conference in Athens. Anula Galewska, Travindy’s Managing Director, asked him to share his tips on how destinations can reduce seasonality and market low-seasons.
According to Prof. Font the first thing any destination can do is to stop marketing their high season and the well known spots, because they simply market themselves. Instead, DMOs should focus on marketing the low season, engage local residents in the process, do some storytelling for the destination, and in general be more creative with their campaigns.
To ensure a stable flow of customers, it is now crucial to combine multiple markets. Businesses can’t risk “putting all eggs in one basket”. COVID-19 showed us how important the domestic visitors are, even if they may have a lower expenditure per person. In segmenting markets and planning our marketing activities, in addition to measuring an average expenditure, we should also take into account visitors’ carbon footprint.
According to Prof. Font, one of the main mistakes destinations make, is that they keep selling to the first time visitors. They create one brochure, translate it and use for different markets, without differentiating the needs and interests of every audience.
Attracting customers in the low season is still a great challenge, and there is no easy “one fit all” solution. However, we should look at the low season as the opportunity and space for creative marketing.
Prof. Font also has made a remark that certification is not a successful business to consumer marketing tool. However it is a great tool of bringing people together to work towards a common goal and create a sense of scale and purpose.
Watch the interview with Prof. Xavier Font:
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