In preparation for our upcoming webinar, “Make every season your busy season,” we’re covering shoulder season essentials for independent hotels, including how to market your hotel and enhance your operations during this off-peak travel period. In today’s blog post, we want to shift the focus towards your guests and provide a few tips for preparing them for an enjoyable shoulder season travel experience.
As we roll into the fall, in many regions, weather starts to become a bit more unpredictable and can greatly impact how travelers prepare for their trips. Travelers will naturally check sites like Weather.com for local forecasts, but they rarely tell the full story. Hoteliers can use social media to provide first-hand, “What to expect & bring” weather updates for travelers. This is a great opportunity to inform travelers about weather evets, like pop-up showers, hail, fog, chilly mornings, etc. that occur during your fall shoulder season, but aren’t noted in local forecasts.
Ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, have made getting around easier for travelers, but there are still local transportation challenges hoteliers can inform them about. For example, at some airports, ride-sharing services are not allowed to pick up and drop off passengers, some rental car companies downsize their fleets after the summer and, in some towns, taxis are hard to find once the peak travel season has ended. Independent hotels can prepare their guests for the pitfalls of shoulder season ground transportation by providing tips on their website and social media channels. Helping travelers sort out any confusion before they arrive is a great way to set the tone for a great shoulder season experience.
Things to do
One detail travelers may overlook during their planning is the shift from summer hours to off-peak hours of operation for attractions, museums and restaurants during shoulder season. Sometimes businesses forget to update their hours online, leaving traveler expectations dashed when they arrive and find locked doors. During check-in, ask your guests what they’re interested in doing during their stay and give them the local scoop on hours, best times to visit and other helpful tips. Like the weather and transportation tips above, passing along information about local activities is a great example of how small, thoughtful gestures can deliver enormous value for guests.
Learn more about making the most out of the slower months by registering for the webinar.