Last minute bookings are as popular as ever, with many holidaymakers waiting until the last second in the hope of grabbing a bargain.
It’s important for holiday parks to tap into this market, so here are a few ideas as to how you can help fill those empty slots with some last minute bargain hunters!
1. Be Flexible
Lots of people who are booking last minute only want a short break, so being strict and asking your guests to visit for a minimum number of nights will inevitably mean that you miss out on some potential bookings.
The same applies for asking guests to arrive on certain days (for example on a Monday for a weeklong stay or a Friday for a weekend).
If you do want to implement policies such as these, it may be a good idea to relax them during the off-season, when you need to work harder to bring more people in.
2. Loyalty Discounts
Getting a good base of repeat visitors is key to the success of any park, so show your existing guests that you appreciate their custom with a loyalty discount or gift.
This could be something as simple as money off, or it could be something such as a free meal or bottle of wine if they visit in the next 30 days, for example.
While it’s not ideal to have to give away a stay, it is a way to get guests in and it will still bring some money into the park when the guests use the other facilities.
In addition, it might mean that the competition winner is more likely to come back to the park during peak season.
Either way, the competition will make your brand much more visible and might be that little nudge that people need to make a booking.
Check out this guide to running a social media competition from Vertical Response for more information.
4. Package Deals
As we’ve said, guests need that little extra push to make a booking out of season, so how about something a little different as an incentive?
For example, it could be a discount voucher for a local restaurant or free entry to a local attraction. Try and establish a partnership with a local business that will benefit both of you and bring in more business.
5. Seasonal Pricing
Even if you’d rather not, it makes sense to lower your prices during the off-season, as people simply aren’t going to want to visit as much during this period.
You know your market better than anyone, so look at your busy and quiet period and adjust your pricing accordingly.
However, it’s important that you highlight to guests that the price they are paying is less than they usually would, as it shows them that they’re getting a good deal.
6. Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool and one which you should be using as effectively as possible.
Make sure to push and promote any offers or deals which you’re offering, to get them in front of as many people as possible.
Use relevant hashtags and also consider using some paid social advertising to really push your promotions.
7. Highlight Last Minute Deals on Your Website
If you’re offering potential guests a great deal, you need to make sure that they know about them.
Make sure that any last minute specials are displayed prominently on your site so that people can clearly see how they can save.
One of the best marketing tools at your disposal is entirely free, but it’s also really effective.
As a park owner, you have access to a huge database of previous guest’s details, so be sure to use it!
Send out regular email updates to remind your previous guests about their stay at your park and remind them of your upcoming last minute deals.
9. Buy One Get One Free
Everyone loves to get something for nothing, so offering extra nights free is a great way to entice people to your park.
A popular option is to offer those booking from Friday to Sunday an extra night on the Thursday to make it a long weekend.
10. Referral Discount
Word of mouth is probably the best form of promotion your business can enjoy, although it’s very hard to manufacture!
The recommendation of a friend or relative will go a lot further than an ad on social media, so why not reward those who refer new customers with a discount?
Make sure to go out of your way to make those guests who do refer you feel extra special the next time they stay too!
Last minute bookers are crucial to the ongoing success of a holiday park through its quieter months, so hopefully, some of these tips can help you keep those parks nice and full!
Our EliteParks software will also go a long way toward helping you track your leads and convert them into sales, so be sure to get in touch for a free demo, to see how our dynamic pricing works and our campaign segmentation so you can hit the right customers with the right offers.