As kids head back to school and with the onset of cooler weather, the summer crowds begin to diminish at your resort, leaving Adirondack chairs empty along your quiet pool patio. Your marketing team is probably hard at work to revamp your email marketing, ad spend, and OTA presence to boost fall visitor rates to your four seasons resort. Here are a few more ideas to keep your “Vacancy” light off this autumn.
1. Recruit summer guests to book again
Entice your guests visiting this summer to come back again with a special or a discount on their return visit. Choose a simple, “Stay three nights this summer, get a night free in October or November,” type of promo, or challenge your team to get more creative. For example, hide pumpkins, scarecrows or other fall decor throughout your property for a few weeks this summer, and ask current guests to find and take selfies with these items. When they post with a tag to you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, send them a digital thank you with a discount coupon for another stay by the end of the year. You could make it a scavenger hunt, with the discount or “prize” increasing with the number of selfies they post. Not only will you help your autumn vacancy rates, you’ll create a buzz around your brand on social media – and give guests a memorable experience they’ll naturally talk about for years to come!
2. Plan an autumn event
Special events are always a great way to draw a crowd. Whether it’s a craft bazaar, a fall fashion show, an autumn festival, a jack o’lantern extravaganza, or a wine tasting event, plan a party or gala that will be attractive to your target market. Once they’re on your premises, offer complimentary resort tours and find a way to collect their email addresses for post-event marketing.
3. Partner with fall-friendly community attractions
Does your town have a scary haunted house attraction or offer ghost walks during the fall months? Is there a big annual event that takes place every fall? Perhaps your city’s professional football team brings in a large regional crowd? Partner with one or several “destinations” in your community as the exclusive accommodations sponsor by getting them to promote you to their guests or by offering their visitors a special discount with proof of attendance to their location. Be sure to scratch your partner’s back, too, and offer information about the great autumn “must sees” in your community when guests check in.
4. Promote fall foliage tours with your content
Plan out a few beautiful driving routes through your area, with an overnight stay at your resort as a must-do! Be sure to include other fall-friendly activities to do along the way, such as apple-picking or leaf look-out views. Make some lunch or dinner recommendations, and share your routes with those destinations, so they can promote, too. You can blog about the routes, or create visually-stimulating infographics to spread out on social media. Make sure other local bloggers, your local visitor’s bureau and travel agencies, and even your favorite news journalists see your pre-planned fall foliage tours, so they can also pass along to people planning a stay in your area.
With some creative marketing, your resort patio will stay bustling all autumn long!