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How to increase off-peak bookings

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increase off-peak bookings

With the busy summer holiday letting season fast becoming a distant memory, now is the time to be thinking about how to increase off-peak bookings during the low season. 

As you’ll already know, the opportunities for parents to take their children out of school during term time are now limited, meaning that focus needs to be moved to other target markets where competition is becoming increasingly fierce. 

We take a look at some of the potential markets you could be attracting as the summer sun sets and Autumnal and Winter breaks begin…

Dog owners – there are 14 million dog owners in the UK

If your cottage welcomes dogs, then the great news is that a lot of us have one; 14 million in the UK to be precise! With as many as 44% of Britain’s households owning a pet, this is a market certainly worth taking advantage of to increase off-peak bookings.

If you’re wanting to attract the dog-friendly market, you’ll need to:

  1. Make sure it’s immediately obvious that you welcome dogs – you don’t want potential guests having to root around for the information as the more effort they have to put into finding it, the more likely you’ll lose the online conversion.
  2. Tell them what’s available for their pet in your cottage.  This should also include whether you have an enclosed garden and policies on leads etc.
  3. Build a dog-friendly destination for them – what there is to do in the local area with their dog? Walks they can go on, dog friendly pubs, dog friendly beaches and attractions.

When welcoming dogs to your holiday home our top tip is to ensure that your holiday home insurance is dog friendly too!

Young families with toddlers

Because school-aged children will need to take their holidays outside of term time you often find that pre-school families will look to take advantage of shoulder months when prices are lower and crowds more dispersed.  

If you’re wanting to attract the pre-school market, you’ll need to:

  1. Highlight everything you have in your cottage for their children, so they’re clear on what they need to bring and what you’ll be providing.  Car space can be at a premium so think of ways in which you can make their life easier.
  2. Tell them where can they go and what can they do with their children. They won’t want to be cooped up so giving them specific days out suitable for younger children will make your proposition stronger. If you can give personal recommendations, they’ll be more credible than just providing a standardised long list.
  3. If you’ve got additional features such as animal feeding, these can prove to be extremely popular with younger children so feature them prominently.

Walkers, hikers and cyclists

There’s nothing better than a good walk in fresh air.  Don’t just take our word for it; 42 million people take to the Wales Coast Path each year while that figure is equalled and eclipsed in the South West of England. 

If you have good cycling or walking routes near your holiday cottage you should:

  1. Include information on all routes on your website and promote them through your social media. 
  2. There should be routes for all levels and ages of walker with varying difficulties.
  3. Make sure you share the best photos and videos from your routes. Encouraging guests to do the same can gain you even more social media traction.
  4. Make use of local walking organisations and coastal paths in your marketing – some will have great video and photography you can tap into.
  5. Try to turn your walking routes into an event – where are the best places to stop for food and drink on the way? What else can they do? Create a day rather than a walk.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

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