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How Can Destinations Deal with Seasonality Challenges?

The seasonality phenomenon is not only a big deal to travel planners and tour operators but also to a big number of frequent travelers who have gotten used to the dynamics of traveling 

I will quote a few authors as I attempt to define the concept of seasonality and the below the two major definitions of seasonality; 

Seasonality is a systematic, although not necessarily regular, intra-year movement caused by changes in the weather, the calendar, and timing of decisions, directly or indirectly through the production and consumption decisions made by the agents of the economy (Hylleberg, 1992).  

Butler (1994) explains seasonality as a temporal imbalance in the phenomenon of tourism, which may be expressed in terms of dimensions of such elements as numbers of visitors, expenditure of visitors, traffic on highways and other forms of transportation, employment, and admissions to attractions.

Seasonality in tourism activity is not a particular characteristic of a single destination or country, as it is experienced in almost all countries and destinations in the world.  Seasonality causes fluctuation in tourists and visitor numbers to a destination

Therefore, some destinations at certain times have more tourists and visitors than they are able to accommodate, while at other times, there are too few tourists and visitors to the region

The phenomenon of seasonality affects every tourist destination in the world to some extent. Seasonality is a measurable feature of tourism since it has significant economic importance and can be seen through the number of visitors, how much they spend, and the number of admissions to attractions.

Unlike other challenges, seasonality can be predictable and anticipated. Since it is a predictable and almost reliable challenge, it makes it more possible to be mitigated.

  • Introduction development of festivals and events– Local traditional events/festivals, local celebration of special events to target and increase local demand during off-season; Special celebrations can be planned in order to boost and cover the gap 
  • Embracing MICE; Meetings, incentives, conferences/conventions and exhibitions are not a great run to as business travels are not influenced by seasonal pattern
  • Develop niche-tourism products; Specially designed weekends for tourist’s interests, health and wellness facilities, sport and activity-based vacations, heritage tourism, educational, farm/village tours and eco-tours. Some destinations are looking at medical tourism as a potential cover up. 
  • Offering off-season holiday packages;Special occasion tour packages for accommodation, food & beverages, activities to motivate tourists to visit, encourage frequent travelling or to lengthen stay to sustain and expand expenditure to compensate for off-peak seasons
  • Seasonal pricing; Discounted prices are offered during low-seasons, while high price in peak seasons
  • Group booking offers;Discounting packaged holiday activities for tourists visiting in groups, agreement/alignment with tour operators or travel agents to sell products/services at wholesale price. 
  • Development of local business networks and partnerships;– Developing a sound marketing plan for the branding and promotion of new attractions, events and activities.
  • Marketing campaigns to attract different markets in different season; Effective marketing campaigns to aware and encourage consumer about the availability and advantages of off-peak season holidays 
  • Staggering of holidays over a longer period– Change in the working pattern of institutions like educational institutions and other business organisations.
How can destinations deal with seasonality challenges and bridge the off-season gap to avoid economic interruptions along with its effects?

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