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Are we open for BusinessWillie Macleod, BHA Scotland addresses seasonality in HIE webinar

Seasonality is an enduring phenomenon in the tourism and hospitality industry. Most visitor destinations, including major cities, whether dealing with leisure, business or convention markets have some form of seasonal profile to demand.

Almost every tourism strategy I’ve seen has an objective to reduce or overcome seasonality - and with good reason. Utilising spare capacity during quieter periods in businesses like hotels, restaurants or visitor attractions that have little opportunity to generate ‘inventory’ for sale at a later date can only improve staff productivity and add to the bottom line.

In Scotland, we often hear seemingly valid reasons why our tourism industry, especially in rural areas, operates on a seasonal basis – weather, school holiday periods, distance from markets, shorter days. There are also lifestyle businesses where the operator wants, or is pleased to live with, a restricted trading period. Yet this is far from true in many cases where bankers have to be kept happy and businesses may want to retain good, loyal staff on a year round basis.

There is research evidence that consumers do not decide to visit Scotland because of the weather (on the contrary, in some instances the variable nature of our weather adds to the appeal of our country) and not all visitors are constrained by school holidays ...true, there is little that can be done to overcome distance from markets.

There are examples of how businesses can overcome seasonality by:

better understanding consumer motivations,

developing relevant products and services and reflecting these in marketing messages,

adjusting services to suit different customer groups at different times of the year,

thinking innovatively, and

working collaboratively with like-minded businesses.

Click here to access the Seasonability Programme


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