Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which only means one thing — the best holiday deals are here! Consumers have already started bargain-hunting while online and retail stores ramp up their Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns.
If you run a tour and activity business, whether year-round or seasonally, it’s also an excellent time to share incredible deals. According to holiday spending statistics, 60% of American consumers prefer to buy their gifts online, and 63% of US adults put experiences at the top of their holiday wish list.
That’s a win-win for you! With a holiday marketing campaign, you can advertise discounts for your less popular offerings to help fill capacity in the low-season or promote your gift certificates to end the year with a big boost in revenue.
However, it’s not easy standing out with the overwhelming amount of seasonal marketing campaigns out there. Every other business is also vying for the attention of consumers at this time. So how do you cut through the noise, especially if you struggle with seasonality in tourism?
Instead of adding to the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Small Business Saturday marketing content, it’s a good idea to shift toward something more relevant to your industry. And that is Travel Deal Tuesday.
Wait, what is Travel Deal Tuesday?
Landing on December 3rd, Travel Deal Tuesday is the best day of the year to buy a plane ticket. What started as inspirational Instagram content — #traveltuesday — is now widely known for seat sales, and suitably, discounts on hotels, tours, vacation packages, and more.
The flight tracker app, Hopper, was the first to discover this day and coin the term. When looking at historical fare data, they noticed that the Tuesday after Thanksgiving offered more flight deals than Black Friday or Cyber Monday combined.
Presumably, the reason for the steep drop in prices is low travel demand. At the end of November, most consumers have finalized their holiday travel plans, and aren’t thinking about future vacations just yet. As a way to avoid a slump in ticket sales, airlines incentivize travelers to plan ahead and make those bookings.
Every year, Hopper promotes Travel Deal Tuesday with intel regarding which airlines will offer extraordinary deals, and to where. In 2019, we can look forward to discounts on flights to Sydney, Paris, and Los Angeles — thanks to American Airlines, Air France, Southwest Airlines, and plenty of others.
Why run a Travel Deal Tuesday campaign
As a tour and activity operator, you’re often in the shadows of the big players in the travel industry — airlines and hotels. While this might be frustrating at times, it does come with perks. For instance, you can capitalize on the buzz from their marketing campaigns, such as Travel Deal Tuesday.
Think of it this way; consumers who purchase plane tickets, whether for business or leisurely travel, will also look into where to stay and what to do there. It’s not rocket science — flights, hotels, and in-destination experiences play off each other.
With a Travel Deal Tuesday campaign, you can get in front of early-bird travelers who love taking advantage of cheap flights. Since the natural next step is to book accommodation or a unique tour or activity, offering another too-good-to-be-true deal might encourage them to book with you.
Just look at the top destinations for seat sales listed by Hopper on this day. If you’re located in one of these places, you’re already positioned well for Travel Deal Tuesday. If not, your outreach can still capture the interest of those visiting over the holidays, or give shoppers the perfect gift idea for family and friends heading your way.
4 Marketing Ideas for Travel Tuesday Deals
Of course, you don’t have to abandon Black Friday and Cyber Monday altogether. You can hit all the significant deal days with a weeklong sale. We’re merely suggesting focusing on Travel Deal Tuesday or creating a quirky holiday event of your own as a way to stand out.
Whatever you decide, it’s best to take action now. As you’re reading this, you might already be a little late to the holiday campaign game. If that’s the case, we’ve compiled a list of four marketing ideas for Travel Deal Tuesday that you can launch, quickly and easily:
1. Create smarter holiday Facebook ads
Targeting current customers or website visitors is your best chance of getting conversions on Travel Tuesday 2019. Both audiences are already interested in your tours or activities.
In Facebook Ads Manager, you can create custom audiences for your holiday marketing campaign by uploading a customer file or selecting the website traffic option. You can follow these setup steps or check out an example of holiday gift card advertising on Facebook.
2. Count down the sale on your website
Nothing creates a sense of urgency better than a timer. Whether you’re hosting a store-wide sale or a few discounts on select tours and activities, you can display a countdown banner on your homepage or one of your product pages.
All you need is a sales countdown widget that is fully customizable — from the progress bar messaging to the specific sale time. With one, you can hype up Travel Deal Tuesday weeks ahead of time and also use it to count down the end of the holiday discount during the event.
3. Generate buzz with a social media contest
Free is one of the best words in the English language, right next to winning. That’s why social media contests garner so much attention. Everyone loves a chance to win something for free!
As part of your Travel Deal Tuesday campaign, you can release a social media contest — on Facebook, Instagram, or both — which features an exclusive tour or activity as a memorable holiday giveaway. Participants just have to like, comment, or tag a friend for a chance to win.
You can then harness the buzz from the contest by letting your participants know that the same exclusive offering will only be available for bookings on Travel Deal Tuesday — if they don’t want to miss out.
4. Offer a never-before-seen tour package
Take the opportunity to try out a local partnership you’ve been considering for a while. Travel Deal Tuesday is only one day, so you can launch an exclusive package — like a countryside bus tour with a stopover for alpaca yoga — and see if you get any bites.
Treat this new package like a minimum viable product (MVP). Of course, there will be kinks to work out, but your guests won’t mind because of the amazing deal. Just remember to use these bookings to figure out how to develop the tour package further and if it’s a worthwhile pursuit going forward.
You can do that by sending each guest an email survey after the experience, one that asks: what they enjoyed, what could be better, and whether they’d book again or recommend to a friend.
It’s not easy competing with the big name brands during the holiday season. But with a little bit of strategy, and perhaps shifting your focus to Travel Deal Tuesday, you should see results.