As the main season for enquiries quickly approaches there are some very nervous mutterings throughout the holiday industry. For the last few months the rate of inquiries has all but dried up, virtually every major site on the net has reported at least a 50% drop in the volume of enquiries and of those who are looking most are just window shopping. Everyone is feeling the pinch as a result of the credit crunch, the doom and gloom portrayed every day on the TV and other media doesn’t help and all in all it leaves one feeling that this will be the worst season ever.
There are of course exceptions, in general the larger the property, the more exclusive, the more facilities on offer, and to a point the more expensive, the better the property seems to be booking. A detached five bedroom gite with a private heated pool and all the luxuries seems to have a greater occupancy rate already. This is probably due to two main factors, firstly they are rarer and therefore visitors who regularly use this size of accommodation know that if they leave it too late to book they will end up with little or no choice. Secondly, although difficult to explain, it seems the higher the price of the property the easier it is to let, it seems that many of the public think that the more they pay the better their experience will be. It is also true to say that 10 people sharing a luxury gite at £2500 per week is better value that 2 people in a £500 per week basic gite, especially when you take the cost of ferries and fuel into consideration.
So where does one go from here? Well one could just say “don’t panic it will all sort it self out in the end”, one could double the advertising budget in an attempt to catch those few visitors that are looking, one could cut back on expenditure making economies to maximize what profit there may be, or one could think positively and upgrade the gite with a pool, a dishwasher, some new furniture or whatever else you think might encourage people to book with you. One could reduce the price or make special offers, why not try a "BOGOFF" buy one get one free, for example, book two weeks in high season and get two weeks free at another time of the year. The problem is there are no certainties only great debating topics. What are you going to do? I hear you say, well I’ll probably try a mixture of all of them, I've never been one for putting all my eggs in one basket.
Of Course I will continue to try and get better rankings for the website. The principal question is what keyword is the most important for me to rank for. The answer? Well that will be the subject of another blog, so if you’re interested in finding out, keep checking in.
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