Seasonality is among the most popular items in any tourism development plan and a must in any relevant speech. Tourism Ministers, regional governors, mayors, industry unions, businesses and professionals, they all agree upon the need to address seasonality.
Among the proposed marketing actions are: 1.on prices: lower rates, no taxes, subsidies (high risk to become a charity organization) 2. on product: diversification, (which is often confused with enrichment) 3. promotion, mainly to niche markets (without being sure that their needs are covered).
The results are not encouraging, as the demand curves, in most destinations, are almost identical with the ones 20 years before. This happens for two main reasons: a. not enough focus on the 4th P of marketing, the "place", b. most people do travel during the summer months. The place has a certain image in the mind of the customers. Changing this, requires a hard and long term effort. Are we ready? Can we afford it?
Finally, as long as people, in Europe at least, have to take their annual leave during summer, there is no way to attract more customers during the rest of the year.
Concluding: yes, let's invest to serious marketing, but let's invest equally, if not more, in lobbying for the change of annual leave patterns.