It seems summer has already started. That means our holiday season is almost here. Most of us are frothing for our well-earned December/January break, whether it’s a relaxing holiday at the beach, getting together with family and friends (less relaxing!), or exploring new experiences or places.

As a tourism operator, your task is to ensure that your business thrives during this peak period. But to do so, you need to make sure you’re well-prepared. So, we’re going to walk you through the key steps to get your business ready for the Christmas to Australia Day peak period in the Australian tourism calendar.

Firstly , have a plan! Reviewing previous years to identify issues and trends during peak booking periods. This will help you anticipate demand and allocate resources accordingly. You really should already have a plan in place that includes promotions, pricing, and marketing strategies. If not, there’s still time!

We suggest creating enticing holiday-themed ‘packages’ to capture the spirit of Christmas, New Year and our Aussie holiday month. We all love exploring our own ‘backyard’ during this time, so consider personal suggestions and offerings around unique experiences. For example, a beach BBQ, a special wine-tasting experience at your favourite cellar door, or recommended ‘stop-offs’ on a local road trip.

Double check that your website and booking pages are user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimised for search engines. Your website, and booking pages, need to be clear, updated current information with seamless booking options to convert leads into bookings.

During the holiday season, your customers will appreciate flexibility. Consider offering some flexibility in booking and cancellation policies. This will make it easier for their travel planning, knowing they have some room to adjust if necessary.

Leverage the holiday spirit in your marketing campaigns. Add the holiday and festive spirit to the content you create for your social media platforms, emails and website. Showcasing Christmas, new year and Australia Day promotions, travel tips, and emotive stories will suggest experiences travellers can enjoy with you during the holidays.

Collaborating with local businesses can help you create these unique experiences for your customers. Partnering between accommodation, restaurants, events and local tour operators can build holiday-themed packages adding value for travellers. For instance, bundle a stay with a New Year’s Eve dinner at a nearby winery or restaurant or include a spa day in your tour package.

Make sure your team is well-trained and prepared to handle increased inquiries, bookings and guest requirements. Consider extending your service hours to allow for different time zones and provide top notch service and assistance to customers.

Be prepared for bushfires over summer. Because the top priority is the safety of your guests. Whether you are an accommodation, activities, event or even water-based tour, make sure you have a comprehensive bushfire and general emergency plan with clear procedures, contact information, and how to access local services. It looks like it is going to be a hot December/January, so be ready for bushfires and how your guests should respond.

As the holiday season progresses, continuously monitor your bookings and revenue. Be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances, such as sudden travel restrictions or fluctuations in demand. Regularly review your marketing, rates and offerings and adjust them based on performance and a ‘feel’ for the coming weeks.

The Christmas and New Year peak period in Australia is a golden opportunity for your business to thrive. By thinking about your business and planning you can ensure that you’re well prepared to make the most of our busy summer holiday season. With the right strategies in place, you can both provide unforgettable holiday experience for your customers and maximise bookings and revenue.