Believe it or not, winter is almost upon us. It has been a patchy summer/autumn around Australia for both weather and bookings. Let’s now look forward to the next six months.

It is important to keep nourishing your online profile and product offerings to both thrive through winter and springboard into next summer (excuse the pun!)

The imperative is to work on creating and communicating unique experiences and attractions that cater to both domestic and international travellers. You may not be in or near our snow-covered peaks but here’s what you can do over the winter months to keep the bookings flowing.

There are many festivals and events throughout winter season, ranging through food and wine and cultural celebrations and, although some big ones have folded, still an array of music festivals. Reach out to collaborate with event organisers to offer special packages, discounts, or exclusive experiences to attendees. And promote these events through targeted marketing campaigns to past guests and through social media to attract visitors looking for unique winter experiences.

Forward forecasts suggest our coming winter may not be as cold as we are used to. That will mean plenty outdoor activities such as hiking, whale watching, bushwalking, mountain biking and wildlife tours, will still be attractive for those wanting to get outside. Of course, the Australian Alps will be there for skiers, snowboarders, and ‘après skiers’.

By July, those of us living in the southern states will be hankering to escape the rain and cold and soak up some sun. This means if you’re in Queensland, the NT or northern WA you can capitalise on ‘winter sun’ demand by promoting beach and other water-based getaways. Matching warm weather with our stunning northern landscapes can attract visitors looking for a break from winter in the south.

So now is the time to collaborate to create special packages and ‘deals’ tailored to winter travellers. Consider working with like-minded marketing savvy operators in your destination to provide say ‘winter discounts’ on accommodation, bundled activities, value adds like free upgrades, or bonus amenities such as spa treatments or local dining credits.

Don’t forget to adjust your content on your website, social media, and imagery to inspire winter bookings. Showcase breathtaking winter landscapes, maybe a crackling fireplace or hot tub and candid moments of travellers embracing the chill from last winter.

Tell them about a cozy cafe with the best coffee or hot chocolate in town or a scenic winter walking trail off the beaten path. ‘Insider’ tips can enhance their experience.

Curate content that showcases a variety of accommodation and experience options suited to different budgets and preferences. By collaborating to create attractive deals, don’t think you’re just appealing to budget-conscious travellers, you can also get on the radar of the luxury segment with the right offers to drive bookings during the winter months.

Winter is a great opportunity to showcase seasonal foods and and dining experiences that highlight local produce and flavours. Again, collaborate with local restaurants, cafes, and food producers to create special winter menus and experiences maybe featuring ‘hearty’ dishes, comfort foods, and warming beverages. If your destination and local suppliers are marketing focused and adventurous, work together to organise a series of culinary events, food festivals, or even cooking classes centred around local winter ingredients and cooking techniques.

As the colder weather sets in, particularly July and August, many travellers yearn for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Again, collaborate to cater to this demand by promoting experiences that include wellness ‘retreats’, spa getaways, yoga, and meditation sessions. By mid-winter, show me anyone who is not looking to escape the winter blues and indulge in self-care/pamper.

My message is to work actively right now to create booking drivers for winter by focusing not only on your own products but also collaborating to offer diverse experiences, promoting unique attractions, and catering to the spectrum of interests and preferences of winter travellers.

As always, your task is to inspire and engage your audiences, to be noticed, differentiate and drive interest and bookings.