Seasonal variations in demand are a significant problem to the tourism industry. In technical words it is also called “seasonality” and can be defined as a cyclical pattern that more or less repeats itself each year and which usually refers to a temporal imbalance in the demand.
For a destination, seasonality may cause an under-utilisation of resources when visitor numbers are low and an over-increased demand for resources when too many visitors arrive in a short period of time. Therefore, some destinations at certain times have more tourists and visitors than they are able to accommodate, while at other times, there are too few tourists and visitors in the region. But seasonality can also end up into other negative impacts, such as possible environmental damage and saturation problems in the peak period.
There are many strategies that are used to address the effects of seasonality. These include pricing strategies, diversifying the attraction, market diversification and seeking assistance from the government. The experts emphasizes the importance of market segmentation, the variation of the product-mix and the creation and promotion of alternative products, to attract tourists in different seasons.
The topic of this year Project Week proposes to look into strategies to mitigate seasonality.
The province of Huesca (Aragon, Spain) is one of the most representative examples of inland seasonal tourism in our country. Its main tourism offer is based on nature and mountain sports. There are two very distinct seasons:
- Winter season: As Huesca accounts for 35% of the supply of snow tourism in Spain, this season runs from December to mid-April and spatially concentrated in the north, in the Pyrenees.
- Summer season: it lasts only two months, July and August and the demand is much lower than the previous.
In terms of tourism, the province has many other cultural attractions based on its artistic and historical heritage, in protected natural areas and in other sports, though these are less known by tourists.