How to benefit from summer tourism in Canada

Summer in Canada is a vibrant time, filled with warm weather, fun festivals, and a surge of tourists eager to explore everything our country offers. For small businesses, this presents a golden opportunity to capitalize on increased foot traffic and boost their revenues. Here are a few strategies small businesses can use to capitalize on summer tourism in Canada.

Team up with local attractions

One effective strategy would be to establish partnerships with local attractions. This can be mutually beneficial, as it helps both your business and the attraction increase your visibility and customer base.

Team up with nearby hotels, tour operators, and venues to create attractive package deals to help boost your business. For example, let’s say you own a coffee shop near a museum. You could partner with them to offer discounted entry with the purchase of a meal. This not only draws tourists to your café but also enriches their overall experience.

Another idea is to work with local attractions to create co-marketing campaigns. You could share promotional materials, give each other shout-outs on social media, and link to each other’s websites. By building this network of local businesses supporting each other, you increase the chances that tourists visiting one spot will discover and visit yours.

Offer special deals for tourists

Create special deals tailored specifically for tourists to draw them to your business. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could offer a 10% discount to customers who show their hotel key or plane ticket, making your business more appealing than competitors without similar offers. 

Offering summer-exclusive deals, like a gift shop’s “Summer Special” sale on unique souvenirs, can attract tourists looking for specialty items. Additionally, implementing a short-term loyalty program, like a stamp card that rewards tourists with a free item after several purchases, can encourage them to return and make repeat visits.

Focus on marketing to tourists

Effective marketing is crucial for reaching tourists. Investing in online ads targeting individuals visiting or planning to visit the area can highlight your special offers and unique features. Make sure to optimize your online presence with local SEO keywords, such as “best coffee near Niagara Falls” or “cool gifts in Vancouver,” to ensure tourists can easily find your business. 

To further extend your reach, use social media to share engaging content and tag local attractions. You can even distribute print materials like flyers and brochures at hotels and tourist centers to increase the chances your business gets noticed offline.

Make tourists feel welcome

Providing an exceptional experience can turn one-time visitors into loyal customers who spread the word about your business. Train your staff to be knowledgeable about local attractions and events to help tourists feel more comfortable and informed. 

Providing multilingual support, like offering menus in French, Spanish, and Mandarin, can help you cater to international visitors. Additionally, offering unique products that showcase local culture, such as handmade Inuit carvings or locally produced maple syrup, can leave a lasting impression on tourists.

Join local events and festivals

Participating in summer events and festivals can significantly boost your business’s visibility. For example, sponsoring local events like a street festival and having your logo on event materials or setting up a booth can increase recognition for your business. By engaging with the community and providing samples or demonstrations, you can attract new customers and build brand awareness.

Setting up pop-up shops at larger, popular festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival or the Montreal Jazz Festival allows you to reach a much broader audience. These high-profile events draw massive crowds, including tourists who might not otherwise visit your main location. A well-placed pop-up shop can showcase your products or services to thousands of new potential customers. You can offer festival-exclusive items, run special promotions, or host interactive activities to create a memorable experience that encourages attendees to visit your main store or follow your business online.

By actively participating in these events, you not only increase your immediate visibility but also build a lasting impression that can lead to increased foot traffic, sales, and customer loyalty long after the festival season ends.

The bottom line

Summer in Canada is a season filled with opportunities. By strategically teaming up with local attractions, offering enticing deals, focusing on targeted marketing, ensuring tourists feel welcomed, and participating in vibrant festivals, you can significantly enhance your business’s visibility and appeal. 

These strategies not only draw in tourists but also create memorable experiences that encourage repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth. Embracing these tactics can turn the bustling summer into a season of growth and success for small businesses across Canada.