Pronostics 2017: Business vs Leisure

Our tri-annual calendar is up to date until 2018! But in the meantime, here’s 2017 in detail.

In our article When Government Choices Impact Revenue Managers, we predicted a difficult 2016 calendar for the Leisure business (and for the work of Revenue Managers), but what does 2017 have in store for us? Will Business take its revenge?

The year is already well under way and I won’t go back over the winter holidays, which shouldn’t have been a problem this year, now that the changes to the school holiday zones and the fact that they have been brought forward by a week are behind us.

Easter: Leisure – / Business ++

The first major difference concerns Easter, which this year will fall during the Spring holidays in April, rather than in March. This is good news for the Business activity, which will benefit from 4 full weeks (Monday to Friday with no public holidays) in March. On the other hand, the Leisure activity is likely to find itself overloaded on the weekend of 15 April 2017, which combines the holidays in the 3 zones and a 3-day weekend! You can always close your distribution and raise your prices on that weekend, but overall, with demand less smooth than in 2016, income is likely to suffer. The winner: business.

May bank holidays: Leisure ++ / Business – – –

Then come the famous long weekends in May and June. After a year of drought, the new harvest looks excellent: no fewer than 4 long weekends are on the cards this year! But before you dismiss the Leisure activity as the big winner of this period, let’s not forget that this is an election year (23 April and 7 May 2017): the long weekend of 8 May doesn’t look all that good, so don’t get your hopes up about price increases! That said, with 5 full weeks instead of 7 for Business activity, is undoubtedly the biggest loser of this period!

Summer: Leisure – / Business + !

Let’s move on to summer. July is traditionally not as good as August for Leisure. This year, expect it to be even worse! With the summer holidays only starting on 8 July 2017, the first week looks bad; if you have any promotions to run over the summer period, target them at this time. At least you can console yourself with the fact that we’re done with holidays starting in the middle of the week! The corollary, of course, is that business activity will be better at the beginning of July. With the 14 July and 15 August public holidays playing whitewash between 2016 and 2017, the point goes to the Business activity.

All Saints' Day: Leisure + / Business ++ !

Here we are, the All Saints’ holiday. Once again, after having been subjected to the far-fetched ideas of the Ministry of Education, we’re back to the classic two-week holiday as before. Leisure activities get 3 real weekends back, but lose 2 potential long weekends, with 1 November falling on a Wednesday and 11 November on a Saturday. So it’s the Business activity that comes out on top, with no less than two extra full weeks!

Christmas: Leisure = / Business =

Lastly, the Christmas period this year looks set to be just as average as in 2016, with 2 long weekends to look forward to, with the 25th and 1st falling on a Monday, but a 2nd week of holidays that is likely to be just as difficult as the 1st was in 2016, with the holidays shifted by a week. So introduce a significant price difference between the 1st and 2nd week. Similarly for transport companies, the period looks set to be the opposite of last year, with departures more concentrated at the start of the holidays and returns more spread out over the end. And this analysis concludes with a 0-0 draw!

So it’s revenge that awaits the Business activity in this 2017 calendar, with a score of 3 matches to 1!

Revenue Managers of leisure businesses, don’t rest on your laurels and tell yourself that « May bank holidays are looking good this year » , because this year is shaping up to be a difficult one. And for all of you, from now on, be wary of your budgets at the end of the year, because with the Christmas holidays shifted by a week, your income will be spread differently over December 2017 and January 2018.

You’ve been warned!

Keywords: Predictions, tri-annual calendar, Leisure activities, Business activities, school holidays