SMERF is an abbreviation used in the travel and tourism business to define the five small group meeting market sections – Social, Military, Education, Religious and Fraternal.
For DMOs, some of the marked groups of a skilled planned marketing plan characteristically include leisure, business and meeting explorers. Travel patterns for each of these target groups vary and, dependent on your endpoint’s occupancy trends, SMERF groups can be a valuable segment of the meeting travelers target group to pursue. For the reasons of this conversation, we will call low occupancy days of the week and shoulder months/seasons “opportunities”. Agreement and visitor agency sales professionals can pursue SMERF markets to help leverage these occupancy chances.
One of the biggest motivating issues for SMERF groups is cost! They usually want affordability and added value since partakers and not their corporation are commonly footing the bill. And when you have occupancy opportunities in your target, “conventional wisdom” (I know sometimes both of these elements are absent with destination shareholders, but let’s pretend) would be that CVB salespeople should be able to work out satisfactory rates and smart packages with lodging, shopping, dining, and attraction shareholders most impacted by visitor spending. Working with these stakeholders to grow packages can help attract SMERF groups and even cheer SMERF meeting attendees to discover more of your destination, feasibly outspread their stay or even lead to another visit (because there is so much to do)