An independent business insight
Let’s Go Punting, mainly due to operating outside, is a seasonal business, hitting its’ peak from April until late September. However, pre-covid, due to increasing low season demand, we were operating punting tours along the college backs all year round.
Peak Punting Season
Punting in Cambridge is one of the most popular activity when visiting our city. Some may even say that a visit to Cambridge isn’t complete without a punting tour along the River Cam. In fact, the popularity of punting in Cambridge is clear to see if you happen to walk around the city during spring or summer time.
Moreover, there will be days where it’s hard to see the River Cam, for all the chauffeured punts and self-hire craft playing Tetris with each other along the college backs. However, as great as those summer days are messing about on the river in the sunshine, there are equally stunning yet less busy days on the Cam.
In spite of it not being crystal clear, this traditional style business requires a lot of handcrafting and refurbishing as well as upgrades to make the whole customer experience better year by year. Focusing on the peak season, the feedback we’ve had from our customers and members of staff, we at Let’s Go Punting set goals for the next busy season ensuring they will all be accomplished by then.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be tour happening besides spring and summer times. Quite the opposite, actually! As it happens, there are recurrent bookings coming down through autumn and winter. Furthermore, this is also the time where we try to launch more online competitions with free punting vouchers as prizes, as well as the traditional charity event of Christmas Carols on the River.
As a seasonal business what are we up to during winter?
Winter is time to reduce the number of boats we have moored at the River. Consequently, the ones that come out of the river rest at our barn. Here is where many hours are spent refurbishing our punts so they are good as new for the next season of punting along the college backs.
Simultaneously, the office team is in charge of reviewing the season gone by and looking for ways to improve the customer experience. For instance, this past year, our office team launched a brand new booking system on our website using live availability and dynamic pricing. All bookings for both private and (distance) shared punting tours are now booked on to a specific departure meaning the day is organised in advance and our customers have a far betting booking and check-in experience. Bookings can be made up to 30 minutes before the departure time and (currently) all seating on shared tours is COVID-secure and complies with current guidelines. In addition, to aid social distancing we operate a virtual queue with customers receiving a text message 5 minutes before their departure time, and only then do we ask people to approach our check-in.
This winter before was spent developing our exclusive Cambridge Tours audio app which allows customers to listen to our audio tour whilst punting along the cam – either in English or Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) – more languages coming soon.
Evidently, you can see it now that there’s way more to our business other than pushing boats along the river on sunny days. All our efforts will be preserved at the highest standards in order to provide to each and all of our customers the best punting experience possible.
Thus, as you can see, it’s off season where all the magic happens!