I thought I'd seen how damaging seasonality could be when I was working for hotels which dropped from 75% to 55% occupancy in the winter. That was before I started work for independent hotels in Scotland and the Channel Islands, hotels which would have loved to get 40%, let alone 55% occupancy some winter months! If we're not going to see a "discounting bloodbath" this winter, we have to realise that seasonality means that there just aren't going to be enough tourists in some areas to go around. For once, I have to concede that it may be better for some hotels to shut for a period of time rather than remain open for one or two guests. That, at least, will help those that do open year-round to survive - and we may all be better off in 2013 and 2014 - or at least still in business. Of course, the situation is not helped by bodies like English Heritage deciding to close key attractions in the winter. Having given a marketing presentation at the last National Visitor Attractions Conference, I firmly believe that the key for many destinations is to create out-of-season events. Have you ever seen a quiet hotel during the Blackpool Illuminations or the Lincoln Christmas Market? I haven't.