Marketing is evolving constantly. Now, more than ever, we live in a commoditized and distracted world, which presents enormous challenges to marketing and selling to an evolving group of consumers. Tourism is not immune to these challenges. Every year we see a new shiny toy – The latest travel industry trends. Unfortunately there are many ongoing trends in tourism industry that are often overlooked, they come up consistently because they don’t get the focus and attention they deserve.
Tourism industry trends that we see operators like you are facing, and how you can set yourself up to deal with them.
Four tourism industry trends operators like you are facing, and how you can deal with them.
Ok this one might be obvious – but why are there so many businesses that don’t address globalization? You work in a 24/7 world. That means that guests are online researching anytime, anywhere. This trend is especially significant for the global travel industry. The benefit is that you have the potential to attract a massive crop of potential guests. Your branding doesn’t have to be relevant to everyone, nor can you service everyone but Is your business set up to address the varying time zones and immediacy of responses that your potential guests are looking for?
2. Social Proof Really Matters
Your potential guests are influenced by influencers, by social media, and what friends, family, and others that recommend online. Did you know that one good review from a guest can lead to 9 future referrals? Online booking sites like Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Viator have figured this out, and reward their best hotel or tour partners with better visibility so that they can make more money. Reviews matter to your guests. What is your strategy for managing and leveraging reviews in your marketing?
3. Playing competing roles
Online travel agents (OTA’s) and booking sites are certainly not one of the current tourism trends however their growth is astounding and they are now over 70% of the market. They are the primary source for finding travel services for your guests. These sites are your partners AND your competitors. They skim margins from us, but we can’t live without them because they give you access to a global audience. How do you work with OTA’s in the long run and still improve your margins?
4. Tourism is becoming a commodity
As industries commoditize, anyone can learn skills in business, and this includes sales, marketing, social media, website development and content creation. Anyone can start a tourism business and you probably know many that have, let’s face it, tourism is an attractive and exciting industry to work in. So how do you position your tourism brand to stand out amongst the rest? How do you best communicate to your target guest to win their attention and bookings?
4. Understanding Your Guest Really Well
“The aim of marketing is to know the customer so well, the product or service fits them and sells itself.” – Don Norman
This means making choices on the guests you want to attract to your business. The better you understand your potential guest, the better you can find them and connect with them. This involves understanding your guest so well, that you know how to speak to them, and address their needs and challenges. Consumers are distracted with so many stimuli competing for their attention. If you understand them, to and better meet their needs – they will want to work with you. No longer are the days of trying to compete for the attention of every traveler. – trying to satisfy everyone, ends up pleasing no one.
5. Understanding the Guest Buying Journey
You might find that the perfect guest that resonates with your brand and likes what you do, but they aren’t ready to buy yet. You haven’t moved them effectively through the buying journey. Perhaps they are still learning about you, or you don’t know their needs well enough yet, in order to build trust – then to buy from you. A great example of this is buying Facebook ads, expecting the travelers will buy immediately after seeing your ad. Helping them through their journey is critical.
What other challenges do you face and what are your trends in travel and tourism?
You can find more tourism industry tips and suggestions here.