The tourism industry has taken the internet by storm. It’s a fiercely competitive field and you can either sit back and watch as the digital era jets off to sunnier climes, or you can hop on board and let digital be the driving force that enables your business to succeed!
The tourism and travel landscape is adapting as businesses such as Airbnb and Uber continue to disrupt the traditional business model. As the industry becomes more intuitive, social and dynamic and consumer demands evolve, it’s important for businesses to embrace changes to how people go through the customer journey from researching to booking and all interactions in-between.
There are four travel trends that will continue to impact the industry: the growth of ‘self-service’ booking, DIY travel, mobile booking and the search for authentic experiences. Compounding the role of digital in the new self-service culture of travel, Google reports that search engines and YouTube are amongst the top online sources of inspiration for travel consumers as 65% of leisure and 69% of business travellers turn to the web early in the buying process to decide where or how they want to travel.
When it comes to the purchase of a holiday abroad, almost half (49%) of consumers will continue the process online and book their holiday via the internet. In 2016 alone, 148 Million booking were made online and 65% of same-date hotel reservations were made via a smartphone, according to eMarketer.
If you are ready to take advantage of the digital opportunity, here are 6 top digital marketing tips that can help you to generate awareness, drive sales and grow with, not in spite, of the digital era.
Travel is a great topic to talk about- whether it’s sharing plans, holiday snaps or opinions on destinations and accommodation. Join in with customer conversations by getting active on social media. Developing your own social media profiles and hashtags can encourage users to tag your brand and take part in social competitions. As consumers search for those all-important authentic experiences, social media will be a great platform for them to share these experiences. Make sure you’re not missing out on these opportunities to engage with customers and build a picture of travel potential with new customers.
Word-of-mouth is particularly crucial for the tourism industry – and that doesn’t change on the internet! Encourage your users to leave detailed reviews to share with other potential travellers. Reviews will help to build your brands’ authority and instil a level of trust for new customers, especially those who are going down the ‘self-service’ route. Make it easy for potential customers to make informed decisions. Online reviews will quench the user’s thirst for authenticity as they can access genuine accounts from real customers.
It’s a competitive market – consumers will need to pick out your business against a tide of new, emerging businesses and popular established businesses in the market. There are key steps you can take to help your business to rank higher in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs).
As a Tourism business, you don’t just need to deliver a great service and platforms for DIY travellers. Help customers to feel knowledgeable and prepared by sharing helpful advice and insights through additional content such as blogs, videos, infographics and check lists. By helping consumers to develop their own fantastic journey, you will help to build your brand reputation as trustworthy, engaging and helpful.
Embracing the world of social sharing can also provide your business with a catalogue of user-generated content to develop that all-important authentic feeling for discerning consumers. Instead of relying on stock images and the same old boring photos, make the most of the photos, blogs and videos shared by your engaged customers.
The booking process should be simple, smooth and user-friendly. As consumers are getting hands-on with their travel, they are increasingly relying on their mobiles to research and book their holidays. A mobile-friendly website will not only help your business to rank higher in SERPs but it will also enable consumers to complete a smooth customer journey. If possible, you could even consider a simple booking app like Airbnb or the Traveline’s to make the mobile experience even more intuitive and effective.
Call us at +1 808 446 4694