5 Key Travel Recovery Insights that Matter | TravelResearchOnline

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5 Key Travel Recovery Insights that Matter

 

What if you had a crystal ball to tell what was in store for the future of travel? Our ‘Next Normal’ is sure to be a big departure from our ‘Past Normal’, but the reality is this: There is no crystal ball.

However, there are leading experts who are watching and analyzing industry trends and sentiment. These industry thinkers and futurists have shared their perspectives over the last couple of weeks. So, let’s piggy-back on their insights for travel trends and pull together some key initiatives you can put in place in your own sector of our industry.

 

Trend Insight #1 – More Local & Regional Travel

Hoteliers are studying where their guests are arriving from and find that the drive market is driving their business now. From their perspective, the Rubber-tire market and stay-cations are a trend being seen across the country as well as in Europe.

Key Marketing Takeaway & Social Tactics

  1. Survey your own client base to learn their travel dreams and sentiment to ensure it matches this trend.
  2. Get to know your own local hoteliers and attractions to determine if this is the trend in your region. If it is…
    1. Put together local packages to satisfy the summer stay-cation
    2. Create a local or regional driving tour package for your clients
  3. Market your new tour options by creating a video walk-thru of your tour
    1. Interview hotels and attractions to showcase new features and COVID precautions
  4. Work with your DMO to package your new product and offer it thru their marketing channels

 

Trend Insight #2 – Private Tours

As we all start to come out of quarantine, many people may be comfortable traveling in ‘social bubbles’ with small groups of family or friends. The emphasis is on health, safety and comfort.

Key Marketing Takeaway & Social Tactics

  1. Tap into this trend by featuring private tours, private jet services and private guides.
    1. Post video from these suppliers onto your social sites
    2. Interview suppliers via video or podcast. Ace your video with these tips & tools.
    3. Share the interview in your blog or news article. Other ways to expand your viewership.
  2. Blog about the value and safety of private touring
  3. Focus on luxury spa resorts for health and wellness travelers
  4. Become certified as a luxury travel expert
  5. Create ad audiences that target affluent and health-conscious travelers

 

Trend Insight #3 – Focus on low-density destinations

The road less traveled is appealing now, as people look to spots where COVID rates were less severe.

Key Marketing Takeaway & Social Tactics

  1. Research which destinations fit this trend
  2. Reach out to hotels, attractions and suppliers in these areas and create packages for your unique client base.
  3. Become a certified expert in these destinations.
  4. Showcase these destinations in your videos, blog and social posts
  5. Interview past visitors and DMO’s via live stream video or podcast. Here’s the tools you need to do a live broadcast.

 

Trend Insight #4 – Your Value as a Travel Pro Matters

While this isn’t a new trend, it’s even more important now to showcase the value of your services.  Travelers are looking for the assurance of working with a professional who understands their level of travel confidence and works with them to create itineraries that are compatible with their dreams and comfort level.

Key Marketing Takeaway & Social Tactics

  1. If you’ve not already implemented fees for your services, the time is NOW!
  2. If you have fees currently in place, review your fee schedule
  3. Continue telling stories of how you’ve helped clients thru this turmoil. Showcase your successes thru client testimonials, video and blogging. (Is blogging really worth your time?)
  4. Review and re-write your own value statement along with the list of benefits you offer your clients. Get specific. Define each benefit. General terms like ‘Great service’ don’t work any longer.

 

Trend Insight #5 – New Marketing Opportunities

While COVID-19 has taken us into some tumultuous times, it is a learning process. It’s a time when we can all evaluate our marketing and selling styles to ensure they’re up to speed with the needs of our client base. What worked in the past, may not work in the ‘next normal’.

Key Marketing Takeaway & Social Tactics

  1. Take cues from your suppliers for the right time to transition from aspirational messaging, such as ‘dream now’ campaigns, to actionable messaging inviting people to ‘visit now’.
  2. Stay in touch and build stronger relationships.
    1. Use technology to stay top of mind. Consider offering virtual vacations, informational webinars, and live chat.
  3. Encourage client conversations. Call your clients to check in and understand their feelings on future travel.
    1. Use social tools to book appointments. Check out Calendly and other top appointment tools.
    2. Use voice memos rather than texting
    3. Email short personalized videos. Check out Loom for easy recording and emailing.
  4. Position yourself as a source of up to date information
    1. Write about new contact-less travel
      1. Facial and iris scanning
      2. Contactless bag check & payment systems
      3. New hotel check-in processes that include robots
      4. How to use your phone for check-in procedures
    2. Focus on storytelling as the highlight of your marketing

 

While the way we travel will be a bit different, the bottom line is that people still want to experience new cultures and escape. We don’t need a crystal ball to tell us that travel will always be an integral part of life. Some things never change. As an industry we are still dream-creators!

How will you help your clients create their custom dream vacation today?

 

 


Catherine Heeg, International speaker & trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.

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