One of the businesses now most impacted by digital growth is the travel and tourism sector. In order to connect communities and ensure that their customers have the greatest holidays possible, the travel and lodging industries were among the first to implement digital marketing strategies into their procedures. Players in the travel business are constantly seeking the best and most distinctive approaches to connect with their consumer persona and customise their product to their target market in order to perform successfully and acquire competitive advantages.
Since we all have access to desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, etc. today and can easily find information on lodging, travel, cuisine, and activities related to the tourism business, efficient digital marketing is the ideal approach to quickly and affordably reach a big audience.
An increasing number of clients are being serviced online, particularly through tablets and smartphones, with the aid of various digital marketing platforms. The use of articles, audio, emails, and videos in travel digital marketing may make it go viral for any audience.
1. More people using smartphones
Before making any travel-related decisions, 67% of consumers conduct internet research, and more than 78% of business travellers use a smartphone throughout the preparation phase of their trip. The fact that more and more people are using their phones to access the internet highlights how crucial having an adaptable website is.
Many travel industry experts, hotel operators, and travel brokers have resorted to digital marketing companies to make the trip experience simple for the target audience. More and more travel-related businesses are using digital marketing to swiftly and efficiently reach their target audience as consumers switch from conventional planning techniques to online booking, purchasing, and reservations.
2. SEO Influences Users’ Decisions
For instance, if you search for “Best Travel Package to Goa,” it is only natural for us to click on the website that appears on the search engine result page, or SERP. Consequently, ensuring that your page rank is at the top of the SERP is a key goal. However, the Google algorithms that determine which website will appear on the SERP change often, making it essential to continuously improve your website. Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid just stuffing your website with keywords to improve SEO; rather, work them into the text to make the material more pertinent to viewers.
3. Traditional Communication Is Replaced by Social Media
Digital marketing is unquestionably transforming the travel and tourism sector. A significant portion of traditional communication has already been displaced by social media marketing. For instance, when we travel, we frequently peruse Instagram photos, Twitter or Vimeo updates, and reviews that other people have left. As a result, we have entered a more participatory era when businesses in the travel sector may leverage social networking platforms to market their brands at a cheap cost, draw customers, and spark public interest.
Facts and figures: Digital Marketing for the Travel Sector
The travel and tourism sector is rapidly evolving, and data are swiftly becoming old. Here are some complicated and nerdy figures that will still inform you about the newest developments in the Indian internet travel market.
1. Take control of your online reputation
- Every minute, 200 new people add to TripAdvisor (TripAdvisor, 2015)
- Pre-booking review reading was done by 95% of respondents to a TrustYou poll. (Tnooz, 2015)
- Specifically, Generation Xers (74%) and Australian tourists (82%) will “always” or “usually” consult reviews before choosing an attraction to visit. 2015 TripAdvisor data
- Only 59% of travellers preferred reading full-text reviews, compared to 80% of those who looked for summaries of evaluations. (Tnooz, 2015)
What does that mean?
Building your internet reputation and getting more favourable reviews is a daily work, especially on reputable websites like TripAdvisor.
2. Use online reservations to increase revenue
- For their everyday operations, almost 83% of activity and tour providers still employ conventional techniques; as a result, digital customers cannot access the items through an internet channel. 2016’s Phocuswright
- After an online booking system is put in place, there is a 30–40% increase in reservations. 2016 (TrekkSoft)
- 65% of visitors use a mobile device to make same-day hotel reservations (Statistic Brain, 2015)
What does that mean?
There is a disconnect between the number of tourists who wish to reserve activities and tours online and the fact that most suppliers are not prepared. You may pick the booking software supplier that best suits you from a wide selection.
3. Social Media and the E-Travel Sector
- 97% of millennials claim to regularly share photos from their travels, particularly on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
- 27% of Twitter users promote the companies they mention with favourable word-of-mouth by posting pleasant travel experiences. 2014 (Twitter)
- 39% of Twitter users utilise the service when travelling (Twitter, 2014)
What does that mean?
Don’t explore every social networking platform. It’s crucial to locate the areas where your target audience congregates and participate in these conversions. Jumping into a new social media platform just because everyone else is doing it is pointless unless your target audience isn’t there.
Trends in the Travel Industry
According to CNN, the travel industry has entirely changed into a digital economy, with 41% of business travellers and 60% of leisure passengers making travel reservations online nowadays.
You may profit from the following megatrends by being aware of them:
1. Decisions are influenced by the social ecosystem
It’s no secret that social media greatly affects our purchasing behaviour. There are, however, not many sectors of the economy where it is as significant as travel. According to a research, 52% of travellers claimed social media affected a change in their travel plans, and 80% are more inclined to book a vacation from a firm that has been liked by a friend than from a typical Facebook ad. Social media user share vacation images and status updates, which 76% of them say makes people want to visit certain places.
2. Big Data Can Make You Special
People don’t want the same experience as everyone else since they care so much about experiences. They desire tailored and distinctive experiences. You can accomplish this with big data. You can get personalised options and keep track of your preferences thanks to it. In return for a distinctive and superior experience, 83% of millennials accept travel businesses to monitor their behaviour.
Additionally, 85% of survey participants across all age categories said that tailored itineraries are even more alluring than one-stop solutions. You can create “virtual travel aides” in the near future by fusing artificial intelligence (AI) with large data.
Techniques for Travel Digital Marketing
Here are the key strategies for creating an effective tourism marketing plan.
1. Contact your guests before they arrive
No longer are visitors simply that—visitors. Establishing relationships with tourists before they even arrive is important for travel and lodging marketing companies. Where to stay, how to utilise the transit systems, and where to find the greatest local locations may all be addressed in a mini-campaign designed to assist tourists. The tourists need you to extend a helping hand. Guests might be surprised, for instance, at airports or train stations. Most likely, visitors will announce their arrival with a Twitter tweet or an Instagram snap. The chance to interact with them is a fantastic one for tourist marketers.
They will be sent to various visitor centres as a result. For instance, you may enquire as to what they would find most interesting about their trip. You may propose to them on Twitter or Instagram the nearby hills or villages if they mention hiking or animals.
2. Prepare for pessimistic travellers
The largest flaw is that many travel and tourism businesses are unsure of how to handle unfavourable tourists. The default tactic is to intervene when things get out of hand in order to prevent a larger conflict. However, it won’t be effective in 2016 and beyond. It is advisable to create additional training and define a strategy for handling unfavourable clients. You can silence unfavourable events and lessen their influence if you react quickly. On occasion, prompt responsiveness may transform irate customers into brand evangelists.
3. Social Data to Improve Understanding of Visitors from Outside the Market
Today, I’m heading to the USA (picture of tickets attached). We update our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram with information on our whereabouts, methods of travel, and other activities. Social media therefore aids in gaining a better knowledge of what tourists from outside the market think of their location as a whole. You may create more successful marketing efforts by having a thorough grasp.
4. Instagram initiatives
The tourism business, like Instagram, is all about aesthetically attractive images, animations, and videos. What occurs when these two come together? Instagram generates high interaction, which has a significant return on investment, especially for travel firms. The mechanics of acquiring additional followers should receive more of your 2016 tourist marketing strategy’s attention.
In conclusion, tourism and hospitality organisations have an advantage over other industries because of the rising influence of digital marketing on the travel industry. The sectors are implementing digital marketing techniques by carefully examining how individuals engage with their surroundings while travelling. This aids them in identifying the demands of current users and supplying what visitors desire in order to produce the “whoa effect” and so guarantee repeat business.