Travelling is becoming more accessible for everyone. With last minute deals, January sales and plenty more sites sharing reviews and opinions on ‘The next destination you should visit’, we are spoilt for choice. In this digital age, influencers, friends and family are posting photos, checking in on Facebook and posting about what a great time they’re having online. But how does the tourism industry really manage with the increased interest in travel?
40% of travellers will visit social networking sites to guide their decision with recommendations by family and friends being the most influential. Wherever travellers go in 2017, they’ll be using social media to discover the best spots, plan their itinerary, and share their memories with friends.
But it’s not just social media that helps with the decision-making process. It is the website optimization, your paid adverts, your targeting strategy to the right people and your ability to manage reviews on external sites. It is the marketing strategy.
The challenge is to ensure your hotel is being booked directly through the website. Many hotels are noticing an increase in bookings coming from online travel comparison sites. With only 44% being booked direct. Having a well-rounded digital strategy can impact how these travellers use the internet and their experience once they arrive.
Like any strategy, nothing is simple. Digital channels don’t all sit neatly in one place to monitor and report how your content is being received. For example, with Social Media;Instagram is largely used in the travel and tourism industry as it can inspire and encourage travellers to visit specific destinations purely based on an Instagram account. While Facebook can be used to educate the audience about what there is to do in a location, this could range from wine tasting, to mountain trekking during their stay.
With the rise of mobile devices over taking desk top, the situation has changed in the last few years how consumers book their hotel or flight. There has been an increase in mobile only travel agencies (MTAs), which are out performing physical travel agencies on the shop floor – it requires no paper ticket to board the flight, just simply scan your e-ticket and you’re away. It is expected that all travel agencies will convert to some form of mobile platform to activelyengage with their customers. After all, customers look for ease of use and simplicity.
It is important to find your own niche to outperform other competitors. Once you have a loyal customer base, you can provide additional services and exclusive deals for future use.
Going the extra mile
Unfortunately, with technology advancements and increased use of Social Media, consumer expectations have rocketed. Customers hold different types of service expectations:desired service, which reflects what customers want;adequate service, or whatcustomers are willing to accept; and predicted service, or what customers believe they are likely to get.
The tourism industry need to focus on how they will provide their service for their customers, whether this is excellent value for money, or a luxurious experience offering personalised services through their stay. If delighted with the service, this can be displayed through thanking the service publicly through Social media, or writing a review on the website. Which again can influence others to visit.
80% of consumers feel that reading reviews are an important part before booking a trip. TripAdvisor attracts travellers from around the globe to compare hotel photos and deals online. Specializing in hotel and restaurants along with flight advice. It is important to monitor your reputation from this platform. With an integrated system into Facebook, TripAdvisor will play an integral part of your marketing strategy. The way a business responds to reviews will also have an impact on the amount of bookings as responses to negative comments, which surprisingly hold more weight than the positive ones. It is important to include some of these reviews on your own website or Facebook page.
Undoubtedly, digital marketing is revolutionizing the travel and tourism industry. Social media marketing has already replaced a large section of the traditional methods of communication. It is not just social media that can influence bookings, it is the digital strategy as a whole; as each aspect, can direct traffic. Tourism industry have an edge over other industries when it comes to adapting digital marketing strategies as they carefully analyse how people interact with surrounding environments while traveling.
At Eminence, our digital marketing agency prides ourselves on using the most recent technology to enable an effective marketing strategy that combines your website design, SEA and organic rankings. The Tourism industry have an edge over other industries when it comes to adapting digital marketing strategies as they carefully analyse how people interact with surrounding environments while traveling.Eminence are able to effectively capture this data and ensure that the right traffic is being directed to your website.