Today, the travel and tourism industry is one of the most impacted by digital development. The travel and hospitality industry was among the first to incorporate digital marketing techniques into their practises in order to engage communities and ensure that their clients have the best possible getaways.
Players in the travel industry are constantly looking for the best and most unique ways to reach their buyer personas and tailor their offering to their target audience in order to perform well and gain competitive advantages.
- An increase in the number of mobile users
- SEO Influences User Decisions
- Social media has supplanted traditional communication methods
- Digital Marketing Statistics for the Travel Industry
- Travel Industry Trends
- Travel Digital Marketing Strategies
Today, we all have desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, and easy access to information for all aspects of the tourist industry, from accommodation, travel, food, and activities. Effective digital marketing is the best way to reach a large audience quickly and at a low cost.
More and more customers are being served online, particularly via tablet devices and smartphones, thanks to various digital marketing channels. With the help of an article, audio, email, and video, travel online marketing can go viral for any given audience.
An increase in the number of mobile users
More than 78 percent of business travellers use a smartphone to plan their trip, and 67 percent conduct online research before making any travel-related decisions. This demonstrates that an increasing number of people are accessing the internet via their phones, emphasising the importance of having a responsive website.
Many travel professionals, hotel owners, and travel agents have turned to digital marketing agencies to make the travelling process easier for their target audience. With the shift from traditional methods of planning to digital marketing strategies (for making reservations, purchases, and booking online), an increasing number of travel and related companies are leveraging digital marketing to reach their target audience quickly and effectively. As a result, the process of digital marketing for travel agencies is simplified.
SEO Influences User Decisions
For example, if you search ‘Best Travel Package to Goa,’ we have a natural tendency to click on the website that appears on the search engine result page, or SERP. As a result, ensuring that your page ranks at the top of SERPs is a critical goal. However, the Google algorithms that determine which websites will rank on the SERP change on a regular basis, making it critical to continuously optimise your website. Along with that, it is critical not to simply plant keywords in your website to boost SEO; instead, incorporate keywords into the text to increase the relevance of your website content to users.
Social media has supplanted traditional communication methods
Without a doubt, digital marketing is transforming the travel and tourism industry. A large portion of traditional communication has already been replaced by social media marketing. For example, when we travel, we tend to look at the pictures, reviews written by people, and other Twitter or Vimeo posts.
With this, we have entered a new interactive era in which travel industries can use social media networking tools to promote their businesses at a low cost, attract visitors, and generate public interest.
Digital Marketing Statistics for the Travel Industry
The travel and tourism industry is constantly changing, and statistics become out of date quickly. Here are some nerdy and heavy numbers that will still help you understand the upcoming trends in India’s online travel industry.
Take charge of your online reputation
Every minute, 200 new users join TripAdvisor (TripAdvisor, 2015)
A TrustYou survey found that 95% of people read reviews before making a reservation. Tnooz (2015)
4 in 5 TripAdvisor users will ‘always’ or ‘usually’ refer to reviews before deciding on an attraction to visit, with Generation X (74 percent) and Australian travellers being the most likely to do so (82 percent ) (2015) (TripAdvisor)
Only 59 percent of travellers preferred reading full-text reviews, while 80 percent preferred summarised reviews (Tnooz, 2015)
What does it mean?
It is a daily task to build your online presence and positive reviews, especially on authoritative sites like TripAdvisor.
Use online bookings to increase revenue
Approximately 83 percent of activity and tour companies continue to use traditional methods for daily management, which means that digital users will not be able to find the products through an online channel (Phocuswright, 2016)
Bookings increase by 30-40% after the implementation of an online booking system. TrekkSoft (2016)
A mobile device is used by 66% of travellers to book hotel reservations for the same day (Statistic Brain, 2015)
What does it mean?
There is a disconnect between the number of travellers who want to book tours and activities online and the majority of suppliers who are not prepared. There are numerous booking software providers from which to select the best one for you.
Businesses that are mobile-friendly are successful
Between 2011 and 2015, mobile travel bookings increased by 1700%. (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
About half of TripAdvisor users access the site via phone or tablet, and the company continues to see an increase in mobile phone engagement across the board. (2015) (TripAdvisor)
45 percent of travellers with internet access use their mobile devices to book pre-trip travel activities (TripBarometer, 2015)
What does it mean?
Given the growing prevalence of internet and mobile connectivity, it is critical to select a responsive booking system and website builder. Choosing an integrated booking software with an existing website, for example, necessitates ensuring a mobile-optimized template with great UX and a fast loading speed.
The Role of Social Media in the E-Travel Industry
97 percent of millennials say they share photos while travelling, particularly on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
By sharing positive travel experiences, 27 percent of Twitter users generate positive buzz for the brands they mention. 2014 (Twitter)
39 percent of Twitter users access the platform while travelling (Twitter, 2014)
What does it mean?
Don’t dabble in every social media channel. It is critical to determine where your target users are active and to participate in these conversions. It’s pointless to join a new social network just because everyone else is doing it unless your target audience is already there.
Visuals are the most effective marketing tool
TripAdvisor has over 53 million candid traveller photos (TripAdvisor, 2015)
76 percent of TripAdvisor users agree that photos submitted by travellers influence their booking decisions (TripAdvisor, 2015)
A piece of content increases people’s willingness by 80% if it is a coloured visual (Xerox, 2014)
What does it mean?
Because travellers want to broaden their visual horizons and try new things. As a result, in order to stand out in the tourism industry while also inspiring travellers to book you instead of your competitors, it is critical to prioritise compelling visuals in your travel agency marketing strategy.
Video Attracts a Larger Audience
Outside of the United States, YouTube receives 80 percent of its views (YouTube, 2015)
Every week, 78% of people watch videos online (MWP, 2015)
Streaming video will account for more than two-thirds of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017, according to Cisco 2015.
What does it mean?
It is, without a doubt, the season to experiment with videos. It’s fine if your first video doesn’t generate a lot of sales, but if you keep making videos, you’ll eventually get some feedback.
Travel Industry Trends
According to CNN, 41 percent of business travellers and 60 percent of leisure travellers now make travel arrangements online, and the travel industry has completely transformed itself into a digital sector.
Here are some of the mega-trends reshaping the travel industry, and understanding them can help you capitalise on them:
Decisions Are Influenced by the Social Ecosystem
It is no secret that social media has a significant impact on our purchasing habits. However, there are a few industries where it has a greater impact, such as travel. According to the report, 52 percent of travellers said social media influenced a change in their travel plans, and 80 percent are more likely to book a trip from a company liked by a friend rather than a traditional Facebook ad.
76 percent of social media users post status updates and vacation photos, which influence the desire to visit the same exotic locations as one’s friends.
Recommendations are Beneficial
Because of our distrust of corporate websites and the shift to social media, recommendations from our peers are extremely important when booking a vacation. In a Tnooz study, more than 95 percent of leisure travellers read about 7 reviews and spent an average of 30 minutes before booking.
According to a TripAdvisor survey, 92 percent of UK residents agree with the statement “reviews are essential when booking a vacation.” This implies that negative reviews should be handled with care, and customer complaints should be handled with a calm demeanour. Going the extra mile for customers will undoubtedly pay off and may result in more leads than a cliched expensive promotional campaign.
Using Big Data to Make You Stand Out
Because people are so concerned with their experiences, they do not want to have the same experience as everyone else. They want personalised and one-of-a-kind experiences.
This is possible with big data. It enables you to create personalised offerings and track preferences. In exchange for a unique and better experience, 83 percent of millennials consent to travel brands tracking their habits.
Furthermore, 85 percent of respondents across all age groups said customised itineraries are more appealing than one-stop solutions. Combining Artificial Intelligence/AI and big data can aid in the development of ‘virtual travel assistants,’ which are a near-term possibility.
Role of Virtual Reality
With the latest technological advancements and innovations, virtual reality has emerged as one of the most anticipated aspects of online travel marketing. VR allows vacationers to ‘try before you buy’ in a way that was previously impossible.
You can see what a company’s beach resort looks like in person. With the advancement of VR technology, you will be able to look around the resort, see your room, and see how big the pool is in the future.
Travel Digital Marketing Strategies
Here are the top four strategies for developing a successful tourism marketing strategy in 2022.
Meet your guests before they arrive.
Nowadays, visitors are more than just that. Long before visitors arrive, travel and accommodation marketing organisations should establish relationships with them. A mini-campaign can be created to assist travellers in navigating common questions such as ‘where to stay, how to use the transportation systems, and the best local spots.’ You must lend a helping hand to the visitors.
You can, for example, surprise your guests at airports or train stations. When they arrive, travellers are likely to post a Twitter update or an Instagram photo. Connecting with them is a fantastic opportunity for tourism marketers.
You can then direct them to various visitor centres. For example, you could inquire about the most exciting thing they would do while on vacation. If they mention hiking or wildlife, you could direct them to the nearby hills or villages via Twitter or Instagram.
Prepare for Unfavorable Travelers
The biggest flaw is that many travel and tourism organisations are unsure of how to deal with negative visitors. The default strategy is to respond when things get out of hand in order to avoid a larger controversy.
However, it will not work in 2016 and beyond. It is preferable to develop additional training and formalise a plan for dealing with difficult clients. You can muffle negative experiences and lessen their impact if you respond quickly. With prompt attention, angry visitors can be converted into brand advocates.
Using Social Data to Gain a Better Understanding of Market Visitors
I’m leaving for the United States today photo of tickets attached… So, whether it’s Facebook or Instagram, we keep our social media profiles up to date with where we’re going, how we’re going, and so on. As a result, social media assists in better understanding what out-of-market visitors think of their destination in general.
A thorough understanding can assist you in developing more effective advertising campaigns.
Instagram is all about visually appealing images, gifs, and videos, and the travel industry is no different. What happens when these two come together? Instagram generates a lot of engagement and a lot of ROI, and it’s a universal truth that Instagram generates a lot of engagement, especially for travel brands. Your 2016 tourism marketing strategy should place a greater emphasis on the mechanics of gaining new followers.
To summarise, the brisk impact of digital marketing on the travel industry is the primary reason tourism and hospitality companies have a competitive advantage over other industries. By carefully analysing how people interact with their surroundings while travelling, the industries are implementing digital marketing strategies. This allows them to recognise existing user needs and provide travellers with what they want, resulting in the ‘waoh effect’ and repeat sales.