After two years of travel restrictions and protocols, Americans are ready to hit the jetway again this year. Expedia’s 2022 Travel Trends Report revealed that more than two-thirds of Americans are planning a big trip this year. For the hospitality and tourism industry, that means more bookings and more revenue – if done right.
That’s where digital marketing comes in. Effectively reaching potential travelers means meeting them wherever they are in the world – and delivering the right message at the right time. Travel and hospitality companies need to stay ahead of the competition by anticipating marketing trends, having a strong strategy, and managing their teams’ workload effectively.
What Trends Are Currently Changing The Hospitality Industry?
Travel experts are already seeing a shift as travelers itch to get back to exploring and relaxing again. They believe the biggest trends will be:
- Rapid growth in leisure travel
- More and more people will start booking short local weekend getaways for a stint of relaxation or just to break up their routine. Leisure travel is typically booked with little time in advance.
- Longer out of office trips & family vacations
- After the challenges brought on over the past two years, employees are eager to cash in on some of their unused PTO days. We’re already seeing long trips and vacations starting to amp up. Expect to see longer stays with more people in 2022.
- Increased business travel
- In 2020 and 2021, businesses halted work-related travel. Now that travel restrictions are being dissolved, companies are starting to initiate in-person meetings across the country. With many businesses adopting a distributed workforce model, employees are no longer required to live near a local office. This means in-person meetings require some thought and planning to have everyone there.
- And, a business trip is the perfect opportunity to explore a new city, or return to your favorite vacation spot a few days past the office requirement.
- Focus on booking through mobile web and apps
- With in-person interaction dwindled down to only the bare necessities, improved digital experiences have become the norm. To stay competitive, the hospitality industry must provide consumers with booking experiences and stay information that builds buyer confidence and makes it easier to book their trip anywhere, anytime.
Companies across the board have slimmed down their teams, posing a new challenge: how can the hospitality industry do more with less? We believe there’s power in focusing on digital marketing, digital strategy, and managed services.
Digital Marketing And Digital Strategy For The Travel Industry
New forms of digital marketing, such as content marketing, help hospitality and tourism companies provide customers with the resources they need to make an informed booking decision. This can include photos of the hotel or recent testimonials, which can give greater insight into what the traveler can expect from their stay. The hospitality industry is also uniquely positioned to provide additional content to make guests’ stays more enjoyable. Brands can provide information such as culture blogs, event videos, and even local guides to attractions, entertainment, and restaurants in the area.
So, how can companies maximize their efforts to get the most out of their content? Content velocity. Simply put, content velocity allows companies to operate more efficiently, create new content faster and distribute it more effectively across channels. When done correctly, content velocity helps get visitors to your site faster, increases efficiency, and helps you distribute content across multiple channels seamlessly.
Additionally, having a heavy focus on analytics will help your team make data-driven decisions to continue providing valuable pieces of content to your audience. Are your customers getting close to booking a trip then canceling? What does traffic on mobile look like compared to desktop?
Regularly tracking changes in online behavior and recognizing any patterns will set your team up for success in the future. Consider what works, what doesn’t, and where there are gaps as you continue to create content.
Once you have a solid grasp on analytics and pulling insights from data, you can begin to implement personalization tactics to offer unique experiences to each website visitor. Some personalization tactics you could employ include:
- Post-booking content about their stay
- Hotel accommodations and events they may be interested in
- A discount or free offer for website visitors who left the site without booking
- Other related trips they may be interested in
- Other dates for their stay that may be cheaper
Regularly monitor and track analytics and iterate on those findings to drive engagement on your website. Consider how these findings tie into your larger digital strategy and business goals.
To make sure all of these great new features don’t fall flat, you’ll need to do a thorough quality check for any user experience issues. Unstable websites or cluttered pages can drive traffic away. Keep UX top of mind to maximize your ROI.
You may be feeling like you simply don’t have time to add all of these tactics to your to-do list. This brings us to our second solution: managed services.
Managed Services For The Travel Industry
Managed Service Providers (MSPs), such as Avionos, work with clients to help with some of their ongoing digital tasks, such as upgrades, maintenance, optimization, quality assurance, and analysis.
Your internal team can stay focused on larger business priorities and strategy, while your MSP takes care of your website maintenance, ensures you’re operating on the most up-to-date technology, and checks for any technical errors.
Managed Service Providers can also provide help specific to hospitality and tourism digital marketing. For example, MSPs can pull data reports and extract insights to help you evolve your strategy for targeting. MSPs can also provide you with important strategic advice to improve your digital marketing efforts and ultimately more bookings.
At a time when pressure and tasks are mounting, MSPs help your internal team do more with less.
Where To Go From Here
The travel industry is moving faster than ever towards sophisticated digital experiences as travelers look to the skies once more. Looking to take your business’ digital strategy to the next level? Avionos is ready to help. Contact us here.