Deliver on these 3 areas for greater travel experiences
Travel has the power to shape your future. Wrapped up in a trip are experiences that create moments, moments that will last a life time. The problem today? It takes a lifetime to find the right experiences! Go on any travel website, what are you met with? Flights?
If you have been on any normal flight recently? It's not really the great experience you desire...
Topped off with grumpy staff....
It's not really the inspiring start to your experience of a lifetime! Even more so, when that was the selling point. Perhaps, your journey to deciding where to go was much like Liam’s.... #PAINFUL
Time for a #TravelShift
Since travel began, the main component has always been either the mode of transport or where you are going stay but this is all changing. The flight and hotel is not the critical component anymore, experiences are! And those brands that figure out how to inspire travelers at the right time and excite them with the right experiential offer have a real chance to stake a claim to become the next global travel brand.
Seven in 10 travelers consider activity options as an important factor when deciding on their destination, and more than one third start researching activities before they book any other trip elements.
travel activities account for 8% of U.S. travel gross bookings and the segment comes in third by size behind hotels and flights. The U.S. travel activities market totaled $34 billion in 2018, and growth is outpacing the total travel market.
With all this talk about experiences let’s take a look at 3 critical areas all agencies need to excel in to start providing the types of experiences all travelers crave. It’s not just about the travel and activities, it’s the entire customer journey that needs developing.
Catching your customer at the perfect time doesn’t happen by chance and it doesn’t happen easily. It requires patience, it requires time. Importantly it requires practice and failure backed up by rich data. Once you have cracked understanding intent signals the next step is arguably just as difficult, what to market? What destination? What experience?
The truth is, most travellers do not have a destination in mind when they start the process so you have the perfect opportunity to grab their attention by using the rich data you collect about them, wrap it in machine learning, create profiles and start to build an understanding of where like-minded travelers travel to and start to shape the perfect experience for them.
You have targeted the right traveler, you have their attention, now, expose the moments they wouldn’t dare miss. Relevance is such a keyword in travel today, and it’s such an underestimated part today of the buying process. Sure, price may always be king, but why not try to meet you customer where they are at.
Again, this process does not happen by accident. You have to deliberately understand the emotions your customers experience, through the entire customer journey, so every time you can excite them with relevance
Email, Paid Search, Banners, targeted social campaign, push messages, share incentives, even billboards and TV! The engagement methods you have at your finger tips today, would have been unimaginable 20 years ago.
How effective are you through these channels?
Do you even know and measure the effectiveness?
Great engagement starts with the first interaction, if you got the inspiration right, you have the opportunity to excite your customers. When you then serve up the exciting experience you have won the right to engage, helping to keep open the revenue stream. At this point you have created a trust and a loyalty that will help you start moving towards life time value vs trip value
Winning your customers hearts (and loyalty)
inspire + excite + engage = EXPERIENCE