It’s no surprise that we’re all feeling a little stir crazy these days, finding creative ways to safely occupy our free time and connect with family and friends. And let’s face it – nothing quite compares to vacationing at our favorite destination and visiting our loved ones.
For others, free time seems like an impossibility with work/life boundaries in flux, kids learning at home and like challenges. Change is a constant and the ad industry is experiencing a very volatile period. Yet, as a new year begins, hopes are lifted with word of a vaccine in our near future. In the meantime, if you’re a travel industry business looking to connect with travelers as they cautiously emerge from their cocoons, consider how the consumer journey has shifted during this past year. What should you be doing or doing differently each step of the way?
With pent-up demand for travel, gently spur consumers to use their down time to think of the up and coming. Give your audience inspiration and provide tools that allow them to build their dream itinerary.
Consider: Create a presence on inspirational feel-good platforms like Pinterest that have seen a rise in users during the pandemic.
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Turn consumer dreams into something tangible by providing tips for travel safety and up-to-date travel restrictions. Make it easy for them to turn planning into doing.
Consider: With spiked interest in drivable destinations and leisure trips, offering road trip ideas to visitor favorites with available amenities to help unwind and decompress. If you’re a fly-to destination, show them the safest way to travel and use others’ experience to persuade consideration.
As conditions surrounding the pandemic remain uncertain, those itching to travel are on the lookout for flexible booking options and limited-time travel incentives.
Consider: Motivate travelers through price discounts, safe and interesting packages—and by halting cancellation fees.
With the countdown to and beyond the holidays, travelers will browse online resources to support their trip decisions and ease pandemic concerns.
Consider: Update travelers about ongoing travel mandates and provide real-life examples of positive customer experiences. Demonstrate that you’re making safety a priority (along with the fun and freedom of travel).
With safety precautions top of mind, ease traveler concerns during their time away by providing customer conveniences and enforcing social distancing, masks, sanitization and capacity limit regulations.
Consider: Implement safe practices that streamline the customer journey, e.g.: drive-thru, pick-up stations, distance separators, contactless payment etc.
Holiday snapshots are usually posted on social media for friends and family to see, but depending on the state of the pandemic, be aware that some travelers might put these behaviors on hold to avoid “travel shame”. That’s okay.
Consider: Give those who visit your destination every reason to rave about safe—and fun—travel. Tell your safety story and demonstrate again and again what makes it so. Make sure your staff models only the best behaviors. And encourage visitors to recreate outdoors, choose wide open spaces, socially distance themselves, wear masks and “budget their outings”—do fewer outings and look for the wonder in each and every one.
Ahhh travel. It’s on its way back, thank goodness. And as we all welcome a new year and new traveling opportunities, destinations will loosen restrictions as they can, safely, while maintaining focus on responsible practices. From start to finish, ease consumer travel stress by providing a risk-free experience that streamlines expendable efforts and remains one step ahead. Hope you can get out there soon—and safe travels!