The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries, and constantly growing. But what do we mean by this label? And what should marketers keep in mind when working in this sector? Here’s a taste from our Know-How guide.
The travel and tourism industry
As identified by ComScore’s 2018 EU Travel Report, the travel and tourism industry includes businesses providing services such as information, transportation, and accommodation. This can be for leisure or business, which means that this industry has a vast audience. Some of the businesses in this sector are:
- cruise companies
- airlines and travel sites
- car rental companies
- hotels and other accommodation companies
- information sites and online travel agents
- transaction sites
- other, such as entertainment companies
Marketing in the industry
Here are a few points to pay attention to when doing marketing in travel and tourism.
1. Be careful with the latest technologies
The travel and tourism industry has adapted well to technological advancements, and it has been somewhat transformed by them, with plenty of apps and online travel agencies now dictating what happens in the market. Chatbots, voice search, and blockchain are some of the latest buzzwords in the industry. It’s easy to think that because there is so much interest around them, you should adopt these technologies too. However, marketers should carefully think about what is likely to make a real impact and to last over time; it’s important to only select technologies which suit your own customers and goals. Ultimately, if it doesn’t help you connect with your customers, it’s not right for you.
2. Know your audience
This industry appeals to many different audiences, and millennials now constitute the biggest generation of travellers, both for leisure and business. However, they behave in their own way: they appreciate honesty and directness, they like instant comebacks, and they love reviews. Visibility on social media is essential to reach them, however the same techniques may not work with older travellers. The key is knowing who you are targeting, and establishing a communication with them across the right channels.
3. Offer the right payment options
Considering the ease with which it’s possible to reach customers in foreign markets, cross-border payments are one of the top priorities for marketers. The more currencies you offer, the bigger your chances of success in a market. Only offering a handful of currencies will inevitably leave some markets out, and those customers will be reluctant to buy from you in a different currency from their own. You need to make the process as easy as possible for your customers; however, offering a varied selection of currencies is one side of the task, because you also need to have a plan in place for how to manage them. Identify your profit margins and how to deal with exchange rates, and be aware of technologies which might help you manage your payments, such as virtual bank accounts and cryptocurrencies.
4. Influencer marketing
Content marketing works very well in this sector, especially in the case of content created by locals and third parties which gives subjective and honest reviews and tips. Influencer marketing can be especially effective in this industry, as content created by influencers benefits from their professional view, credibility, and large following. Working with influencers requires a lot of background work to make sure that their style matches your brand. Choosing the right platforms for the influencer to work on and having a clear contract in place before starting the collaboration – outlining the guidelines, number of posts/articles, and payment conditions – is essential. Remember that each market is unique: promoting their differences rather than similarities will be a winner with your audience.
Anna Giulia Novero
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