Booking a holiday ten years ago was a lot different to how we do things now. Back then, travel customers would pop to their local travel agents and arm themselves with enough brochures to start a small bonfire. There were no mobile apps or social media platforms like we have today and, whilst some travel websites were gaining popularity, it took quite a while for them to gain consumer trust.
The Digital Revolution
A decade ago, travel agents would rely heavily on walk-ins from new customers, passing trade and business from loyal customers. Advertising consisted largely of handwritten posters detailing the latest travel deals and discounts, whilst shelves were stacked with worldwide holiday brochures and leaflets. Today, the major travel companies host comprehensive travel portals where consumers can tailor their holiday to their exact requirements and find the best deals at the touch of a button. The whole booking experience is quicker, more secure and more convenient than ever before.
However, where other industries have closed down their bricks and mortar stores in favour of online trading posts, many travel agent shops have survived the technology revolution. Why is this? Perhaps it’s because a holiday is the biggest expense many face during the year and they would rather do it face to face with a travel agent. Maybe it’s because many customers, and particularly the older generation, do not have a firm grasp of online booking processes or searching for holidays online.
Trains, Planes and Mobile Phones
Digital advertising has changed the way the travel industry operates significantly. Consumers can book a holiday online within minutes and, if they wish, could be jetting off to their chosen destination the next day or even on the same day. Discounts, last minute deals and loyalty points are all great incentives to book travel online and it has never been easier or quicker to book the annual family holiday or a short break away.
When it comes to marketing a travel agency, hotel or holiday business, a digital media agency today will look at the bigger picture and include a wide range of marketing methods in the mix. Online marketing is of course crucial and will include elements such as a booking website, social media accounts and email marketing campaigns. Digital print may also be an important consideration for most travel businesses.
In a market saturated with new travel start-ups and more travel options than ever before, it is essential that companies in the travel sector review and revise their marketing methods regularly in order to reach the right audience and expose their brand. Consumers want to book whilst on the move and they want in-depth information and reviews on their chosen destination and enticing discounts they won’t find anywhere else.
Digital marketing for the travel industry is a must for any business looking to reach a wider and more receptive audience. It needs to be tailored to the growing needs of the business and consumer buying trends. Nobody knows what the next decade will bring for the travel industry, but it is sure to be an exciting ride!