What if you had a crystal ball that could tell us what was in store for the future of group travel? Our "next normal" is sure to be a big departure from our normal of the past, but the reality is this: There is no crystal ball.
However, there are leading experts who are watching and analyzing industry trends and sentiment. So let's piggy-back on their insights for travel trends and pull together some key initiatives you can put in place in your own sector of our industry.
TREND INSIGHT NO. 1: More Local and Regional Travel
Hoteliers are studying where their guests are arriving from and find that the drive market is driving their business now. From their perspective, the rubber-tire market and staycations are a trend being seen across the country, as well as Europe. Some key marketing takeaway and social tactics:
- Survey your own client base to learn their travel dreams and sentiment to ensure it matches this trend.
- Get to know your own local hoteliers and attractions to determine if this is the trend in your region. If it is, put together local packages to satisfy the summer staycation and create a local or regional group tour package for your clients.
- Showcase your new tour options by creating a video walk-through of your tour. Interview hotels and attractions to showcase new features and COVID precautions, along with building brand loyalty with video.
- Work with your DMO to package your new product and offer it through their marketing channels.
TREND INSIGHT NO. 2: Private Tours
As vaccines continue to flow, many people may be comfortable traveling in with small groups. There's a large emphasis is on health, safety and comfort. Some key marketing takeaway and social tactics:
- Tap into this trend by featuring private tours, private jet services and private guides. Post video from these suppliers onto your social sites and interview suppliers via video or podcast. Share the interview in your blog or news article.
- Blog about the value and safety of private touring.
- Focus on luxury spa resorts for health and wellness travelers, and create ad audiences that target affluent and health-conscious travelers.
TREND INSIGHT NO. 3: Focus on Low-Density Destinations
The road less traveled is appealing now more than ever, as people look to spots where COVID rates were less severe. Some key marketing takeaway and social tactics:
- Research which destinations fit this trend and reach out to hotels, attractions and suppliers in these areas to create packages for your unique client base.
- Showcase these destinations in your videos, blog and social posts, and interview past visitors and DMOs via livestream video or podcast.
While the way we travel will be a bit different, the bottom line is that people still want to experience new cultures and escape. We don't need a crystal ball to tell us that travel will always be an integral part of life. Some things never change. As an industry, we are still dream-creators!
Written by Catherine Heeg, an international speaker and trainer who focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.