Tourism Marketing Strategies Adapted to Today
2022 is looking up for tourism. After two years of the pandemic, the numbers are finally starting to fall and we are getting closer to a COVID-free world. However, we can’t just do what we’ve always done before. The buyer has changed and marketing strategies in the tourism sector must adapt to these changes.
Text: We’re at the beginning of the year and, looking back, it seems like 2019 was both yesterday and 10 years ago. A lot of things have changed in these three years, and the tourism sector has faced these challenges head on. One of the most important things was re-earning the trust of tourists after confinement and showing that hotels, restaurants, and commercial establishments of all kinds were safe places. The effort to adapt to the changing health guidelines, meeting hygiene and distance measures were impressive, and something of which we should be proud.
In 2022, things are already different. It’s a year that began with optimism; lifting restrictions helped kickstart both domestic tourism and tourism in the European Union, thanks to the implementation of the COVID-19 digital certificate. It’s expected that Spain’s tourism GDP will reach about 90% of the number from 2019 and reach total recovery by 2023. But these last few years have had an effect: the consumer has changed.
How has Spain’s Tourism Buyer Persona Changed?
Returning little by little to pre-COVID numbers doesn’t mean that pre-pandemic methods will work. The consumer has changed. There’s been a change in consumption habits, trip planning and management, and the expectations of each trip.
The new consumer has been digitalized; it’s not just for the younger tourists. Adults are now forced to use a QR code and download apps for identification purposes and they’re more familiar with technology. In addition, due to restrictions that appear and disappear at the last minute, we’re all more flexible: last minute plans, changing travel dates, canceling plans and choosing others, always adapting ourselves to what we are allowed to do at that specific moment. The new consumer wants ease when reserving and canceling plans day-to-day.
Tourism Marketing Advice
A 360º Marketing strategy will allow tourism companies to adapt their messages to the new situation and transmit them on the right channels. Right now, we need to design much more focused campaigns to optimize our investment and increase the possibilities of success.
Personalization is more important than ever before. It’s the best way to convey confidence and provide the security that the user needs in those moments. As we could see after different interviews with experts in the hotel sector, this already upward trend will continue to soar.
Here are some tips to design successful tourism sector marketing strategies:
Look for Authenticity
The post-pandemic traveler is looking for real experiences, now that they aren’t traveling to the other side of the world to experience exotic cultures. The following aspects are highly valued: proximity, peacefulness, off the beaten path, and experiencing new things close to home. It’s about not feeling like a tourist, but instead a local.
Let’s not think about travel as “getting away from your life” to discover another; instead, let’s think about it as a fluid experience where we want to really get to know what surrounds us. Creating sincerity, honesty, and transparency in your messages is a great tourism marketing strategy.
As we mentioned before, tourism marketing must adapt to how the user behaves. And now, more than ever more, it’s digital. COVID has pushed us to use the internet for all kinds of processes that we would have previously done in person; in fact, it hasn’t been difficult to get used to.
When traveling, your phone can be your map, free tour, travel agency, and even your receptionist. And for companies that provide any kind of tourism services, they must invest in their own digital transformation to meet user demands.
How do we address the new traveler? How can we ensure our message reaches them? There’s a new paradigm change that looks for emotion. We have to create messages based on people and their needs: understand why they want to travel and connect our proposal to what moves them.
We don’t have to be scared to focus on the more sentimental aspect or look for participation channels to collect opinions and involve the traveler in decisions about their trip. One thing is clear: a price and characteristics list isn’t enough. We have to create a convincing story, a narrative that seduces the audience into choosing their destination.
Focus your Audience
Tourism and technology go hand in hand. And now, it’s even more important to properly focus your database to find niches, new focuses, and adapt our messages.
We frequently need to create specific messages, but our database isn’t organized. Maybe you need to focus on a local, national, or even regional audience. The path is long and it may not be easy at the beginning, especially if you’re starting from zero, but it’s worth it. It’s a medium-long term investment that will be fruitful.
You’ll need to have a database prepared that will allow you to act quickly and organize yourself according to the needs of the moment. Working on this aspect and being prepared is fundamental. These days, personalizing and adapting messages is more important than ever before.
As we’ve seen, the tourism strategies we need to adapt are various and can even be compatible with others. What’s clear is that the obtained results can make a difference. It will be complicated; we’ll have to reconsider many things and definitely leave our comfort zone, but it’s completely necessary if we want to keep achieving our goals, both old and new. Are you ready?
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