Digital Customer Experience
Apr 15, 2019
José María Machuca
Sales & Customer Experience Director
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5 Travel and Tourism Trends and Factors That Will Impact Your Marketing Strategy

Home > Digital Customer Experience > 5 Travel and Tourism Trends and Factors That Will Impact Your Marketing Strategy
The tourism industry is experiencing a moment of metamorphosis that will be structural changes to the industry. Discover five key factors and trends that will impact the business, and therefore, your marketing strategy.

The tourism industry is in the throes of a great revolution that will bring with it a change in paradigm. Not only will it impact many companies’ business models, but it will also affect marketing strategies, customer acquisition, and customer experience management. That's why it's critical we stay updated on the latest tourism trends to keep adapting and riding the wave before everyone else.  

We’ve carried out a previous structural analysis of the tourism industry environment to understand and reflect on the future of the tourism system. By relating the changes, actors, and cycles that are taking part in this metamorphosis, we've been able to derive the keys to this paradigm shift. With all this, we've produced a report (the English-language version is coming soon) and here are some highlights of the new tourism trends you’ll encounter.

5 new tourism trends you need to know  

1. Create new experiences

Many different studies presented at the 2018 World Travel Market London fair agreed on one thing: no matter where they're from, tourists don't stop looking for different, out-of-the-box experiences that move away from what we most frequently see in photographs.  

Long before that, two master works, Pine and Gilmore’s The Experience Economy in 1998 and Rolf Jensen’s The Dream Society in 2001, highlighted the changes both on a societal and service production level being produced in the global economy. We’re witnessing the birth of experiences being the axis of economic value, as the basis of the relationship between brands and people. Not in vain, but 69% of customers are more loyal to a travel firm that personalizes their experiences.

Therefore, when it comes to designing your value proposition and communicating it through your communications channels, try to differentiate yourself through unique experiences that surprise the consumer. How can you manage to do that? Design Thinking can be a useful methodology for driving innovation within your business. Its focus is:

  • People-centric.
  • Highly collaborative.
  • Iterative: fail quickly; fail early.

2. Apply emotional marketing to connect with your customers

When it comes to achieving unique, distinctive experiences, it’s vital you create moments that are relevant for the customer. Using emotional marketing, we can create stories, memories, and definitely, the perfect framework for the consumer to also be able to create your own story. Give your brand life and personality. Focus on making the perceived experience seem unique, transformative, and memorable. 

  • Create a convincing, authentic, honest narrative, and incentivize conversations around it (conversation).  
  • Let the history evolve and the consumer influence in its evolution making it their own (social brand: the brand belongs to your audience).  
  • Make it authentic thanks to the synergies with your audience (authenticity).

This way you’ll be able to:

  • Connect with people, places, and the present.
  • Create links your travelers can bond with.
  • Forge connections and personal vision-everyone can make it their own.  

 3. Automate everything you can automate

Another of the new tourism trends is the automation of tasks, especially those that are repetitive. Laundry, invoicing, predictive maintenance of facilities thanks to the Internet of Things and more. According to IDC, at least 50% of tasks will be automated, robotized, and absorbed by Artificial Intelligence by 2024. This idea has been one of the most talked-about topics at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) celebrated this month in Sevilla. Andrés Oppenheimer, a journalist at CNN and Miami Herald as well as the author of The Robots are Coming, assures that “technology will create more jobs than it will eliminate. In this sense, I’m more optimistic in the medium- to long-term but pessimistic in the short-term because we’ll have to reinvent ourselves, and in very little time.”

Robots, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, home automation, etc. will forcibly disrupt the tourism industry at all levels, causing substantial changes in its organization. Only 3% of companies have completed the digital transformation process they began; this change will turn into an indisputable competitive advantage factor.

4. Swap your CRM for Artificial Intelligence

CRM systems store, clean, and collect peoples’ data and allow us to gain information about our target market. That’s why 28% of Spanish companies have this type of software.

Despite that, the traditional CRM system is no longer valid. Moving from a conventional CRM to CRM tools that integrate with Artificial Intelligence will let you create connected experiences with our customers before they even become customers, from the moment they turn into a guest to their enrollment in the loyalty program. It is critical; therefore, we have tools that feed into Artificial Intelligence to derive much deeper conclusions. These are capable of managing a more significant amount of data and getting a more extensive read of the information that gives us another type of intelligence about our customer that we need to focus and segment our campaigns in a better way.

As an example of the power this technology can have, TUI Group CEO Friedrich Joussen explained during the WTTC in Sevilla that, thanks to this technology, they managed to find out for what products or services a little more their 20 million annual customers were willing to pay for.

These are the reasons you should change your CRM throughout this year:  

  • Customer loyalty, with a 5% increase in customer retention can, according to Bain & Co., increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
  • Qualify our CRM data by adding new value layers.
  • Expand the message, expanding from the platforms.
  • Humanizing the message and being transparent. 

 

5. Build trusting relationships

SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie declared at the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon that “companies that build trust and grow quickly because entire industries are facing a crisis of trust today.” He noted that, out of the 3,000 people they surveyed from the US, Canada, and the UK, the things that made people lose trust in a brand most were a poor product experience, at 75%; followed by a poor customer experience at 71%. Lurie also mentioned in this talk that 82% of consumers trust fellow consumers more than brands

Whether this be your case or not, this generalized scenario of distrust in the tourism industry could be especially critical. Users seek calm and guarantees when it comes to planning their vacations or getaways since they're not looking for anything to ruin the moment. How can you build this relationship?

  • Listen, ask, be proactive.
  • Establish complaint detection mechanisms.  
  • Act transparently.
  • Be honest.
  • Be quick.
  • Make your mistakes and apologize.
  • Reward loyalty.
  • Compensate for mistakes.
  • Act with commitment.
  • Create a brand community.
  • Lead.

These are just some of the latest tourism trends that, along with many others, will shape a new panorama within the industry. That’s why your company, whether it be a project, destination, or institution, regardless of your role in the industry, has to have these issues into consideration if it wants to lead in the coming future. They're moments of change, but they're also full of new opportunities.

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