The world’s travel industry is being urged to identify and focus on their place in the evolving customer journey, particularly during when travel starts recovering from COVID-19.
With the introduction of technological advancements, and increased demand for immediate answers, the customer journey, which was once linear, is now more sporadic and unpredictable.
Within the travel industry, the customer journey follows the dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing stages. However, many travel marketeers are unsure of where exactly their brand fits and what its unique purpose is, resulting in wasted marketing efforts and resources, and lost customers.
Farhad Divecha, Managing Director and Founder at AccuraCast, said: “While in some respects, the travel industry is incredibly progressive and forward-thinking, many travel brands are still in the dark about the details of the all-important customer journey.
“In many cases, a full customer journey audit is required in order to make informed decisions moving forward. Marketers also need to assess how, when and why current customers are attracted to them. They then need to consider how this should be reflected in their marketing to attract new customers, at the right time, in the right place, using the right platform, rather than becoming lost in the noise.
“This is so important now, more than ever. It’s no secret that the travel industry has suffered tremendously in recent months – brands should now use this time to reassess, get to know their customer and move forward stronger than ever.”
Research shows that last year, 16% of people booked a holiday with the help of a chat/messenger on a website or via social media, however, now more than ever people are relying on the expertise and security of booking with a travel agent – but for many their holiday journey starts long before they make the actual booking.
There is a growing number of different ‘touchpoints’ and avenues at the public’s disposal, making the need for identifying exactly where a brand’s services are required even stronger – for instance, most prospective holidaymakers look online at the latest news to check where the FCO deems ‘safe’ to travel to and what requirements are needed to travel, i.e. a PCR or antigen Covid test.
It’s important that travel businesses reach the customer via the medium of online marketing as soon as possible.
Paul McAreavey, Events Manager at Northern Ireland Travel News said: “The travel trade can use Northern Ireland Travel News in numerous ways to get their message to the Northern Ireland Public – we have 30,000+ monthly visitors to our website as well as more than 12,000 subscribers for our weekly travel e-zine – this is an audience directly interested in travel news, travel updates and holiday reviews and features – so the ideal audience for trade to get their message across to a targeted unique audience. More importantly the Northern Ireland market come to us for the latest FACTUAL news, so they are kept up to date on where is safe, vaccines, testing and so on.
“We have a wide range of online marketing tools on offer, from website posts, blog posts, social media campaigns, weekly e-zines and new for 2021 our virtual holiday shows.”