The last few years have been undoubtedly tough on the travel industry. Review these tips (ensuring safety, prioritizing flexibility, and relevance) to ensure your strategy for the future takes unpredictability into account!
Pent-up demand due to safety concerns
This may seem obvious but we wanted to give it a special mention anyway.
Seasonality is out of whack. But one thing is for sure, there is pent up demand in 2022 that’s all about making up for lost time, seizing the moment and making every day matter. What were high/low/shoulder seasons have now drastically changed, and this situation is still evolving.
Many destinations are filling up on this high demand and will need to look to other revenue streams/upselling techniques to optimize sales. Yet, it could all come to a grinding halt if travel restrictions get heightened or a new wave of COVID is introduced (looking at you omicron). But generally speaking, more demand means higher rates, greater revenue and hence deeper pockets.
We expect that hospitality brands will stretch budgets to invest in their products and try to differentiate themselves for today’s new demanding traveler, with added bonuses which are accessible by integrated and comprehensive mobile apps. For example:
- online vacation planners
- on-property COVID testing facilities, and
- smart-room technology – all accessible by integrated and comprehensive mobile apps.
According to booking.com, the travel industry will continue to prioritize flexibility. Travelers rank reassurance that they won’t lose money (38%), the ability to cancel (33%), and ability to reschedule free of charge (34%) as the top three most important priorities. So, websites need to pivot and be geared towards driving bookings and rebooking.
Though this flexibility does pose a risk for planning purposes, we prefer to bet on sure revenue by guaranteeing a flexible booking (rather than never getting that booking at all!).
Relevance, relevance, relevance
Few things are more important than creating an ultra-personalized, relevant experience for your customers in this highly competitive industry.
But what does ultra-personalization even mean?
The goal is to create a relevant experience (not a creepy one). To give one example, our team at ad-machina can create 1,000s of personalized ads and landing pages in seconds. If a traveler is searching for a kid-friendly hotel that accepts pets, first they will be presented with a Google text Ad with language specific to their search. Once they click on that ad link, they will reach a landing page with information about the kid/pet friendliness of the hotel, alongside imagery related to that search.
This is how we achieve ultra-personalization (and relevance). You can learn more about it by checking out this video.
How to react?
Take a moment to reflect on how your travel preferences have evolved over the last two years. Surely there are some notable differences. Just remember that if you want to continue to attract travelers to your hotel, cruiseline, or rental car agency you must be flexible, ensure safety, and be relevant.
If you’re not exactly sure how to boost your travel sales in 2022 given all of the unpredictability, get in touch with our team. We’ll be glad to help!