With a global health crisis still extremely relevant to travel decisions, many who may have sought overseas experiences are looking for domestic destinations. With uncertainty about international travel and how to navigate changing protocols in the days (and sometimes hours) leading to departure, audiences are changing how and when they plan. Uncertainty increases the need for spontaneous travel decisions to be made, shrinking the research and decision-making process considerably.
More than ever, understanding how customer values and priorities are shifting – focusing on safety, cost-effectiveness, and more accommodating travel options—is critical to success. Especially important is understanding how your strategy for each stage of the decision journey supports your destination’s goals.
Reaching travel intenders during every stage of their travel planning journey couldn’t be more important than right now. Understand the stages from dreaming to booking, experiencing to advocating the destination to others, with this FREE E-BOOK.
Considerations for an Abbreviated Customer Journey
Put travel protocols, how-to’s, and rapidly changing content front and center on your website. There are unanswered questions and uncertainty on navigation our changing times, sometimes hours before departure or arrival. Finding this content easily is critical to a quality experience with your destination or brand.
The Planning Stage is shorter than ever before. Consider increasing the frequency you’re using to serve your audience branded messages. Are all the impressions identical? Greater brand recall can be gleaned when the look is consistent, but messaging varies. Develop itineraries that can be booked with a single transaction, or personalized online and purchased at once, reducing planning times and allowing travelers to manage their activity schedules from one online location.
Bring destination partners together to bundle services. Is your community known for theatre or live performances? Consider bundling pre or post-show dining with the cost of the performance. Is it known for outdoor activities? Consider how a bundle of one water activity and one land activity might round out a family vacation. Attracting guy’s golfing trips or a weekend getaway for couples? How can the most popular activities be bundled together with others that you know might have availability?
Deal Sweeteners might be just the thing for travelers to decide on your destination over another. Consider dynamic ads featuring late-stage discounting for accommodations or last-minute bookings.
Have a plan for post-visit communication. Market your hashtag strategies on-site so that travelers use them in advocating for your brand and interact with them once they’ve departed. Consider follow-ups that don’t look like “rate your visit” and instead drive person-to-person engagement and advocates for life.
We’re living in ever-changing times. The need for spontaneous travel decisions to be made is a reality for destination and attraction marketers. Design your marketing with a shrinking decision-making process in mind, and beat out other destinations for late-booking travelers.