I recently attended the Eye for Travel European Summit in London at the Hilton Tower Bridge where the overall theme, that every session seemed to fall back to, was that travel is all about experiences.
Up to 59% of Millennials agree that watching videos about destinations helps them in their buying process. This brings me to the "The Five Stages of Travel" and why it's so important for Travel Brands to integrate these stages into their communication strategy.
Stage 1: Dreaming. Travelers love to dream about their vacation. (This is where the videos come into play).
Stage 2: Planning. Travelers rely on the online space to plan travel.
Stage 3: Booking. Travelers are increasingly booking via the internet, with greater transparency and better options.
Stage 4: Experiencing. Travelers expect a more informed and collaborative travel experience, driven by the growing functionality of mobile devices.
Stage 5: Sharing. Travelers are sharing more about their own trips. This leads to more online content that will inspire others.
The task at hand for travel brands is to figure out how to target their customers through each stage of the Five Stages of Travel. This could be email marketing, social media, and blogging, which address the dreaming stage. Question is how to navigate and address the rest of the stages?
At the Eye for Travel event, the consensus was that Mobile is here to stay shaping the future of Travel. 53% of travelers have used a mobile device to find travel-related information. Travelers are spending more time on their mobile phones dreaming, planning, booking, and sharing.
As companies such as Apple, Google, Sony, and Samsung are driving innovation in the mobile space at mega speed, travel brands are strategically investing more and more time and effort into their mobile sites and apps. Viator, a TripAdvisor company, revealed that it had seen 90% growth in its mobile channels.
The travel industry is poised for significant growth in 2016. All in all, the Eye for Travel European Summit had great networking and superb content, and clearly demonstrated that there is a lot of opportunity!