As the travel industry looks to bounce back, a few trends have begun to emerge for any travel business, destination and organization to consider. Those looking to accelerate the return of their customers should consider these trends and how they can be applied to their own marketing and PR initiatives:
- Shorter Planning Windows are the New Normal – According to Forbes, last-minute trip planning is the new normal. What was averaging 30 days in January 2020 has now dipped to an average 6-7 days, according to TravelPulse. Booking incentives and value-added offers geared toward short-term travelers will speak directly to the profile of today’s consumer. Looking for a last-minute occupancy boost? Do a last-minute deal! It’s not too late!
- Customers Expect Flexibility – Heavy restrictions and inflexible policies could alienate customers. Policies and programs need to be straightforward and considerate of today’s challenging times. While travel PR pros won’t miss having to figure out how to articulate a mouthful of disclaimers, it’s important to highlight the flexibility packages and offers provide travelers. Simply Put: Keep it flexible. Keep it simple.
- Self-Care Trending – One way to resonate with travelers today is to underscore the message of self-care and how it can be realized in travel. From a good night’s sleep to a good re-charge, travelers can be lured by appeals to their personal and emotional well-being. Courtyard-view suite packages, in-room sleep amenities or standard guestroom features like an embracing mattress…Work with your customers to highlight value-added services and packages or hotel features which speak to this need. Think buzzwords: relax, re-charge, escape, unwind.
- Drive Market is Your Target Market – Local, drive, short-haul vacations are on the rise. People are looking for a quick, no hassle getaway. Don’t underestimate the power of staycations or overnight offers. Don’t overlook the neighboring city, even county.
- Cleanliness and Safety Continue to be Key – We are in a changing time where today, the frequency of wiping down elevator buttons and light switches far outweighs attractive amenities and services. This isn’t old news and certainly isn’t a message to quietly let go by the wayside. The importance of communicating your cleanliness protocols and finding opportunities to reiterate it – though not overstating it – will continue to remain a top priority.
Make sure your marketing and PR plans incorporate recent trends and be ready to make sudden shifts in these rapidly changing times.