EyeforTravel recently identified five top travel trends for 2012 for marketers and business owners to pay attention to. The most striking one in our opinion is that "understanding, influencing, differentiating and delighting a customer during all stages of the travel experience will be the key to survival." This is where we think social and mobile converge to bring you opportunities before the trip (how can you use these platforms to engage potential clients, sell your unique value, prepare their expectations, and get them increasingly excited about the experience), during he trip (how to utilize these platforms during trips to give added value to the experience, or simply allow your travelers to use them at their will), and after the trip is over (encouraging continued interaction and social sharing to remind of the positive experiences and amplify word-of-mouth marketing).
There are a number of ways to do this. Do you choose Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest or Google Plus? Do you throw your energy into all of the above? VisitBritain, the national tourism agency for Britain, has certainly used Facebook to innovative advantage. It has used the channel in a range of ways including to seed commercial partner offers, amplify VisitBritain.tv videos, share amazing images, deliver ‘buzz’ content, engage with people touring Britain, inspire people to experience all the country has to offer and engage with them once they have returned home in the hope they will share.
“There is so much you can do on Facebook it really is a marketer’s dream channel where everything is driven by user-insight and interactions,” says Philip Taylor, head of digital, VisitBritain.
The article speaks about the likely role social media evangelists will take in travel marketing. Another key takeaway is the increasing complexity in travel search and the movement towards personalization and socialization:
“Search will become more personal, more social and most importantly, more relevant,” stresses Ali Yilmaz, head of Travel, Google Southeast Asia.
For Google, what this means is that you will start to see personal results. When you search for ‘hotels in Ho Chi Minh City’, for example, you might see a colleague’s thoughts about about a hotel on a review site, a college friend’s pictures on a photo website or a business page of a local Vietnamese Travel Agency on Google Plus. So search results will become more personal, more social and most importantly more relevant.
To learn more about these developments or see the other three predictions, read the entire article on EyeforTravel.