High motivation to travel
For almost a year now very few travellers have booked or went on a holiday. It’s unsure when tourism will be back in business. The lack of perspective for the future makes the situation challenging. Travellers are cautious and need to regain confidence and trust before they will travel again.
Luckily, there still is a high motivation to travel. To explore new destinations and to go abroad. Many tour operators have noticed an increased activity on their websites, where travellers are looking for inspiration for their next trip. This is good news for tour operators. As soon as it’s allowed and safe to travel again, travellers will start booking.
In this article
Tips to stay top of mind
So, how do you make sure they book with you? And how and what will you communicate? Keep in mind that people will travel in the future and that marketing remains important. Focus on a balanced approach between inspiring, informing and understanding your target group in these difficult times.
This article gives you 5 tips to stay top of mind in times of COVID-19 and to make sure travellers book with you as soon as they are allowed to.
1. Be visible on social media
In general, travellers are active on social media. And when they don’t travel, they use social media as a source of inspiration for their next trip. In order to stay top of mind, you need to show up in your target groups timeline!
It’s important to consistently post on the social media platforms your target group is active. You want them to see your business and your offer multiple times a week. Also, don’t forget to also engage with them. Like their comments and answer all their questions!
Want to learn more?
Learn more about how travellers use social media before, during and after their trip in Rik’s article or watch the video below.
2. Always be transparent
The tourism industry is in pain at the moment. And travellers know this. Therefore, the best you can do is share your current situation with your travellers. If you’re struggling, what you are doing to make the best of it, and how they can support you!
Transparency equals trust. So, inform them about your business in these times (and after that obviously). Update them on your terms and conditions for rescheduling trips, changing the dates. Don’t hide these guidelines but be upfront with your target group and they will respect you more for it.
Create a special COVID-19 booking policy page on your website to inform your clients about your terms and conditions.
3. Inspire travellers with new content
As mentioned before, people are actively looking for inspiration for a travel destination as soon as they are allowed to book again. Use this time to create new content and to promote your offer. Share information about a new destination or experience or think about sharing tips how they can enjoy the holiday feeling from home.
Use this content on social media to reach your target group. Without relevant and inspiring content, you can be visible to the right people, but it won’t help you. Keep in mind their interests and social media behaviour to commit them to your business, so they will remember you later.
Want to learn more?
Learn more about how to create appealing travel content for travellers in Rik’s article.
4. Stay in touch via email
Even though social media has a lot of users, they can’t compete with the number of people that use email on a daily basis. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target group. If you already have built a mailing list, you have direct access to your target group through one email!
To stay top of mind, send them a regular newsletter to share your inspiring content. Also update them about the current condition of your business and the local situation in the destinations you offer. Share your plans and actions and have them look forward to the future with you.
Want to learn more?
Learn more about how to use e-mail marketing to connect with travellers in Rik’s article.
5. Stimulate travellers to book later
Everyone with a passion for travel, is longing for that moment when borders open again and they can go on adventures. In the end, you want your target group to book with you, when the moment comes. Play with their urge to travel by inspiring them to dream now but travel later.
Encourage travellers to book in advance. This way, your business already gains some income while you offer an early booking discount fee to your customer. Communicate this well, don’t ignore their concerns and manage clear and transparent guidelines for bookings during COVID-19.
Focus on your added value
COVID-19 causes many challenges for the tourism industry. In the end, it will pass, and people will start travelling again. When this happens, you have to make sure your target group has you top of mind. That they will book their first trip with you!
Make sure to not only focus on sales and extreme discounts. Focus on ensuring trust and relationships. The stronger the relationship, the more likely they will book with you. Emphasise on guarantees such as flexible switching between destinations and dates.
Inspire, communicate transparent and engage with your target group. Remember that a personal approach is key for your success.