Experiential travel is currently trending and, according to industry forecasts, is set to boom in 2017. Technology is giving today’s traveller more choice when it comes to making holiday choices and booking tours and travel products, but the information overload can also be overwhelming.
The experiential travel trend was born out of a desire for travellers to grasp moments. Documenting has become a way to “hold onto” these experiences. Here are tips on how to sell to the experiential traveller:
Information overload is changing travellers
With the rise of the internet, consumers have more choices when it comes to booking their vacation and choose travel products online. Travel apps, too, are offering assistance from: measuring sun exposure to tracking flights. The speed and ability to compare travel products is making global travellers savvier.
Love your social media
The way millennials and thirty-somethings are documenting their life has changed. Social media consumption has morphed communication into a strong visual format.
- Always include social media icons with a click-through link on your marketing material, websites, newsletters and email signatures.
- Travel companies need to cater to the experiential traveller by offering social media channels – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
- Include links to lodges, hotels, locations in your blog content or pre-departure client information booklet
Clients want a personal approach and often use direct communication on social media channels. “We get many queries from customers seeking advice in our Facebook inbox. It’s an immediate way to do customer service and to show that we care about passing on valuable information,” says Mareike Pietzsch, Content Developer at Jenman African Safaris.
Add a personal touch
Technology has taken away some of our immersive, real-time experience. On holidays, we no longer get lost or wander through a foreign city because we have apps assisting us. So, it’s important that you’re the personal touch that clients are looking for.
- Provide personal, excellent customer service
- Brief clients before they go on their journey
- Write and send personalised emails (be approachable, use their first name!)
Offer ‘real’ experiences
The experiential traveller wants to have experiences that feel real. This means that tour operators and agents need to offer activities and tour where clients can get involved. “We’ve noted an increase in clients wanting to give back to the places they travel to. For example, Pack for a Purpose is a great way for clients to help communities by useful supplies – like textbooks – in their luggage,” says E-marketer Jonathan Sloth-Nielsen at Hideaways.
- Inform clients about community tours, cultural experiences
- Stay informed about new projects where tourists can get involved to give back