When it comes to travel, the old days of taking a trip into the city to book flights and accommodation many months in advance is no longer the dominant trend. As such, tourism operators need to be prepared to invest some time and money into new forms of tourism marketing, to benefit from trends now and into the future.
Some of the changes afoot in the tourism industry include:
SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
More than ever people are able to do their own travel research using the internet and social sites such as TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google+. One of the benefits of social media is its ‘word-of-mouth’ aspect as users post reviews and engage in dialogue about their travel experiences.
It’s important to recognise that social media sites are based around online community and relationships. For airlines and other operators to be successful in this arena, they may need to invest substantial time and money into building good business models, rather than just using these sites as quick advertising platforms.
DEALS AND DISCOUNTS
Booking at the last minute and taking advantage of special deals is becoming more popular with travellers. For tourism operators, special deals may need to be seen more as a means of getting market attention, than as a direct money-spinner.
Travellers these days are starting to make more use of the web through mobile devices, such as smart phones or iPads. The good thing about mobile is that travellers are able to utilise it not only for the initial researching and booking, but also during trips to find accommodation and local attractions and activities.
A number of years ago, green issues were mostly the preserve of environmentalists and hippies. These days many regular travellers are interested in the green side of tourism, and they want to be sure that the providers they are using are environmentally responsible in their business practices.
THE CULINARY TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
Food is no longer just an incidental part of travel for many people. With travellers now seeking culinary experiences, it can become a major player in the decision-making process. Options may include food-and-wine trails, cruise-ship package deals that involve all-day feasting and cooking classes, or European experiences such as a French cheese tour.
Not everyone is a fan of the do-it-yourself app, and there may be a return to a desire for personalised service where travellers are given personalised help and attention in planning their tourism experiences.
Other trends may include an increase in the use of QR codes for quick access to travel websites, and the desire for web services such as free Wi-Fi in hotels.
In any case, the provision of quality services in terms of travel experiences and customer attention is likely to be just as important as it ever was.
– See more at: http://blog.martin.edu.au/index.php/travel-tourism/trends-tourism-industry/#sthash.IUCEDXxM.dpuf