Pent up demand for travel and the revenge of international leisure travel will be the flavour of the year 2022 for many holidaymakers. These travellers may well be making plans that will not be in character with their demographic or typical search and booking habits. With the pandemic changing perspectives, how ready are you and your CRM to respond to these changing consumer needs in real-time? As people again dare to travel, bd4travel explains how travel companies can be responsive to individual visitor intent and preferences.
Catch them if you can – Rebounding your business by capturing the Revenge Travel market
As the removal of restrictions continues to reopen the world, be aware that ‘Revenge Travel’ holidaymakers are tipped to make plans out of step with their assumed demographic and typical search and booking habits. With unprecedented behaviours from consumers, how can you redesign your sales and marketing strategies to best respond to individual visitor intent and changing consumer needs?
The rise of ‘Revenge Travel’
Pre-pandemic, a popular travel trend was the ‘Rebound Holiday’ – newly single people jetting off somewhere glamorous to fill Insta feeds with them living their best lives. While there’s little doubt this market will continue, it’s the trend of ‘Revenge Travel’ that we need to be most conscious of.
Too many weeks (or months for many!) spent at home is fueling wanderlust, but – as highlighted in Airport Technology – with health concerns “still high and travel requirements prevalent, many are likely to still be delaying their ‘extravagant’ adventures till 2022.”
With the UN World Tourism Organization estimating in August 2020 a downturn of between 58 and 78 percent of international tourists globally, every passing day represents an increase in pent-up demand amongst passport holders to get moving again.
Travel’s recovery can best be viewed like the controls of a large dam: a trickle of bookings come as governments encourage domestic and some international travel; the floodgates open on large policy shifts, such as the UK’s scrapping of its traffic light system, and the USA’s announcement of the return of UK and European travel from early November.
So how can you be ready with the product travellers want? And how can you respond to ever changing consumer needs? Competition for selling holidays – whether it’s package tours, flight only, hotel stays or ancillary items such as car hire and day excursions – will be fierce, with companies who have survived the downturn eager to secure sales and capture customers.
Responding to visitor intent
A great place to start as you ensure you’re ready for changing consumer demands is a strategic review of your sales and marketing infrastructure. Are you set up to respond to intent in real-time? Whether that’s the intent of your online visitors, the needs of those calling your call centre, or the wishes of email enquiries, you need to be able to react quickly and accurately to each individual if you’re going to capture bookings.
Understanding real-time user data is essential for the buying experience you’re providing – you can read more about why online experiences need to be seamless in our blog exploring the importance of real-time user data. It’s not just about using a customer’s name (although that helps!); users are sophisticated in their use of technology, and they expect companies to organically respond to their needs.
Treat each customer individually
User profiling is not a new concept, but AI and machine learning technologies elevate the importance and scalable usage of digital user profiles.
Using Artificial Intelligence to boost your ability to respond in real-time is key to servicing an ever-changing market. It can pick up on nuances in user behaviour that broader, historical trend analysis can’t, and respond in real-time. Small tweaks to your website’s content for each and every user can be made to great effect – from filtering out adult-only holiday options for those searching for a holiday for two adults and three children, to showcasing imagery that aligns with the user’s preferences. By reflecting your user and responding to their needs, you are more likely to capture their booking and increase your chances of driving incremental revenue.
At bd4travel, our technology is designed to help travel companies respond to real-time demand and help every user of your website find purchasing travel an enjoyable experience. As the Revenge Travellers take to the skies, will you be ready to service their varied portfolio of travel desires?