Without question, global travel has changed, from international travel destinations to Convention and Visitor Bureaus pivoting to address the pandemic. Yet as vaccines become increasingly available, many tourism leaders have been able to return to 2019 numbers and to even exceed them.
The path to doing so requires renewing consumer interest and instilling trust in the safety of the journey. And the days of a print ad being enough to stoke excitement in a luxury resort are long gone. Tourism marketing and advertising to luxury customers calls for content unique to your brand, engagement on a personal level, and cultivating organic growth rooted in sharing your purpose.
Here are five keys for marketing and advertising upmarket destinations in today’s shifting landscape.
Augment Your Marketing
Offering customers engaging interactive content makes a wonderful first impression when the experience is deeply rooted in the brand. AR&VR allows you an opportunity to reach consumers anywhere with the opportunity to glimpse what a visit may provide. With costs for producing such content on par with video production, this channel should see wider integration in the seasons ahead.
Highlight Your Great Outdoors
Trekking has come seemingly out of nowhere as a leading travel trend. Emphasizing a region’s outdoor offerings taps directly into people’s desire to experience a journey that is the opposite of being inside four walls. Open spaces and the chance to connect with local food and culture should move to the top of the list of highlights to promote. Destinations without an outdoorsy offering have also found success pivoting to offer traditionally indoors events al fresco.
Drive market marketing has paid huge returns for many regions while air travel has been curbed. Localism will certainly continue to trend upward for years to come as people find comfort in staying relatively closer to home. Helping customers discover more hidden gems within their own part of the world can help drive business.
Building trust with your customers is about offering them timely, transparent updates on health and safety status and the measures taken to mitigate risk to travelers and staff. Regions that have handled the pandemic well should not be shy about sharing it. And destinations facing more difficulties can outline what is being done to improve performance and ensure a safe journey. Crafting the messaging and including it subtly across channels can go a long way.
Build to the Future
It’s important to shift focus not on short term goals but on building for the years ahead. To boost short-term sales, it makes sense to offer entirely flexible schedule changes, so customers feel safe paying now should they be unsure about air travel in the months ahead. But if ever, now is a time to pivot position if need be and align your business for future growth. Surely tough decisions have been made, yet a few more may be required to dial in everything from branding to targeting consumers to best utilizing every channel.