The change in traveler behavior has generated the need for adaptation on the part of tourism businesses. Understand why your tourism company needs to go digital
Surely, you have heard about the digital transformation that tourism has been undergoing and that has been enhanced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
To put it simply, tourism’s entry into the digital age is nothing more than the adoption, either by companies or travelers, of digital tools to prepare, organize, control, and enjoy a travel experience.
Now you may be asking yourself why your travel company needs to go digital. To answer that question, you need to understand that the digital transformation in tourism is driven by changes in traveler behavior. And it didn’t start yesterday.
This is a process that has been going on for years with the emergence of new digital tools and has intensified with the growth of mobile technologies. The use of cell phones has made it easier to search for information about destinations and has brought convenience in contracting tourist services. On the other hand, it has forced tourism companies to adapt to the digital era.
And this is the main reason why your company needs to go digital: because your customer is online.
First of All, Understand The Digital Traveler
But how do you know where to find your target audience? How to make your tourism company visible in the online environment? The answer is simple: invest in digital marketing.
Once a strategy option for tourism businesses, today digital marketing is essential for the survival of companies in the sector. Through online techniques and tools, it makes the traveler of the digital age come to you.
The first step in any digital marketing strategy is to understand who your target audience – or persona – is. How can your tourism company communicate with the traveler if it doesn’t understand them? And if you can’t communicate with them, how can you attract them?
So you need to understand the changing behavior of the digital age traveler. Known as traveler 4.0, the new tourist is fully connected and more demanding about the offer and quality of service.
In general, they search for information about destinations online before looking for tourism services. They look for reviews from other travelers, consume all kinds of audiovisual material, and compare offers.
A first classification of the types of travelers in the digital age can be made based on the study of generations and their consumption habits, especially regarding technology.
The Baby Boomers Generation is formed by those born between 1945 and 1964, that is, people over 60 years old. Generation X comprises those born between 1965 and 1984 – aged 36 to 55.
Then there is Generation Y, also known as Millennials, made up of people born between 1985 and 1999, aged between 21 and 35. Finally, there is Generation Z, or Post-Millennials, born after 2000, under the age of 20.
Each of these generations has different travel habits. For example, older travelers prefer to relax and experience new cultures during their trips. While millennials and post-millennials seek new experiences, adventure, and an active nightlife.
To serve any of these audiences it is necessary to study their customs, preferences, and understand how they seek tourist information and services. This is an important point in the digital marketing strategy for tourism companies.
From there, you can define in which channels you will position your business to attract the potential customer.
Strengthen Your Service on Social Networks
However, regardless of the type of traveler your travel company serves, it is essential to be on social networks.
This is because they are powerful communication channels with the most diverse audiences. In addition, they have become platforms for business, especially tourism.
According to the Digital in 2019 survey, conducted by the companies We are Social and Hootsuite, 66% of Brazilians are active on social networks. Of these, 89% said they use social media for business.
More than that, your tourism company must provide good customer service on social media. What does this mean? Beyond the sale of services, tourism businesses need to understand social media as platforms for customer relations.
You need to know how to communicate on each of the social media to achieve audience engagement. Offer content, provide interesting images and videos, work on solving questions and problems. In short, make your presence felt in travelers’ searches.
Experiences Must Be The Focus of Tourism Companies in The Digital Age
By the way, another key point of tourism in the digital age is to understand that travel takes place both physically and virtually.
The connected traveler starts searching for information and hires travel companies online. And, when he travels, he shares his experiences on social networks, as well as evaluating each service used.
Therefore, tourism companies must accompany the traveler throughout this journey. Give attention, offer personalized service and support. Also value your customer’s opinion, ask them to evaluate your service and show concern for their satisfaction.
The positive evaluations can even be used as marketing tools for your business. As we have already mentioned, the traveler 4.0 seeks references from other clients before hiring a tourism company.
It is also worth mentioning that no criticism should be ignored. If you receive a negative comment or review, try to understand where the fault lies and offer solutions. This attitude will count points in your company’s favor.
How Your Travel Company Can Enter The Digital Age
For your tourism company to enter the digital era, it is necessary to adopt a series of positioning actions on the Internet. And digital marketing is the best tool for this.
But if you don’t know how to apply the outreach strategies to put your tourism business in the digital age, seek professional help.
By hiring a digital marketing agency, your tourism company will be properly positioned in the online environment and will have more chances of reaching the 4.0 traveler.
This is what Travel Media PR does, a strategic intelligence agency for tourism and travel companies. With a team of experts in digital marketing, it leads a series of projects aimed at leveraging tourism businesses and making them stand out in the market.
Digital Transformation in Tourism: New Tools
Every day new technologies are developed to make life easier for businesses and consumers. In tourism, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated some processes moving into the digital age.
One example is the online check-in and check-out implemented by many hotels to avoid physical contact. Tourism companies have also developed applications to facilitate services for tourists.
Another technology that has already been used by many travel agencies are chatbots – virtual robots that simulate the online service to users through automatic answers to frequently asked questions.
Other technologies that are being implemented by some tourism companies are virtual and augmented reality, for tourists to better understand destinations before traveling, and Big Data – or Business Intelligence – which is the use of data from previous trips or research tracks to suggest promotions and packages targeted to the interest of the target audience.