The travel industry has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as potential consumers are told to stay at home and avoid large gatherings. But these facts are certain:
- National spending on travel is up – 17% in one week per this July report.
- There are several travel options that are considered low- or low-moderate risk by medical experts.
These statistics illuminate some important points: People still want to travel, and there are ways to advise them to do it responsibly.
At GET Creative, USA TODAY Network’s in-house branded content studio, we create compelling branded content – articles, infographics, and videos that tell a brand’s story – and our data shows that customers are hungry to access travel and tourism content that helps them navigate their summer vacations during a time of turmoil.
Here are the messages that travel and tourism marketers must keep in mind:
1. Show them the money.
Many travelers right now are taking advantage of once-in-a-lifetime-deals to the destinations of their choice. One historic landmark provided members with a dramatic discount in yearly memberships and linked to a purchasing option. These links showed a conversion rate (or how many people clicked from the branded content to the purchasing landing page) of 11%. The standard for branded content hovers around 1.89%.
2. Provide options close-to-home.
Some wary consumers are skipping air travel (at the moment) but are taking advantage of staycations and road trips. One branded content series highlighted the many resorts available in town with links to special offers, and again showed tremendous conversion rates – some as high as 17%. Other travel and tourism companies offered detailed itineraries of the many social-distancing safe activities they had to offer and showed scroll rates (or how far people read) of 83%, with readers spending well over one-minute engaging with the content.
3. Give consumers peace of mind.
In the world of COVID-19, there are many unknowns. Inside the travel and tourism industry, it might seem second nature to understand travel restrictions or health recommendations that make trips safer. But consumers are currently juggling advice in every segment of their life – from where they shop to how they work. It is vital that travel and tourism companies provide examples of how they are keeping consumers safe and offering transparent information as it comes.
Some examples might include:
- The cleaning methods at a boutique hotel, from bathrooms to the lobby.
- The seating chart for an airline if it offers social-distance safe options.
- The outdoor activities offered at a destination, and how they can be enjoyed responsibly.
While the future of tourism is uncertain, the wanderlust of consumers is consistent – even if there are some additional boundaries that contain it. For marketers, it’s vital to meet people where they are, both in terms of their travel desires and their safety concerns, and offer them ways to explore responsibly.
For more information about how to reach your travel and tourism customers effectively, contact LOCALiQ or GET Creative, who can help you craft and leverage effective messaging that resonates with potential consumers.
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