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Marketing

Published April 3rd 2014

Report: Social Media and the Travel & Hospitality Sector

Do you remember going into a physical shop to decide where to go on your next vacation? Can you think back to when you’d need to wait for plane tickets to arrive in the post, and forgetting them would mean you couldn’t board the flight?

Somehow, somewhen, things changed.

It’s fair to say the way we travel and go on holiday/vacation is gradually becoming more and more like Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘s trip to Mars in Total Recall.

But if you’re a brand operating in the tourism sector, what on earth are you supposed to do? How do you make sure your company remains relevant to the radically changing holiday-making, vacation-taking public?

Airlines, travel agents, hotels, accommodation providers, theme parks, cruise operators, summer camps and other subsectors of the industry: listen up.


Download the full report


Standing still and relying upon established best practices is no longer enough.

To adjust to the market-shaking effects of Expedia, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor upon the subsectors outlined above, organisations need to be working on innovative ways to meet evolving and demanding customer expectations.

We’ve identified three key stages to the customer tourism journey: before, during and after.

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From researching trips prior to travel to the actual trip experience, and on to the post-trip behaviour, customers are engaging in three key stages of their vacations.

A Facebook picture of friends on vacation, TripAdvisor reviews, BuzzFeed articles of top travel destinations; the list of influences upon those inspired to travel vary greatly.

B The punctuality of the flight, the speed and quality of the customer service, the cleanliness of the rooms, the amount of legroom; the volume of contributing factors to the customer tourism experience is practically infinite.

C Finally, the reaction and advocacy shared by those following travel experiences via disgruntled tweets to airlines, positive reviews on Yelp, Facebook posts to friends, advice posted to consumer forums; each of these helps cement the reputation of brands in the tourism sector.

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We’ve conducted a lengthy piece of research into some of the ways brands could, should and are using intelligent application of social media to get ahead in this industry.

In the recently-released report, we’ve outlined:

  • The unique changes, challenges and opportunities facing the travel and hospitality sector in 2014
  • The current reputation for the industry and emerging trends
  • How businesses, such as airlines, can better comprehend consumer perception: are they perceived as prestige brands, or are they more closely associated with good value?
  • Are customers willing to pay more for a better experience, and if so, by how much? What can airlines and other companies do to optimise the customer experience and justify price premiums?
  • What specific aspects of your brand’s offerings are being discussed most, and what is the flavour of conversation about them?
  • Where are customers most frequently talking about your brand, and perhaps more importantly, your market?
  • What role does social customer service play in making customers happy and boosting brand reputation?
  • What efficiencies could customer service teams make when speaking to consumers?
  • How review sites have disrupted a number of subsectors, and what leading brands are doing to capitalise upon that
  • How new business, new leads and new partnership opportunities can be identified through social data
  • The basics of monitoring for potential crises, and the best practice for eliminating them before they escalate
  • How smart marketers are listening to customer reaction to marketing campaigns in real-time, and adjusting accordingly
  • What role measuring buzz plays in tracking ROI of marketing spend, and the clever ways you can refine such data to get more meaningful results

You can download the complete report, for free, to get an in-depth understanding of all of these bullet points and more. We’d love to know what you think.

 

Download the full report


 

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