Evolving travel and tourism marketing strategies in 2022
July 29, 2022
It’s always challenging to predict what type of travel will be most popular or which destinations will draw the most visitors in a year. However, 2022 offered far more complexity for marketing pros trying to meet the needs of travellers than past years.
Travel has been affected by ongoing changes in health guidelines and local restrictions, but also deep uncertainty from travellers themselves. In 2022, uncertainty continues to reign as consumers eye rising inflation. Over one-third of travellers surveyed agreed that recent inflation in prices caused them to cancel an upcoming trip, reports travel resource Destination Analysts in their latest The State of the American Traveler report.
Travel marketers were compelled to anticipate the needs of their visitors and offer more flexibility than usual to reassure people that their fears or questions would receive the necessary attention. Yet, even as some visitors hesitated, others drove spikes in experiential travel trends, some planning bucket list trips they’d been anticipating for years.
As the year unfolded, we had a chance to see how some of our predictions played out and if any of the marketing strategies we recommended would need updating heading into the end of the year.
In this blog post, we’ll explore:
Travel trends we’ve been watching in 2022
Six travel and tourism marketing strategies you can still try in 2022
Travel trends carrying on through 2022
Travel trends we’ve been watching in 2022
At the beginning of this year, we walked through what we saw forming in travel trends for 2022. We looked at experiential travel trends, tech travel trends, and how to navigate the needs of visitors as they began to return to travelling. Now we’re going to have a look at how travel marketing pros can make the biggest impact possible in the latter half of the year.
Here are trends we flagged at the beginning of the year to help travel marketing pros target their audiences for best impact:
Create meaningful experiences for travellers, not just getaways
Expect that visitors will want upgraded or bucket list trips after waiting to travel
Offer ways for people to experience local cultures
Stay on top of travel tech trends to exceed customer expectations
Most of these are still influential as travellers shift back toward trip planning and embracing travel again. Each region has had a unique experience through the pandemic, and certainly every individual. Marketers should expect that people will come back to travel when it feels right for them, but when they do, they want it to matter.
6 travel and tourism marketing strategies you can still try in 2022
Keeping an eye on trends helps you refine your audience targeting and messaging. It’s also critical to follow proactive strategies developed to address the needs of your market right now. As we’ve continued through the year, some elements have remained high on the priority list for travel marketers.
1. Anticipate visitor needs and offer timely updates
Travellers are feeling more confident about trip planning and booking tickets to get out of town, but they still need accurate information. Smart travel planning has always included a healthy amount of research, and 2022 was no exception. Expect that visitors will be checking for updates online and making sure they are prepared to travel safely to your destination.
2. Understand and manage customer uncertainty
You’ll still hear fears and uncertainty from those who are just getting back to travelling or booking their first trip. If you can show understanding and offer reassurances to soothe their worries, you’re more likely to win their trust–and their booking.
3. Create a compelling, valuable online presence
People go online to shop, browse, compare, and research their options. Travel tech trends show these are true for travel as well. This has been true for years, but customer expectations for engaging and memorable online experiences have grown. Travel and tourism marketers who invest in their online presence and tools that work in service of their customers are likely to win over more travellers and book more visits.
4. Provide customers as much flexibility as possible
While many of the early changes brought on by the pandemic have passed and some travellers feel confident about travel, many will still want to know what will happen if something goes wrong. Be prepared to answer questions and handle mishaps. Transparency, flexible policies, and grace in doling out customer service decisions will help you build and retain customer loyalty.
5. Showcase offerings that feel unique and customizable to visitors
Knowing customers want exciting and memorable travel experiences that feel worth the wait can help you develop new offerings for visitors. Travellers who have been stuck at home for more than two years want to plan trips that feel meaningful. Cookie cutter marketing campaigns aren’t likely to be as impactful as marketing that feels unique to each audience group you’re targeting.
6. Emphasize your value propositions to keep a competitive edge
As travellers gain confidence and come back to travel over the next months, they’ll have a broad range of options to choose from. Every tourism and travel company is working hard to attract visitors, and you’ll need to highlight ways you’ll add more value to their trip and help them create lasting memories.
Travel trends continuing on through 2022
While we’re not quite ready to make predictions for 2023, we are seeing commonalities that should help carry you through the rest of 2022.
One of the significant factors will be just how busy and taxed travel operators will be trying to meet customer demand. Long lines, delays, and a shortage of skilled workers will affect how fast you get to your destination, if you make your connection, or if you manage to travel at all. “If the projections are accurate, travel will be off the rails,” reports USA Today.
Here are a few other critical areas you can expect customers to care about through to the end of the year and into the next travel season.
Health and safety information regarding COVID-19 realities
Travel planning support via upgraded tech and better software and applications
Meaningful travel via local experiences
Sustainability initiatives such as carbon offsetting or minimizing their travel footprints
While the travel industry is still unpredictable, tourism and hospitality operators can use leading trends combined with effective marketing tools to attract new visitors and keep ahead of others in the market. From these, effective travel and tourism marketing strategies can be developed.
Ready to discover how Panomax Canada’s interactive webcam software could change your travel marketing this year?
Book a call with us to learn more about how we help you reach your customers with compelling, customizable online experiences.