Post-Pandemic Travel: How Can Travel Brands Give Travellers What They Want?

Post-Pandemic Travel: How Can Travel Brands Give Travellers What They Want?
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, Jia Yoong Lee, Co-founder & Strategy Director at WE ARE FRANK, gives her top tips on how travel brands can give travellers what they want in a post-pandemic world…

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced states and countries to close their borders and travel to come to a near standstill, economists and experts have been speculating on travel’s “new normal.”

There’s been so much change. With new pandemic protocols such as biometric scanners, and accelerated digital transformations like robots welcoming guests at reception desks, the future is starting to look a lot like a sci-fi movie!

Though we have more questions than answers right now, there are ways travel companies can pivot to meet Aussie travellers where they are. Here, we break down 3 trends driving the motivation of today’s traveller and what travel brands can do right now to stay relevant.

  1. Prioritise your travellers’ health and wellbeing
  • According to The Black Dog Institute, COVID-19 has caused 25% to 33% of Australians to experience high levels of worry and anxiety. To put these numbers into context, the Australian Psychological Society says only a quarter of Australians are stressed in typical times.
  • Anxiety levels are likely going to rise, with Global Web Index reporting 84% of people thinking the outbreak is going to last at least 6 more months.

The good news? Travel offers a tried-and-tested mental boost. Research shows people who booked a trip are happier than those who made material purchases — and their happiness lasts longer. With so much ambiguity around travel, restoring confidence needs to be a travel brand’s first priority.

A great way to achieve this is by communicating your brand’s pandemic protocols and sanitation procedures. People want to know they’ll be safe when they travel with you, and that their health and wellbeing will be taken care of. To cement your authority and travellers’ trust, brands can conduct and promote interviews with medical experts or their employees about safety and hygiene.

Additionally, brands can look into how they can help travellers find a sense of calm and emotional wellbeing. Create content with self-care tips (how yogis meditate in the ashrams of India or how Swedes sweat it out in steamy saunas), or help keep their passion for travel alive with virtual travel guides and tours on social media (how’s the weather in San Sebastian today or what’s the gelato flavour-of-the-week in Italy?).

These efforts will nurture existing communities by feeding them the content they crave, and they’ll also help brands stay top of mind.

  1. Encourage travellers to keep it local
  • According to Tourism Research Australia, 80% of Australians plan to take a domestic trip within 12 months.
  • Data from travel site Kayak revealed Australians have searched for domestic travel more than international travel flights since May, a trend usually reversed.

Until travel bubbles take shape or a vaccine is found, domestic travel will be the only — or best — option. Since the playing field will be more competitive, travel brands will have to rework their unique selling points (along with offering travel deals where possible).

Cultural immersion has always been a strong motivator in travellers’ decision-making. And thanks to the recent bushfires, COVID-19 lockdowns and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, people are now more invested in showing their support for local communities.

At the start of the pandemic in April, Airbnb mobilised and launched their online experiences. Since then, top Airbnb experiences like ‘Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens’ in Lisbon to ‘Meet the Dogs of Chernobyl’ have pulled in monthly earnings of $20,000 to $150,000.

Travel brands need to take a cue from Airbnb and tell more enriching stories to hook audiences. Brands can explore producing teaser travel videos (quick trip snippets) or a meet-the-makers series (see Chef’s Table) to help travellers feel more immersed in the place they’re visiting — whether it’s in-person or virtually.

On the brand’s social media, consider introducing local partners in posts (think Humans of New York) or using the ‘support local business’ sticker across stories to show support in more meaningful ways. This will also inspire intrepid travel.

  1. Cater for small travel appetites

Due to social distancing, travellers will favour smaller bookings and more intimate experiences. The biggest opportunity now for travel brands to make up for the numbers is to identify appetites for the “right” experiences, like luxury small group travel.

An effective way to gauge this is by leveraging CRM databases to conduct surveys or running polls and live Q&As across social media to make data-driven decisions. If possible, incentivise your audience to take part with a reward — this not only keeps your community alive and engaged, but it also secures bums on future seats.

It’s never too early to start planning for travel trends

We don’t yet know when Australians will be able to dust off their passports and jet off for overseas travel. But history has proven the resilience of the travel industry, and there are plenty of opportunities right here at home, even with the Australian travel ban.

Whether the future is filled with more private spaceships or plastic bodysuits, being proactive and anticipating what travellers seek will help travel brands see more check-ins and fewer bounce-offs.

 

 

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Travel

Latest News

Study: Why The Australian Made Green & Gold Kangaroo Remains A Winner
  • Marketing

Study: Why The Australian Made Green & Gold Kangaroo Remains A Winner

The Australian Made logo has confirmed its international appeal, with new Horizon Consumer Science research finding 97 per cent of overseas consumers have a positive first impression of the iconic green and gold kangaroo. The research, which was carried out in six diverse export markets, found that more than two thirds (70 per cent) of […]

DDB Melbourne Wins Dulux’s Creative
  • Advertising

DDB Melbourne Wins Dulux’s Creative

Dulux has appointed DDB Melbourne as its sole creative and strategy agency following a competitive pitch. As a result of the appointment, the agency will lead strategy and creative for Dulux’s Decorative paints and coatings portfolio of brands, including Dulux, British Paints, and Berger. Dulux GM of Marketing, Strategy & Growth, Richard Hansen said: “Previously […]

ME Bank’s Candice Ayad: Leaders Of The Future Must Show Empathy, Vulnerability
  • Marketing

ME Bank’s Candice Ayad: Leaders Of The Future Must Show Empathy, Vulnerability

Candice Ayad has worked with strong, powerful women leaders. But they lacked two fundamental qualities in their leadership, which, she says, will be critical within businesses going forward. The Women in Media Awards, presented by Are Media, are just days away, with the best of Australian media set to be recognised and celebrated for their […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Five Values For Business Success
  • Opinion

The Five Values For Business Success

Here's a serious business article that hopefully ticks B&T's quota box for serious business articles.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Is B2B Marketing Missing Its Emotional Touch?
  • Media

Is B2B Marketing Missing Its Emotional Touch?

B2B marketers could learn a thing or two from their B2C colleagues, argues WP Engine VP APAC sales Mark Randall in this guest post. It surprises me how many B2B organisations are not quite hitting the mark when it comes to reaching their audience. When talking directly to businesses, many brands are missing an opportunity […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Burger King Trials Reusable Packaging
  • Media

Burger King Trials Reusable Packaging

Here's a top initiative from Burger King that does kinda sound like a slightly tedious Craig Reucassel documentary.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine