The return of international travel is getting closer each day. In this piece, Alix Simpson, VP, Customer Success APAC at Partnerize, shares her advice on how travel marketers can balance their short and long-term objectives.
After more than a year of global shutdowns, domestic travel in Australia was slowly but surely getting back on its feet. Sadly, due to outbreaks and ongoing lockdowns in major Australian cities, the travel industry has once again been disrupted.
Earlier in 2021 provided travel marketers with a preview of what they can expect once travel restrictions have eased. As roadmaps out of lockdowns are announced, travel marketers are strategising their marketing efforts in line with a new world of travel. Although we can expect great demand to resume, consumers may not necessarily be loyal to the brands they used to be.
As travel marketers, now is the time to act to ensure your brand is front and center when consumers are booking. How do you navigate this, being mindful of both short and long-term objectives, and really putting the consumer at the center of your strategy? Partnership.
Getting in Front of the Right Customers
Partnerships are a very effective tool for today’s travel CMOs. The channel offers greater flexibility and value and with the right partners, brands have opportunities to upsell, increase profitability and align with brands whose customers are already spending.
And the fact remains that just because consumers are spending on travel, doesn’t mean they are spending with you. Being able to work with partners who offer strong audiences to you, means your brand can be front and center when someone is ready to make a travel purchase. Aligning this branding with incentives that help you achieve your goals, whether that’s overall revenue, margin or even moving distressed routes or destinations, make partnerships the most effective tool in your marketing mix.
If we should see travel bubbles reopen, such as the Australia and New Zealand travel bubble earlier this year, savvy partnership marketers can work with partners to promote the travel route while also ensuring your message of trust and flexibility for change is shown to consumers.
Support Distressed Inventory
Another area that’s been interesting for domestic travel, is that some areas are booming, whilst others are struggling to get back on their feet – particularly city centers. This provides a great opportunity to work with partners who can offer stronger incentives to both the consumer and the partner, to help direct people to book in these areas, and effectively help you move “distressed inventory.”
The resurgence of travel in Australia is a welcome and much-needed boost for the industry and regional economies, but this is just the beginning. It‘s expected that international travel will resume sometime in 2022 and brands need to be thinking about their strategy and approach now. Brands have to secure partnerships today in order to be in front of a global audience when the international travel restrictions are lifted.
The benefits of partnerships within the travel industry are key not only to capitalise on the rich environment of today, but to position brands for long-term success.