With the holidays season in full swing, luxury travel and hospitality brands are ramping up their marketing efforts. With most affluent travellers now researching, planning and booking their holidays online, it has become essential for luxury travel brands to be present at the right time if they want to capture the right audience.
From dreaming to booking, the online customer journey provides indeed luxury travel brands with new avenues to engage their consumers across devices and channels. Mobile and social media, in particular, are playing an increasingly important role in the decision process of the affluents.
Younger affluent travellers are looking for original and authentic travel experiences. They want to explore new locations and experience different types of vacations.
These changes provide luxury travel brands with new avenues to inspire and influence affluent travellers at the different stages of their purchasing journey. But, research by Google found that the once linear purchase journey has now been replaced by a more complex booking process made of micro-moments.
In order to influence their customers’ decision, luxury travel and hospitality brands need to activate their marketing to the affluent travellers at four key moments:
1. Dreaming phase
When travellers are exploring new destinations and seeking new experiences, they will browse through their Instagram feed and seek recommendations from their community and social media influencers. Luxury travel brands can take this chance to act as a trusted source of travel inspirations.
2. Planning phase
Once travellers have decided on where to go and start looking at what to do and where to sleep, luxury travel brands should promote positive UGC, ensure they are visible across search and proactively manage comments on review sites.
3. Booking phase
Affluent travellers expect a seamless and frictionless booking process across devices when purchase their flight and accommodation. A consistent user experience across all devices is thus essential for luxury travel brands.
4. During the trip
Ongoing engagement is required during the holidays to surprise and delight the travellers on site. Seamless and shareable experiences are must-have amenities for affluent travellers.
With an increasing number of travellers, especially the Millennials and Generation Z consumers, preferring (travel) experiences over material goods, the luxury travel and hospitality industry is well positioned to benefit from more spending in the coming years.
But as those same travellers increasingly favour integrated travel resources and booking platforms, luxury travel brands will have to find new ways to stay relevant and engage their affluent consumers.
Winning luxury travel brands will be the ones embracing mobile, data analytics, and modern technologies to serve the affluent travellers through their entire customer journey.