Travelling after COVID-19 is something we’ve all been waiting for, but are marketers ready for a very different world?
As vaccination efforts worldwide continue to grow, returning to a somewhat normal world and travelling is slowly becoming more and more of a possibility every day now.
As this possibility becomes a reality, it’s important for marketers, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industry, to understand what potential travellers are looking (and searching) for online and what trends to look out for.
The very fact that global searches for “where to travel” and “can I travel” are nearing all-time highs suggests that people are optimistic about leaving COVID-19 in the rear-view mirror and exploring once again.
However, while searches are on the up, frighteningly, just a mere 9% of tourism marketers believe their businesses are entirely ready for what travel will look like after in COVID-19.
Visiting people, not places
While the possibility of international travel might still seem a fair way off, throughout COVID-19, people have been searching for ways to scratch that travel itch by exploring their own backyards.
However, as more and more people receive their vaccinations, people are beginning to look for ways to visit their family and friends. In fact, according to new research from Google, the most common motivator for people to travel right now is to visit their family and friends.
This makes perfect sense. While some have been lucky enough to live in countries that COVID-19 hasn’t hugely impacted, others have been unable to see their family and friends in person for some time now. Marketers in tourism and hospitality expect to see a huge marketing trend based on the theme of reconnecting.
Socially distanced travel options
While the world is certainly optimistic about travelling after COVID-19, that optimism is met with equal parts realism. In terms of COVID-19, things may be looking up; however, it’s far from over. That’s why 50% of travel marketers expect tourists to prioritise socially distanced options until, at least the end of 2021
As marketers in the tourism and hospitality industries, you should consider what socially distanced travel options you can offer potential travellers.
How can you, as marketers, create a sense of safety and hygiene for travellers who choose to visit your destinations? While people may be hanging out for the days of large events and festivals, travellers aren’t looking for those types of large gatherings right now. Keep the focus on private experiences for now.
People care about sustainability
If there’s one positive to take away from COVID-19, it’s certainly the emphasis it has placed on the need for more environmental sustainability. This is definitely the case for travelling after COVID-19.
We all know just how big of an impact travelling has on the environment. Much like socially distanced travel options, you should be considering what kinds of environmentally-friendly experiences you can offer potential travellers. In the wake of COVID-19, people are far more likely to choose a destination and experience that is really making an effort to look after the environment.
As a matter of fact, 42% of travel marketers already believe that environmental responsibility will become an increasing travel need in the years to come.
As tourism and hospitality marketers, part of your job is to keep your ear to the digital ground and following trends. Everything from keyword research to simply spending some on social media will help you be a better marketer and be prepared for returning to travel after COVID-19.