The Travel Buyer Journey is made up of steps that a person goes through from dreaming about a trip to sharing the travel experience. Every trip begins with a dream, is shaped around a purpose and personal preferences, and ends with experiences, which are shared with friends, family and online review sites.
If you want to attract a traveller to buy your products or services, it is important to understand each step of this process and how your business can help people along the buyer journey.
The stages of a travel buyer journey are:
The dreaming phase is the moment when people are dreaming about the trip, evaluating options and seeking information about destinations without a defined itinerary.
If you’re from the tourist trade, for example, tour operators and hotels, you can publish content about your city and region, history, curiosities, things to do, try to inspire the traveller to know the destination in which you are located. Use blogs and Instagram, share posts and stories from people who visited your location, use hashtags and keywords to be found on search results.
The same goes for travel agencies. You can create content about destinations, publish inspiring stories, experiences that your customers had in those places. Start attracting customers from the beginning of the travel buyer journey.
The planning stage starts right after choosing a destination. People already have a general idea of the trip and now is the time to refine their research for more focused and structured planning.
In the planning phase, more research is carried out such as airline tickets, accommodation, restaurants and tourist activities. You can attract travellers right now by creating content about the experiences the destination offers, itineraries, guides to typical dishes, accommodation tips, the best time to visit, etc.
If you’ve been present at the traveller’s planning stage, there is a great chance to be considered now. After all, the content of your company demonstrated that you know about the destination and helped the traveller with relevant information and in clarifying doubts.
On the contrary, you can concentrate your efforts in the phase where the traveller begins to make bookings. Often, tourists are already at their destination when looking for accommodation and tourist experiences, here you can create campaigns on Facebook using geolocation and paid ads on Google to offer special discounts.
At these times, your company needs to be on mobile. That means, having a responsive website and being registered in travel, tourism and OTA’s apps because during a trip many reservations are made directly by the mobile phone.
The long awaited moment has come, the journey. Some bookings can still happen at this stage, but ideally, the traveller has already made a reservation with you and now you need to show your customer that he made the right choice.
Be there and provide information to facilitate the journey. Travel agencies can send updates about the destination, travel upgrade options, amenities tips and suggest additional experiences such as typical restaurant guides, local events, cooking classes, guided tours, transportation tips, etc.
If you own a hotel or guesthouse, offer extra activities to your guests and make their experience at the destination even more immersive.
The last stage of the travel buyer journey is the moment when the tourist shares the experiences during and after the trip. The sharing takes place in different formats, posting on social networks, review sites, word-of-mouth to friends and family.
And this is great for your business!
Develop strategies for people to share the experiences your business provided, be it a guided tour, activities at the hostel, etc. Use reviews to strengthen your online reputation and share the content in your media to inspire other travellers.
Read also: How to deal with negative reviews
Tourism in Digital Marketing, how to reach the traveller’s buying journey
Digital Marketing brings many references that can be applied to the travel and tourism industry. During the travel buyer journey, you can implement several content marketing strategies to guide the person through this process, clear their doubts and convert them into customers. Check out our digital marketing tips and improve your online presence.