11 Mar 2021 Business Insights

How Can the Travel Industry Win Back Tourists?

The UK government has released a roadmap out of lockdown, and it could mean holidays abroad from as early as May. The end is in sight, and travel brands can’t start thinking about their next moves to get the travel ecosystem fully functioning again.

But just how do you get back to business as normal, or at least as close to normal as possible? It all starts with winning back tourists. Even though there will be plenty of pent-up demand, not everyone will be eager to book their holidays abroad. As a travel brand, however, you can get them feeling confident about their next holiday.

Here’s how…

Increased engagement online 💬💬💬

The vaccine rollout has so far been an enormous success in the UK, and it’s given us all hope for normality by the summer. As a travel brand, you can start to exercise cautious optimism with your audience, engaging them and getting everyone excited about travelling again.

Think about running something like a virtual event to get people’s attention. Use it to inspire travel, along with fun and informative information about going on holiday. Doing so can get people in the right spirits to start thinking about trips to the beach and city breaks all over again.

You can also produce content that offers value to your audience, such as how to stay safe while travelling during Covid and how Brexit may affect travel. By showing that you’re at the forefront of industry changes, you can evoke more confidence from your customers and position your brand as a leader in the travel space.

Environmentally-conscious travel 🏖️

An increasing number of travel brands are doing their part for the environment, such as offering green solutions. These actions coincide with the huge consumer demand for change. You can play your part, too, showing customers how you’re thinking about the environment.

Whether it’s supporting locals through tourism or being more transparent about climate change, you can do all sorts of good and raise more awareness. For example, the GoldenEye hotel and its partner have launched a dive shop for locals and guests to take part in replanting the country’s reefs.

By highlighting these kinds of initiatives, you help increase awareness with your customer base for better overall relations. Sustainability will be one of the hot talking points when travel resumes, and you have the chance to lead the conversation.

Implement flexible travel payments 💳

Flexibility is the name of the game in the aftermath of Covid. We’re already seeing travel brands offer flexible policies on travel dates and destinations, as well as more freedom for how holidaymakers pay for their trips.

Using solutions like Fly Now Pay Later, you can provide a seamless checkout experience by removing friction and eliminating hesitancy. It will provide more confidence to customers who may want to book a holiday but are unsure about committing to large sums of money in one go.

Digitise processes 🌐

Along with offering flexible payments, the ability to adapt travel plans with ease should be at the forefront of your communications. Many people will be reluctant to book holidays in fear of Covid setbacks that could scrap their plans.

Therefore, making it seamless for customers to change plans via an easy-to-navigate online process can help raise confidence. Research from digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient found that in the third week of March 2020, the average wait times for customers were over two hours.

While we might be out of the chaos of early 2020, having digital options for customers without them needing to wait for hours on the phone can have a positive impact. Brands can streamline their operation and digitise processes, giving more power to customers in the process.

Understanding customer mindset 🤔

Much of the country is desperate to go on holiday again, but not everyone thinks the same way about post-Covid travel. Demand evolution will play a significant role once we start travelling again, with traveller preferences and behaviours shifting toward more familiar and predictable destinations.

Expect a surge of demand for destinations in Europe, such as Spain, Portugal and Greece, while it might take a little longer for the desire to jet off to far-flung places to return. Getting under the bonnet of your customer’s thoughts to understand their travel patterns will aid you well in winning back their business.


Getting ready to travel 🧳

With a few tweaks here and there, you can be ready to welcome customers back with open arms and allay any fears they could have over travelling post Covid. The result will be better overall operations and increased bottom lines as the nation gets its mojo back when it comes to going on holiday again.