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Travel experiences are growing faster than the travel market. Whether or not you’re in the experiences business, this is an outstanding opportunity to grow your audience.

The customer journey of travellers

According to a collaborative study by Greenberg and Google, 12 weeks before a trip people search for experiences three times more often than for hotels and eight times more often than flights.

A man photographing dozens of hot air balloons in a picturesque mountain scenery.

Everyone travels so we won’t dwell on the customer journey for too long. Everything starts with the dream of an ideal travel destination. This is when travellers are the most “vulnerable” to brand exposure.

Associating your brand with the potential customer’s dream trip will give you a huge head start on the competition. Most businesses in the travel industry know this. They include travel tips in their offers, brief schedules of popular events in the location, and so on.

But they’re missing out on opportunities that a bespoke business website opens up.

Content marketing for the travel industry

In one of our previous articles, we have mentioned that content marketing goes head-to-head with premium services. The prime examples were, you guessed it, from the travel industry. One of them included an airline, and the other was a business lounge in the Hong Kong airport.

People browse their dream destinations months in advance. It’s up to you to keep your brand in front of them during this period.

Creating captivating content is one way of achieving that. Working with a content strategist or your web agency, you can identify popular, uncontested topics related to your services.

Sometimes travel sites offer vague descriptions and place their trust in user reviews. You can create articles that are much more thorough than your competition’s. If your blog posts offer more value, you have a shot at outranking even the biggest brands and getting others to link to your site or share it on social media.

Travel website features

There’s much more to a business website than just creating content. A professional site enables you to:

  • write articles about experiences directly connected to your services
  • build a mailing list to promote the right content at the right time – January, for example, is the perfect time to send out a newsletter about cruises
  • segment your mailing list based on the preferences to deliver personalised content
  • create interactive maps linking to your content about tourist attractions
  • collaborate with small experiences providers to sell tickets through your site

Depending on your budget, bespoke functionality can even go as far as creating interactive tours and soon, Chrome AR might take it to another level.

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Travel searches on mobile devices

Globally, people spend more time online using smart devices rather than desktops. That’s not just because of mobile-heavy markets like Asia. We spend so much time on the go – including travelling – that our phones and tablets are more and more appealing.

Sitting in front of your computer at home researching travel destinations definitely isn’t uncommon, but you know what’s better?

Doing it on a slow day at work or while commuting. And you guessed it again, you would be using your phone for that.

Whether it’s daydreaming on public transport or looking for tourist attractions on-site, a poorly optimised mobile website will create a negative image of your brand.

Experiences aren’t just a travel marketing trend

We travel because of these experiences. They’re here to stay.

The global tours and activities market is projected to grow to $183 billion by 2020.

Whether you’re renting rooms or running a travel agency, focusing on experiences might feel like tapping into a whole new market.

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Originally published Aug 29, 2019 10:45:59 AM, updated May 8 2024.

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