Travel with experiences at its core was one of 2018’s major travel trends says Booking.com. 2019 will take it even further. Almost 60% of travellers value experiences higher than material possessions. In 2019 we’ll see travellers trying many different and authentic experiences.
Where will your tourists sleep, eat, how will they shop? The focus will be on comfort and happiness, not on materialistic opportunities.
We travel the world to experience new cultures, discover new places and meet new people. As a destination marketer, you should focus on highlighting top experiences in your destination. Capture travellers’ attention by catering to one of their emotional needs.
Create a strong bond between potential travellers and your destination. Immerse them in fun and memorable experiences before they even reach your shores. Lots of people don’t know much about the cultures of other countries. Your focus should be on educating them in a fun way … try to evoke genuine positive emotions within them.
In the digital space, it’s all about genuine storytelling. Choose the right digital communication channels and tools.
Here are some tips:
1. Use various digital channels to connect with travellers and create an immersive experience.
After the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, Iceland was facing a national crisis but they managed to turn it around by changing the narrative. They launched the Inspired by Iceland website and some great campaigns that have been a joy to interact with.
The results? 60 million web hits, 22.5 million stories, 138.7 million pounds extra tourism revenue.
2. Showcase travelling experiences that only you can provide by using videos and images
The #SheepWithAView campaign’s goals were to inspire people to visit Norway … explore more of the country and exercise their “right to roam”.
There is an annual tradition of releasing millions of sheep to roam through open country. Locals strapped cameras to four sheep with unique personalities. Their “job” was to take the online audiences along on their individual journeys.
The videos reached over six million people. They inspired other Tourist Boards to get in on the action too.
3. Use creative content to give travellers a preview of your tours and activities. Make it interactive so you evoke the right feeling.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Transylvania?
From mystical places and legends to breathtaking scenery and medieval citadels, Harghita’s got all that and more. To help visitors plan their trip and discover hidden gems before they even reach their destination, Harghita County Council decided to create an immersive experience for their visitors and bring their local legends to life. By downloading an app, visitors can plan their itinerary using storytelling and over 50 authentic legends of lost treasures, valiant kings, knights and maidens.
To create their unique travel itinerary, visitors can browse through the list of legends, pick their favorite, get directions and visit the local attraction they find interesting.
4. Create fun experiences
According to the New Mexico Tourism Department, its residents are more likely to vacation out of state compared to residents in neighboring states. To promote holidays in New Mexico to residents of the state, the department created the “Catch the Kid” campaign that challenged residents to take part in a summer-long scavenger hunt to find the legendary Billy the Kid and win $10,000. Travellers could use a website and app to gather clues about the whereabouts of Billy the Kid. Throughout their hunt they would receive new clues as well as prizes, such as lodging or meal packages to keep the scavenger hunt exciting.