6 Lessons to Learn for Your Tourism Business in 2022
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The 27th of September marks World Tourism Day, a day dedicated to highlighting the importance tourism plays in promoting and preserving heritage all around the world. In light of this occasion, I wanted to share 6 articles to feel cheerful about, and learn from, as we look ahead to 2022. From celebrating positive schemes to learning how to analyse your metrics, there’s something in here for everyone.
Let’s get started.
Here's this week's roundup:
Recovering Cash Flow Shortfalls Through Reputation Recovery
Has your tourism business experienced a bad review over the past 18 months, especially concerning refund policies?
Jon Munnery, partner at UK Liquidators explains in this article how to repair your tourism business’s reputation, re-attract holidaymakers, and make a financial recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
Due to the strict traffic light system governing much of the travel sector, tourism businesses need to act sensitively above all else. Acknowledging the frustrations of potential customers regarding post-pandemic travel, instead of acting ruthlessly, like so many online travel firms and airlines have.
Taking an empathetic approach to addressing potential customers’ concerns during this time, will add emotional value, establishing trust – which is crucial for retaining customers, as well as gaining new customers. This is also the perfect opportunity to showcase your Covid-19 flexible booking policy, providing further reassurance before they book a tour with you.
Here are 3 tactics Jon recommends to repair your reputation and make a financial recovery;
Track online chatter
Your social media business pages and review platforms offer invaluable insights about your tourism brand’s image that will either attract or repel potential customers. Testimonials are instrumental to drive your tour inquiries and retain customers, even bad reviews offer an opportunity to recover your reputation.
Need help constructing a reply to a negative review? I cover 8 tips to responding to bad reviews in this article here.
Placing customer service at the forefront of your strategy (if it isn’t already) and ensuring transparency will aid in bolstering your reputation, and minimise the chance of negativity towards your business online, and through word of mouth.
Honesty really is the best policy, and the majority of customers appreciate this, in my experience. Start as you mean to go on, by addressing any missteps you’ve taken so far, and what actions you have taken since to avoid those missteps in the future.
Be honest about your terms and conditions, instead of glossing over them, hoping customers won’t notice the small print.
Your treatment of customers going forward will be in the spotlight, as customers build confidence in travelling again.
A wrong step in the process of managing your online reputation could result in decreased organic traffic and trigger customers to turn to your competitors.
Top tip: Online trackers, such as the Which? Holiday Checker actively seeks out Covid-19 flexible booking and cancellation policies to help holidaymakers make informed decisions.
The relationship between your brand reputation and cash flow is intertwined, and if not managed correctly can eventually chip away at your company finances.
Are you still implementing your Covid-19 flexible booking policy?
5 Trends From Travel’s 2021 Summer Surge
“Although Covid-19 variants give rise to caution, the clear signs from our research are that travelers are keen and ready to explore again — including to places they weren’t considering earlier in the pandemic” – Wendy Olson Killion, senior vice president, Expedia Group Media Solutions.
The industry is on the road to recovery, as an increase in leisure travel bookings drives momentum. While we know there is no crystal ball that can clearly predict the future of the tourism industry, there are plenty of positive signs for 2022 to get excited about as a tourism business.
Expedia Group Media Solutions’ recently published its Q2 2021 Travel Recovery Trend Report covering the latest growth trends in the industry, shining essential light on how the full recovery will unfold.
Let’s dive into the 5 trends uncovered by this report…
Rising search volumes
Search volumes jumped up 70% compared to data from Q1, with 72% of travellers planning on travelling in the next 12 months. This demonstrates a clear desire to travel again.
So, what’s stopping travellers?
Use this as an opportunity to address potential customers’ anxieties before booking. highlight your Covid-19 procedures, and guide them through what to expect while travelling to your destination.
Lengthening global search windows
During the pandemic, travellers tended to opt for domestic short trips to avoid falling victim to rapidly changing travel restrictions abroad. Finally, the tide has turned. Searches with a longer window of 22 to 90 days in advance of travel dates accounted for more than 35% of searches in Q2. This is an increase of nearly 25% compared to Q1.
This offers encouragement for tourism businesses to steam ahead with marketing investment.
International travel gains momentum
As travel restrictions ease, 60% of consumers said they will be travelling within their home country within the next year, however, 27% also reported they would travel internationally. Furthermore, globally, searches for international destinations grew at a faster rate than those for domestic destinations during Q2.
Did you also know that 1 in 2 Americans are planning their dream trip as I write this?
Don’t sell potential customers a tour, or an experience, sell them their dreams!
Urban hubs make a comeback
Previously beaches and national parks reigned supreme with travellers seeking spatial escapes after months of lockdowns. Now the trend appears to be bucking as new cities entered the top 10 booking choices in Q2 2021, and existing entries moved up in ranking.
Winning cities were;
- Jeju City
- Mexico City
Growing demand for a sustainable choice
A topic I’ve covered a lot recently, but for good reason. Consumers indicate a strong preference for more eco-friendly and sustainable options. For many travellers, the pandemic shed new light on previous weighty environmental footprints. Moving forward, travellers are seeking to minimise their role in negatively impacting communities.
This article provides detailed guidelines as to how your tourism business can utilise this trend for success.
“The gradual recovery and rebuilding of the travel industry continued in Q2, and we’ll continue to track and publish these trends in the quarters to come…But what our research in Q2 also showed is that many travelers are looking for a changed travel industry to re-emerge after the pandemic — a message that all travel brands and operators should consider.” – Wendy Olson Killion
eDreams Odigeo Bookings are Exceeding Pre-Pandemic Levels
Source: Phocus Wire
A win for one is a win for all – an encouraging sign that recovery is happening and there is light at the end of the tunnel even for those still suffering the negative impacts of the past year and a half.
eDreams Odigeo says that bookings for June 2021 surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with July and August accelerating past 2019 figures even further. Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams Odigeo also claims that their Prime subscription service has actually grown by 50% over the last 3 months, and has forecasted to meet their goal of 2million a year earlier than predicted.
We have continued to see a rapid and strong turnaround in trading, despite some travel restrictions still being in place. We have surpassed pre-COVID booking levels for the last 3 months, with August being at an impressive +27% vs Pre-Covid-19 levels. We have extended the outperformance from last year and taken further market share after a very strong start in the first quarter of the current year.” – Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams Odigeo
Dunne credits eDreams success to their “superior strategy, product, proposition and operational excellence”.
The small print:
- Net income was reported as a loss of almost €24 million compared to a loss of €24.4 million year on year.
- The company’s liquidity position as of the end of July stood at €136 million.
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How to Analyze Your Instagram Reels' Performance
Source: Social Media Examiner
Are you using Instagram reels as part of your content strategy? Then you’ll want to keep on reading.
Often the best way to predict the future is to take a look in the rear-view mirror by measuring your metrics effectively. In this case, your Instagram Reels. As you will know from creating social media content, what looks like 5 minutes can take what also seems a lifetime to produce.
Why let all the energy you put in go to waste? This article teaches you how to drill down deeper into your Reels performance to decipher what steps to take next to maximise growth.
What Do Instagram Reels Insights Include?
Instagram Reels appeared not long after the boom of TikTok, cementing the trend of digestible video content as a powerful force for driving traffic and engagement. It’s because of this, you can’t afford to wing it when it comes to formulating your Instagram content strategy. In order to make effective strategic decisions, you need to fully understand the ins and outs of what your followers like, what they dislike, and why.
In a nutshell, you can use Instagram Reels Insights to;
- Compare individual reels based on their performance, including all posts in the last 2 years.
- Check the reach and engagement rate of individual reels.
- Compare the performance of reels to other content formats on Instagram.
As with all social media platforms, the algorithm can seem mystifying at the best of times. Although Instagram won’t tell you exactly what it’s looking for when ranking content, you can figure out what works by regularly posting and testing your content.
Top tip: We do know that reels featuring people are more successful, and low-resolution content is less successful.
Do you feature your guests in your video content? If so, turn this into a reel and test it out.
Instagram also suppresses videos that carry watermarks or logos from other social networks, so be mindful when editing videos.
Here are 5 ways to measure your Instagram Reels effectively
Use Instagram Reels Insights to See an Overview of Reels’ Performance
Get a quick look at which content types are working best for you within the Instagram Insights section. You can see an overview of all your feed posts, stories, reels, IGTV videos, live videos, and promoted videos. You can also view information on your reach, interactions, and audience from the past week up to 90 days.
View Instagram Reels Insights for Individual Reels’ Performance
Tap the three-dot icon on an individual reel and select ‘view insights’. This is a great way to check in on an individual reel’s progress in the first 24 hours after posting. Furthermore, this data is permanent, unlike the insights Overview screen which only shows information up to 2 years old.
Learn About Your Instagram Reach and Audience Demographics
If you have over 100 followers you can access information about their demographics such as gender, age, and most active times on the platform. Use this information to create content that targets your ideal audience. You can also see how far your content is reaching beyond your followers. The aim here is to have a reach that’s bigger than your follower list, but maintain a steady rate of conversion from viewer to follower.
What percentage of your reach comes from reels? Can you spot any patterns?
Spot Trends in Your Instagram Reels’ Content
While Instagram analytics tools are crucial in order to create an informed Instagram content strategy, nothing can replace human intuition for spotting trends. Look back through your reels and consider the content of each successful and unsuccessful post. Which kinds of content resonate most with your audience? Think about colour palettes, camera angles, subjects, and special effects.
Drill Down on Engagement Metrics That Relate to Your Goal
Every strategy needs to start with clear goals in mind. What do you want to achieve on Instagram?
Every interaction and share should support the growth of your tourism business in some way. If your goal is to grow your tourism business through brand awareness then likes and impressions are desired most. However, if you’re trying to grow tour inquiries through Instagram, then comments and profile visits are the metric to measure.
Bonus tip: You can’t export Reels data from the app, therefore you need to manually keep track yourself. I recommend doing this through a simple spreadsheet, inputting data on a weekly or monthly basis depending on how much you post.
Analysing your Reels may seem like a drop in the ocean in terms of your overall goal of growing your tourism business, but every drop counts towards building a powerful social media strategy in 2022.
Understanding the Stages of Your Sales Funnel
Source: Marketing Insider Group
For new businesses, marketing terms such as the ‘sales funnel can be hard concepts to grasp right off the bat. Often people will nod along to marketing and sales jargon, without fully understanding the impact or mechanisms at play. This article dissects the inner workings of a sales funnel, and explains exactly why your tourism business needs to build and implement one (if you haven’t already) for 2022.
What is a sales funnel?
In a nutshell, it’s a visual representation of the journey potential leads go through from clicking one of your educational blog articles to booking a tour with you.
Why is it important?
- It goes beyond bringing in empty traffic. It CREATES customers.
- The funnel allows you to dig deeper into your conversion rates. See exactly, who/ where/ why/ how your target audience behaves, which enables you to make more effective business decisions for the future.
A basic sales funnel structure follows the AIDA structure;
- Awareness: the prospect becomes aware of a company
- Interest: They are interested in what the company sells
- Decision: They compare various solutions
- Action: They make a purchase
How should your tourism business use sales funnels?
Taking a closer look at your sales-funnel will improve your marketing decisions for your tourism business. The questions you should be asking yourself are;
- Am I getting enough prospects into each stage of the funnel?
- Are the leads converting?
- Are they converting fast enough?
- Are the leads valuable to us (quality vs quantity)?
- Are they repeat booking tours?
Of course, we at 10x Tourism have our own secret ingredients we like to mix in to make the magic happen for your tourism business. Starting with targeting the 3% looking to book a tour with you, instead of reigning in empty traffic that’s of no benefit to anyone.
If you’re ready to take the next leap with your tourism business, but are in need of a reliable support system to guide you through the process click here to book a call now and learn more about our Get More Bookings® System.
Tourism Cares Launches Initiative Seeking More Representation Among Tour Guides
Source: Travel Pulse
“Reconnecting with nature and adopting a more proactive approach towards both our physical and mental wellbeing has become a key focus for many travellers, particularly for those who have been confined to cities with little access to natural green spaces during the pandemic.” – Paul Joseph, Health and Fitness Travel’s founder
“We are committed to recruiting, training and mentoring Black, Indigenous and other underrepresented individuals and encouraging them to pursue careers in the group and escorted tourism industries,” – Leon Burnette, Founder of Media Arts Institute of Alabama.
Tourism Care, a non-profit organisation with a mission to harness the positive impacts of tourism to help people thrive and prosper, recently partnered with The Travel Corporation, The TreadRight Foundation, TripSchool, and the Media Arts Institute of Alabama to champion diversity within the industry through The Pathways Project.
The scheme coincides at a critical time, where the industry has a unique opportunity to address larger workforce challenges. The Pathways Project is committed to recruiting and mentoring individuals from underrepresented communities in positions such as; tour directors, Interpreters, cultural heritage, tour guides, and storytellers.
As front-facing members of the tourism industry, tour guides not only represent the tour operators they work for, they also represent the destinations and travellers themselves.
Every individual who makes their way through the program will be given online training through TripSchool – the leading innovator in training tour guides and operators, as well as assisting in finding employment.
The scheme is further supported by The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), citing a need for raising awareness and delivering new opportunities to underrepresented communities.
“We train hundreds of tour directors and guides through our various courses and keep hearing the same refrain – ‘I wish I had discovered this career sooner.’ Unlike other hospitality careers, tour directing & guiding takes you out into the world, free from bosses and offices, and lets you share your love of culture, history, and food with eager travelers. We’re so pleased to be part of the Pathways Project to offer career training and mentorship to new, diverse communities,” – Mitch Bach of TripSchool.
Could your tourism business get involved with any projects in your destination that promote and become part of a more inclusive and diverse industry?
A question for you:
What do you love most about working within the tourism industry? What ignited your passion originally?
Did you enjoy reading the above?
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