Travel in 2022: Everything Your Tourism Business Needs to Know
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So you started the year with a list of goals to achieve? Healthy eating and doing more exercise may be obvious, but growing your tourism business is a pretty high priority, am I right?
Well, it’s time to stop manifesting success for your tourism business and start taking action to achieve your 2022 goals. Below are 6 articles curated specifically to help you to take inspiration from and learn new skills. From competitor analysis to the seeking out the top travel trends, you’ll find more than a few key takeaways for your tourism business.
So, let’s jump in…
Where do you want to go to first?
- The Hot 25 Travel Start-ups You Need to Look Out for in 2022
- How to Plan Your Sales and Marketing Investments for 2022
- 10 Tourism Trends That Will Contour the Travel Industry in 2022 and Beyond
- Croatia – a Winning Example
- 14 Easy Ways to Carve Out Creative Time for Your Tourism Business
- 5 Ways to Improve Your Website SEO in 2022
Here's this week's roundup:
The Hot 25 Travel Start-Ups You Need to Look Out For in 2022
Every successful marketing campaign starts with an audit of not only your own tourism business, but also your competitors. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn from what’s working and not working for others, and implement these lessons into your own strategy.
That’s why I wanted to start off this summary with PhocusWire’s updated annual ‘Hot 25’ list of travel start-ups to watch out for in 2022, for you to take inspiration from. Not sure how to conduct a competitor analysis? Check out this article here.
Reasons to be Cheerful
Whilst the tourism industry rebuilds, there’s a joint feeling of optimism and caution. More than a feeling, this optimism has been displayed by the amount of consumers and investors who have been “pouring cash into travel start-ups” in recent months, as Phocuswright put it.
The 2021 State of Startups report from Phocuswright shows that from January through to the third quarter of this year, travel startups have added a total of $5 billion in capital from investors. Putting their money where their mouth is, this shows true confidence that investors see a return on their investment as the industry jumps back into shape.
All of these early stage travel companies below, ranging from airports, to pricing and revenue management to corporate travel have defied the odds over the past year. Showing innovation and representing diversity and ethical practises.
When reading through their individual success stories, think about how your tourism business can resonate with their strategies. Perhaps there is inspiration to be taken from outdoor adventure companies such as Cabana? Or perhaps ReTravel.io’s approach to A/B testing and audience micro segmentation can confirm you’re on the right track in your current campaign.
So, without further ado, here is the official hot-25 list. Recognise any?
- Data Duopoly
- Gordian Software
- Kido Dynamics
- Local Purse
- ReTravel Technologies
- Thrust Carbon
- Wheel the World
For a more detailed description of how each start-up achieved success in 2021, head to the full article here.
How to Plan Your Sales And Marketing Investments for 2022
With uncertainty still looming, it’s a difficult task for any business to confidently budget for marketing investments. The travel industry has been a tale of two worlds the past two years. Depending on travel restrictions, many have thrived while a large portion still only survived.
However, what rang true then and still rings true now, is that in a digitally led world you need to be marketing your tours one way or another.
The question remains, how much should you be investing into marketing right now? Is 5% of revenue enough, or should you be pushing it to 20%, as seen in a lot of cases recently.
Here are 3 ways in which you can put your funds to good use and maximise the potential of your tourism businesses growth this year!
As mentioned previously, the secret ingredient to a successful marketing campaign lies in your ability to produce an informative and detailed audit.
When was the last time you ran an audit for your brand? If the answer is ‘I’m not sure’, or the last time you ran one was a quick peruse of your metrics to gauge an idea, investing in an in-depth marketing audit could be just the ticket for your tourism business.
To maximise your campaign efforts, it’s paramount that you understand where your tourism business stands. You need to be able to tell a story from your data and key performance indicators.
So, what should you be auditing? Below is a list of areas you need to be looking at in more detail to understand how you can make more effective business decisions in the future.
Digital Success of:
- Emails: targeted vs mass
- Website: content & conversions
- Blogs: website hosted vs third party
- Social media
- SEM & SEO
Sales Conversions with:
- Active travellers: define active
- Inactive travellers
- Prospects within database
- New travellers: define where they originated
From the above list, where do you feel you need the most help?
Establish a Sales-Funnel
Once you’ve conducted your insightful audit, you’re ready to align it to your customer’s journey. When setting your marketing budget it’s essential to establish your sales funnel. This is because your sales funnel determines where and what you need to spend money on within your marketing strategy.
What is a sales funnel? In short, it’s the journey your audience goes through to eventually book a tour. Typically, the sales funnel will look like the example I created below.
The next stage is to assess the financial and resource investment your tourism business can commit to begin the investment.
Take a look at your audience base. Are there any particular segments that are outperforming the others? Focus on this segment most.
The future of travel for small and medium sized businesses will be focused on maximising the conversion of your database through targeted advertising, using segmentation.
It’s also important to maximise resources. Integrate sales and marketing more than ever. Harness the power of your pack, by utilising your support system within your team to broaden their responsibilities – instead of focusing on hyper-specialised roles.
There’s that P word again! I digress, if you want to grow in 2022 your tourism business needs to pivot to a digital-first strategy. Did you know digital media makes up more than 50% of marketing spend?
And for good reason!
It’s cheaper, reaches further and it’s GMT (go-to-market) is fast. As a tourism business it’s a safe bet to allocate at least 50% of your marketing spend towards digital.
The substance of this digital marketing should be content – resources internally, a freelancer or agency – and software deployment.
To give you an idea of what price ranges to expect from a typical B2C company are:
- Content marketing: $2,000 – $20,000 per month
- Email marketing: $300 – $2,500 per month
- SEO: $500 – $20,000+ per month
- PPC: 5-20% of monthly ad spend
- Social media marketing: $250 – $10,000 per month
Of course at 10x Tourism, we’re not your typical B2C marketing agency. If you’d like to get detailed information on our flexible services – book a chat with one of our co-founders here.
When building your strategy, it’s crucial to implement a multi-use messaging process, where content is distributed across various digital channels such as; blog, email, and social media. This ensures the kind of brand awareness that really connects with your audience.
To conclude, how much should you be spending on marketing?
Well, 5% of revenue being allocated to marketing spend is still fine for maintenance. However, those looking to grow exponentially in 2022 and beyond will benefit from increasing that ratio to 10%.
There’s no magic answer here. However, by focusing on creating meaningful connections with your targeted audience, keeping up communication and taking the time to learn from your metrics, you’ll garner returns.
10 Tourism Trends That Will Contour The Travel Industry in 2022 And Beyond
Source: Business Touch Magazine
Our industry is constantly changing and transforming the way people travel. These changes require all of us to remain adaptive and nimble, jumping on opportunities when we cross them.
If you want to stay ahead of the game, take a peek at these 10 tourism trends set to mould the way we travel in 2022 and beyond.
1. Bleisure Travel
A ship of business and leisure – ergo, Bleisure. Now that the majority of companies across the world have opened their doors to the flexibility of working from home, workcations remain in high demand. In fact this kind of travel is expected to grow by 40%. If you want to appeal to this traveller, you’ll need to ensure you have excellent WiFi, and that your accommodations can provide quiet work spaces.
2. Digitalisation and No Advance Booking
Digitalisation has revolutionised the way in which people book travel in 2022. Whilst there are many advantages to this change in behaviour, such as cheaper advertising costs, the downside is that cancellations can also be triggered on a whim. In this unpredictable environment, it’s good practice to have a flexible booking policy. However, if you want advice on negotiating with your suppliers so you’re not out of pocket, take a look at this article here.
Did you know that 57% of travellers believe that companies should personalise their buying experience and base it on their interests and behaviours?
If you want your potential clients to book one of your tours and travel in 2022, you need to be offering flexible tailored experiences. You’ll reap the rewards in reviews, as well as stand out from your competitors. When answering tour enquiries, make a point of finding out exactly what kind of activities they like, dietary requirements and whether they need any extra mobility assistance.
4. Sustainable Travel Options
Perhaps the biggest focus for travel in 2022 and beyond is how the industry can tackle climate change and sustainability issues in-house. Countless reports which can be found in this article I wrote here, confirm that travellers WANT to book with tourism businesses who can provide sustainable options. This can range from having 0 single-use plastic initiatives to harnessing renewable energy.
5. Nature is Best, Ecotourism
It comes as no surprise that the demand for natural destinations is expected to increase even further as people have been craving outdoors. People will be more interested in exploring the outdoors and practising relevant activities including hiking, biking, and kayaking. Mountain/rural escapes and waterfront getaways are expected to be popular vacation experiences.
6. Tech Empowered Travel
People need instant access to information and help when being abroad. In the coming year, tech innovations will continue to bring ease to the travel experience. Technology and innovation are key to building traveller confidence.
Here are some ways your tourism business can adapt…
- Mobile Notifications and alerts on-trip
- Self-service check-in
- Contactless mobile payments
- Automated and flexible cancellation of hotel bookings and flight bookings
- Mobile boarding
7. Homestays Will be Popular
Travel experts are also hoping that, given the current situation, demand for homestays will also increase next year with more and more people wanting to travel safely and staying at smaller places with less exposure to other people. Such a vacation is ideal for people who are feeling the need to escape their homes, due to the hectic life they are leading but want to stay safe. Does your tourism business accommodate this trend?
8. Transformative Travel
Transformative travel is about not just travelling for leisure but also aiming to make a difference in both the lives of others and oneself. Because of this trend, there is also a notable change in the travellers’ diet. Instead of indulging in unhealthy meals, those who’ve joined the organic food movement prefer places that offer highly nutritious and organic foods.
9. Caravan Tourism
2022 might also see an increase in demands for caravan tourism, as it did in 2021. People want to travel safely, away from crowded buses and trains and stay at a home away from home. Enjoying nature and its beauty with their family or friends will help in making more connections with each other.
10. Wellness Travel
Post-pandemic, travellers attitudes have changed. It’s not only industries that are attempting to make a sustainable recovery, people are too. Travellers are eager to replenish both body and mind with comprehensive wellness retreats that support healthy immune systems and help them to overcome mental health exhaustion. How can your tourism business tap into this segment for travel in 2022?
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Croatia - A Winning Example
Source: Travel News Daily
Croatia stands out as a winning example of how travel restarted in 2021. For instance, did you know…
- 77% more arrivals took place in 2021 than in 2020
- Overnight stays increased by 55%
- 14 million tourists enjoyed holidays in Croatia in 2021, reaching 75% of figures in 2019
- Croatia generated more revenue from international tourism in summer 2021 than it EVER has in the past.
- The most popular destinations were Zagreb, Rovinj, Split, Porec and Dubrovnik.
How did they achieve this?
By ensuring the country kept it’s status of high-quality, safe and well prepared standards. In parallel, with the agreement signed last year, ECTAA promoted Croatia among the 70.000 travel agents and tour operators across Europe, highlighting the diversity of travel and tourism products that the country offers, providing visitors with beautiful nature, impressive heritage, and fine gastronomy.
The ECTAA conference that was held in Croatia, showed national delegates that Croatia could be a safe and enjoyable destination for tourists. Eric Drésin, secretary general of ECTAA, has this to say in response…
“this success is not a surprise. We have seen a genuine commitment from all the stakeholders to provide the best services to the customers and it paid off. In addition people want today both to travel and to be reassured that they can enjoy a safe journey. Croatia completely understood this new need. The clarity and quality of the information provided lead the path to these exceptional results”.
14 Easy Ways to Carve Out Time For Your Tourism Business
So, you want to produce consistent, killer content to inspire your audience to book their bucket list trip, and travel with you in 2022.
BUT, you’ve realised you’re going to struggle to find time in your busy schedule to let your creativity flow?
If the answer is – “Yes, please stop time Nicole!”
I can’t do that…but I can give you 12 tips on how to carve out creative time for producing content for your tourism business!
Here’s a quick run-down;
Automate your schedule
What time of day are you most productive? Whether it’s early morning, or late at night, tailor your other tasks around this. I’m most creative in the morning, after a coffee or two to get started, so ensure I push data-based tasks to after lunch.
Automate your daily decisions
Pick a day each week to set aside time for planning your daily schedule. Every Sunday evening I take a peek at my schedule on Asana ahead of time and physically write down everything I need to do that week in my notebook. I’m not sure why, but despite having 2 calendars and Asana, having the paper in front of me, and physically ticking off each task helps me focus so much more.
Automate your writing time
If you find yourself manically scrolling before bedtime, swap this habit for writing for 20 minutes. The only way to improve your skill is to practise consistently.
Automate your breaks
A good journalist friend of mine revealed his secret to working smarter a few months ago. For every hour of writing, he’d take a 20-minute break to avoid creative burnout. Another popular method is the Pomodoro technique: check it out here to get you started!
Embrace your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)
At 10x Tourism, we have an SOP for EVERYTHING. Creating a ‘How to produce content’ for your brand SOP will save so much time for yourself and your future employees.
Set up inbox rules
Prioritise potential clients, and set aside the others for the end of the day. It’s easy to get bogged down by an inbox full of miscellaneous tasks that can be pushed back.
Utilise email sequences
Newsletters and broadcast emails become a piece of cake when you sequence them for automation. You don’t have to lift a finger, as new subscribers will be automatically sent their ‘welcome email’ followed by the first newsletter.
Batch-create social posts
Dedicate a day or 2 each month to create a month’s worth of travel-inspired social posts to keep your page’s feed fresh. MeetEdgar is a handy software tool that allows you to create a library of posts that can pick out top-performing posts and recycle the content so you don’t need to keep creating new posts.
Pre-write your client emails
Invest time in creating a ‘perfect response’ template for your clients’ commonly asked questions. All you need to do then is edit it for personalization.
Map out your tasks with software
There are lots of options here from Asana, to Monday, Notion, and Trello. Look for software that allows you to carve out creative time by setting deadlines and assigning tasks.
Segment your email list, and set up automation
Email marketing is most effective when people are targeted with content relevant to their interests. For example, potential clients interested in family-friendly vacations will differ from young solo travellers.
Create API-based automation
Automate your optimizations with software such as Zapier that can integrate mundane data tasks so all you simply have to do is sit back, instead of manually cross-referencing data sets.
The aim here is perfectly summed up by Follow up Boss’s Ricardo Bueno –
“Focus on doing $1,000/hour work, and find a way to automate, delegate, or eliminate the rest.”
What type of travel content are you most excited about working on this year?
5 Ways to Improve Your Website SEO in 2022
Source: Marketing Profs
Do you want to learn how to optimise your on-site SEO for your tourism business in 2022?
If the answer is YES, you’re in the right place.
Did you know Google considers over 200 ranking factors when it comes to promoting web pages? Of course you do, because you read my previous blog post on how to build an effective SEO strategy here.
What’s more, almost all of these ranking factors fall under the same category – Quality.
For your tourism business webpage to rank well in Google’s search engine, it must provide a high-quality, content-rich experience for your visitors. So, how can you ensure your website meets the criteria?
Simple – by improving the content quality signals on the page.
Here is a quick rundown of 5 content quality signals you NEED to focus on improving for 2022:
This is the process of creating meaningful content that solves your audience’s problems. To improve this factor on your site, you can add subtopics, questions, and related topics to your landing page. To really level-up, you can use keyword tools and AI software to aid your copy and identify related subtopics, synonyms, questions, and autocompletes related to your target keywords.
Although word count isn’t technically an official ranking factor, it does contribute to a winning SEO strategy. This is because in-depth content naturally earns more backlinks (Google’s No.1 ranking factor FYI). Longer content also earns more engagement on average, which means increased click-through rates on your CTA’s. However, keep in mind that quality overrides quantity, don’t ramble-write for the sake of it.
Interactive elements and rich media
Bedazzle your audience with rich multimedia elements within your content. Google can’t “see” your videos and images per se, therefore, you NEED to use descriptive image alt text. Adding pop-up itineraries to your product page will also really elevate the user experience, without your audience needing to navigate away from the page to learn more.
User experience (UX)
Over the summer, Google released its Page Experience update. This means that the UX of your site plays a vital role when ranking high in Google. Ensure your pages are; optimised for mobile, fast loading speed, and operate with safe browsing. If you get stuck, the Page Experience feature in Google Search Console allows you to identify any UX issues and fix them.
“You are the company you keep,” they say, and so does Google! Ensure the webpages you externally and internally link to are also of high quality. A few tips for achieving this are; using internal links for only relevant content on your site, using external links for reputable websites via Google compliant strategies, and including links to your category pages within your navigation bar.
Focusing on these content quality signals for encouraging your audience to travel in 2022 will ensure you keep the edge over your competitors. Remember, it’s all about those E.A.T Principles.
Want feedback on your website? Join our growing Facebook group for travel industry professionals here. Every Friday I host feedback Friday, where you have the opportunity to receive feedback from your peers on your websites, and advertising material.
A question for you:
What skills do you want to work on in 2022 to achieve your tourism businesses goals?
Did you enjoy reading the above?
The 10xpress is a monthly series curated exclusively for travel companies like you
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- Reports, opinion, case studies, and key findings that directly impact the tours and activities sector.
- Educational articles to guide you through the changing world of online sales and marketing from industry leaders.
- Tips and tools on how to improve your tour operator business, generate more sales and make your life easier.
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