"Any all-digital business can benefit from adding an app to the marketing mix," Nabeena Mali writes for AppInstitute. "But bricks-and-sticks businesses can enjoy equal – even greater – gains. With tech ever-advancing and developers getting ever more creative, this list barely scratches the surface."
Despite the recent high-profile cruise ship disaster that took place off the coast of Italy, consumers will still be looking to book passage to their favorite destination. The industry has changed somewhat as a result of the recession and this has implications for marketing. Service providers looking to fill cabins may embark on some new types of promotion in 2012.
The typical hotel focuses on two segments of the travel industry: business and pleasure. The corporate travel budget has recovered somewhat since the recession ended, but hotel operators are using new tactics to get more from business travelers. This includes introducing a suite of services designed to assist the business traveler.
Recently, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported that business travel will grow 4.3% in 2012 and reach $260.9 billion. The U.S. Travel Association is expecting a slightly smaller increase of about 3.3% which they attribute to general anxiety over the economy and the upcoming election. But, both of these forecasts are good news for the lodging industry which is recovering from a steep slide that took place during the recovery. In addition, lodging operators are expected to employ the latest marketing techniques to get ahead of the competition.
The economy may be straining household budgets, but there is still a group of consumers determined to travel. While these travelers are becoming ‘resourceful’ in planning their trips, marketers can connect with them and tap their loyalty through several media channels. For the most part, the definition of value is not linked to price, a trend that is good news for travel operators.
When consumers are looking for the best hotels or airfares these days, they mostly turn to their computers. Travel marketers have noticed. So far this year, spending on the travel category has increased by 10% and it shows no signs of slowing down. But it’s the digital component of travel marketing spending that’s really changing.
The summer travel season may be winding down but consumers are already making plans for the busy holiday season and into January of next year. Much of today’s leisure travel is planned through online resources, either from a consumer’s home computer or at work. And these online consumers are exhibiting distinct preferences by age group which travel providers should consider as they seek to target potential customers.
In 2010, the U.S. Congress established the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) with the dual goals of marketing U.S. travel to an international audience and boosting job creation to support the new business this initiative will bring. The CTP is a partnership between the federal government and the travel industry. The organization has just hired an ad agency and plans to work with state destination marketing groups to build Brand America.
Cruise lines and travel agents are eyeing a lucrative market as more consumers say they plan to take an initial or repeat cruise. Despite increasing capacity by over 8% last year, operators reported bookings at 103% occupancy. To generate continued consumer interest in this form of vacation, marketers will be targeting key demographics with unique promotions this season.
Earlier this year, several research shops predicted the return of business travel. The corporate travel budget may be back but expenditures are still carefully watched. To eke out as much profit as possible, hotels are now being encouraged to target women travelers. This group exhibits different travel patterns and looks for different features when compared to male business travelers.
The accommodations industry is beginning to emerge from a long downturn in both business and leisure travel. Operators are turning to new media formats to promote their best features and to engage with customers. That strategy may work well for trendy resorts in downtown locales or vacation destinations. But for bed & breakfast inn operators, the key to new business is all about emphasizing the right details in a marketing campaign.
Now that consumers are traveling again, hotel, motels, and bed and breakfast inns are marketing hard for new business. At the same time, marketing tools that have become available to merchants offering accommodations have changed significantly. Operators say they’re adjusting their strategies to stay current with consumer interests.