Online Marketing And The Travel Industry

The Internet has drastically changed travel marketing as travelers became more tech savvy. Nowadays a traveler does not call at the travel agent anymore but goes online and searches for the best deals of the preferred destination. This is why the travel industry embraced online marketing with great effort.

Millions of travelers browse the web daily to buy transport, accommodation, tours and other travel services. All this is done through search engines and therefore it is a must that hotels, airlines, tour operators, car hire companies and other travel players have a strong presence online. Search engine optimization is the most valuable tool for gaining access to targeted consumers on the web. Ranking in top pages brings high volume traffic to your travel website.

The consumers’ search online depends on their travel needs. People travel for various reasons. One will mostly associate travel with holidays however there are various other reasons why people travel. The travel industry has various niche markets like:
• Business
• Health
• Sport
• Religion
• Agro-tourism
• Adventure
• Weddings
• Educational
• Honeymoons
• Voluntary Work

Within each of the above travel sectors, there are various niches where one can specialize in. This gives ample opportunities to those who are willing to start their own online travel business.

To sell a product one must understand the consumer and what motivates the consumer to buy. There are many factors that affect consumer’s decision-making. People browse the web for information about the destinations and also to compare prices. Besides ranking well on search engines one must have compelling content and easy navigation to drive the consumer to the point of purchase. You would also want to have repeated customers and many travel companies do this through loyalty programs.

Never forget that the travel product is not tangible. It is an experience. The traveler buys an expected experience in advance. Nobody travels to a destinations and then pays depending if the experience was satisfactory or not. Therefore your online content must be as close as possible to reality. Online videos became normality nowadays where travel sites show the wonders of various destinations. Travelers also do their search on You Tube where they can view and share travel experiences. Based on the information they collect, they make their decisions.

Travelers are individuals and social media are designed for individuals and therefore social media must be within your online marketing strategy. Have your social media set up and maintain it regularly with interesting articles, photos and videos. Organize competitions and spread the word around online.

A well-structured SEO campaign could lead the vast proportion of customers being acquired via organic search. Online marketing has become a critical tool for any travel entrepreneur.

Categories: Travel

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