The first three months of each year play a special role in the tourism industry. While new budgets, offers, and discounts are set from November each year, the most important tourism fairs will be held in the first quarter. As the new travel season is starting, many questions come up for marketer and travel providers. How should you create your tourism marketing campaign to reach your audience? What is the right target group? And should you focus on early bird deals or last-minute offers?
Don’t worry, we have answers to your questions. Keep in mind the following tips to make your next email marketing campaign a success!
Different Tourist - Different Approach
In order to be successful with your tourism marketing campaign, it is important to define the right target groups. Keep in mind, that every tourist is different. Basically, you can differentiate between four types of travelers:
Relaxation seeking travelers are often pensioners or (young) families, who make e.g. Beach holidays in warm countries or wellness holidays in the cold winter months. Vacation types in this category are often “repeat offenders” who like to go to familiar places or hotels where they have already been. Looking back to positive experiences, the traveler is hoping for another great trip. As a travel provider, you can reach this kind of passenger using artificial intelligence to target the right audience with your email campaign. In doing so, target groups can be formed based on historical location data in order to send e-mails with corresponding discounts for repeated visits to the respective customers. Also, package deals are suitable for this customer group. Young families and pensioners are happy to take the offer of complete packages with all-inclusive deals. This way of traveling avoids unpleasant stress when planning the holiday because accommodation, transport, and food are already arranged in advance.
Active and sports vacationers usually consist of active singles or couples, who enjoy e.g. surfing, hiking or skiing trips. Also, vigorous retirees are interested in active trips. This category also includes the current trend of traveling by caravan/camper, which is also ideal for holidays with dogs or families. Since the travelers in this category are often close to nature, a very visual newsletter is suitable for this target group. Showing pictures of beautiful landscapes or emotional travel videos, travel companies can actively promote their activities and give inspiration to their customers. Since this target group is very active and often on the go, it makes sense to send the newsletter exactly when the email recipient is online. This way you can reach an individual user at the ideal moment, where he or she is open for the information and offers you want to communicate.
The third one is the cultural travel type. This category includes people of all ages, for whom the cultural aspect is paramount. The design of those trips is very diverse – from city trips and language courses to exhibitions to concerts and festivals. So for this target group, it’s essential to narrow down exactly who should be reached to make sure your email marketing campaign will be a success. For example, people who like city trips are usually open to last-minute bargains in newsletters, while trips to concerts tend to long-term planning. Also, the tonality of your e-mail needs to be clearly differentiated. Since language trips are usually booked by parents of under-age teenagers, the personalized address has to be more formal than e.g. for festival offers, which are mostly booked by young adults.
Apart from the mentioned ‘leisure’ travel types, there are two more niches within the travel industry, that should be mentioned as well. The business travel industry has been growing for years. Whether employees are traveling for meetings, training or trade fairs – they are most likely interested in centrally located hotels, that offer comfortable rooms including breakfast. As business meetings are often planned in the short-term, this travel type is the perfect target for last-minute offers, whereby employees like to take advantage of given budgets as per company travel policy.
Another specific travel niche is medical tourism. People of this category plan their trips for inpatient and outpatient treatments in advance. Usually, the target group plan to stay at an accommodation near the hospitals, clinics or specialists to avoid unnecessary stress. To make your EMail campaign appealing, it’s worth offering accommodations meeting those criteria. Another advantage is to implement images of clean and calm rooms, which transfer the impression of a perfect place for recovery.
Finally, we come to the last category of travel types: cruise holidays. While the main target group consists mainly of senior citizens, the demand for niche cruises, e.g. Party, hard rock or LGBTQ cruises, is increasing. Due to the many possibilities that a cruise offers, people from this category often get information from the travel agency, but ultimately use cheaper online travel providers to book their vacation. E-mail marketing and newsletters can be used to refer to offers in travel agencies as well as websites, while the online bookings generated afterward can be directly traced back to them through cookie tracking.
Consider Different Needs Per Vacation Type
As described, vacation types can be classified by different goals of travelers. However, it needs to be stated that a clear classification is not possible. Current trends show that many travelers love to combine different elements of all vacation types. For example, it is common to book a relaxing holiday, which includes exciting activities. In order to set up the best online marketing strategy for your email campaigns, you need to create offers that meet the requirements of different customers. That could be e.g. a trip in the motorhome to the most exciting festivals of the coming year or a ski trip that ends the sporty day in a relaxing wellness hotel. This principle can be applied particularly well in the area of cruises, as there are plenty of opportunities on board to offer all kinds of entertainment, sports, and wellness so that all types of holidays can be addressed equally.
“E-mail is an excellent marketing tool for this type of combination trips. E-Mail Strategies are extremely successful thanks to their high personalization options. No matter what vacation type your (potential) clients are, whether they prefer to go to countries they have already been to, or whether they are interested in early bird or last-minute offers – with e-mail campaigns it is possible to reach people with the ideal address.” says Dirk Bellinghausen, email marketing specialist for tourism and key account manager at Audience Serv.
If you have any further questions about email marketing for the tourism industry, please contact us. We are happy to consult you!