How Knowing The Traveler’s Journey Leads To Bookings

How Knowing The Traveler’s Journey Leads To Bookings

In tourism content marketing, a principle called the traveler’s journey is closely related to the business principle of the ‘buyer’s journey.’

The typical traveler/customer will go through three different stages before finally purchasing your product, for instance, booking accommodation in a hotel. As such, the kind of content a customer desires often depends on the point of the traveler’s journey where they currently are. 

For this reason, someone who works in tourism like you do, whether as a tourism content marketing firm, a hotel or travel agency must consider the demands of your ‘buyer-persona’ at any given moment. This is done by determining what they are searching for, how they search for it, and when they search for it. By answering those questions, we can develop useful tourism content around it. 

In this article, we explain the buyer’s journey briefly before going into detail about the traveler’s journey.

What Is The Buyer’s Journey?

‘Buyer’s journey’ means the period starting when a customer identifies a need and ideally ends when the customer satisfies their need through a purchase. 

That usually takes five stages in which customers are either positively or negatively influenced by marketing, web design, blogs, and other factors that may interest them. 

The five stages of the buyer’s journey are:

  1. awareness
  2. consideration
  3. intent
  4. purchase
  5. re-purchase 

Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Awareness

This is the point where a customer-first identifies a need, pain or want before acting upon it. It could be as simple as feeling cold and realizing you need something warmer to as complex as feeling insecure about their family’s future and starting to look up retirement investment options. That’s all the first part of the buyer’s journey. 

The words to look out for are: problems, doubts and opportunities. 

That is the point where a traveler is trying to figure out where to go or when. They are trying to figure out if they want to travel with family to the beach or go for an adventure alone.

Consideration

Consideration is when customers evaluate the available options for fulfilling their wants. To go with our warm clothes idea, this is where they become aware of the existence of sweatshirts, jackets, and beanies, all at different price points and qualities.

The buyer already knows what they are looking for and spends time researching and learning more about the topic. 

Intent

After the customer considers the viable options, there are three categories into which their choices will fall: yes, no, and forgotten. A tourism agency either makes a positive or negative impression on a traveler. 

“No” and “forgetting” typically means failing to make a positive impression. Keep in mind that this is still a stage of possibilities. The buyer may say “yes” to more than one brand. They have not yet purchased, so it is still possible for them to change their mind and say yes to another. Make sure all processes are super easy to navigate.

Purchase

A buyer completes a transaction at this stage by purchasing your product or service. While it is a success, you want to provide the best experience so that the buyer may opt for your products or services the next time they visit.

Re-purchase

That is the ultimate success! When a traveler returns because they had a perfect initial experience and the best services, you have achieved the ultimate goal and won yourself a loyal customer.

What Is The Traveler’s Journey?

The traveler’s journey takes those five stages of the buyer’s journey and reshapes them for tourism. It refers to the marketing and constant analysis of travel intent data to understand and guide the decision-making process by highlighting critical stages of people’s planning for the process of traveling. 

The five stages of the traveler’s journey are:

  1. dreaming
  2. planning
  3. booking
  4. experiencing
  5. sharing 

Tourism Content Ideas for Dreaming Stage

Every adventure starts with a dream. 

Once one starts to dream about an escape, it does not take too long before planning the trip leads to purchases. At this stage, potential tourists begin to check out the available options. The best way to reach the dreamer is through social media campaigns. 

Social media campaigns can be run through an external dream influencer, which leads a traveler to want to find out more and eventually travel. In addition, marketers can encourage previous customers to share their travel experiences on social media. 

Tourism Content Ideas for Planning Stage

At this point, the traveler knows what they want and is considering other factors, such as accommodation, attractions, and where to eat. While creating content to get noticed more than your competitors, then be sure to use Search Engine Optimization

Travelers will be visiting many websites before deciding. Therefore, you want to make sure your business is easy to find and your website very easy to navigate. The best way to entice a traveler at this stage is to offer solutions like “Top 10 Beaches in Miami for Families.” 

If you are a hotel, it is imperative to provide this kind of information as it encourages the buyer that you are a great service provider in the tourism industry.

Tourism Content Ideas for Booking Stage

If you have caught a traveler’s attention during the dreaming and planning stages, they make reservations and close their vacation. You want to ensure your business is easy to find when they search for it, and the website is straightforward to navigate. 

You might want to use SiteMinder tools like the online booking engine.

Tourism Content Ideas for Experiencing Stage

Getting a booking from a customer may be counted as a success, but a tourism operator’s job has just begun. The goal is to put a smile on the customer’s face by providing the best traveler experience through great customer experience. 

Excellent customer experience is crucial because it will make a loyal partner of the traveler. In addition, they may share their experiences on social media and by word of mouth. Therefore, a good customer experience is also a content idea. 

Alternatively, creating photographs and videos to provide a pre-experience for your customers is also impressive.

Tourism Content Ideas for Sharing Stage

It is essential to note that most travelers book their accommodation based on recommendations from the people they know. Therefore, be sure to create marketing strategies that encourage your tourists and visitors to share their experiences through social media. 

Some of the strategies include; content creation strategies like onsite photographers, free Wi-Fi, and fun games or contests. You want your customer to have the easiest time-sharing and be excited about it. 

About the author

Alex Jeffries is the founder of Passport Creative. An award-winning producer and writer, he is now dedicated to tourism communication and development. He is based in Paris, France.