HOW TO ADAPT YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY TO THE NEW CHALLENGES OF THE TOURISM SECTOR?
After fifteen years under the sign of profound changes related to consumer habits that have become largely digitalized and a year 2020 that we no longer present, 2021 was announced as a year of recovery, full of promise for the tourism market.
However, despite these promising elements, it is not so easy for the actors of the sector who are facing a brutal and above all, extremely demanding recovery phase. After a year of waiting and 3 confinements later, the French travelers want to dream.
Aggressive marketing campaigns based on internet promotions, although still popular, are no longer enough. Seriously hit by the absence of foreign tourists in 2020, the tourism sector has sought to evolve and reinvent itself by developing new digital ways of convincing while consolidating the strategy, initiated a few years ago, centered on the consumer, his desires and needs.
SUSTAINABLE MARKETING , A MAJOR CHALLENGE TO STAND OUT
Neglected for several years, sustainable marketing is back in the spotlight, driven by the current craze for environmental issues, as evidenced by the great success of the online citizen consultation on responsible tourism in France. The latter, proposed by a group of players in the sector, brought together nearly 50,000 participants to discuss the subject. Whether it is a simple fashion statement for some or a real differentiation lever for others, one thing is certain: sustainable marketing is becoming a key challenge issue to satisfy consumers. This marketing has been used extensively in the restaurant sector when it launched a massive takeaway/delivery service in 2020, but also in the cruise and airline sectors, which are multiplying solidarity partnerships and environmental policies to develop sustainable tourism.
IMMERSIVE MARKETING OR HOW TO CONTINUE TO CREATE DESIRE THROUGH THE VIRTUAL
Highly sensitive to economic uncertainty and regulations, digitalization allows the tourism sector to obtain real levers of competitiveness. Acting as an indicator of operational efficiency, digitalization allows flexibility and unprecedented renewal for companies. This is particularly noticeable in terms of enriching customer experiences, bringing real added value. In this extremely competitive sector, the best way to make a difference is to offer a unique and qualitative experience to customers. Since 2020, we have seen many immersive campaigns, especially in the hotel sector. Several hotel chains have started to offer virtual tours of their establishments in order to reach potential customers more easily. Moreover, the figures properties are not deceiving, 34% of French people use social media networks to find their next destination. This already important figure climbs to 51% when it comes to millenials.
INTERACTIVE MARKETING TO STAY CONNECTED WITH CUSTOMERS
After several months of closure, tourism actors must demonstrate ingenuity to attract customers again. However, viral marketing campaigns are no longer enough. Right now, it is also necessary to think about how to retain customers. What better way to do this than to use interactive marketing, which is an extremely powerful way to collect lead data, create virality and develop a good engagement rate? As a perfect example, we have the Chefs who, during the confinements, have not hesitated to propose lives on social media networks in which they prepared recipes, accompanied virtually by different personalities. These daily interactive online meetings helped to create and maintain links during these slow periods for the restaurant industry.
If B2C is important, the relationship with B2B is just as important. To overcome social distancing constraints, many companies have used virtual events such as webinars, Zoom conferences, etc. to continue to communicate. In our case, to support our customers, we have developed a unique information and training solution for travel agents and tourism professionals with our My Secret Travel platform.
In this decisive period where the tourism industry had to adapt and reinvent itself to respond to new consumer behaviors, implementing an adapted and targeted digital strategy is essential to activate new levers and thus ensure the sustainability of companies in the sector.