5 Methods to Meet the Demands of Today’s Travelers
Whether you’re operating a tour of San Antonio’s Riverwalk or a bungee jumping station outside Portland, Oregon, you need to find creative ways to maintain a consistent flow of interest and traffic toward your company.
While you’re doing everything possible to expand the reach of your business, you need to take time to get to know your audience. Understand what makes them tick. What are the things that motivate them to enjoy the experience you’re providing?
Meeting the needs of today’s modern travelers while working to stand out from the competition allows you to capture more leads. Use this strategy and draw inspiration from current trends, and you’ve got a winner for future-proofing your business.
Let’s take a closer look at how to evaluate today’s travelers so you can leverage those insights to generate more interest in your attraction, tour, or activity.
What Do Today’s Travelers Want?
The tours and activities industry has significantly shifted, especially after the global pandemic, and so have consumer interests and habits. Nowadays, people are far more willing to spend money on experiences over products. That is probably because we were all cooped up for too long!
This is excellent news for your company. You have a unique value proposition that ensures visitors get to enjoy an outstanding experience. It’s time to take advantage of traveler demand.
The key here is appealing to purpose-driven travelers. These are customers who are actively seeking experiences beyond the surface level. They don’t want the cookie-cutter activity. They want to explore hidden caves, learn local knowledge, uncover deeper meaning, and feel like they are growing from these experiences. They are traveling with a sense of passion.
Two notable examples are book lovers and movie aficionados. They will go out of their way to visit a famous library, filming location, or writer’s hometown because it directly appeals to the time they spent consuming a fantastic book or movie. Understanding why customers are visiting your destination and what they hope to get out of the experience will go a long way in securing customer satisfaction.
How to Appeal to Today’s Travelers & Extend Your Reach
1. Cater to International Travelers
If a German couple on tour in the U.S. has stumbled upon the website for your California wine tasting tours, you don’t want to turn them away. For many tour companies, your website is your primary sales tool, and you can use it to attract customers near and far.
When it comes to international travelers, consider using translation tools on your website. While you’re at it, look at your analytics and recent purchases to see if you get a lot of visitors from a certain country or location. Be available on chat and social media messaging to capture interest after hours.
See more tips for broadening your customer base here.
2. Celebrate (and Share!) Your Authenticity
Authenticity is your biggest untapped goldmine. Use authentic photos and language in your marketing that vividly depicts both the experience customers will have and the location they are visiting.
After you’ve learned what your customers want, give them exactly that. Provide detailed descriptions of your tours or activities and highlight those features that will directly appeal to your audience. These are the minor details that prove you know how to create a memorable experience.
3. Embrace the Digital World
Your customers live online. If you want to meet them where they are spending a lot of time, you need to streamline your online booking process.
Here are a few ways to you can embrace digitization for a better online experience:
- Fully optimize your website for mobile.
- Maintain a robust Google Business Profile.
- Utilize Google Things to do for added exposure.
- Enable Google Ratings in FareHarbor.
- Offer digital check-in and online waivers.
- Allow customers to manage their reservations online through online rebooking and cancellation (more on this in a moment!).
Digitization is at the forefront of consumer travel preferences, so be sure your business is up to speed.
4. Offer Flexibility
Being sensitive to your customers’ needs means offering flexibility. Make it easy to cancel or rebook a visit to your business without having to call anyone.
If they do cancel, provide them with the option to receive a gift card instead of a refund, as this encourages rebooking at a later date.
Another way to offer flexible booking options is to pay attention to how far in advance customers tend to book their activities. If you typically get many last-minute bookings, make sure your online booking cutoff is set as close to the start time of the activity as possible.
Finally, be sure to build out your online booking calendar well in advance to cater to customers who prefer to book ahead of time.
5. Stay in the Know with Current Trends
Want a surefire way to attract more customers? Get your content on leading social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. These systems are packed full of user-generated videos about great food, experiences, travel destinations, and tours.
As you embrace social media, keep an eye on leading trends like popular memes or shareable audio. Putting a fun soundtrack over an authentic piece of content is a fantastic way to build organic connections with your audience.
Aside from social media, new travel trends come up as consumer demands shift. For example, have you heard of bleisure? This is the combination of business and leisure where people traveling for work sneak in leisure activities on the side. Luxury and sustainability are two more great trends to jump on because they are so popular right now.
If your goal in 2024 is to capture as much of your potential audience as possible, lean into the desires of purpose-driven travelers. Embrace modern technologies and have some fun with emerging trends.
You’ll be delightfully surprised at how these strategies attract a broader audience and create unforgettable experiences that resonate with today’s modern traveler.