Want to escape this dreary winter and flee to an isolated tropical island? You’re not alone. I’ve been day dreaming about reclining on a beach lounger, sipping mango smoothies and napping under the afternoon sun since the first day of June.
This is quite easy to do in 2018 – by simply browsing the world virtually: you can type in the name of a location and instantly have abundant amount of information along with photos online. Digital or television ads about tourism are displayed to their targeted consumers every day, plus the billboards, the flyers, the list goes on.
Old-fashioned travel brochures vs. Instagram
Way back when, travellers (or tourists I should say) found inspiration for a trip through those tempting phrases in travel brochures, such as “adventure is out there” or “let’s fly, fly away”. Then brochures became more and more photo oriented, packed with glossy, aesthetically pleasing pictures and, as a result, fuelling the travel bug in us all – even if the destinations felt unobtainable.
Fast forward and as social media flourishes, many are now getting their travel businesses off the ground with the help of Instagram’s beautiful feed and highly engaged audience. In fact, there are over 181 million posts using the hashtag #travel and 48 percent of users say they rely on Instagram to find new destinations. Unlike the flawless pictures in advertisements, we can have a more straightforward and realistic perception of the destination from pictures in Instagram, have an idea of what to do and what the weather is like at the moment. (Although the photos are sometimes ironically perfect under countless layers of filters……)
Partnering with famous travel bloggers on the platform is undeniably an influential avenue for marketers, as users boasting followers in the hundreds of thousands snap exotic scenery and successfully engage and induce envy in their audience.
A prime example is Murad and Nataly Osmann’s #followmeto Instagram project. Thousands of fans mimicked the couple’s photo on social platforms as soon as they made the very first post and uploaded more than 337,000 photos on Instagram with the #Followmeto hashtag.
For brands, that level of audience participation is invaluable.
Qantas, similarly, often repost photos taken by other influencers from their planes to promote the ease and enjoyment of travel that they offer, helping them gain more followers.
Living in 2018, we have new air routes opening, new hotels built, new planes capable of carrying more passengers and flying longer distances. It’s fair to say we don’t lack choice. So, the important question is how do companies stand out from the crowd?
Bruce Horner, head of media and alliances for the Travelocity brand, said this about the importance of identifying how your brand can influence customers: “Differentiation is not just about the product, it’s about creating a meaningful brand identity that connects and engages with consumers.”
Home away from home
Speaking of accessibility, I can’t avoid the mention of Airbnb when thinking about global accommodation. From bold interior design to inventive ways host’s present meals and snacks for their visitors, this kind of hospitality service offers an authentic local feeling, giving travellers a unique personalised experience and often an intimate connection with local culture.
You might be thinking of massive solidity and strength when a windmill is mentioned, but have you ever thought about live in one? Actually, a popular Airbnb accommodation is a restored windmill. Apart from its preserved features such as the upright shaft in the former mill and a giant spur wheel reminding visitors of the industrial past of Britain, it also lets them feel the rural charm of Kent countryside.
Fall off the grid……or not?
While some like to choose an accommodation that presents them feeling of home, the others see travel as an escape from their usual living routine. I’ve seen more and more people completely “exile” themselves in a disconnected travel destination, yes, solo travel is becoming a trend. In fact results from a survey conducted by MMGY Global showed roughly one in four people say they will go on a trip alone next year. Having had the experience to live a year without technology in a valley 400kms away from Melbourne, it’s understandable how this kind of digital detox can help to refresh and rejuvenate the mind.
On the other hand, there is still another divergent group of tourists who chose to be socially active no matter where they go. Take my auntie as an example, she has gone to Japan lately as thus all my social media platforms are filled with her posts: pictures of what she ate for lunch, places she stayed and highly specific descriptions of her everyday itinerary. She is even still the first person to like or comment other’s posts.
Travel is made easier and easier by the increasing advancement of technology, and hence marketing techniques have to always be updated in order to align with all these changes occurring around the world every day.
This has been a Year 10 Guest Blog by our fantastic intern Cathy. Best of luck for school and the years ahead!