By Jodi Harris
I’ve heard there are people out there who truly believe that “getting there is half the fun.” I, on the other hand, feel that when it comes to traveling, everything that happens between my initial decision to leave my house and my lying on a beach chair with a fruity drink in my hand is just stress-inducing static and delayed gratification.
To reduce the friction I’m likely to experience at any step of my journey, I rely pretty heavily on online travel advice (from both the pros and amateurs). And, judging from the sheer number of businesses that cater to the ever-expanding online travel and tourism category, I’m certainly not alone.
Such is the power of the role that travel and tourism marketers play in the lives of their customers. With so many different touchpoints to engage with, so many ways to facilitate and enhance the travel experience, and so many pain points to help customers overcome, this field offers tremendous opportunities to create content-based connections, build trust, and add value for intrepid world explorers, road-weary business travelers, and everyone in between.
Of course, travel industry marketing isn’t just about posting picturesque snapshots and telling tales of how to have fun in the sun. There are some significant challenges when it comes to successful storytelling in this space, not to mention plenty of competition. From huge hotel chains, to boutique B&Bs, and B2B service providers to the beach-going masses themselves, it seems everyone has some travel advice to share online – and it’s not always clear whose is the most accurate, trustworthy, or useful. Professional travel business marketers need to go the extra mile when it comes to creating content that distinguishes their expertise and earns bookings, not just “lookings.”