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What Travelers Want in 2019 is More Digital, More Personal Experiential Travel

We don’t have to tell you: the holidays are a peak season for travel planning. As holiday-makers are locking in their plans for 2019 travel, several industry players share their thoughts on what to expect in the coming year.

Facebook wants to help marketers tap into the holiday demand for leisure travel planning with a recently published report on the habits of today’s traveler. The findings, which confirm that majority of leisure travelers evaluate and purchase their travel options online, will sound familiar to travel industry insiders. But Facebook has translated the insights into a few helpful tips for travel marketers:

  • Make it easy for travelers to share their experiences and recommendations online so they can reminisce and possibly inspire new customers
  • Make the shopping journey as seamless as possible for your consumers by engaging with them on platforms and channels that are most relevant to their day-to-day lives
  • Strengthen the relationship by providing personalized support and relevant messages throughout every stage of the travel experience.

Skift, on behalf of Expedia, delved into the latest in experiential travel, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. According to their research, these are the drivers expected to boost experience-driven travel in 2019:

  • Social media, especially Instagram, will help food and drink-based experiences and destinations gain exposure.
  • Interactive cultural experiences, as in connecting with the destination’s culture and people via insider tours led by local guides or similar authentic encounters, are high on leisure travelers’ lists.
  • Destinations spotlighted by TV and movies are likely to see even more pop culture-inspired tourists in 2019
  • Combining business trips with leisure travel will continue to be popular. In 2017, more than 60 percent of business trips were extended to include leisure time, in the U.S. and globally.

Google brings its own riff on the experiential travel theme with reasons why search queries related to travel, dining, retail and entertainment are so popular lately in this handy guide. The search giant identifies the three motives that drive consumer to “know before they go”: to get excited; build confidence; and to manage their budget. It urges marketers to understand the intent signals and ensure that their brand can provide value in these key moments. If these predictions got you thinking about your marketing plans for 2019, share your ideas with your Net Conversion team! We are ready to help you strategize and put them to the test.