Cornell University had a Webinar on Reimagining Travel: Reinventing the Travel Experience and Using Data to Boost Recovery on Thursday, January 14 at 11:00 AM ET. I was thrilled. So much to learn,
so little have to make time has been my motto of late.
I logged in, coffee in hand, toddler in view. He seemed intent on making some monster trucks jump off a homemade ramp and I was intent on knowing more about a industry which is determined to evolve in the face of a never-ending pandemic.
Here’s a closer look at the participants and if you want to watch it for yourself, here’s the link to Cornell’s Keynotes here.
Some of the topics covered were what one would expect, for example, the fact that travel is and will continue to be highly localized in a post-pandemic world. It’s all about being a tourist in your state, your city, or however you want to put it. It’s short distance. But at the same time, we are getting to see license plates from far-flung states, which means road trips aka drive market are where some of the action is.
According to the Travel Industry Dictionary Drive market is defined as:
1. Potential travelers within driving distance of a city, port or attraction. 2. The geographical area defined by that driving distance. 3. Travelers within a travel agency’s local area who tend to drive to vacation destinations.
Then there are daycations or day long trips. Zero contact check-ins. Less of phone calls and more of texts. Emojis are welcome any day. As for face to face interactions at the concierge desk, they maybe on a downward slide which is rather unfortunate.
The ever-increasing importance of SEO is something to be considered when creating travel ads as more and more people are driven by the content displayed on their mobile phones. It’s where I read everything, well, everything short of a PG Wodehouse novel.
Data Socialization and Data Privacy – these are no longer buzz words associated with marketing industries. Travel has embraced both. The Digital Nomad needs an Instagram account and with that an understanding of data and how to source, cleanse, analyze and share it. All in accordance with data regulations laws of course.
Turns out that some of the online vacation rentals rely heavily on recording user interaction and use it to understand the guest better. As Phocuswire puts it, “Guest Intelligence is a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of guest spend patterns and preferences using an evolutionary approach that is enriched with incremental touchpoints. The objective is to leverage guest intelligence during physical and digital touchpoints to enhance pre, post and in-experiences, to achieve the overall goal of greater guest satisfaction.”
Longer planning cycles and shorter execution periods are on the rise. As mentioned above, each and every touchpoint with a traveler should be viewed as an opportunity to engage. It sounds simple enough, but as any marketer will tell you, it’s not.
The webinar ended with a light discussion on what everyone is watching (The Queen’s Gambit and The West Wing came up) but if you ask me, I am loving Ted Lasso on Apple TV and his brand of American optimism. It’s what the doctor ordered after a year of dealing with an unforgiving pandemic. Ted Lasso is funny and sweet without being saccharine, often inspiring and well, just so gosh darn nice!