Who’s going? 5 key traveller types and how to earn their trust with personalised content

Family travellers on holiday at the beach

The fight for online travel bookings has never been so competitive. According to Allied Market Research, the global online travel market is expected to hit $125.1bn by 2023. In this ever-expanding industry, it’s more critical than ever that businesses grow their market share by maximising the selling power of their Performance Content – that is, the critical pre-purchase information that converts browsers into buyers.

For many travel businesses, personalisation has become a key consideration for overall content strategy – with a 2014 study from travel industry intelligence platform Skift demonstrating that data-driven, personalised marketing can boost conversion rates by 10-20%. 

Of course, the key to successful personalisation is having a meaningful understanding of the unique needs, preferences and priorities of each customer. But while big data is enabling many travel brands to make great strides in tailoring the end-to-end purchase journey (and actual trip) to the individual, less progress has been made in terms of serving personalised travel content.

We explore how companies can deploy personalised travel content to best engage five key traveller types. 

1. Escapists

‘Escapists’ are usually millennial strivers who work hard to afford their trips abroad. To these adventurous travellers, holidays are an opportunity to immerse themselves in a new activity or environment – an antidote to their high-stress, sedentary office lives. They fly frequently, book impulsively and prefer to travel either alone or with friends.

Travel content focus: According to Expedia, 42% of millennials are influenced by friends’ photos on social media when considering their next holiday destination. User-generated content is therefore one of the surest ways to get this segment’s attention, whether via reviews, blogs or social media posts. Millennials are also voracious consumers of video, making this an ideal format for promoting the features of active holidays.

Hit the right note: Millennials are the age group most likely to travel for stress reduction and ‘excitement’. As a result, Escapists seek authentic experiences on their own terms. Embrace inspirational and informal language. Cater your content to the FOMO (‘fear of missing out’) culture by inviting browsers to discover time-sensitive experiences such as local festivals and seasonal events, with language that reinforces urgency.

2. Culture Vultures

For Culture Vultures, learning and exploring are synonymous. Their trips abroad are relatively frequent and driven by an appetite for new cultural experiences. When making any kind of booking they devour several sources of information, from city guides to travel blogs and user reviews. They take pleasure in pre-planning a trip and will draw up entire itineraries in advance to ensure nothing is missed.

Travel content focus: According to research from LHW, 81% of  Culture Vultures like to conduct independent research about their chosen destination. Guide their decision-making with handy how-tos and overviews of the cultural aspects of their trip. Include specialist information and tips – content written by locals or natives is best.

Hit the right note: Focus on the things to do: the Culture Vulture’s most common priority is visiting notable historical and architectural sites (91% of respondents, according to the LHW report). Culinary experiences, getting to know local people and discovering ‘hidden gems’ are next on the list. Authenticity is also key: 60% of respondents hoped to experience their destination as a local would.

3. Obligers

‘Obligers’ are always in the air, though they wouldn’t always like to be. Adult life is full of non-negotiable commitments; not all of them in a convenient country – this segment travels not for leisure, but because they have to, and frequently at that. Whether headed to a wedding abroad or a business conference, they like their trips to be comfortable and seamless.

Travel content focus: This customer wants to know simple logistics and isn’t interested in prolonged research. Accommodation descriptions should be detailed and convenience-focused. Does the hotel have parking facilities? Room service? Travel connections? According to the Travison 2015 Business Survey, business travellers prioritise clean conditions, strong wifi and comfort while travelling, so ensure you make these advantages clear.

Hit the right note: Brevity is the focus here. Keep accommodation descriptions short, sharp and to the point. Flowery turns of phrase will likely fall on deaf ears.

4. Leisure Seekers

Luxury travel is big business. According to Statista, 69% of UK individuals have taken a ‘wellness’ holiday and a third do so on a yearly basis. Those travelling for this purpose look forward to their holiday as a chance to refresh and recuperate. They travel solo or with friends, enjoy an above-average income and accordingly have a taste for the finer things.

Travel content focus: Colourful, calming visual content is the order of the day here. As customers will typically be searching by category (e.g. for terms like ‘beach holidays’), category pages should be enriched with authoritative content incorporating relevant long-tail search terms and inspiring photography. Increase average order values by upselling experiences and treatments on hotel pages; this segment is likely to be interested in booking such ‘treats’ in advance.

Hit the right note: Employ evocative, experience-based language. Highlight any amenities available, from hikes to hot springs. According to a Spafinder Wellness 365 report, the most coveted luxury amenities are beach access, swimming pools and access to nature/the scenic outdoors – so be sure these features are highlighted prominently in accommodation descriptions where applicable. Women travelling together remain a crucial market here and key terms such as ‘with the girls’ and ‘pampering’ should be prioritised where appropriate.

5. Family-Focused

The Family Travel Association reports that 71% of parents prioritise quality family time while on holiday. 54% value the opportunity to introduce their children to new cultures, while 36% hope to encourage intergenerational bonding between kids and grandparents. Because of the logistics involved in getting kids on a plane, parents are accustomed to planning their holidays at least six months in advance. They are focused on stability, predictability and safety, but aren’t averse to new experiences.

Travel content focus: According to the same FTA study, over half of parent respondents give the kids a say in both holiday destination and activities, while 47% allow children to take part in holiday research. Consider developing child-friendly content heavy with visuals and interactivity. To take advantage of this segment’s high loyalty potential, prioritise post-trip email campaigns and nurture content.

Hit the right note: When booking any holiday, parents need to be assured that they will find family-friendly facilities and a safe environment on the other side. Clear advice combined with practical information – e.g. dynamic weather forecasts or car hire prices – will help improve page dwell time, in turn boosting brand trust and sales.

While most businesses understand that personalised travel content is a powerful driver of online sales, it’s also notoriously difficult to produce efficiently, at the volume required, while maintaining brand consistency and quality. Quill specialises in developing search-optimised, multimedia travel content across a range of languages and styles. Get in touch to find out how outsourcing your content production could improve your online customer experience and increase conversions.  

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