December is a perfect time for travel marketers to reflect on the last 12 months, identify trends from the data provided by 1.184 billion tourists (2016), as well as digest insights from WTM 2016 in London, where more than £2.5 billion worth of deals were signed in just 72 hours.
Travel expert Maitane Torca from Addition+ shares three interesting predictions and insights for the new year.
The importance of Video
Branded video content is very important to prospective tourists. Here are some tips to getting your video right.
- Mobile is vital – YouTube’s data shows the number of views of travel-related content is rising by 118% year over year, with 30% of people watching via mobiles.
- Ensure your meta data is on point – 84% of travel searches on YouTube are based on destinations, attractions and general travel ideas.
- Offer up video to help bookings – 66% of holidaymakers watch online videos before they book their trip, according to a recent Google/Ipsos study.
- Make sure your are using a mix of professional and UGC – Two thirds of people searching for travel videos on YouTube want to watch content created professionally by the brand, meaning 33% are still interested in the opinions of fellow travelers.
Last year the WTM Global Trend Report made one major prediction about cities and the rise of the Hipster Holiday, which has been proved right over the last 12 months.
A growing number of tourists who visit cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, Budapest and Berlin are interested in escaping the mainstream, to explore parts of a city or region that are popular with local, ‘hip’ crowds.
The success of Airbnb has fueled this side of the travel market – placing visitors in the heart of very residential areas rather than traditional, well-known tourist hotspots. It’s great news for pop-ups and local independents.
This new customer segment is leading to new sources of travel information, with sites like Likealocal and Vayable offering ‘personal tours’ around parts of town where only the locals know and go. In turn this has re-shaped what tourism looks like in these cities, as ‘hispters’ move away from the famous attractions – the traditional galleries and museums that European cities are world famous for – into more ‘local’ experiences.
This segment offers some really exciting content opportunities for progressive marketers to latch on to, providing ‘alternative’ guides to the ‘normal’ tourist routes.
China is the world’s biggest market for outbound tourism, with over 120 million international departures in 2015. This army of tourists went on to spend a colossal $194 billion. That’s a lot of cuddly Beefeaters!
But in 2017 tourism will be much more of a two-way street in China, with experts predicting a steep rise in the number of people visiting China. As we enter the new year there is a lot of optimism around (67% of the crowd at this year’s WTM in London said they believe the sector will grow in 2017), with many industry insiders looking to China to help drive the growth.
54% of travel firms who operate in China expect to see an increase in bookings in 2017. So, in travel as in many other global sectors, China is becoming increasingly important to ambitious businesses and brands.