With so many long weekends coming up such as Ram Navami, Vaisakhi, Good Friday etc. many of us are probably on the verge of planning our next trip (with the help of our laptops and smartphones obviously!). How do you usually plan a holiday? By checking out pictures of the destination on various social media platforms? Reading reviews? Well, that’s what We (the millenials) usually do. So let us take a quick look on how social media is changing the way we make travel plans.
The rise of Internet and the increased popularity of social channels have brought about a drastic change in tourism marketing and how! Thanks to various platforms of social media, now millennials can choose-book-travel with just a click in the palm of their hands.
The Internet has made our lives easier in more ways than we can think of. For the 21st century travelers, everything can be sorted through smartphones and apps like TripAdvisor, BookMyTrip and so on and so forth.
The millenials these days depend on the social media content posted by others (peers) to decide on their travel destination. Based on that they go ahead with the following options-
- The hotels available according to their choice of rate.
- Activities available like – outdoors (hiking, cycling, safari rides etc), shopping, visiting museums or historical places.
- Weather forecast to help pack appropriately.
And the list goes on.
Sites like Instagram, Facebook and Tripadvisor give us a fair idea about places that we’d like to visit. Photos, videos, check in, feedback, reviews and ratings are important for travelers as well as the hotels and resorts. Thus social media content is immensely influential to either inspire future travelers or put off potential customers from visitng a certain place.
The fact that social media is transforming tourism marketing can be seen in the way hotels and resorts are adapting to a highly digitalized promotion of their brand by engaging millenials in contests and campaigns. Through their social media presence, brands are trying to solve customer queries and complaints. This helps in building strong reputation among current and potential customers. Social media therefore, plays the role of a listening tool for the company to know about their guest and the reason for their visit.
Travel agencies have also adapted to a more digitalized approach to keep up with the new technology and marketing trends. The customers need compensation in the form of loyalty points for the social media content they share with their network. That is the basic reason loyalty programs play a key role in the tourism and hospitality sector.
With the emergence of hashtag tracking and check ins, hotels can find out about their passionate guests and reward them in many ways. This makes the travelers stay a more memorable one as well as adds bonus points on social media feedback column for the hotels/resorts. The brands loyalty programs also help the customers to be more incentivized to participate and add value to a place.
The prevalence of social media has no doubt disrupted the traditional customer service models for hotels and travel agencies. Hence curating positive reviews and social shares play a major role in the tourism and hospitality sector and help build brand loyalty and make customers aware of what the destination has to offer.
We would probably never plan holidays the way our forefathers used to, thanks to Social Media! Smart Traveler, Happy Traveler.