Marketing to Vacationers: 5 Things Tourism Boards Need to Know

The travel space is notoriously crowded, and in order to entice visitors, tourism boards need to know how to target the right people in the right way.

From our latest research, here are 5 things to know about vacationers.

1. Millennials, affluent consumers and parents with children under 16 are the biggest vacationers.

Specifically, 40% of millennials, 60% of affluent consumers and 46% of parents are planning to take at least one vacation abroad this year, proving that anyone looking to entice the largest amount of tourists should focus on these three key groups.

2. Only 1 in 4 Americans take annual vacations abroad.

While 43% of Europeans travel abroad each year, only a quarter of Americans do. While this is partly down to the close proximity of European countries, it also poses opportunities for tourism boards to entice native tourists to explore different parts of their own country.

3. 1 in 3 discover new brands or products via TV ads.

A third of vacationers still discover brands via the traditional TV route, however this doesn’t mean more contemporary channels should be overlooked.

28% discover brands via online ads, proving the importance of having a solid online advertising strategy.

4. 36% turn to consumer reviews for more information.

With consumer reviews being a key source of research for vacationers, it’s crucial for tourism boards to have a positive presence on these platforms. Social media is another go-to research spot for this audience at 37%.

A great story on social can be an effective showcase for brands in the travel space.

It naturally follows that vacationers are keen reviewers; over half have posted a review of a company or service in the last month. One crucial area for brands to focus on is customer service, as 1 in 3 vacationers would promote a brand online if they thought its customer service was great.

5. Sharing photos or videos is a main reason for 33% of vacationers to use social media.

Many vacationers are willing to post holiday snaps and share their experiences across social, whether that’s saying how much they enjoyed an excursion, or showing off their hotel room on their Instagram story.

Especially on the inspirational social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, a great deal of users like to share the best moments of their vacations, and these platforms are often the go-to for those seeking inspiration for their next holiday destination.

 

Persona Spotlight: UK to U.S. Tourists

The UK is a key market for U.S. tourism boards, with 21% of UK internet users intending to travel to the U.S. in the next 12 months.

Here are some key insights into this audience.

37% of UK to U.S. tourists travel with family.

  • Why this is interesting: A significant number of the travelers arriving from the UK do so with family members, making this a key audience for tourism boards to target with their advertising.

65% would visit an official tourism board site before traveling.

  • Why this is interesting: With more than half of UK tourists advising a tourism board site before their vacation, it’s crucial for these sites to be up to scratch and offer the right information.

UK to U.S. tourists have a 30% higher salary than the average.

  • Why this is interesting: Affluent consumers have unique relationships with their brands of choice, and tend to do a lot of traveling. Knowing that, tourism boards can take a closer look into this cohort and what they expect before making their destination decisions.

57% see a sense of adventure as their most enjoyable element of traveling.

  • Why this is interesting: When you know what aspect of traveling is most important to your target audience, you can tailor your messaging to appeal to their interests.

47% prefer holidays planned around personal interests, with only 19% preferring package holidays.

  • Why this is interesting: The majority of UK travelers are keen for tourism boards to personalize their offering, instead of offering one-size-fits-all package deals.

 

Insight in Practice

Looking to compete with nearby, more established counterparts, one U.S. state tourism board turned to consumer insight for answers.

While the team had traditionally focused their advertising efforts on the nature, culture and attractions unique to their state, they were struggling to cut through in an over-crowded travel space.

By leveraging the world’s largest survey on the digital consumer, GlobalWebIndex, the tourism board discovered it hadn’t specifically targeted key audience groupings that would respond well to the prospect of choosing its state as a travel destination.

The team launched a series of ads, both online and on TV, aimed at these specific demographics, including affluent consumers, older travelers and families.

Each ad honed in on different interests relevant to one of the demographic groups, aiming to resonate with them specifically.

By tapping into deep consumer insight, the tourism board could see the shortcomings in its existing marketing strategy, and correct them with ideas backed by data.

Creating a campaign that could cut through the noise and reach the right people in the right place, the brand rapidly increased its visitor numbers.