The pandemic has changed the way we think about many things.
In some cases, the way consumers behave has been altered forever. This is particularly true in the travel industry.
After a year of restrictions, the way people want to travel has created a gap in the market.
Why the Shift
The future of travel is still uncertain as restrictions continue to be imposed by countries around the world. The possibility of rules and regulations being updated within a short space of time poses a risk to those planning trips abroad.
That being said, travelers are taking a more thoughtful approach to booking trips. They want to maximize their experiences and move from a mass traveling mindset toward fewer, more luxury-focused vacations.
With the pent-up demand for travel at an all-time high, travel and hospitality businesses should be looking at the shift from mass travel to luxury travel as an opportunity to tap into the wants and needs of the post-COVID traveler.
According to American Express’s Global Travel Trends Report, 61% of travelers are budgeting to spend more on their trips in 2021 than usual. But what trends should businesses be prioritizing?
How to Manage the Shift
Personalization Is as Important as Ever
We’ve spoken about this before: personalization in the travel industry is crucial. This is especially true with the mass to luxe trend—travelers are expecting to get more for their money.
According to a recent study by Virtuoso, 80% of travelers said they’d spend more on brands that tailor their experiences and products to them.
Travelers Prioritize Sustainability
Sustainability is one of the biggest buzzwords across all industries, and the travel sector is no different. This is becoming more and more important to consumers and businesses alike.
Travelers are willing to spend more on a single sustainable experience than the same amount on multiple trips that don’t take environmental impact into account.
Analysts have predicted that travelers will expect and demand more responsible policies from the organizations they interact with.
The Off-Peak Bird Catches the Worm
In light of the pandemic, travelers are looking for more physical space when booking their trips. In fact, 80% of travelers are willing to book off-season trips to avoid crowds.
Consider how your business can make the most of this. How can you adapt your offerings to appeal to a traveler who is more likely to book off-peak?
Flexibility, Ease, and Safety
This is an obvious one, given how difficult traveling has become during the pandemic. Travelers will be looking for brands who are clear about:
- How they will look after their safety.
- How friction-free their experience will be, such as ease of booking COVID tests prior to departure.
- Flexible policies that will give the consumer peace of mind in case restrictions change and alter their plans.
Taking it a Step Further
When thinking about updating your businesses strategy to tap into the luxury travel market, there’s even more to take into account.
Think about what languages your customers will speak. Personalizing their experience through language preferences is a great step toward increasing bookings and growing brand advocacy.
If you’d like to discuss taking your brand global, get in touch with our team of experts today.