2018 The Year Of Niche Travel

I have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the​ bad news,​ so this article can proceed in​ the​ positive manner readers will have become accustomed to: Travel bookings are down in​ the​ USA,​ both online and offline for 2018. Now,​ the​ flip side: travel expenditure is​ on​ the​ up. Usually one would expect these two figures to​ move in​ largely the​ same direction,​ but as​ there is​ a​ drop in​ the​ number of​ people buying,​ the​ larger revenues can only mean that people are willing to​ spend more for a​ holiday. This is​ good news but what does it​ mean?

in​ a​ recent article,​ Forrester analyst Henry Hartveldt states that “Customers are tired of​ spending two or​ three hours trying to​ find the​ airline or​ hotel or​ vacation package that meets their needs.” in​ the​ same article,​ Jeffery Grau,​ Emarketer’s senior analyst,​ states that “Online travel distributors’ booking tools were made for mass consumption of​ uniform goods. They have yet to​ switch to​ an​ era of​ individual consumption of​ unique goods.” Jeffrey goes on​ to​ say that holidays should not be designed through some kind of​ one-size-fits-all brief. Increasingly people want the​ personalisation that offline travel agencies are often better at​ providing.

To me,​ from an​ online marketing point of​ view,​ this is​ a​ huge opportunity for niche operators. Not only are people prepared to​ spend more on​ their holidays but they are increasing looking for more individual holidays. These niche holiday makers lean towards those experts who have the​ knowledge to​ create interesting holiday experiences for them. Often the​ brick and mortar holiday providers offer customers a​ better experience in​ this regard – they can talk to​ a​ sales rep,​ who will be able to​ understand their experiences and help them to​ make their ideal holiday.

We carried out some of​ our own keyword research on​ a​ variety of​ phrases related to​ tailor made holidays and found that there are a​ nice selection of​ these being used on​ UK search engines with fairly good numbers.

So,​ we know the​ market is​ there,​ but how can niche operators capitalise on​ the​ demand? the​ answer is,​ of​ course,​ by providing everything that can be found in​ the​ high street online. you​ need to​ allow customers to​ mix and match hotels,​ flights and itineraries to​ create their own unique experience. By all means offer itinerary suggestions,​ but always remember that your customers are unique and will like certain bits while disliking others,​ so give them the​ option to​ make the​ changes THEY want. you​ will likely find a​ large proportion of​ your visitors will consider paying just a​ little more for their own holiday experience,​ rather than having to​ make do with an​ inflexible package that is​ sold to​ the​ mass market.

Of course this could create a​ dilemma in​ the​ programming of​ your site – as​ Jeffery Grau said earlier – most websites are designed for the​ old world where consumer choice meant selecting the​ country,​ city and hotel. if​ you​ have the​ time and resources to​ make your site offer the​ functionality,​ then excellent,​ but it​ isn’t always necessary: you​ can create a​ similar effect by listing a​ few sample itineraries online,​ and then offering your customers a​ chance to​ have their dream package made for them in​ person: Provide phone numbers,​ with calls to​ action,​ letting the​ customer know that they can have their dream vacation tailored to​ their needs,​ and that your staff are prepared to​ bend over backwards to​ structure a​ package just for them.

It may seem that changing the​ way your company offers holidays is​ excessive for the​ niche market which is,​ by definition,​ limited,​ but the​ trends in​ the​ US (which Europe usually catches up with sooner or​ later) suggest to​ us that the​ market is​ going to​ exert greater influence in​ the​ future. 2008 could well be the​ year of​ niche travel,​ and if​ you​ get the​ groundwork right,​ you​ may find a​ nice increase in​ traffic from those disillusioned by the​ paint-by-numbers nature of​ the​ UK package holiday market.
2018 The Year Of Niche Travel 2018 The Year Of Niche Travel Reviewed by Henda Yesti on July 08, 2018 Rating: 5

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