Have you got what it takes to attract the emerging travel market of 2017? They’ve got transformation on the mind.

Transform what exactly and how? There’s lots going on in the world: political and social upheaval here, disease there, terrorism, the health of the plant and well-being of its inhabitants in jeopardy, and there’s a burgeoning sense among modern travellers that they want to do their bit to change the world, one trip at a time.

Transformation now

Travellers are keen to give back to humanity and the planet, to make their impact on the environment and communities they visit as helpful and positive as possible.

They’re looking for lifestyle experiences – to learn about foreign cultures from locals themselves. Here the prospects for special interest tourism should be making your antennae buzz wildly with excitement.

Find ways to infuse your offerings with experiences involving history, art, culture, cuisines, the natural environment, and ecology.

When your guests say a satisfied goodbye, see you later, they want to go home and share what they’ve learnt. They’ll go as far as incorporating their newly acquired perspectives into their everyday lives – that’s true transformation and it starts with travel.

Who is the emerging market?

The persona at the centre of your focus is geo-politically aware, socially, environmentally conscious, the majority of whom are young, well-educated and digitally savvy. They’re motivated to travel in large part by what they see shared on social media. And they’re inclined to engage with like-minded individuals on social sharing sites. Are you there yet?

Take is a fresh look at your local communities for opportunities. The added feather in your cap will be knowing you’ve made a positive impact on your community too.

So, where is this market emerging from? Look East: The Asian Pacific outbound travel market is leading the charge this year, spread across 11 countries including India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and China. Incomes have been rising among the middle class and with that, a shift from thinking of travel as luxury to necessity.

They’re plugged into their mobile devices and social media bombards them mercilessly with travel images and stories. They travel for personal growth through immersive experiences that enable them to embrace local customs and traditions. They often travel alone and enjoy spontaneous planning on the go.

We see many travellers looking for good quality, centrally located accommodation that will give them maximum opportunities to explore on their own.

Gerrit Goedkoop

Expect them to observe your storytelling closely, to check whether you have sustainability at heart or not. Does your accommodation have effective water management, do you pay your staff a decent living wage, do you use local produce and support local entrepreneurs? These explorers put a high premium on ethics.

Other travel types within this market like to plan ahead and show off their travel experiences on social media. Pander to their egos and inject healthy doses of luxury, because for them travel signifies status.

Chinese travellers will be the pick of the bunch as they plan to travel three or more times per year. Planning for them needs to be simple – the buying experience has to accommodate the fact that their travel booking evolved straight from travel agent to smartphone (quite unlike the average Westerner). Here’s hoping you are there now.

Get there, reach out and touch. According to Tnooz, mobile phones so far this year boast 50% share of the total web traffic by device for travel, up 30% from last year. Digitally savvy travellers are the norm now.

Take the pain out of their search

Put your destination knowledge on full display, so that it’s easy for your future guests to find the juicy nuggets of entertainment and noteworthy sites only locals would otherwise know of. Ensure that they can connect with your brand on any device they may be using and tell your product stories with engaging content. Showcase it on social media, join the conversation and stir up some travel envy.

The emerging travel markets present unique challenges with their desire for transformation. It requires you to flex your creative muscles, ask yourself what your brand stands for, and find ways to respond to demand. It serves as another reminder of the digital imperative in travel. To service the emerging markets, mobile is must-have strategy – what’s yours? A genuine sensitivity to what motivates the traveller of the emerging markets is no less than what your guests-to-be expect of you. 祝你好运

Sharing is caring...