Competition in the travel sector is as fierce as ever, and hotels, agencies, and other tourism-dependent businesses must differentiate themselves to stand out among their competitors. Customized travel content is one of the simplest, yet most effective, ways to do so.
By helping a potential customer understand visa and health requirements, save money on flights, and get to know all that the destination has to offer, travel content both inspires people to travel and helps them actually define their plans. This includes any material that a customer can use to orient themself in a new place and get the most out of their experience.
Our current age of personalized messaging and multiple formats presents a unique opportunity for the travel industry to offer dynamic content that’s engaging for every audience. In this blog post, we’ll go over some different kinds of this type of content, then examine ways that it can help you take your business to new heights.
Types of travel content
Travel content is no longer synonymous with the one-size-fits-all, often outdated brochures that used to crowd stands at tour companies and hotels. Today, customers demand content that is personalized to match their interests and preferences. Here’s a selection of our favorites.
It’s a terrible feeling to wait in line at the airport check-in counter and wonder if you might be denied boarding because of some missing document. Visa and health requirements can be confusing, especially after the pandemic. While many countries have lifted all their Covid travel restrictions, some still require visitors to present proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Entry guides can be of great value to people interested in traveling because having all the necessary information in one place, in the form of a clear guide written by a reliable source, streamlines the trip planning process and allows for greater peace of mind.
Since visa and health requirements vary not only by destination but also based on the traveler’s nationality, trip origin, purpose of travel and other factors, Smartvel’s Travel Requirements platform, EntryDocs, takes things a step further and offers travel advice that’s completely personalized.
Customized travel guides
To create an exceptional travel guide, a brand must first start with access to a vast array of activities, experiences, and events in the destination. But instead of presenting an overwhelming number of options to the traveler, the ideal travel guide is customized to include only the ones most likely to interest the customer.
Smartvel’s Customized Travel Guides widget works with big data and machine learning technology to create personalized profiles and sift through a large number of events in search of the most relevant ones. The guides currently cover more than 400 destinations, are available in more than 15 languages, and are customized to fit your brand’s values and aesthetic.
More and more companies are incorporating chatbots to help customers quickly find the information they’re looking for in an intuitive way, without having to click through various web pages. A well-programed chatbot that has access to a large database of tourism information can help travelers find things to do that are perfectly suited to their interests.
A chatbot can mimic the experience of texting with an especially well-informed concierge, but one that’s available at all hours of the day and night and responds to messages instantly.
Benefits of travel content
Now that we’ve gone over a few of the many products and services that fall into the category of travel content, let’s look at how providing this content to customers or potential customers can give your business a competitive edge.
1. Build trust with your customers
It’s easy for a hotel to boast its top-of-the-line concierge service or a tour company to claim that its guides are the most knowledgeable in the industry. Whether customers decide to believe those statements—that’s another story. Better than saying is doing: you can prove your expertise by offering high-quality travel content.
By providing innovative travel content to customers (or future customers), your company can establish itself as an expert in the industry and trusted source of information. If the traveler hasn’t yet hired your services, they will be more likely to do so if you’ve already created value for them. Current customers are more likely to return or recommend your business to others.
2. Strengthen your brand identity
The travel guides that your business provides will reflect your target audiences—by catering to their different interests and physical abilities, for example—but they will also inevitably say a lot about your own company. In other words, it presents a perfect branding opportunity.
For example, a hotel or travel agency that prioritizes sustainability has to ensure that its values are present in its brand identity if it hopes to attract customers that share those values. So a good idea would be to offer a trip planning guide that instructs travelers on the best way to enjoy (and arrive to) their destination while limiting their negative environmental impact.
3. Grow your online presence
These days, having a significant (and flattering) online presence is a requirement for just about any company that wants to grow. It’s especially important in the travel industry, since customers may not know anyone living in their destination or who has been to their destination, making word-of-mouth recommendations impossible.
Social media posts and SEO blogs are an effective way to drive traffic to your site and multiply your leads. But growing your online presence with travel content can even go beyond these classic methods. The most innovative brands are simultaneously exploring other channels such as AI direct messaging, event calendar widgets, and fully customized travel guides.
4. Help create amazing travel experiences
Making interesting travel content is not only a creative pursuit, but also a very rewarding one. People seek travel for many reasons—to explore a new culture, with its differences and similarities to their own, or to discover elements of their own personality that are only revealed outside of their familiarity zone. At its best, travel is transformative.
A travel content creator with expert knowledge of the destination has the power to help create the kind of travel experiences that stay with people for a very long time, or even change the course of their lives. They just need to know their audience, think about the reasons why people travel, and go beyond the well-trodden places.
Helping people have meaningful experiences is, of course, a reward in and of itself. But since we started with business, let’s end on the same note: it’s a big win for your company’s reputation and, we venture to say, a win for the whole travel industry.