For the travel industry, the last two years were the most difficult ever. Not even the 2008 economic crisis hit so hard an industry that depends on people’s freedom of movement (and willingness to do so). Even after stay at home mandates were lifted, fear of catching a deadly virus stopped people from booking holidays.
Once efficient vaccines appeared, the attitudes have changed. Now, as the pandemic appears to be on the way out, hotels and restaurants are ready to entice their customers once again. In this article, we will show you how to do it – more precisely, the content marketing trends for the travel industry that work in 2022.
What Has Changed in the Tourists’ Perception of the Travel Industry?
The need for a new content marketing strategy comes from a profound change in the customers’ behaviour. Two years in self-isolation, working from home and exploring the world from their laptop or smartphone only has changed the way people envision a holiday.
Many people had epiphanies – they want to change their lifestyle and improve it. They want to become more in touch with nature. They want authentic experiences, not tourist traps. The ability to check for reviews and ratings, the huge availability of recommendations, photos and videos promoting various places across the world on the social media has made them connoisseurs of travel and accommodation.
So, what the travel industry has to adapt to is a new type of tourist, who:
- Is less focused on traditional travel packages
- Wants unique, authentic experiences
- Is very savvy when choosing hotels and airlines
- Knows more about the world, even in its most remote places.
What Are the Content Marketing Trends for the Travel Industry to Satisfy These Needs?
So, what would persuade the new type of tourist to book a holiday? What types of content would they find persuading and reliable? Let us look at the key trends that will rule 2022 and even the next coming years:
1. Promoting Local Travel Experiences
The concept of “staycation” appeared as a need to give people a sense of being on holiday while being prevented from travelling. As a hotel or restaurant owner, you know your local area, and all the things that are fun to do for everyone: families with kids, newlyweds, elderly people, etc.
By talking about local festivals, the specific of your cuisine, the events your location will host, you can attract customers from you own city or from nearby towns. After all, you don’t have to go across the world to have fun, right?
2. Recommending Remote Travel Spots
Stories and videos that promote travel destinations off the beaten path are extremely popular. Many people feel that they need to reconnect with nature as a way of recovering their peace of mind and tranquillity after the COVID pandemic.
Thus, articles about things to do within hiking/cycling/driving distance from your location are very popular among tourists and will remain one of the key content marketing trends for the travel industry for years. Focus on natural monuments, camping areas, places where families can enjoy outdoor adventures and sports.
3. Fun Things to Do for All Generations
So far, the travel industry has targeted clients by age groups. The pandemic has changed this. People have discovered how fragile life is and how important it is to spend as much time as possible with all the generations in their family.
The new content marketing trends for the travel industry include a focus on activities that people from different generations can enjoy. Many families will now include parents and grandparents in their holiday plans. These large groups have different levels of fitness and interests. Somehow, your hotel, resort or restaurant must find something interesting to do for everyone – and promote it in an inclusive manner.
4. Virtual Tours
Virtual tours will not go away, just because people are now able and willing to travel. On the contrary – these tours will stay one of the strongest content marketing trends for the travel industry.
360 degree videos and other types of immersive and interactive content will replace traditional presentation brochures and photos. Tourists will take a virtual tour, decide whether they would enjoy your location and then book a holiday. So, keep learning about the latest developments in AR and VR, because they are the new standard in digital marketing.
5. Focus on Flexible Terms and Conditions
Although the pandemic appears to be receding, it is still not over. Many people are worried about the possibility of booking a holiday and then being unable to travel. Most players in the hospitality and travel industry understood this issue, and became more flexible in terms of cancellations and postponing a booking.
So, talk about it. Answer the customers’ questions before they need to ask them. One of the most effective content marketing trends for the travel industry is a focus on the way you changed and adapted your services to suit the current uncertain conditions.
6. Sustainability Makes the Difference for Tourists
Having time to explore various topics during stay at home mandates, many people learned more about global warming, the carbon footprint and the negative impacts of aggressive tourism on various places across the world.
Now, they want to make a change – and it starts with their own choices. Given the option, they will stay in a hotel and resort which strives to be sustainable – from the way it treats its employees to the way they are sourcing food and energy. This is the time to showcase your own efforts in minimizing the impact of your business on the environment and the efforts to offer fair working conditions to your staff. Every piece of proof you can include in your content marketing can bring you more eco- and social-conscious tourists.
7. Offer Genuine Insights into Your Travel Destination
Forget about the standard picture perfect beaches and laughing tourists with cocktail glasses in their hands. One of the most effective content marketing trends for the travel industry is showcasing what makes your destination unique and authentic.
Focus on the locals, on traditions and cultural events, on quirky landmarks and legends about various places. Showcase what really makes you happy and proud to live and do business there. This is what tourists are looking for, what they are willing to pay to come and see for themselves.
The world has changed and it will never go back to its old ways. People have found new values and new ways of living their lives. For the travel industry, this is a huge challenge, as it has to change many of its well-established business and marketing models. However, each major change is a great opportunity to reinvent your business and make it better, both for yourself and for your customers. With these content marketing trends for the travel industry, you will certainly make a great start!