Your travel business will attract customers because you offer a great product that no competitors offer or because customers trust the business owner. In other words, tourists will book with your travel agency because they believe in your expertise and industry knowledge.
How will they know and trust your expertise if you don’t do the right thing to establish yourself as a travel expert? You will, of course, need to search for efficient ways to promote your travel agency. There is no one-size-fits-all approach if you want to market and brand your travel business. If you are a solo entrepreneur or an online travel agent, chances are you don’t have enough team and resources to help run large-scale marketing campaigns.
However, there are easy steps you can leverage that don’t require any digital marketing expertise. These tips are equally valid if you are starting a travel business.
1) Pick a Social Media Platform
You will need to choose the social media platform that your target audience uses. It could be Instagram. The reason you need one over many is that you will need time to create content. Producing social media content for your travel business could be time-consuming while you have to run other business operations. Fix yourself a calendar and a content topic. Instagram travel or any social media platform you choose can showcase different aspects of your travel business, such as stunning destinations and unique experiences. Engage with your audience by asking questions and encouraging them to share their travel stories or tips.
2) Leverage of Local Advertising
Unless your travel business specifically targets a certain demographic, it is also important to advertise locally and leverage local advertising opportunities to establish yourself as a sought-after local destination or service provider. Being known at home and abroad is a great thing, isn’t it? It increases brand recognition and attracts a potential customer base in the short and long term. It also helps establish credibility and trust in the market.
If it makes sense for your target audience and your finances, you could try placing ads in online newspapers, TV stations, or billboards. Coca-Cola is a prime example of a company that has successfully achieved global recognition and built a loyal customer following in both spheres.
3) Start a Referral Program for Your Travel Business
This is one of the lowest-cost marketing ideas for your travel business. Implementing a referral program can help increase word-of-mouth marketing and attract new customers to your travel business, even on an unexpected scale. Consciously or unconsciously, we, from time to time, refer products and services without getting paid.
Recommending products and services without getting paid is a common practice among individuals. You buy an iPhone 13 and start talking to your friends and family about its features, whether it’s the camera quality, the sleek design, or the impressive processing power. Imagine someone or a hotel referring your travel business for a commission. Isn’t that more encouraging? Here are the types of people you can rely on with a referral program: Your past clients, hotels, travel agents, taxi drivers, etc.
4) Promotional Merchandise and Gifts
On top of your great customer service, referral programs combined with promotional merchandise and gifts are another simple and effective way to promote your travel business among your clients and community. Who doesn’t like a gift or a free, useful item? T-shirts, travel mugs, and great postcards from X destinations will stick with your clients and remind them of their amazing travel experiences.
You may downplay this marketing as too traditional, but one thing is certain: tourism is about people. “Wherever it is you may be, it is your friends who make your world.” —Chris Bradford. In other words, building strong relationships and connections with others is essential in the tourism industry. If you are a trustworthy and reliable travel business, no wonder people will be happy to associate with you and talk about you to their friends—free of charge.
5) Attend Travel Fairs and Events
While leveraging the power of digital marketing to showcase your travel business and connect with potential customers is the most embraced way in this era, we shouldn’t ignore the power of human connection. Your SEO travel and social media strategy are just tools to serve human needs.
Participating in travel fairs and events allows for personal interaction and networking opportunities that can greatly benefit your travel business. You can’t show enough of your sense of humor online, but in-person interactions and conversations are where genuine connections are made. According to a Forbes study on the importance of face-to-face business meetings, 85% of business travel and meetings result in stronger and more meaningful relationships. Having a great online presence is important, but it cannot replace the power of in-person interactions.
6) Email Marketing Works with Your Travel Businesses
Email marketing allows you to personalize your communication and deliver targeted messages directly to your audience’s inbox. Utilize email marketing to supplement your online presence and further strengthen your relationships with clients and prospects.
It can serve as a valuable tool for nurturing relationships, providing updates, and sharing exclusive content that adds value to your clients’ experiences. Before sending an email, ask yourself, who needs this, why, and when they need this information.
7) Travel Contest is also a Good Strategy
Host a contest or giveaway to engage your audience and increase brand awareness. If you know your target audience well and understand their preferences and interests, you can run this type of promotion. Let’s say you sell fixed-departure group tours. You can partner with travel influencers or bloggers to host a giveaway where participants can win a free trip. Offering two seats on one of your group tours as a prize will, in the short or long term, have a positive result.
8) Join Travel Associations.
This can be a chance to increase your visibility and credibility in the industry. It is important for travel businesses to join travel associations because it allows them to connect with other professionals in the industry and stay updated on business travel trends and forecasts. By being a part of a travel association, businesses can gain access to valuable resources, educational opportunities, and networking events that can help them grow and thrive in the competitive travel industry.
Additionally, being a member of a reputable travel association can enhance the credibility and reputation of a travel business, leading to increased trust and confidence from potential customers.
9) Repeat: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
There is no need to change a strategy as long as it works with your business goals. However, it is important to regularly evaluate your strategies and adapt them as needed to stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry. This flexibility can help your travel business stay ahead of the competition and continue to meet the evolving needs and preferences of your customers.
FAQs on How to Market and Launch Your Travel
What is a travel business?
A travel business is a company or organization that provides services related to travel, such as booking flights, accommodations, and tours for individuals or groups. It can also include offering travel packages, organizing events or conferences, and providing travel-related information and assistance to customers.
How profitable is travel business?
The profitability of a travel business can vary depending on various factors such as market conditions, competition, and the effectiveness of the business’s strategies. However, the travel industry is generally considered to be a lucrative sector with the potential for high profits, especially if the business is able to offer unique and high-quality services that cater to the demands of its target market.
What is corporate travel management?
It refers to the process of planning, organizing, and coordinating business-related travel arrangements for employees of a company. This includes managing travel expenses, booking flights and accommodations, arranging transportation, and ensuring compliance with company policies and budgets.
What does starting a travel business require
Starting a travel business requires careful market research and analysis to identify potential target customers and their travel preferences. Additionally, it is important to establish partnerships with airlines, hotels, and other travel service providers to offer competitive rates and attractive packages to clients.
The success of your travel business depends on a mix of different techniques and strategies that take both the power of travel digital transformation and effective in-person interactions into consideration. While digital tools and technology have undoubtedly enhanced the tourism industry, the true essence of tourism lies in the personal connections and experiences shared between people. We are thankful that these connections cannot be fully replicated or replaced by digital means alone. Remember to leverage the benefits of technology while still prioritizing meaningful human connections.