Looking back at an exciting week at the ITB in Berlin, this year was the 50th anniversary of an event that started small but has grown into the largest travel trade show of the world. Along with the trade show, ITB hosted the Leading Travel Industry Think Tank, an essential platform for sharing international trends in the tourism industry as well as discovering new and innovative business models.
During the convention, the topic of millennials dominated much of the discussions and workshops. Millennials are people born between 1980 - 2000 and are on track to becoming the largest spending travel demographic by 2020.
I had the luck of attending a good few of these seminars and am happy to share with you the 3 seminars that gave me the most insight on how tour and activity companies can attract more millennials to their tours.
Quick wins for tour operators to increase online visibility and conversion rates
Speaker: Michael Pötscher, TourRadar
The WYSE travel confederation organized several seminars and workshops around the theme youth travel. One of favourite seminars on the WYSE stage was held by Michael Pötscher in which he shared quick wins for tour operators to increase online visibility. He emphasised the importance of gathering and sharing customer reviews for attracting the under 35 traveller.
Digital Transformation in Travel
Moderated by: Nicolas Hall, Founder 7 CEO, SE1 Media
The panel guests for the Digital Transformation In Travel session also concluded that the young traveller is more likely to travel slowly. Destination managers and tour operators can make travelers stick around for longer by providing them with a culturally rich experience. An easy way to do this is by adapting your tours more to the local environment. Hire local tour guides, share local folk stories and serve local food to provide your customers with a more authentic experience.
Booking Opportunities are Everywhere: Cross-Device, Facebook, & Mobile
Speaker: Stephen Taylor, Senior VP of Enterprise Solutions
The ETravel World seminar revolved around themes such as digital marketing, social media and mobile travel services. In his talk, Stephen Taylor highlighted how “booking opportunities are everywhere” and provided us with insight into multichannel search behavior of customers prior to travelling. The majority of travellers use multiple devices when planning for their next holiday. If you are able collect data on the online search behaviour of your customers, you can tailor your marketing message to tell a consistent story across all devices.
The future success of many tour and activity operators depends on their ability to attract millennials to their tours. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do so!