America is one of the top travel destinations in the world thanks to its huge influence on mainstream media. Get your company ready to dominate this summer season with these 6 travel trends.
1. Rise of the Free Independent Traveller
Free Independent Travellers (FIT) are travellers who prefer self-booked trips as opposed to large group tours with less flexibility. With the internet as our number one source of information these days, these travellers believe that they can plan and book their entire holiday without the help of traditional travel agents. They get to create flexible schedules and plan their trip according to their own interests.
2. Growing interest in national parks
In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, a lot of promotional activities have been carried out. Many states have followed suit to promote their local parks online, outlining beautiful hiking trails like those in Virginia. To top it all off, Fodor named America's national parks the number one destination on its "Go List 2016". With such focused marketing efforts, much interest has been drawn back to the great outdoors.
3. Road trips are making a comeback
Self-driving tours are becoming more and more popular as car rentals are becoming more affordable, further fueled by the drop in the price of gas this year. This form of travel allows travellers the chance to create a more authentic experience with the help of an experienced travel agent, and a lot more time and freedom to explore a destination.
4. The largest inbound market is none other than China
This should come as no surprise that the largest group of inbound travellers hail from China (after from Mexico and Canada). My suggestion is to brush up on your knowledge of this market, as well as what they want from a travel experience, and the best way to deliver that. That being said, don't forget other Asian countries like India and Japan that are quickly growing too.
5. Tourists want to get their adrenalin pumping
Amongst the many activities one can do while on holiday in America, many tourists also enjoy unleashing their inner James Bond, Rambo or Dominic Toretto. Yes, tourists go to America to race a car and fire a gun. Not at the same time I hope.
6. Tourism companies need to get online or risk losing out
With the rise of social media, many of your customers exist in "a social ecosystem", placing a high value on what they see on social media. Beautiful pictures from exotic destinations on social media is powerful and has the ability to influence which companies people decide to book their next travel experience with.
Accordingly, "80% are more likely to book a trip from a company “liked” by a friend than a conventional Facebook ad", highlighting the importance of word of mouth marketing and online reviews.
Start by building your own website with an integrated online booking and payment system, followed by claiming your listing on TripAdvisor and developing your presence on popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Are there any other travel trends you've noticed in America? Let us know in the comments below.
Interested in building your own website and establishing your presence online? Build it with TrekkSoft.
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.