North American travelers are some of the most sought after guests in the travel industry, as they travel often and frequently. If one of your niche markets is the North American traveler, listen up so you can learn more about the travel habits of this changing market. We call it a changing market for a few reasons. One the demographics of the North American traveler is changing. With a large aging population coming into age and retirement, retirees are a great market to capture. Secondly, the economy is getting stronger after the almost crash in 2008 so there is more disposable income for travel and people are feeling more financial security.
We will review the facts that were shared by MMGY Global a few weeks ago. Then we will translate this information into some pointed social media strategies that could help you win this travel market, no matter where your travel business is in the world.
Facts about the North American traveler and their travel habits
- 90% of North Americans took an overnight trip in 2012
- 8 out of 10 North Americans took a leisure trip where as 4 out of 10 North Americans took a business trip
- Of the North Americans who travel, they averaged 3.8 trips in 2011/2012 per year
- 75% if North Americans think that a vacation is a right not a privilege and exercise that right through travel
- More North Americans are using meta search sites like Kayak for travel booking and less are using OTA’s like Expedia
- 51% of North American travelers visit Tripadvisor before they book their vacation to check reviews and insights
- 32% of North American households with an income of $250,000 usd took more leisure trips than previous years
- 20% of travelers are grandparents and 40% of this travel group had multigenerational trips with their kids and grandchildren
How North American travelers book their vacation
- Over 50% of North American own a smartphone or tablet and use these device to book their vacations
- Travel status is based on who got the best deal, not who spent the most money on their vacation or paid top dollar for a vacation
- More travelers are booking last minute trips (6.2 days before their vacation), less travelers are using flash sales
- Value for price is most important (this does not mean cheap vacations it is value for price)
- Travelers base their travel decisions on social media sites, what people recommend and where people are going
- Travelers are looking for something new and different, they are not looking for the regular vacation. They want wanderlust!
Social media strategies tourism businesses can use for the North American markets
1. Encourage your guests and clients to post reviews and photos on social media sites – train your staff to regularly discuss in conversation what social media sites your company uses. When people know you are on Facebook, or Twitter or Pinterest, they want to join in. If they don’t know they will not take the time to share on your social networks. Decide how this information will be shared with each guest, and encourage social media interaction.
2. When using social media sites, post how you are different from others. It is never a great idea to post just about ME on social media but you can post exciting photos and videos that show you are different. Show people your wanderlust and have your guests share their wanderlust.
3. Participate, participate, participate. Get off your timeline and onto your home in Facebook. Set up alerts in your social media so you see what people are sharing about you. See what people are sharing and if it is related to you, share it. Search for guests comments, photos and videos through key words on all social media and share their content. If they are not finding you, find them.
4. Give guests a reason to go to your social media networks. Find apps that are useful for your guests and add them to your social media networks, find maps, find resources and add them to your pages. Your concierge services can be on your social media and guests can be referred to these sites to get the information. Be creative and give them a reason to go there.
If a guest does not find you on social media give them a reason to go to your social media. Educate your employees in using social media as contact options, sharing information, and finding resources. When guests see that you are using social media they want to be on your network.
North American travelers are easy to find and easy to retain if you know what they are looking for. Think about the information above and see what additional social media strategies you can employ to gain this market.
Read our lastest post on Me vs We so you do not make a typical social media posting mistake