Whether you were lucky enough to be in attendance, or you missed out, our digital briefing at the beginning of October was a spectacular event….

We took a dive head first into the tourism industry, with speakers from leading companies, including TUI, Jetline Cruise, London and Partners, Travel GBI and The Tourism Alliance.

UK tourism looks set for a sustained period of growth in coming years, with a 6% rise in domestic holidays as well as a 19% increase in overseas visitors. It’s time for UK tourism businesses to recognise the true potential of digital marketing, and the power it holds to increase visitor numbers.

The Path to Purchase with Will Prosser

Will Prosser, Senior Mobile Product Manager – Europe at TUI, kicked off our event with a thought-provoking talk about the ever-changing travel industry, discussing the path to purchase and how we need to learn more about our customers to really engage with them.

Did you know that 50% of people will close your website if it doesn’t load within three seconds on mobile? Answering the all-important questions, Will’s talk showed that understanding the context of where your users are coming from can really help you focus on the data. This enables you to be confident in your decision to place mobile at the core of your consumer experience.

Mobile behaviours have fundamentally changed the path to purchase. Why? Well, the customer journey has become far more fragmented and complex, there are more touch points than ever before,  which shape preferences and influence our consumers. Our customers have become informed and empowered. There is an ever-increasing expectation on brands, each moment is a critical opportunity to get your customer to engage with you, and you need to make sure you’re there and listening.

 

Key Takeaways from Will’s talk:

  1. Personalisation (be relevant)
  2. Consistent experience
  3. Implement a culture of constant transformation and innovation (but not just for the sake of it!)

“There has never been an easier time to be a customer, nor a harder time to be a business.” – Will Prosser

What Can Social Media Listening teach us? Jennifer Stubley uncovers the impact of major incidents on tourism in London…

According to Jennifer Stubley, Senior Social Media Executive at London and Partners, terrorist attacks have no long-term impact on tourism visitor numbers to London, although US visits to London have flatlined since the financial crisis. It’s important to recognise that social media can play a big part in showing how the community comes together after an incident like this.

In the wake of the borough market attack, London and Partners recorded nearly 11 million conversations regarding this incident and 77% of these conversations took place on Twitter. 44% of Twitter users post messages of kindness or defiance following a terrorist attack. As businesses, we need to learn to react very quickly after an incident in London, and using a social monitoring tool can help you be proactive. There are short-term and long-term benefits to using a tool like this, creating an opportunity to use the data gathered to inform our messaging, manage reputation and look at sentiment analysis over time.

 

Due to the confidential and high-security nature of Jennifer’s talk, unfortunately, we cannot give more information about her presentation.

“Terrorist attacks do not have a long-term effect on visitor numbers.” – Jennifer Stubley

Trends in UK Tourism and Package Travel Regulations from Kurt Janson

Kurt Janson is the Director of The Tourism Alliance, and former Head of Strategic Planning at VisitBritain, he delved into UK trends, focusing on regulations and how people are moving around.

If you multiply the drop in exchange rate by 1.3, you get the percentage rise in inbound tourism in the UK. This ever-increasing rise in inbound tourism is creating more jobs in our industry. Without these jobs, in July 2017, inbound and domestic tourism wouldn’t have reached it’s highest numbers on record.

 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Younger generations are opting for City Breaks
  2. Families are vacating on rural or seaside breaks – see popular family travel blog
  3. Top four trends (of what our consumers want) in tourism in 2017: Safety, Added Value, Authenticity and Trophy Hunting.

“There is a new job created in the tourism industry for every £54,000 in increased revenue. We’re on track to create 40,000 more jobs in UK tourism.” – Kurt Janson

Finally, Digital Journeys in Travel with Philip Price

P&O believed that experience is everything, this is how they succeeded to become one of the most profitable cruise liners in the UK. Philip Price, Non-Executive Director at Jetline and Former Marketing Director, P&O Cruises, ended the presentations with some sound advice for taking your users on a digital journey.

All of the fancy design in the world would make no difference if you don’t make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for. And the longer they struggle, the more likely they will just go somewhere else. What was unthinkable five years ago is now becoming a reality, Iglu Cruise and Cruise.co.uk now have the potential to overtake P&O in the share of the online cruise traffic.

Voice search is the beginning of the journey, it is something truly remarkable that will one day become a game changer.

 

Key Takeaways from Philip’s talk:

  1. Experience is everything
  2. Airbnb’s branding is a lesson for us all
  3. Voice search is the future

“Sometimes you have to go back to the basics. Keep it simple, use digital in the right way.”  – Philip Price

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