Welcome to the resurrection of global travel! People are once again visiting museums and attractions all over the globe, and they’re eager to plan their itineraries. How can you get on their radar so that your museum or attraction ends up first on their list? Simple: stay ahead of five key tourism marketing trends.
In a survey Tiqets recently conducted with OnePoll, 2,000 travelers from the US weighed in on how they’re making decisions about where to go and what to do. From this data, we distilled five tourism marketing trends we’re seeing as the high season kicks off. Read on for insights into how you can tap into a new audience of travelers with the right experiences, promotions, offers, and add-ons.
Tourism marketing trend #1:
Bleisure travel is a huge market
“Worldwide, more than one in three business travelers will add a leisure component to at least one of their business trips this year, said Jeanne Liu of the Global Business Travel Association.”– BBC
According to a brand-new Tiqets survey, more than a quarter of business travelers always extend their trip to take advantage of some leisure time. With more and more people also working remotely and taking advantage of the digital nomad lifestyle, there’s suddenly an enormous new audience to market to: bleisure travelers.
Bleisure travel is just what it sounds like: a mash-up of traveling for business and leisure. For museums and attractions, though, it’s not enough to know that more people are traveling while working. It’s knowing how to market to them that counts. For instance, here are some important stats about bleisure travelers:
- 40% of bleisure travelers are most likely to visit an attraction in the morning, versus 34% after work and 32% during lunch. Promoting special morning rates or activities can entice them to your venue versus another.
- 44% of bleisure travelers are bound by time restraints around work. Staying open later and optimizing your checkout flow for last-minute ticket buyers can make your museum or attraction more accessible to them.
- 31% of bleisure travelers don’t want to go alone. Connecting with business and conference organizers to offer special group rates for attendees can tip the scales in your favor.
The more you learn about the hopes and habits of bleisure travelers, the stronger your marketing campaigns can be.
Tourism marketing trend #2:
Passes and combination deals are hot right now
Another current Tiqets finding: travelers of all types tend to visit three to four attractions each time they take a trip. As we’ve seen in Tiqets’ ticketing data, passes and combination deals that enable sightseers to take advantage of multiple museums and attractions for the effort of buying one ticket are extremely popular.
Partnering with other attractions to offer bundled packages can get you on the radar of more visitors. For ideas, check out:
- The NYC Art Museum bundle, which offers discounted entry to the MoMA, the Whitney, and the Guggenheim for the price of one ticket
- The Gaudí Bundle, which includes passes to Sagrada Familia and Park Güell in Barcelona, plus a city audio guide app and self-guided audio tour of Park Güell
- The Vatican City Pass, for entry to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as a Rome city audio guide
Passes and combination deals might be something you broker in person with another nearby museum or attraction, or something you organize through an OTA partner like Tiqets.
Tourism marketing trend #3:
Last-minute offers are a value-add
The ideal scenario would be that tickets are booked far enough in advance to know exactly how to staff your facility and make ordering decisions. But unfortunately, most people don’t plan very far in advance. Across the generations, the majority don’t plan more than three days in advance, and 20% make their ticket-buying choices the day of their visit.
When they do turn their attention to their next adventure, you can be right there with last-minute website promo deals and geo-targeted social media ad campaigns. Marketing is extremely important to capture this spontaneous crowd. As excited as they are for an adventure, they often don’t have a lot of time to do research, according to 35% of those Tiqets polled. With proactive marketing campaigns and excellent SEO embedded in your digital content, you have an advantage over other venues that don’t pop right up as quickly on the internet.
Tourism marketing trend #4:
Add-ons are the way to maximize revenue
While the “sweet spot” for most people in terms of ticket price is $40-59, travelers will happily pay more for something special added to their experience. Here are some of the things they’re excited to splurge on, according to Tiqets’ data:
- A chance to interact with animals at a zoo or aquarium
- A tour guide to personally lead them through the experience
- Behind-the-scenes or backstage access
- A Q&A or other type of formatted conversation with staff, artists, curators, or experts
- Transportation to and from your museum or attraction
- A VIP upgrade
- Food and beverage included in the price
Interestingly, 55% of people would rather spend $100 on an experience than on a meal when traveling for leisure. But a foodie experience on top of their museum-going experience? Priceless.
Tourism marketing trend #5:
Instagram is the marketing platform of choice
Social media is one of the main ways people find out about museums and attractions. This is true across the generations, and for every generation, Instagram is the most popular social media platform for this type of knowledge gathering.
When it comes to helping you capitalize on tourism marketing trends, Instagram has a lot of creative and tactical versatility. For instance, organic (unpaid) posting is a fantastic way to build a following. Using imagery, captions, hashtags, and wit, museums such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art attract hundreds of thousands of curious followers.
If you have a budget for social media advertising campaigns, you can take advantage of the incredibly precise targeting capabilities Instagram offers. You can, for instance, target your sponsored posts toward a specific generation or other type of demographic. Or work with an influencer to help engage more people in a particular target group.
Adapt the tourism marketing trends that work for you
Now, let’s put it all together and visualize the ideal visitor this year:
The bleisure traveler who finds out about a last-minute bundled deal to visit your museum or attraction via Instagram, and adds on a foodie experience or personalized tour to make it really special.
Mythical creature or real customer? According to Tiqets data, they’re the real thing. Go find out for yourself!