In October 2014, two tourism industry summits brought industry experts and leaders together at conferences on opposite coasts to focus on the intersection of technology and travel. Several hundred destination, attraction, airline, hotel, tour and activity marketers focused on the state of play in 2014 and on trends for 2015
In tens of thousands of tweets shared across the cyberspace that was the 1st Skift Global Forum in New York City and the 15th Annual eTourism Summit in San Francisco, thunderous themes surfaced.
In San Francisco, where destination and attraction digital marketing pros worked swiftly through a fire hose of information on topics including advanced social media and mobile advertising strategies, the vibe was described as “feeling uncomfortably excited,” to borrow an expression popular with Googlers.
- Content is still king. To resonate, that content must be human and compelling. Instigate stories, invest in storytellers, embrace conversations with staff, talk to travelers, involve locals as brand ambassadors.
- Online video content done well is essential to stimulate travelers in the dream stage. Brand-specific travel searches on YouTube are now at 77 percent.
- Responsive mobile design! It’s about reaching people everywhere. We’ve already passed the 50 percent benchmark on mobile use for travel-related searches.
- Mobile advertising is in its infancy at only 2 percent of all ads. Native advertising beats banners and gets more click-throughs on mobile than elsewhere.
- Millennials are hanging out on Vimeo, Snapchat and Instagram. Get onboard now.
- Free lunch on Facebook is over. It’s pay-to-play now, so review your KPIs, prioritize and get smart about thinking of the platform as a publisher. Facebook is.
- Big data meets big creativity meets technology; formidable results will follow when these three forces work in tandem.
- First people wanted to live like a local. Now they want to meet the locals. The sharing economy is the new face of travel and experiential travel is here to stay.
- China, China, China
Coyle Hospitality Group operates a highly-regarded mystery shopping service and consults with hotels, restaurants and other travel industry partners, assisting management to ensure that value proposition, customer expectations and experience are finely-tuned and in step across the board.