Sustainable intentions: make a difference for your travellers

Sustainability has been on the tourism industry agenda for years, and there have been a lot of meetings, summits and brainstorm sessions. However, the group of tour operators that are really making a change and create a positive impact is still far too small. The dull image is fading, and sustainability increasingly fits into the more conscious lifestyle of more and more people. Sustainability is becoming a standard for everyone, instead of just a niche and it fits within every journey, with every tourist and with every tour operator.

The customer journey in 2020

The travel industry is constantly changing, and it is particularly important to keep up with the developments regarding the customer journey. Satisfied travellers are essential for every tour operator and it is all the more important to be aware of the current developments. This blog gives you five points of attention of the customer journey you can anticipate on in 2020.

1. Personalisation

Not exactly a surprising development, but still a very important one. The demand for personalisation during the customer journey is increasing. From the very first customer contact moment until after their trip, your customers expect to be treated in a special way. Whether they go on a daytrip or travel with you for a month, they are looking for a tailor-made experience.

Best practice tip: Invest in a personal relationship with your customers by using first names, sharing personal experiences and making sure they feel special. A satisfied customer is the best marketing you can have!

Sustainable intentions: online software

2. Online software

Most travellers book their journey online, so it is all the more important your website is well designed and has enough information to offer. Thing of a lot of content such as blogs and destination information. In addition, more and more software are available to automate your customer communication, travel itineraries and marketing. The more you do online, the less waste and better for the environment.

Best practice tip: Start using software to create beautiful travel itineraries with a professional layout, easy online use during their journey in an app, and personalised for your customer.

3. Unique experiences

Travellers are more and more searching for meaningful and unique experiences. In particular, they do not want to just finish the Top 10 on Tripadvisor, but to make an actual connection with the local population and enjoy untouched nature. Consider offering homestays, cooking local dishes or nature walks with a local guide. Focus on authentic, local experiences that the traveller will remember for a lifetime.

Best practice tip: Don’t send all travellers to the same homestay or community but create a larger pool where you can rotate the offer. This way, the traveller has a unique experience and more locals benefit from tourism.

Sustainable intentions: get off the beaten track

4. Off the beaten track

It’s no secret that destinations worldwide suffer from overtourism and that both residents as travellers are dissatisfied. The solution? Visit other destinations! Fortunately, this goes perfectly with the development of offering unique experiences. Get off the beaten track and offer trips to lesser-known places to create a unique experience and relieve pressure on over tourism.

Best practice tip: Promote low season for a different travel experience and look for alternatives for the highlights. Travel away from over-visited temples and beaches and offer your travellers the less-discover places.

5. Environmentally friendly

Already a hot topic in 2019 and not different in 2020. Tourism has a large share in the pollution of our planet. We are talking about our waste (hi plastic!) but also the CO2 emissions of (air) travel. Unfortunately, we are not in the position to solve the problem, but we can make a positive contribution. For travel organisations, creating awareness among travellers to make them part of the solution, is the most important thing to do to.

Best practice tip: Involve the traveller in the solution and make them aware of the impact. State no only what you do (CO2 compensation), but why and especially how (which project), and indicate the impact on destinations. The more tangible the better!

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