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Jani Elmore

Jani has been growing her marketing career working exclusively in the luxury travel and wedding industries since 2012. She enjoys crafting content that informs, persuades, entertains and connects.

Welcome to the world of modern travel marketing, where the ever-evolving preferences and behaviors of today’s travelers demand a strategic overhaul. Expedia’s The Path to Purchase report is proof that to thrive in this dynamic industry, it’s essential to embrace a fresh perspective and arm yourself with strategies that resonate with the contemporary explorer. Journey with us as we delve into the recent report’s top five marketing takeaways that will not only pique wanderlust but also transform casual browsers into committed bookers. These are the top travel motivators for today’s traveler.

Top Travel Motivators from Expedia - Resources used for trip inspiration graph
Source: Expedia’s The Path to Purchase Report

1. Ignite Wanderlust Through Social Media Mastery

As travelers embark on the thrilling “inspiration” phase of their journey, the top 3 channels they use to spark ideas for their trip include social media, travel blogs/review sites and destination sites.

  • Consistently post organic content on the trifecta for travel inspiration: Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and run sponsored ads to amplify your allure.
  • Write original blogs that answer potential questions your guests are typing into Google or get featured on a travel blog that already has a high readership.
  • Actively check and respond to your reviews, even the negative ones. A carefully crafted, polite response that addresses the complaint is better than no response at all.
  • Partner with a local destination site whether it be a simple banner ad on their site, sponsored guest blog, social media partnered post or a dedicated section in their e-newsletter.

Initial Trip Inspirations Graph
Source: Expedia’s The Path to Purchase Report

2. Tap into Travel Motivators Like Special Events & Celebrations

Aside from a conversation with a family member, the primary two driving forces behind contemporary travelers’ motivation to journey are either a) a routine trip or holiday break or b) a specific event or celebration.

  • Set up automated emails to go out on guests’ birthdays, anniversaries and even their one-year anniversary since they last checked in. Sometimes all people need is an excuse to pack their bags and automated emails are the perfect nudge they need.
  • Have specially curated packages handy for milestone celebration vacations. Whether it’s a birthday, proposal, wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, babymoon or simple date night.
  • They say Taylor Swift and Beyonce’s concerts may have prevented the US from falling into a recession. Keep your ears to the ground for headlining local events and ride the wave while you can!

Influential Aspects of Advertising - photos, promos, content
Source: Expedia’s The Path to Purchase Report

3. Make Your Marketing Go Beyond a Beautiful Image

Digital media can be a difficult place to cut through and truly stand out. In an ocean of images, the most impactful marketing requires the artful blend of captivating visuals, irresistible promotions, and tantalizing experiences.

  • Keep your photography fresh with a mixture of static and dynamic lifestyle shots that breathe life into your marketing. Whether it’s people enjoying a walk on your lush green acres or sipping a cocktail on your shaded porch, lifestyle photography invites potential guests to imagine their escape.
  • Combine stellar photography with a compelling deal or novel experience and there’s even greater potential to push today’s traveler further down your marketing funnel.

How travelers choose a travel brand to book with graph
Source: Expedia’s The Path to Purchase Report

4. Win Travelers with Revenue Management & Web Design

When potential guests stand at the crossroads of choice, it’s your pricing and website design that makes all the difference. This continues to prove the importance of providing overall value and a hassle-free booking experience that can tip the scales in your favor.

  • Fine-tune your pricing strategy with a revenue management company that can tactically adjust your rates across all of your online inventories as needed.
  • Shout from the rooftops the benefits of booking direct for the best rates and inventory.
  • Hire a website design agency to create a modern and user-friendly website with both desktop and a seamless mobile experience in mind.

Top referrers, ota channels, and resources used to purchase travel graph
Source: Expedia’s The Path to Purchase Report

5. Harness the Power of OTAs in Travel Purchasing

In the final stretch to purchase, online travel agencies (OTAs) rule the roost. Secure your place in travelers’ minds by maintaining a fresh presence on these platforms.

  • Whether you choose to show available rooms on OTAs or not, it is critical to at least have an up-to-date brand presence on them so you stay top of mind for travelers.
  • Forge strategic alliances and collaborative promotions with other travel service providers to draw in more potential guests.

In a world where travel is as much about the journey as the destination, your marketing approach must be a captivating tale of exploration. Contact White Stone Marketing today to apply these five takeaway strategies from Expedia’s The Path to Purchase report which are your roadmap to enchanting the modern traveler, paving the way for unforgettable journeys and enduring memories. We’ll provide you with a free consultation and digital marketing analysis.