These are exciting times for Travel and the pace of evolution is certainly head-spinning but full of opportunities, being a key success factor to understand “where we are headed” but I mean “we” in the collective sense…Consumers….travel marketers…and Google. And as in Google we are very focused on the user experience so we like to frame my reflections around what we see in consumer behavior.
And the way we like to talk about the Travel consumer is by looking at the phases of the travel cycle, which is actually a flow where the sharing stage as one person’s shared experience often inspires the next person’s dreaming phase.
Table of Content
The tourists has to go through various stages during its journey of tourism. The journey of tourists is a helpful to understand the experience of the tourist: from first thinking about a vacation or business trip through to planning, booking, experiencing and recalling the experience.
Journey of Tourist
The journey of a tourists involves various stages:
This is the beginning of the journey when the customer considers a vacation. They may have an idea of when they will travel, for how long and how much they might spend, but they have not decided where they will go or what they will do. At this stage the tourist lookins for inspiration, ideas and recommendations.
Travellers search online before they decide where or how they are going to travel. They are reading blogs and reviews and they are also watching online travel videos more and more, both leisure and business travelers.
Once Traveller move beyond dreaming and start narrowing down their options, they get deep into the Researching stage where they spend quite a bit of time. Search is the number one planning tool for leisure and unmanaged business travel but another trend is searching with more specifically. Here the tourists will have a clearer idea of where and what they want.
They will be looking for further, specific information about their choice such as transport and accommodation options, things to do, ‘must sees’, perfect time when to visit, events, the weather, and bad weather options. The decision making may be narrowed down to regions or destination in the country of choice.
Here the visitor may make comparisons of best values mainly price may be the main priority followed by convenience and security. The booking may be made through an intermediary – a tour operator, travel agent, booking agent or Destination Management Organization or directly with individual providers (e.g. transport and accommodation providers).
This is the an important stage as after experiencing which the tourist would decide weather to visit again or not. This is the stage where the tourists avail all the amenities and experiences it and will including transport and easy access to the destination as well as every aspect of the tourists stay once they have arrived.
This stage covers everything starting from the overall greeting to the tourists, the standard of the facilities, the quality of the attractions, accommodation and other amenities and the information that tourists receive till he/she stay at the destination.
This is the stage were tourist keep the destination as a memories. Here the tourist will recall their journey and will assess whether it was good or bad. The experience at every step of the journey will take the decision to come again or not. If the experience was good, then the tourist may recommend to others, or return themselves.
If the overall experience was bad then the tourists will not return, will not recommend to others, and may well speak badly of the destination which in future effects the business of tourism.
The Destination Management Organization (DMO) can keep the memory of the good experience fresh in the mind of the tourist through the good practice of Customer Relationship Management.
One person sharing its good experience becomes another person’s inspiration for dreaming and the cycle begins all over again. Most of travelers are insipid by a positive experience and views from their friends, relatives etc. There are many travelers who read reviews from other travellers and this number continues to grow every time which in turn makes a destination more famous.