Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Wed October 12 2016

What Are the Best Ways to Inspire Travelers?

Features & Advice | Gabe Zaldivar | October 12, 2016

What Are the Best Ways to Inspire Travelers?

PHOTO: Traveler contemplates wonder of travel. (Photo courtesy Flickr/Gui Seiz)

Selfies, OTAs and artificial intelligence abound around the travel industry. But is any of this newfangled guff effective?

That is at the heart of a new study unveiled by digital creative agency BLITZ and sister agency AMP. It’s a survey entitled “Targeting Moments of Need in the New Travel Landscape,” and its report can be found here at this link.

According to the study, travelers who had taken a trip within the last year and were between the ages of 18-55 were asked about various travel habits.

From there, the agencies found some intriguing tidbits that should go a long way to carving out a game plan for brands looking to model campaigns to the modern traveler.

For one, the study found that 84 percent of respondents considered millennials actually picked where their next vacation would be based on images they spotted across social media channels.

More specifically, “someone else's vacation updates and photos in social media.”

Those selfies garner more than jealousy. They also mandate a quick search for plane tickets, it would seem.

Another interesting result is that 72 percent of travelers were “overwhelmed” by the whole travel planning process. Now it’s noted that this isn’t exactly a wholly negative feeling, just that this is an era wherein it’s easy to be inundated with data, prices and anecdotes for possible destinations.

Peter Apple, VP, Strategy, BLITZ, via press release, offered some thoughts on the survey and its results: “Our research shows people are overwhelmed by the trip planning process but by and large they enjoy it. They also know they would be happier being a little more spontaneous when away from home. So a booking engine that can behave like a simplifier, or a destination that can prompt spontaneity, will drive better business. To compete in this new travel landscape, brand marketers will need to operate their brands as services.”

READ MORE: Introducing TravelPulse Radio, the New Voice of the Informed Traveler

When it comes to the younger generation, the study found that millennials and non-millennials decided their next journey based mostly on word of mouth to the tune of 16 percent and 20 percent respectively.

After that, the older generation found inspiration on website’s while millennials were bound to find a nifty idea on Facebook (15 percent).

To research, millennials (35 percent) and non-millennials (36 percent) love the laptop, but the almighty smartphone looms close behind as 29 percent of millennials said they researched their trips via that device in their pocket.

The release was careful to also note that all this technology guff can push away travelers. It notes: “Even in a connected world, travelers want to connect in person when they need help. Airlines, hotels and tourist attractions shouldn't be too quick to replace service personnel with digital kiosks.”

It’s far more reassuring to get information from a presumed expert at the hotel or airport than it is to get a few lines delivered from a cold kiosk.

To that end, the study also found evidence to suggest that travel agencies will enjoy a rise in consumer confidence.

It states: “Importantly, frequent travelers value an agent’s expertise and ability to save time, whereas infrequent ones value an agent’s ability to save money and stress.”

So travelers are individuals who can’t be whittled down to one formula that can dictate when and how they get to where they want to go. It takes myriad circumstances to shape where travelers garner inspiration.

The classic word of mouth method reigns supreme, but that now comes in various forms such as selfies and vacation pics they might see on Facebook or other channels.


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