Tourism Talk – Purpose is the word for 2020

Travel has never been so well-positioned for success — if done right!

Micro-moments: Purpose is the word for 2020. While buzz words like transformational floated above the tundra in 2018 and 2019 we soon realized it was really about making meaning.

People bought experiences and used travel as a platform to make meaning in their life. And while this is still happening, we find “meaning” as a driver amplifying into self-realization

Value and purpose have been a central theme in travel. The industry continues to shift from being transactional to being immersive and “experiential.” The service industry has now shifted to become more storytellers, explaining their value and why it should be meaningful to the buyer. A client with a millennial mindset may not want to spend $ 500 a night in a suite for the sake of optics but they would spend $1000 a night glamping where partial profits are invested in the community to drive conservation or education. As sportswear begins to overtake dress wear, this shift in marketing speak is finally catching on in every facet of the travel industry.

You cannot expect an experiential moment to happen every time you travel. Rather people are looking for fulfillment in their lives – whether that is connecting to their heritage, furthering their overall wellness, finding a meaningful charity, discovering their true passion points, or even accomplishing something they never thought they could. Today’s traveler is about who they want to become when they travel. By traveling you allow yourself to discover your inner passions and try things you ordinarily would not.

Traveling to a destination like Belize’s destination has become the reason to discover yourself and create memorable connections between people.

While business is great in-the-now, this is no time for any of us to rest on our laurels. On the tech front, consolidation continues to happen, with Google and Facebook continuing to gain dominance and hold the keys to envious consumer data. Outside of that, there is a strong focus on “micro-influencers”. It turns out that once a social media influencer reaches a critical mass of followers, audience engagement begins to decrease. Rather than looking at the number of followers, marketers are looking at engagement. Better engagement means a higher ROI, micro-influencers are real people, and their content is real. They are thought leaders with smaller followings that are more interested, more engaged, and more connected, compared to their macro-influencer counterparts.

As a travel marketer, I recommend that you do not just look at travel influencers but those playing in the service industry as well (like food or fashion).



Article Written by Anoushka De Boucherville-Brandl

Second Vice President of BHA.