The Current

Thoughts on industry trends from your BVK friends.

Travel Insights: Tailored Travel

July 28, 2022  |  Victoria Simmons

Travel & Tourism

As the travel industry continues to expand and evolve, vacation options have become more plentiful with the ability to find options tailored to seemingly endless interest groups, lifestyles and needs. From themed trips appealing to mega fans, to accessible or pet-friendly offerings and even environmental and personal wellness crafted trips, the travel industry offers a wealth of ways to appeal to niche travel audiences.

1. Themed Trips. For mega fans of various forms of entertainment, the travel industry has infused niche interests into vacations and made seeking the right opportunity seamless.

Implications: These new product launches by major brands represent a significant shift in travel decision making. We have always known the consumer journey was not linear. Now we have more evidence that the decision to visit a place doesn’t always come first. Travelers are open to the unknown if it can deliver a personalized experience based on their interest. At a minimum, it is time to revisit your organic search and content strategy in order to capture relevant interest-based demand.

2. Pet-Friendly Provisions. For the lifelong animal lovers and pandemic-era pet purchasers, scheduling a vacation no longer requires arranging for pet care back at home. Travel brands are adapting to the needs of this growing audience of pet owners and offering vacations that include the whole family, even those with four legs.

Implications: Travelers expect that their pets will be as well cared for and entertained while traveling as they are at home. The Kimpton example is brilliant in its simplicity. Rather than developing new products or services managed at the hotel level, they have partnered with a well-known brand that consumers already trust and have likely used successfully or know someone who has. The partnership is a win for both brands plus meets the needs of travelers and their furry friends.

3. Accessible for All. As inclusivity becomes an imperative in travel, it is critical to also keep in mind people with differing abilities when crafting travel offerings. Making an accessible travel experience for all expands reach and sends a welcoming message.

Implications: According to the US Travel Association July is Disability Pride Month, an important opportunity to recognize and celebrate those around us with disabilities—both visible and unseen—and to identify how our industry can continue to make travel more accessible to everyone. Earlier this month, the Biden administration introduced a first-ever “bill of rights” aimed at helping ensure people with disabilities have a smoother experience when flying. Set aside some time in the coming weeks to think about how your destination (and destination brand) can be more welcoming and manageable for people with varying abilities.

4. Sustainability Suited. The eco-conscious travel audience is expanding, but often feels torn between their lifestyles and values. Travel offerings that are sustainability-minded appeal to this growing segment and do the planet good.

Implications: As the desire to travel sustainably moves beyond such a niche audience, many brands still struggle with meaningful change. But small steps count. Tourism Cares’ Meaningful Travel Map tool is a great resource for both businesses and travelers to improve their sustainability. The tool connects travel professionals to social and environmental impact experiences and opportunities throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

5. Holistic Health. Health-seeking travelers are redefining what wellness travel involves as travel brands expand their definitions and offerings related to holistic wellbeing of mind and body.

Implications: The notion of wellness in travel often conjures up imagery of mediation and mindfulness, peace and serenity. It is nice to see Rancho Pescadero acknowledge wellness from the perspective of balance. Realizing that celebrations and living life exuberantly can sometimes be as cathartic as a downward dog.

We encourage you to learn more about the various tailored travel offerings seen across the industry in our visual deck at the link below.

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