Travel Insights: Exclusivity in Travel

July 12, 2021  |  Victoria Simmons

Travel & Tourism

As some restrictions ease up, new red ropes of exclusivity are put in place in the travel industry alongside travelers’ increased desire for unique vacation experiences. Despite increasing cultural conversations around inclusivity, travel continues to be more readily available to select groups.

1. Vaccination opens exclusive access for travelers.

Implications: Travel brands should understand that as consumers begin traveling again there is still lingering confusion over whether or not remaining travel restrictions and requirements will affect their plans. For example, some states like Hawaii are still requiring negative Covid tests for the unvaccinated. Continue to communicate those details upfront and directly.

2. New travel subscription services & private travel clubs offer exclusive deals.

Implications: For those willing to pay, successful travel brands are finding ways to make accessing travel both easy and efficient. Millennials and Gen Z travelers are more likely than other generations to be looking for these services, feeling the benefits far outweigh the costs, providing them with access to exclusive experiences with less hassle.

3. Americans are increasing their own desire for travel but decreasing their desire to welcome travelers in their community.

Implications: The pressure on travel brands to balance the needs of their customers with the quality of life for local residents continues to grow. Residents are holding brands more accountable for demonstrating responsible sustainability practices that protect both the planet and their way of life. Brands who cross this line should expect to be called out. Stay engaged with the local community and find ways to actively solicit their input.

4. Rising travel costs and a new travel landscape will lead to spending booms for some and barriers for others.

Implications: Travel brands should continue to see a variety of new consumer profiles that may not align with their “ideal” pre-COVID customer. We are still working our way toward a new normal. When developing marketing plans set aside a portion of your budget for trialing new audience segments and targeting solutions. Also consider showing a range of pricing options to appeal to travelers with a wide variety of ability to pay – showing free activities up to luxury options.

5. Exclusive family time is a desired escape.

Implications: For families with kids at home it has been a particularly rough year of navigating online learning without the benefit of help from extended family and friends. These families are looking for an escape from rules, routine and hassle. Travel brands should find ways to indulge their craving for escape, adventure and entertainment.

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is Senior VP, Travel at BVK

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