As summer heats up, so does marketing, with Google reporting that travel destination searches doubled in the second quarter.
In contrast to previous years, more travel companies will be competing for digital nomads and remote workers in addition to classic tourists in the coming months.
The demographic is growing as borders reopen and more companies are hiring remote workers or offering their employees the opportunity to work abroad for a month a year. A report claims that there are currently 35 million digital nomads worldwide, and by 2035 there could be 1 billion.
US-based Airbnb hosts earned more than $2 billion between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022 alone from long-term stays alone.
However, travel companies need to adopt new marketing strategies. Here are a few best practice marketing tips from seasoned professionals.
Master the demographics
Think of the language first. Marketers need to be mindful of the nuances when talking about remote workers and digital nomads. The two groups should not be lumped together in one category, an expert warns, especially as new subgroups emerge from the pandemic.
“Digital nomads have been around for years, traveling the world without requiring a specific home base,” said Elise Hofman, marketing manager at hybrid hotel group Zoku. “They often form a group of creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who can create their own schedules and live their lives around the world on their own terms.”
Teleworkers are made up primarily of business people who no longer need to go to a physical office to work 9 to 5 hours. “This audience has boomed post Covid-19 and is giving more people than ever before the opportunity to travel and see the world while also having secure employment and not having to leave their job,” she added.
However, another marketing consultant argues that it can go further, as many people will be at different levels of experience with the trend’s explosion. “Digital nomads have traveled widely, but there are new ones who just dip their toe in the water and go somewhere for a couple of weeks to try it,” said Coliving Consultant’s Leah Ziliak.
That explains why many hostels are moving more toward a co-living model to attract longer-term stays, but there’s a risk that if they attract remote workers, they’ll end up lumped in with short-term backpackers, she added .
Marketing material should therefore refer to the type of teleworker. “Digital nomads are remote workers in some ways, but nomads tend to look for more productive spaces, they work more than vacations, and typically need a sense of community and home,” added Ziliak. “They also tend to be more entrepreneurial, so look for more ways to connect rather than the remote worker checking email and doing a little work.”
Use of influencers and social media
No marketing strategy is complete without social media, although TikTok is currently not in Nepal’s good books.
Flatio, a platform for booking monthly stays, recently acquired a platform called Floasis, which had developed a “pioneer program” to boost its marketing efforts.
If Floasis were to take on a new property, the contract would state that the owner must offer free nights for promotional purposes. The company would then send influencers to the new abode to deliver content such as videos or written posts.
It could be a game changer for Flatio, says its CEO and co-founder.
“Using Instagram and certain tags brings their community and followers closer to the retreat so others can generate interest,” said Radim Rezek. “That’s what we’re researching, it’s organically great traffic… Let’s see how that impacts us.”
Authenticity is a key marketing issue in tourism today, especially when tourists go on their first real excursions in two years time. They want it to be real, and word of mouth will be a key factor.
Rezek said he’s looked at TikTok but thinks people on that platform might not be as receptive to monthly stays as they’re typically younger, under 20 years old. “But it’s changing,” he said.
Targeting by different length of stay
With its work-life loft accommodations, European brand Zoku doesn’t typically place itself in the “hotel” when it comes to marketing and has therefore adjusted its marketing strategy.
“Our loft concept creates a truly livable space that someone can comfortably dwell in for months or even years,” said Hoffman. “And yes, we really have had guests for over a year!”
This allows the brand to offer different accommodation and workspace solutions, so search terms can range from “relocation housing” to “business trip to town” to “off-site”.
It also executes its marketing strategy by focusing on individual audiences unique to each of its three stay categories: Hotel Stay (1-4 nights), Short Stay (5-27 nights), and Long Stay (28+ nights).
“Then, individually for each of these stay segments, we implement a unique marketing strategy with associated execution services such as ads, influencers or email campaigns,” she added.
And when longer or extended stays come into play, so should discounts. The telecommuter isn’t a typical tourist, and according to Flatio’s Rezek, they may be more interested in a perceived discount.
He believes discount codes are an effective way to attract remote workers to marketing messaging. “We’re always open as they like that kind of approach,” he said. One reason is that with longer stays, they have a greater chance of becoming customers for life.
Currently, Flatio’s data shows an average of 1.5 stays per guest. “We are still cautious about investing in rebates. We don’t know what the customer lifetime value will be,” he added.
Ziliak is also cautious. “Long stay discounts are good incentives for digital nomads who are used to staying a month or more,” she said. “But I think people tend to generalize about digital nomads and think they’re all on a tight budget. A lot of them really aren’t, many are successful entrepreneurs.”
Earnings season is in full swing and, as you might expect, most hotel groups have seen a strong rebound in business travel and conferences in particular.
To the hilton, Business trips are almost here. In the second quarter, the hotel giant said business travel bookings were at 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels, but actually matched 2019 levels in June. As expected, small and medium-sized companies showed the greatest desire to travel. Group bookings were also on track to almost, but not quite, recover before year-end.
It’s a similar story for Spain NH hotel group. June sales of $193 million also broke records, beating its previous high of $178 million (October 2019).
Looking ahead, the CEO said there is a good pace in bookings for business demand for September and October, and that the return of larger conventions, events and long-distance international travelers could offset a possible slowdown in leisure demand.
“We saw a strong rebound across all regions in the second quarter, with a clear rebound in key cities on the return of business demand, particularly since the start of the second quarter,” CFO Luis Martinez Jurado said during a conference call on Wednesday. Its home stadium Spain had posted higher like-for-like revenues in the quarter compared to 2019.
of France accord published its results on Thursday. Notable: South America, and particularly Brazil, saw an “impressive” pick-up in business volume, with occupancy rates exceeding 2019 levels throughout the second quarter. It operates 100 hotels in Brazil, with Chile, Peru, Colombia and Argentina also being growth areas. Properties there are already part of Wojo, the WeWork-style Accor network.
Wyndham, meanwhile, generated net income of $92 million on sales of $386 million for the three months ended June 30. The group is preparing for a robust recovery driven by the new US infrastructure law. “Something we’re really excited about is the growth we’re seeing on the infrastructure side of our business bookings, which I believe is up 10 per cent year-to-date and that’s a number we expect to see continues to grow,” said Chief Financial Officer Michele Allen.
10-second catch-up service for business trips
Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Express, Hertz, Hilton, JetBlue, MakeMyTrip, Ryanair, Spirit Airlines, Spotnana, Wizz Air, Wyndham.
New European President for BCD Travel
BCD trip has appointed Michele Lawley as President for Europe. Lawley assumes operational and financial responsibility for operations in Europe on August 31, replacing Mike Walley, who is leaving the company to join the STAK (stichting administratiekantoor) board of Boron, the family business of John Fentener van Vlissingen, the Founder of the BCD Group. Walley remains in his role as President of BCD Media & Entertainment. Lawley was previously Senior Vice President Europe at BCD Travel. She will report to BCD President and CEO John Snyder from London.
TravelPerk Adds New Executives
Is a travel management company TravelPerk Are you preparing to go public? Two senior hires have just been announced, including a chief financial officer with a track record of preparing for public offerings. Roy Hefer has stepped in as Chief Financial Officer alongside Sally Sourbron as the new Chief People Officer.
Hefer, who will be based in TravelPerk’s Barcelona office, has over 15 years of financial, operational and strategic experience in “scaling high-growth technology companies and building the infrastructure of public companies,” according to the company. Coming from insurance company Hippo, he has held similar positions, leading finance and operations at Avail Medsystems and medical technology company Lumenis, where he was “instrumental in the operational transformation of Lumenis, followed by a public listing on the NASDAQ and subsequent privatization was. said TravelPerk.
Sourbron, starting in September, comes from ServiceNow. She previously worked at Salesforce and General Electric.
British airline strikes with transport platform CMAC
Ground Transport Company CMAC group has teamed up with Great Britain Association of Foreign Airlines to minimize the impact of disruptions in the aviation industry. This means that members of the association, including 22 international airlines, will have access to CMAC’s transportation solutions, including ground transportation and crew accommodation, as well as travel and accommodation for passengers affected by “irregular operations”. At a time when airports, airlines, ground handlers and hotels face the challenge of meeting demand, airlines now have a direct line to CMAC to help them meet the challenges.