According to a survey conducted by GlobalData, elite and young independent travellers are vital to the recovery of the travel sector.
These young travellers are most likely to be the first tourists to embark on international travel, however according GlobalData’s findings, 35 per cent of Gen Z and 48 per cent of Gen Y are still concerned about COVID-19.
A high number of tourism influencers are drawn from this traveller group, and what they think of and write about in their travel experiences can be fundamental to travel marketing, if used effectively.
Travel and tourism analyst, GlobalData, Johanna Bonhill-Smith explained: “Amid the pandemic, consumer habits have changed and the importance of having an effective social media presence has been heightened. Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) should engage with influencers and operate across multi-channel platforms to ensure a stronger position for recovery.”
A first-hand account of a destination provided by another traveller is likely to be more credible than an induced image provided by a TV ad or campaign. According to GlobalData’s Destination Influencer Dashboard, VisitGreece and FailteIreland are two of the top ranking on the network. Both DMOs have made use of influencers in marketing campaigns in the past to pique traveller interest, bringing real-time engagement worldwide.
Bonhill-Smith further noted: “DMOs should recognise the overriding power of an influencer to promote new activities, experiences or even to gain traction within a new market.”
According to data, Twitter and YouTube have been the most widely used platforms for travel campaigning during COVID-19, but platforms such as TikTok also have untapped marketing potential.
Bonhill-Smith concluded: “Social media traffic has dramatically increased as consumers have utilised this as a tool to escape stringent lockdown restrictions. Certain changes are likely to become long-standing as individuals will be more dependent on this to alleviate anxieties and influencers should be a key consideration in travel recovery strategies.”