Top 10 Marketing Mistakes in Travel You Must Avoid

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Ah, the world of travel – it’s filled with dreams of exotic destinations, breathtaking landscapes, and the promise of unforgettable experiences. However, it’s not always so dreamy on the marketing side of things. It’s easy to lose your way amidst the clouds of competition. Let’s go over the top 10 marketing mistakes in travel that can make your campaign crash and burn faster than a paper aeroplane! 

Ignoring the Power of Social Media in Travel Marketing

In an era where every traveller is a potential influencer, neglecting social media is like trying to fly without wings. Take a cue from Airbnb‘s success – their engaging Instagram campaigns and user-generated content have transformed them into a travel giant.

Everyone is thumb-deep into their smartphones, and not utilising social media is a big marketing mistake. It’s so important to keep up with trends, be on the right platform at the right time and keep consistent. We get it, time can be a problem, and having someone dedicate their time to crafting and executing a good quality social media strategy is not always so straightforward.

Underestimating the Impact of Reviews 

In the age of online reviews, your reputation can soar or nosedive with just a few clicks. United Airlines learned the hard way when a passenger’s unpleasant experience went viral. The initial response from the airline proved to be a significant error. Eventually, the CEO took responsibility for the airline’s missteps and delivered a more effective response, though not without leaving a lasting impact on the company’s reputation. It is all about damage control. 

It’s not all bad news! TripAdvisor has built a massive community by allowing travellers to share their experiences. Negative reviews can be turned into opportunities for improvement and showcase a brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction. No one likes turbulence, but negative reviews are inevitable. How you handle them is what matters. Embrace feedback, learn from mistakes, and show your customers you are committed to improvement. Ignoring the reviews is also a common marketing error within the travel industry- do not make this mistake. 

Overlooking Mobile Optimisation

Not optimising your website for mobile is like leaving your travellers stranded without a passport. Picture this: a potential customer excitedly browses your website on their smartphone, only to encounter a maze of distorted images and broken links. Ouch! Mobile optimisation is non-negotiable. Jet2’s mobile app is a shining example, offering a seamless booking experience on the go. Ensure your website and apps are mobile-friendly to capture the growing market of on-the-move travellers.

Ignoring Video Content

While images and graphics can undoubtedly captivate audiences when executed with finesse, it’s video that truly takes the crown. Virgin Atlantic is a good example with its creative safety videos that turned mundane instructions into entertainment. 

Creating good video content allows for a comprehensive and immersive story-telling experience, enabling brands to showcase the allure of destinations, the excitement of adventures, and the unique experiences awaiting travellers. If you are seeking to make a lasting impression and stand out in a crowded digital landscape, the call is clear – It’s time to embrace video. 

Failing to Leverage Influencer Marketing

Influencers are great for travel marketing. Partnering with them can catapult your travel brand into the limelight. Look at how Tourism Australia collaborated with influencers to showcase the beauty of the land Down Under, attracting globetrotters from around the world. The agency invited US-based travel blogger Chris Olsen (chrisolsen), UK-based content creator Maddie Grace Jepson (maddiegracejepson), and UK-based trainspotter Francis Bourgeois (francis_bourgeois43) to visit Australia. Tourism Australia claims that the social media influencers had a combined audience of about 21 million people- not bad! 

Ignoring the impact of influencers is like missing your connecting flight – costly and regrettable. Partnering with the right influencers is a valued marketing strategy that can skyrocket the visibility and credibility of your travel brand.

Neglecting Personalisation – A Common Marketing Error

The one-size-fits-all approach falls short when it comes to travel marketing. Take a cue from Booking.com, where tailored recommendations based on user preferences redefine the customer experience, transforming them from mere customers to VIPs.

The key lies in customisation, delivering suggestions and offers perfectly aligned with individual tastes. Picture receiving tailored recommendations and deals that seamlessly align with your preferences – a remarkably convenient experience that significantly boosts customer satisfaction.

When companies infuse their marketing with personalisation, it’s akin to having a direct conversation with each customer. This not only sparks interest but also engages users, leading them to happily click away and spend more time exploring holiday options on your website. It’s a mutually beneficial scenario!

Personalisation becomes the hallmark of your travel brand, setting it apart in a sea of choices. In a world brimming with options, it’s the equivalent of saying, “We understand you, and we are here exclusively for you.” Think of it as having your very own personal shopper navigating the vast marketplace.

Ignoring Sustainable Travel Trends

The modern traveller cares about more than just the destination. Sustainable and eco-friendly travel trends are on the rise. Companies like Intrepid Travel have embraced this trend. The travel brand offers experiences that leave a positive impact on local communities and the environment.

Green is not just a colour; it’s a movement, and the travel industry is catching on. TUI Group’s commitment to sustainable tourism sets a benchmark. Travellers today seek eco-friendly options, so incorporating sustainability into your marketing strategy isn’t just trendy – it’s essential for long-term success.

Overlooking Emerging Markets

Focusing solely on traditional markets is like booking a one-way ticket to stagnation. Keep an eye on emerging markets and changing demographics. Airbnb broadened its horizons by capitalising on the surging phenomenon of ‘remote work,’ tailoring its offerings to digital nomads and remote workers. It is pivotal to stay on top of travel trends and adjust strategies accordingly to sidestep potential marketing pitfalls. 

Underestimating the Importance of User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content is the golden ticket to authentic story-telling. Encourage your customers to share their adventures and let UGC elevate your brand. Instead of bombarding potential guests with professional photos of your luxurious rooms and stylish lobby, encourage your past visitors to share their snapshots using a branded hashtag – it’s way more appealing these days! 

Underestimating the Power of Emotional Connection

Evoking emotion can transform a vacation into a lifelong memory. Disney Parks understands this like no other, creating magical experiences that tug at the heartstrings. Infuse emotional storytelling into your marketing campaign – whether it’s nostalgia, excitement, or wanderlust – and watch your brand become a beacon of memorable journeys. 


So there you have it; avoid these 10 marketing mistakes, and your travel brand is set for a smooth takeoff. Remember, the travel industry is a dynamic landscape – stay adaptable, embrace change, and keep the adventure alive! 

Not sure if you have the time to handle all of this? You can read more about our travel marketing services here.

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