‘Tis the season for travel and exceeding expectations

By ​Jonathan Duch

November 15, 2017

This holiday season will be spurred by increased spending, and travelers won’t be holding back. More than 28 million Americans will fly over a 12-day period around Thanksgiving, an increase of 3% over last year. And that doesn’t even count the December holiday season.

Similar peak travel trends are expected in The United Kingdom where more than 12 million drivers will hit the roads, and hundreds of thousands will travel through Heathrow Airport to spend Christmas in places near and far.  

Maximize holiday bookings The millions who travel over the holidays may be bursting with holiday cheer, but they are also full of anxiety. The drudgery of crowded airports, delayed roadways, and long hotel registration lines can be exhausting and frustrating for holiday travelers. It’s a time when brand loyalty can be cemented for years to come or smashed into oblivion with a single interaction. 

Smart brands build a strategy to stand out from the crowd and ensure a holiday travel experience that guests won’t soon forget.

Maximize holiday bookings

  • Don’t forget gift cards! The National Retail Federation reports that 61% of consumers say they would like gift cards, and restaurants are the #1 choice. Promote gift cards to past and future guests via email campaigns, advertising campaigns, and website banners/badges.
  • Use contextual clues to serve website visitors the perfect promotional package based on their location, referring site, browsing activity, and any past bookings information you have available.

Boost positive reviews with exceptional service

  • Booking a guest is only the first step in your relationship. Take the next step with pre-visit email or text communications with tips for parking, special arrival instructions, and holiday well wishes that will get them in the mood for an excellent time.
  • A smiling host makes every arrival that much warmer. This holiday season, take it one step further by offering a surprise treat or a map of nearby holiday happenings your guests can enjoy.
  • Don’t take guest reviews for granted. Even happy guests need a gentle reminder to leave a review on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and your website.

Entice travelers back post-stay

  • It’s never too soon to entice guests to come back for more. Optimize the chances visitors will return by capturing a few of their favorite things on a short registration survey. Use this information to personalize post-stay email communications, promotions and return website visits.

Three cheers for a holiday season filled with new and returning guests.

For more tips & tricks this holiday season read this 2017 - Holiday Guide.

Jonathan Duch is the Product Communication Czar for Monetate, where he oversees and directs cross-departmental product launches. Jonathan is a 10-year veteran of marketing technology software, and has pursued a career that has taken him from the US, to Europe, to Southeast Asia, and back again. He currently lives in the Washington, DC area with his wonderful wife, and can often be found running the local trails, or sailing in the Potomac River.

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