As writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said, inspiration gives no warnings and it’s impossible to know where we’ll find the idea that will shape our future decisions. This rule can also be applied to planning our next trip away: we can come across the idea at any time and at any place.
We might be inspired by a magazine article, our close friend’s photos of their recent holiday on Facebook, liking a cool photo on Instagram or seeing a video about something on Youtube.
As operators in the sector, it’s your job to inspire clients and encourage them to bring their business to you.
Anything and everything you post online is an opportunity to inspire users and contribute to the awesome dream they want to experience on their next holiday. As such, many operators in the sector create online tools and campaigns that provide useful tips and seek to inspire. It goes without saying that different operators focus on different things to build interest, each with a precise target market in mind.
Easyjet’s Inspire Me service, for instance, gives users ideas about potential travel destinations based on the cost of the flight. The tool is aimed at young people who are determined to explore new destinations even though their limited budget means counting the pennies (they select their next destination based on the cost of the flight, rather than on the attractions and services they’ll find there).
Tripadvisor makes the most of content generated by their users to offer a selection of potential travel destinations by asking you just two questions: what you like to do and where you want to go. The site then presents you with the experiences of travellers who have the same interests as you. The reviews and stories of people who have already been on the destination you’re considering is certain to (at least a bit) influence your decision-making.
Some more developed projects seek to engage us by pulling at our heart strings. For instance, a project may focus on the value of travel, on the wealth we are left with following a trip. Travelling introduces us to different ideas and perspectives, making us more inspired and motivated people.
Lufthansa’s #inspiredby is one example of this. People travelling and working for the airline talk about their personal experience of a destination by posting videos and images on social media. To make it easier for users to browse this content, the German airline created a Social Hub where you can look through the content posted on all social media sites.
It sounds easy, but what it boils down to is valuing personal experience and making the most of the idea that as soon as we get home from a trip, we’re in the best frame of mind to start thinking about our next destination.
This type of storytelling is easy, as is getting your social media sites active: come up with a scheme of content you want your staff or guests to post.
Sometimes all it takes is a photo of a simple authentic dish from your restaurant to immerse users in your destination and spark their desire to make a visit.