Although the customer is now decidedly multi-channel, the components of the travel cycle have not really changed over the years.
- Travelers need INSPIRATION, which can change based on who they are traveling with and why.
- They then require varying levels of EDUCATION about their choices, based on what they like to do and how they are going to travel (e.g. what mode of transportation).
- And they need to put together a PLAN. Then once the where and the when are nailed down, they need to look at the specific options. This is where the how much part of the equation comes into play.
- Then they BOOK those elements that can be confirmed (air, car, hotel, tour, cruise and perhaps attraction or event tickets).
- Then throughout the EXPERIENCE they record and share their memories.
Where in this cycle do you play? What are you doing to appeal to the traveler when they drive (85% of overnight trips) versus when they fly? Do you give them an offline option to work with you? Is your online platform accessible via mobile browsers? Do you have mobile apps that also work on notepads, such as the iPad?
The more phases of the travel cycle that you can be a part of and the greater number of channels where a traveler can find you, the better your chance of reaching them over and over again.