SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

SuperBreak gets Superfestive in new agent campaign

Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:00

Agents boo...

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kangaroo Route

EVA Air offers autumn savings on its Kan…

Thursday, 27 October 2016 08:00

EVA Air is celebrating an increased service on its ‘Kangaroo Route’ by unveiling autumn offerings on flights from Heathrow to Brisbane, Australia with return fares from £642 per person.

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First …

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson and First Choice have announced the introduction of Vietnam to the winter 2017 programme.

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Travel customers make for a demanding audience.  Holidays are a treasured time in anyone’s annual calendar, and nobody wants the joy of an upcoming trip fettered by worries about high costs, complicated booking procedures or service errors. Arguably more than with other types of customer transaction, if someone’s travel experiences are compromised or less than fully satisfactory, it becomes extremely hard for a brand to win back that customer’s trust and their all-important advocacy.

As we’ve seen with Eurostar and the Icelandic ash cloud issues recently, brands can be severely damaged by companies failing to handle what are sometimes unavoidable situations in the right way. In the case of Eurostar, even with an active social media strategy in place and a Twitter feed full of marketing messages, the company missed a huge opportunity to use the channel as a means to communicate with passengers stranded in the tunnel or indeed anxious media or loved ones. Spokespeople have now admitted that they could have used Twitter far more effectively in this situation and have learned the hard way the scope of opportunity that social media channels present.  As the impact of the volcanic ash cloud was felt, and confusion reigned, social media could have been better utilised by airlines, travel companies and even airports, to ensure that customers had some form of instant access to information and updates on the status of their travel plans.

The key is to keep in mind that just as customers now have an increasing number of touch-points through which to book holidays and interact with their travel providers, they can also use these outlets as a means of expressing their feelings and experiences, whether good or bad.  What brands must grasp is that if they are going to present themselves as a fully functioning ‘social’ operator, they must invest the time and care into ensuring that their online relationships with consumers are open, honest, and - most importantly- two-way. If not, they may find themselves on the receiving end of some very public criticisms.

Brands which engage successfully with their customers online understand that personalisation is vital, in order to avoid a sense of ‘mass marketing’ and instead adopt a more conversational and interactive approach. When people feel as if they are actually contributing to a dialogue and are being listened and responded to, it is far more likely that they will engage again and again with the brand, and, in turn, talk about these positive experiences with their peers.

Using social media as a marketing tool can be a risk as well as an opportunity; consumers choose to follow or become associated with brands online because they love the products and services provided or because they feel the brand has something interesting to say. If in turn that brand simply uses these media to fire off marketing messages, this dramatically increases the risk of turning off those followers who were expecting a meaningful dialogue or an abundance of informative, engaging content.

Travel companies have a great deal to think about in terms of communicating with consumers, from making sure they alert them to great deals, to sending reminders about check-in details, to notifying them of any changes in schedule or delays. But it’s important that they also take a more ‘live’ approach to their online communications. If a problem occurs or there is an issue that customers need to learn about immediately, the instant power of social media can be invaluable in reassuring customers that their wellbeing and satisfaction is front of mind for brands.

Of course not every customer will be using Twitter or Facebook, and it would be foolish and short-sighted of brands to ignore more traditional forms of marketing when communicating with their audiences. For those consumers who do engage with social media, however, it’s vital that they feel a connection, based on trust and information, with the brands they have chosen to associate themselves with, and don’t simply suffer a barrage of irrelevant and impersonal messages which serve only to tick a brand’s ‘must do social media’ box.

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