Role of culture consulting in the travel industry
Culture consulting plays an important role in the success of travel companies or agencies in China. Through this practice, travel companies can identify timely and specific factors to be considered when making business plans. Moreover, individuals and other business owners can also take advantage of culture consulting for their China market researches.
The digital age allows us to research our interests and be able to share those interests almost instantly through platforms like blogs or social media. Travelers are looking for the personalization of their ideal trips. Looking for experiences especially made for the individual is as popular as social media trends of “places to go”. Although these trends catch on and are based on feedback from an interconnected (social media) community, individuals who can go to their ideal travel spots are happy to share their experiences and impressions as well.
When travelers receive a satisfyingly enhanced experience, they are more likely to rebook with the company. However, travel agencies will need to identify demand patterns and personalized travel experiences ideal to a particular group or segment.
Segmentation involves categorizing the market further into smaller segments. In 2010, the China outbound travel market was divided into three segments:
- inexperienced mass market;
- experienced mass market; and
- affluent segment.
Although sufficient at that time, further segmentation in the following years became necessary to describe the dynamic and ever-changing characteristics of the market. In 2018, the segments increased to five. It is necessary to identify segmented demands to enable the personalization of travel experiences. Some of the important goals of travelers who can be segmented include:
- cultural travels;
- outdoor travel;
- sports spectator tourism; and
- study tourism.
In identifying various goals and segments of the market, culture consulting and travel industries alike can have an idea of what kind of preparations they need to market their services better. In other words, for content marketing to become more detailed and precise, more market segments must be identified.
Diversification in terms of travel marketing is bound to be more prominent among those utilizing video marketing and KOL marketing.
- Video marketing – a strong marketing campaign makes use of video content to promote the culture, setting, and overall travel experience offered. This could include client testimonials, clips from the trips, and alike.
- KOL marketing – KOL stands for Key Opinion Leader. Expert knowledge or leading individuals who are considered highly knowledgeable and relevant in the field are shown in this marketing strategy. The subject utilized is someone connected to the culture or location; or if not at least someone who has a high polarization towards the target market.
Using only one type of marketing strategy for a long time would be tiresome to today’s generations. This is especially since the digital revolution has introduced fast-paced transactions and dynamic interactions accessible through our various devices.
Digitalization of travel sales has become mainstream in China. The convenience of having bookings confirmed within a few seconds, planning your entire trip with a few taps on your smartphones, and (usually) not having to print tickets for traveling has conquered us by storm.
By yearning for travel experiences gleaned from social media and the internet, travelers especially the emerging middle class is more and more traveling to previously unexplored destinations. Mobile platforms, APPs, mini-programs, etc. allow travel sales and agencies to engage with potential clients from the moment they start considering travel until such time that they do purchase the services and further after the completion of the tour package.
Moreover, these days, marketing is not only the sole function and doing of the enterprise. Some social media features allow satisfied clients to spread “word of mouth” while directly identifying the company from which they have availed the travel services.