5 Things to Glow Up Destination Travel Trade WebsitesApril 12, 2023 | By: Vanessa Gonzalez-Hernandez
The travel trade sector is booming, and recent events showcase how the industry has emerged from the worst of the pandemic. At one event, the UNWTO discussed trends for the future as parts of the world ease into pre pandemic levels, but some destination travel trade websites are still operating like nothing has changed. It’s time to take a look and refresh our approaches to working with the travel trade.
While all of the standard background information and marketing materials are likely on existing sites directed towards the travel trade, there are a few ways to make your travel marketing website deliver more effectively to travel advisors, tour operators, and others in this sector. A few easy tweaks can make a big difference.
1. Green – Not Just Evergreen – Content
Destinations need to lean into sustainable travel, as urged by UNWTO, but without being generic. By creating content specific to your sustainability initiatives, a destination will help travel trade professionals sell greener choices and convince green-minded travelers to book with your partners. It’s what travelers want, so help tour operators and travel advisors sell it by putting specific partners and experiences that scream sustainability front and center.
2. Foreground Luxury Product
Developing a clear and coherent approach to selling luxury experiences is also key to capturing travelers through the travel trade. Advisors looking for ways to develop and access luxury experiences need guidance, and destination travel trade websites need to be their light.
This is your chance to develop VIP and truly customizable experiences that won’t find their way onto OTA sites. Discerning travelers want unrivaled activities that only their travel advisors can provide, so help make that happen by featuring one-of-a-kind content on your travel trade website.
3. Invest in Inclusivity
It sounds like a broken record, but it’s a never-ending challenge. Diversity exists in countless ways, so be sure to showcase not only what your destination celebrates as diversity, but how this translates into inclusivity.
Recently, a travel trade representative from a Saudi resort boasted of equal treatment among men and women in a nation where such treatment isn’t always expected. While it may sound sort of primeval to have to celebrate inclusion of women, for some destinations, inclusivity doesn’t always meet our expectations. This sort of messaging is key so that travelers of all ages, abilities, races, religions, genders, sexualities, etc. feel welcomed. Video content, testimonies, and even acknowledgements of any progress yet to be made in your destination will help create a more honest and understanding relationship with the travel trade.
4. Diversify Your Experiences
Showcasing diverse faces on a DMO website is one thing, but destination travel trade websites need to feature more. Think about easy-to-develop itineraries that cater to every possible traveler coming your way. Include thematic and consumer-centric itineraries available – something for foodies, for families, for uber luxury travelers, etc. – so that the travel trade sees the diversity of possibilities when selling your destination.
If a travel advisor doesn’t think your destination is well suited for an adventure or culinary traveler, they’ll pass you over for another destination. Show them why you would be a good fit by spelling it out on your destination’s travel trade website. Above all, include people at your DMO who can work with the travel trade to package these specific itineraries.
5. Show Your Face Already!
Travel trade’s success depends on strong relationships, so consider adding a representative, a face, to your site so that the travel trade can match a name and face with their work in your destination. Part of the difference between consumers paying travel advisors and an OTA is the personal connection they can get, so destinations should extend the same connection to their travel trade partners. Be sure to include direct contact details.
Looking to give your travel trade website a boost? At DCI we have more than 60 years of working with destinations to engage the travel trade. Get in touch with Vanessa Gonzalez-Hernandez at [email protected] to learn more.