Reaching Out to the Latino Travel TradeJuly 21, 2023 | By: Vanessa Gonzalez-Hernandez
Destinations looking to attract more Latino travelers need look no further than the Latino travel trade. Whether it’s dedicated agencies who target Spanish-speaking travelers in North America or agencies that are popular with diverse travelers including Latino travelers, connecting with these travel advisors and tour operators is essential. Ahead of National Hispanic Heritage Month beginning September 15, we wanted to highlight ways to do just that.
The Latino population in the U.S. is booming and destinations marketing to the greater North American market need to include these travelers into their strategies. Latinos have become the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, an ever-growing part of the nation’s multicultural make-up.
It’s not just important from a DEI standpoint to market effectively to these travelers – it’s good for business. Latino consumers are spending more than before on travel, which allows them to connect with their roots, to visit their families abroad, or simply to seek new experiences.
Marketing to these travelers is no longer an option for destinations who want to increase visitation. To help navigate their specific expectations and needs, however, working with the Latino travel trade is the most effective way forward. Marketing towards the travel advisors and tour operators who will sell to Latino travelers in North America requires a bit of strategic thinking.
There are plenty of agencies and tour operators like Costamar, Latin Escapes, Express Travel, Latinos Travel, Travel Viajes USA, and Americas Travel catering to Latino and Spanish-speaking travelers, in addition to luxury advisors through Virtuoso and Travel Leaders. The following steps are a smart start to connecting with them.
1. Be Inclusive
Destinations need to show travel trade professionals that their future clients are more than welcomed, and that they are embraced. Make sure your marketing materials and messaging are inclusive and representative of the Latino community as much as they can be. Revisit the images, language, and narratives that reflect the heritages and expectations of the people you want to connect with through the Latino travel trade.
2. Spanish-language content
While the Latino travel trade doesn’t forcibly mean Spanish-speaking, savvy destinations will do well to generate bilingual marketing campaigns. Make it easier for the travel trade by having accessible translations on your destination’s website. Create Spanish language advertising materials and social media content to maximize the reach and potential of working with travel trade professionals catering to Latino travelers who may – or may not – be bilingual.
3. Highlight Cultural Connections
Latino travelers in the U.S. often travel back to nations – in South America or the Caribbean for example – where they have family connections or ancestry. Showcase the activities, experiences, and history in your destination that have cultural significance to the Latino community. Travel advisors and tour operators will better be able to sell your destination if they know clearly its appeal to their clients.
Emphasize heritage sites, traditional festivals, local cuisine, and opportunities to engage with the local culture as much as possible.
4. Frame Longer Getaways
American Latino travelers tend to engage in longer trips, taking advantage of vacation time to fully immerse themselves in the destinations they visit. This increased travel spending has not only boosted the tourism industry but also created a demand for more inclusive and culturally relevant travel experiences, encouraging the development of specialized services and accommodations tailored to the preferences of American Latinos.
5. Focus on Family
While not unique to Latino culture, there is an undeniable importance to family bonds and connections among these travelers. Putting family-friendly travel options, accommodations, and activities in the foreground is a strong way to show the Latino travel trade that they won’t have a hard time selling your destination to their clients.
Of course, don’t shy away from adventure, romance, culinary, or other themes, but just be sure to keep a family focus at the heart of your marketing efforts.
6. Collaborate with the Community
Don’t just wait for the Latino travel trade to understand your destination’s appeal. Be proactive and partner with prominent Latino influencers, bloggers, and community leaders who have a strong presence within the Latino travel community. Their endorsements and recommendations can greatly influence decisions by professionals in the travel trade who look to social media and community groups to know what their target audiences are seeking.
7. Tell Their Story
Success stories are a powerful way to show the travel trade that your destination is a winner for their clients. Share authentic stories and testimonials from Latino travelers who have had positive experiences while in your destination through social media posts or even a dedicated page on your website. When travelers see others like them having a good time, it builds trust and credibility – and eventually more visitation to your destination!
8. Keep it Up Online
Don’t stop at success stories. Leverage social media platforms popular among the Latino community, such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, to engage with and attract Latino audiences, helping show the travel trade that your destination is already on their clients’ minds. Go even further with targeted ads, user-generated content, and interactive campaigns to foster a sense of community and engagement that will prove to travel advisors and tour operators that they should be selling your destination.
9. Ponder Promotions
Offer targeted promotions, discounts, and travel packages specifically designed for Latino travelers. This demonstrates your commitment to understanding their needs and preferences and helps guide sellers to understand how they can promote your destination to their clients.
10. Partnerships with Community Orgs
Collaborate with local Latino organizations, travel agencies, and community groups to host cultural events, sponsor festivals, or participate in community outreach programs. This not only increases visibility but also showcases your support for the community, which is an upfront investment to generate interest among travel trade professionals who will funnel their clients your way.
Considering a push for more Latino travelers? Get in touch with Vanessa Gonzalez-Hernandez at [email protected] to learn more about DCI’s more than 60 years of solutions to bridge destinations and visitors through effective travel trade tactics.