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The travel industry is constantly developing and has to move in tandem with consumers changing attitudes and behaviours – and this makes it hard to know what next year will hold. Content marketing is a driving force in inspiring people to travel, and marketers are well adept to helping shape future trends. From eco-friendly travel to family holidays, let's look at six trends to watch out for in 2020.

Families taking more frequent holidays

Family holidayIt’s estimated that roughly half of the UK and US workforce will be freelance by 2020 and there now are more children homeschooled, which helps contribute to an increase in family-holiday bookings. This should lead to families being in a position to take more frequent holidays. Ian Crawford, a representative of Holiday Hypermarket, says: ‘Parents will take advantage of the flexibility that freelancing and homeschooling offers, and will look to go on more holidays as a family. This presents holiday companies with a great opportunity to offer tailored family holidays.’

Homeware companies get involved

In an unforeseen but clever move, homeware brands are now getting involved in the travel industry by opening hotels. One of the first to do this is Made.com, which opened its own MADE hotel in Manhattan in 2017 and a boutique Boathouse hotel in London in 2018. The success of the two will pave way for more homeware businesses to open their own hotels – and giving the chance to showcase their products to customers.

Personal fulfilment travel

People are now seeing travel having a level of personal fulfilment – a recent survey showed that more than half of respondents said that their trip taught them valuable life skills. People are now wanting to experience a level of personal fulfilment when they travel and are often wanting to learn life skills and experience the local culture. Couple this with an increase in interest for volunteering, personal fulfilment while travelling will be something people look for and should be considered if you’re a travel company.

Solo-travel-friendly airports

As the number of solo travellers increases, airports have begun to find ways to make passenger journeys easier. Dublin Airport discovered that the majority of passengers coming through the airport were solo travellers, and decided to find an initiative that would make solo travel easier – Bus & Fly. As the solo travel segment gets bigger, airports, holiday suppliers, hotels and more can find their own ways to serve this portion of travellers better.

Get social while solo travelling

Solo travellerAlthough solo travel has been on the rise, it can be quite lonely – this is because finding good, cheap accommodation such as hostels and Airbnbs often means having to stay outside city centres. WeLive (a sister company of WeWork) now has apartments aimed at connecting solo travellers with each other through co-living, joint activities and relaxing common areas. You can stay there for a couple of nights or even a couple of months – the focus is on creating a social atmosphere.

Sustainable travellers

With more travellers wanting to make more sustainable travel decisions, travel-related businesses will want to keep this in mind. The majority of travellers have indicated that this motivation will have an impact on how they travel, so the industry will need to align themselves with this viewpoint. If not, there could be tough times ahead for those not willing to keep up with the growing trend of eco-friendly travel.

As traveller attitudes and behaviour and the global environment changes, it’s key for the travel industry to keep up. These five travel trends to watch out for are some of the largest, but only time will tell if there are any others to be wary of.

Check out WooContent's video marketing services and see how we can take your travel brand to the next level.

Welcome to the August edition of our Travel Digital Digest. As you can imagine, a lot has taken place since July, with many people heading on holiday. It is now more important than ever to keep updated with industry news, and with the travel world constantly changing, you should ensure your content marketing strategy reflects this. From travel strikes to new technology and wildfires, we take a look at the industry news you should know.

Greek wildfires force evacuation

Hundreds of tourists have been evacuated from hotels and beaches in Greece due to an outbreak of wildfires. The BBC reported how residents and holidaymakers on the island of Samos were forced to evacuate while firefighters dealt with the wildfires, which have spread due to high winds and dry conditions. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice, and has warned of a high risk of fires breaking out on other Greek islands, such as Crete.

BA announces strike dates

British Airways plane tails

Anyone who is planning to fly with British Airways in September may be affected by strike action. The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) has announced that its members will walk out on 9, 10 and 27 September – with members voting 93% in favour of striking. BA has described the short-notice strikes as ‘completely unacceptable’ with the disruptions expected to cost BA around £120m.

'Arrogant' Ryanair slammed by customers

From a Which? poll of 100 brands, Ryanair has been rated the worst for customer service. The survey asked 4,000 customers to rate their experiences with the 100 companies, and asked questions such as how well they handle complaints and the helpfulness of staff. Half the respondents gave Ryanair the lowest-possible rating for complaint handling. Customers were presented with 50 words to describe their experience – and 'greedy', 'sneaky' and 'arrogant' were by far the most popular.

3D airport scanners to be launched by 2022

Airport Security

The Government plans to introduce 3D baggage scanners at all major UK airports by 2022. The technology – similar to CT scanners found in hospitals – are currently being installed at Heathrow Airport, and could improve security and speed up pre-boarding checks for passengers. The scanners could also mean an end to liquid restrictions that were first introduced in 2006 for UK airports.

 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented: ‘The new equipment will help boost the vital role our airports play in securing the UK’s position as a global hub for trade, tourism and investment.'

Late summer bookings on the rise

Travel analyst GfK has reported an increase in late summer-holiday bookings. Sales sales in the week beginning 10 August were up by 15% compared with last year. Family and all-inclusive holidays continue to drive the travel market, with all-inclusive bookings up 7% and family bookings up 21% in the same week.

 

Bookings for this summer are up 1% overall. David Hope, senior client insight director at GfK, says: ‘This is a strong 1%. The season has recovered from where it was.'

 

August has seen the introduction of many developments in the travel industry: from new 3D scanners to an increase in late summer bookings – the travel industry is constantly moving forward. As a travel SEO agency, get in touch with Ad-Rank and we can ensure your content is relevant and SEO-optimised. Don’t forget to check back next month where we'll have all the latest travel news for September.

If you’re fed up of being told to ‘picture yourself on a beach, under a palm tree, with azure blue waters lapping at your feet’, then join the club.

Travel copywriting should be an effective way to craft engaging content that elicits a sense of adventure in the reader, but so often we see the same old tropes being used to, at best, mediocre effect. Below, you’ll find a few of our all-time most hated travel writing cliches. Did your bugbears make the list?

‘Golden sands’

We don’t know about you, but we’ve never actually seen sand that glitters and radiates the same warmth as gold. Most of the gritty stuff that we’ve walked and laid on has been a dull beige colour, but nice enough to while a few hours away on if the weather is warm. As we see it, beaches come in pebble, black sand and regular sand varieties. All have their merits and don’t need to be verbally photoshopped.

'Vista’

When travel copywriting includes the word 'vista', it’s because the writer has struggled to find an alternative word for view. Everybody knows it, but nobody admits it, for fear of sounding less intellectual and worldly. The crux of the matter is that travellers want to know what they can expect to see, in terms of memorable sightseeing spots, not generically pretty views out over some water. After all, we’ve all seen a sunset by now!

Being nondescript about food

Describing the local cuisine as ‘flavourful’ or a ‘rich blend of cultural influences’ tells us nothing about the dishes themselves or, more importantly, if we’ll like them. A little research goes a long way here, so instead of the half-hearted ‘sweet, flaky pastry’ baklava descriptions, for example, let’s hear about the blend of rose water and pistachios that make for a floral yet earthy palate and the syrup topping that will have you desperate to clean your teeth (if you eat too many pieces).

Not every destination is ‘paradise’

One man’s heaven is another’s hell, so how can any holiday destination be described as 'paradise'? Let alone nearly all of them? Yes, perpetual sunshine, warm water and tasty cocktails on tap all sound relaxing and enjoyable, but is it really paradise? Let’s call a spade a spade, or in this case, a perfectly pleasant holiday destination.

‘Hidden gems’ are a fallacy

 

If the citing of every destination as paradise gets your goat then you’ll probably also hate the blanket use of the phrase ‘hidden gem’ for anywhere that has yet to become a top 10 holiday hotspot. Thanks to social media (Instagram, we’re looking at you), nowhere stays a secret for long these days and all it takes is one blogger with the right infinity-pool snap and filter to make what was a little-known treat the talk of the internet.

Aggressive calls to action

We all know that the point of creative travel copy is to encourage consumers to dig out the credit card and make a booking, but ending a piece of writing with a flashing neon ‘book it now’ button is so unappealing. If the writing had succeeded in whisking the reader off to another part of the world that they suddenly felt compelled to visit in person, this gaudy ending would snap them straight out of their fever dream and back to real life.

The water isn't ever just ‘blue’

Beach

Turquoise, azure, crystal clear, oh and don’t forget ‘gently lapping’. Water is a lot of things in travel writing, but rarely just blue. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have the sea or ocean described in realistic, relevant terms, rather than using every thesaurus entry known to man? And since when did water even need describing? It’s wet, refreshing to swim in after a day in the sun and covers a large proportion of the earth. Enough said.

There’s never really ‘something for everyone’

It’s shocking how many travel destinations seem to have incorporated ‘something for everyone’, if tired copy is to be believed. What a stroke of luck, for absolutely everywhere to be the perfect beach/snowboarding/spa holiday, all rolled into one. Pull the other one. It would be less trite to admit that there are plenty of activities, but the certain demographics will enjoy particular spots more than others.

 

Honest travel copywriting stands out for all the right reasons. It’s written by people who have clearly either been to the places they are describing or have done enough research to know what they're talking about.

 

Great travel writing instils a desire to see, smell and touch the individual elements that make a destination special. What it should never do is make the reader eye-roll through another exaggerated description of ‘rich cultural heritage’!

Welcome to your July Travel Digital Digest. Time flies in the world of travel and with summer in full swing, we share some of the biggest highlights from July. With constant changes and developments, it's crucial you keep updated and ensure your copywriting strategy reflects this. From a new UK boss at Wendy Wu to new flights on Wizz Air, here's our latest round-up from the world of travel.

Sri Lanka woos new visitors

 

The Sri Lankan government has announced a visa waiver fee for six months for selected countries, including the UK. The move is aimed at boosting tourism, following the terrorist attacks in the country earlier in the year. If the trial is successful, it may be rolled out for a longer period. A 30-day double-entry visa to Sri Lanka currently costs Brits £27. Previously, UK nationals could only get a free ‘transit’ visa if they pass through Sri Lanka and stay for no longer than two days. This doesn't just benefit UK nationals however – the scheme is being implemented in 27 other countries including Australia, Canada and Singapore.

Booking.com under investigation

Travel aggregator website Booking.com is being investigated by Italian authorities over an alleged unpaid sales-tax bill of €150m (£137m). According to the Financial Times, the VAT is related to payments between individuals for rental properties advertised on its website – not hotels. The current investigation will decide whether Booking.com is liable for the VAT which was owed on payments made between 2013 and 2018. What's more, the €150m figure is believed to be a ‘conservative’ estimate, so the final amount could end up even higher.

Wendy Wu appoints new UK boss

Green landscape

Former STA Travel boss Glen Mintrim has been appointed as managing director for Wendy Wu Tours' UK business. He succeeds Mark Bloxham, who left the role in October last year. With previous experience at Qatar Airways and Tui, Mintrim plans to drive Wendy Wu's three-year growth plan and develop trade sales. This comes at a positive time for Wendy Wu, as its 2020 bookings are currently up by 44% from 2019. Mintrim said: ‘We have a plan that will see us launching new and innovative products as well as nurturing and developing our links with the trade.’

Wizz Air to launch low-cost flights to Russia

Wizz Air plans to launch new flights to St Petersburg and Moscow later this year – its first to Russia from western Europe. Fares for both routes start from £25.99 for a one-way journey. Managing director Owain Jones says that Wizz Air will be 'the only UK carrier flying to St Petersburg and on both new routes', adding: 'Our customers will enjoy Wizz Air’s great travel experience on-board Europe’s youngest and greenest aircraft.'

2018 heatwave a factor in Holiday Place collapse

Bench overlooking the sea

The 2018 heatwave and uncertainty over Brexit were both key factors in the collapse of The Holiday Place, parent company of Cuba Holidays. The company went into administration in May, owing £12m to creditors, and with nearly 500 customers on holiday at the time. Travel Weekly quotes administrator Begbies Traynor as saying: 'The unusually hot UK summer of 2018 resulted in low sales during that period, compared to previous years. The company saw a noticeable change in consumer behaviour. Instead of the surge in bookings for summer holidays the company traditionally saw in January, it saw a significant decrease.'

 

July has seen the rise and fall of travel companies, proof that nothing stays still for long in the travel sector. Get in touch with Ad-Rank today and we can help ensure your content and SEO is as good as it can be. Don’t forget to check back next month for the latest travel updates and news for August.

If your travel blogs are struggling to get out of the slow lane, then it may not be the writing that's the problem – it's the images.

 

You may have immaculate intros, beautifully written blog posts and snappy conclusions, but if your travel images don't cut it, then you are missing a huge opportunity to engage with your audience.

 

So, not only does your copywriting need to be first class, your images do, too.

 

Make your brand stand out

 

The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words has never been more accurate in travel writing.

 

Every brand is looking for their next piece of viral content and the right image could be just what you are looking for. With careful research and planning, the simplest image ideas can be the trick to what makes your brand recognisable.

 

Example: Photographer Murad Osmann went viral after uploading a photo of his wife leading him through the streets of Barcelona. Now with millions of followers and voted by Forbes as one of the world's top travel influencers, the couple are recognised solely by their iconic image.

 

An SEO boost

Did you know that relevant images are a ranking factor with Google?

 

Landing the top spot on search engines is made easier with pictures. The benefits of using great images aren't just visual, but also work behind the scenes, too. When search engines crawl sites, they're also able to pick up images.

 

Make sure that all of your descriptions, tags and titles are up to date, so that search engines know you have information relevant to the search on that page.

 

It's all about readability

Kyoto, JapanThe rise of digital has meant reader attention spans are lower than ever. Everybody is looking for the next best thing just a click away.

 

However, no one wants to read a blog filled with lengthy text. Make your blog visually appealing by breaking your page up with images. Easy on the eye, readers are more likely to read the post, rather than give up faced with a text-heavy post.

 

A good travel SEO agency will always use images in its blogs that simplify complex information and create an easier visual experience for the reader.

 

Sharing is caring

Standout images are a must for social media.

 

When it comes to social platforms, people tend to scroll through their newsfeed until something catches their attention. Eye-catching images that make the user stop in their tracks are the perfect form of clickbait to increase traffic and engagement on both your channels and website.

 

And they all lived happily ever after…

White-sand beach in the Maldives

The key to the perfect travel blog is understanding the art of storytelling. Adding a picture to a post makes all the difference, with audiences likely to remember 65% of them, compared with just 10% that don't have imagery.

 

The secret behind a great story is having the visuals to match. Audiences become emotionally connected to your brand through identifying with your words and also the images you use. If you're talking about a specific location, the reader wants to see what you experienced.

 

A brand that is great at using both images and storytelling is Airbnb. Using the campaign Meet Your Host, it shares information on different locations worldwide from a local perspective.

 

From photos to infographics and screenshots, there are many different types of images that can be used in travel blogs. Travel bloggers can turn to user-generated content or supply people on location with a professional camera to keep costs down.

 

A final point is never post images for the sake of it, and always take the time to plan which images are most relevant to your blog – that way, you'll gain the best results.

 

Using these top tips and examples, sit back and relax as your blogs are transformed through the use of great imagery.

Personalisation is a marketing trend that's here to stay. 58% of consumers say that personalisation is very important when making a purchase, with 52% claiming they'd be likely to swap brands if they could get more personalised content elsewhere.

 

Using your customer data and understanding their behaviour to tailor experiences is key if you want to be the travel brand that wins their trust and ultimately earns their bookings. Here are three ways of exploiting the personalisation trend in order to wow customers, earn trust and drive bookings.

KLM and delighting customers

Travel brand KLM used its 50th anniversary to release an interactive version of its digital brand magazine, iFly 50. The stunning imagery and slick, interactive user experience creates a piece of content worth engaging with. At the end of the experience, users are asked to pick their favourite five destinations and enter their email address for the chance to win a trip of a lifetime.

 

This is a clever way of collecting data from engaged users with a view to personalising their experience further down the line, possibly with follow-up emails or digital marketing that features their favourite five destinations. Generating a piece of stunning content like this to delight users and collect the data necessary for personalisation, is a shining example of how great travel PR can make customer experiences better overall.

 

analysing data

Virgin Hotels and exceptional experiences

Virgin Hotels doesn't shy away from hiding its desire to personalise behind competitions or content. It is upfront with guests, giving them access to a personal preference centre called The Know. Here, guests can tell Virgin Hotels who they're travelling with, what they like to do or eat, their favourite bands, sleeping habits – even what they'd like to see stocked in a fantasy fridge.

 

Virgin Hotels then uses this data to optimise customer experiences, creating little touches that personalise their guests' stay and make for a wonderful experience. Knowing that a brand wants to listen to and make you happy in this way, on such a personal and bespoke level, is an amazing experience for customers – and an experience which they will carry forward to future travel brand interactions and expect more of.

Getting the basics right

If you're a travel brand with a website, you have the capability to personalise at your fingertips. Cookies and marketing automation software are a stellar combination for understanding how your customers engage with your website and what their interests are. This is turn can be used as powerful data to ensure that marketing comms are relevant to the customer in question.

 

Map of world connected by data

 

You can see what's been searched, whether certain products or destinations have been visited multiple times, whether a user came close to the end of the booking process but then left. This rich data, available on an individual level, allows for follow-up email or digital media campaigns that are more likely to resonate with users on an individual level and so drive bookings.

 

These three examples scrape the surface of the potential that personalisation has for delighting travel customers and growing business. Gone are the days of treating people as a homogeneous group, with no interest in or ability to understand their individual preferences or needs.

 

Travel is a very personal business; we all have our favourite destinations, preferred means of transport, activities that we do or don't enjoy – and these personal preferences all come from very individual experiences and motivations. Travel business must start treating customers as individuals if they want to flourish, and personalisation is key to success in this area.

Gone are the days of working face-to-face with a high-street travel agency to plan and book an upcoming holiday, or flicking through Teletext to find a great deal and confirming over the phone.

 

Travel is now an integrated, digital experience, taking you from mobile to desktop and website to app, removing the need to talk to another human should you wish. Some of the most exciting advancements and trends lie in the travel app space, with household favourites and market disrupters challenging one another for the most useful features, the hottest in-app content marketing and the slickest user experiences.

 

Here's our round-up of 2019's best travel apps for anyone bitten by the travel bug.

Trip planning

Trip planning on a map

 

Your latest adventure will probably involve one/some of: transport to an airport, an overnight airport hotel stay, flights, transport to your accommodation, Airbnb reservations, day trips – the list goes on. Instead of scouring emails for different booking confirmations or having to log on to endless websites to collate your itinerary details, information aggregation apps like Tripit are taking the industry by storm.

 

Travellers can say goodbye to fragmented information by importing all of their travel data into one, all-inclusive central hub. Tripit's May 2019 update has seen it perform better than ever, with an optimised Apple Watch design and an Auto-Import feature to manage any cancelled plans. A great example of technology saving-time and making customers' lives easier.

 

Newcomer travel app Lambus offers a similar experience to Tripit but with an emphasis on group travel and collaboration. They're still ironing out the kinks, but it's exciting to see how this app takes the social element of travel and how easy it makes organising and undertaking travel as a group.

 

2019 has also seen new-kid-on-the-block travel app PackPoint come into its own, with a new summer release receiving great reviews on Google Play and the App Store. Its clever technology reviews your destination, the predicted weather and any activities you have planned, pulling together a packing list so that no essentials get missed.

While you're travelling

Lady in front of a flight board in an airport

 

Google Translate has released a 2019 update that has the potential to transform the way travellers interact with new countries and languages. Download the app and use your camera to snap photos of any writing that you need translate, from signs to menus. Google's app will produce an accurate translation purely based on the image – amazing!

 

New social travel app Alpacr may be in its infancy, but is already generating great reviews across Google Play and the App Store. It gives adventurers the ability to share their travel experiences and photos with the wider travelling community. You can research new trips, follow your friends' travels and meet up with buddies along the way. Social media giants such as Instagram have shown us that travel plus community equals a huge hit, so we're predicting big things for this new app.

 

Etihad Airways and Panasonic Avionics Corporation has announced a partnership this year that will see a variety of wellness solutions introduced via Etihad's app. It will be the first airline to test Panasonic's Jet Lag Advisor, which uses biometric data combined with other travel information to calculate and deliver a personalised, in-flight plan of activities and environmental settings to help prevent jet lag.

 

Travel is one of the most exciting aspects of modern living. Unique experiences, unexpected encounters and a renewed sense of sense and of adventure. With advancements in technology come improvements to how we plan, book and manage our travel, and how we optimise and share those experiences. Travel apps are here to stay, but we can expect to see their experiences and features only getting smarter and more intuitive over time.

Welcome to June’s monthly round-up of everything travel. With the travel world constantly changing, it is important that your content marketing strategy is effective and up to date. We take a look at some exciting developments in the travel industry and discuss the things you need to know.

 

Ryanair to acquire Malta Air

 

Ryanair has recently agreed to purchase Malta Air, and has outlined its plans to grow its presence in Malta. This includes an increase of planes to 10 over the next three years, creating more than 350 jobs. By summer 2020, it plans to brand the Malta-based fleet to Malta Air colours.

 

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: ‘Malta Air will proudly fly the Maltese name and flag to more than 60 destinations across Europe and north Africa as we look to grow our Maltese-based fleet, routes, traffic and jobs over the next three years.’

 

Tunisia bookings on the rise

After a number of terrorist attacks in Tunisia, the FCO updated its travel advice in 2017. Tunisia had suffered from a huge decrease in bookings as a result, but it's predicted that the number of UK visitors will increase to at least 200,000 by the end of 2019, an increase of 124,000 visitors compared with 2018. Preparing for the increase in bookings, Tui has added 37,000 seats on flights across the UK for summer 2019.

 

Wahida Jaiet, director of the Tunisian Tourist Office UK and Ireland, told Travel Weekly that she predicts Tunisia will see 440,000 UK visitors in the next three to four years, marking a huge growth on 2018.

 

However, with the news on 27 June of a further terrorist attack – this time in the capital Tunis – this is likely to have a negative impact on visitor numbers.

 

Hangout on Holiday – the new travel app

Message on a phone

Paul Stanyer, founder of Holiday Taxis, has designed the travel app Hangout on Holiday to ease the communication process with holiday reps. The app enables holidaymakers to contact their reps before and during their holiday through live chat. Holidaymakers are offered information on what to do in resorts, and they can book excursions in advance. It is also useful for the reps, as they can contact holidaymakers with useful info.

 

Stanyer says: ‘Hangout on Holiday presents an exciting opportunity for operators looking to optimise their customer experience and gain a share of in-resort spend.’

 

With operators such as Olympic Holidays and Infinity Weekends using the new app and Stanyer currently in talks with more operators, the app appears to have a bright future.

 

Hard Rock hotel comes to London

London saw the opening of the first-ever Hard Rock Cafe, in 1971. And now, the capital now has a Hard Rock Hotel, following successful openings across the globe.

 

The new hotel will feature live music performances and memorabilia. It includes a Kirkwood piano which Freddie Mercury used to practise as a teenager.

 

Hard Rock Hotels' senior vice president Dale Hipsh said: ‘Every Hard Rock Hotel property is one of a kind, but this one represents something special for the brand.’

 

ABTA welcomes new chairman

Small globe in a hand

Alistair Rowland has been appointed the new chairman of ABTA. He replaces Noel Josephides, who had held the position for six years. Rowland, who has been on the ABTA board of directors for the past seven years, said: ’I look forward immensely to taking on my new role as chairman of the UK's leading travel association.’

 

June was a packed month for the industry, and one that shows how quickly the sector evolves. We'll be back next month with another round-up of the hottest stories.

Virtual Reality (VR) has seen major usage in the gaming industry but marketers in other sectors – including travel – have realised its potential. We’re going to highlight innovative ways VR is being used in the travel industry to offer people new and immersive ways to experience hotels, destinations and more.

Virtual Reality Explained

VR technology typically involves the usage of a VR headset which is worn by a person, immersing them into a 360˚ virtual environment. On top of the visual stimulus, VR has developed to a point where audio and physical stimuli are incorporated into the VR experience, and with more expensive headsets the user can interact with the virtual environment.

 

The roots of VR lie very much in the gaming industry through systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, but with the rise of budget headsets like Google Cardboard, VR is becoming more accessible to people.

 

Furthermore, the addition of VR content alongside high-quality travel copywriting and images allows travel brands to engage with people on another level. What better way to convince a potential guest to choose your hotel by giving them the opportunity of a virtual tour?

 

Virtual Reality hotel tours

As mentioned above, hotels have started to offer potential guests the opportunity to experience their facilities and rooms in the comfort of their own living room. It’s just another step in providing people with more information to make better-informed purchasing decisions, by showing them what their stay could be like and the facilities to expect.

 

In general, these VR videos are found on the hotel website and require a VR headset to experience. Normally, hotels use the 360˚ capability of VR when producing virtual-reality hotel tours but some have been trialling tours with sounds, too. Furthermore, these VR videos can be easily used on social media and other channels by embedding the video.

 

For example, below is the virtual reality hotel tour of Atlantic Dubai:

 

Virtual Booking Interface

Some companies have gone even further into the VR world by offering consumers the ability booking using VR. The best example of this is Amadeus which has designed a booking journey and user interface fully in the realm of VR. This replaces the need for using a mouse or touchscreen to navigate menus, and creates a seamless booking journey and user experience.

 

 

Simple actions like checking the weather and flight times, or comparing room types, becomes immersive and fluid. Although initial pick-up of this type of VR usage may not have taken off yet, it’s a great example of how virtual-reality technology can be implemented to better peoples’ user experience.

 

Virtual Travel Experiences

The advancement of Virtual Reality technology has allowed online travel agencies, hotels and other businesses in the travel industry the opportunity to provide potential customers with a virtual travel experience. The technology allows people to visit a destination or attraction and see whether it’s something they’d be interested in visiting.

 

 

In the example above, Marriott has produced a virtual reality experience for a honeymoon holiday to Hawaii and London while staying at one of its hotel. In this VR experience, Marriott is able to transport people to Hawaii and London and highlight attractions potential honeymooners would like to visit. Marriott has weaved its hotels into the experience, virtually showing people what a honeymoon to Hawaii or London while staying at a Marriott hotel would be like.

 

The power of Virtual Reality lies in its ability to transport people into another environment, be that a hotel, booking journey or destination. What's more, the application of VR technology isn’t limited to the above examples – they’re just the beginning.

The news never stops in the world of travel.

 

May delivered some big headlines filled with big changes, developments and exciting predictions. While you focus on the day-to-day running of your brand, we've done a round-up of the top headlines you need to know about with our monthly round-up for May 2019.

 

To make sure you're always acting on the latest news, use a travel marketing agency.

 

Holiday fraud costs punters £7m

British Pounds

 

ABTA, Action Fraud and Get Safe Online are joining forces to warn consumers of holiday-booking fraud after more than 5,000 cases were reported.

 

With customers facing losses up to £7 million, they are giving advice on how to check for fraud when purchasing travel related products and services. More than 53% of crimes were related to airline ticket sales, with issues surrounding accommodation bookings accounting for 25%.

 

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: 'ABTA sees at first-hand the damage caused by travel fraudsters after customers find out their much-anticipated holiday or trip to visit family and friends does not actually exist. This is why ABTA, Action Fraud and Get Safe Online work together to make people aware of the steps they can take to avoid falling foul of a holiday scam.'

 

Cruise holidays ride the wave of popularity

In last month's round-up, we heard the news of Brit and Irish cruise passengers increasing, and figures this month show cruises are now growing faster than conventional, one-destination holidays.

 

Market research specialist Mintel predicts the number of cruise passengers will increase by 22.5% from 2018 to 2023. According to Mintel travel analyst Marloes De Vries, the growth is due to ship modernisation and the amount of variety made available in the sector through themed holidays. One-destination holidays are expected to grow by 14.8% in comparison.

 

Mintel estimates that 2 million British and Irish passengers will take a cruise holidays in 2019.

 

Google hits the shops

 

Following Google Marketing Live 2019 in the middle of May, the search giant released a number of new shopping features available to service users.

 

Consumers will now be able to filter price and brand through a new personalised Google shopping homepage. This feature will also allow them to buy straight from retailers on Google. Another update coming into action later this year is that service users will be able to purchase products directly from YouTube videos while they're still playing.

 

Google is also introducing a new Discover feed, as well as adding shopping adverts to image searches and also making changes to Gmail. It says it is to give businesses an easier way to help customers shop online.

 

Virgin cruise ship heading to UK

Virgin's first cruise ship has announced that it will be headed to Dover and Liverpool.

 

The announcement was made by former Spice Girl Geri Horner at a London press conference. Holding up to 2,700 passengers, it is the first of four cruise ships and is being built in Genoa, Italy. Due to set sail in 2020, it is due to reach the UK in February.

 

The new cruise voyage has also confirmed music producer Diplo and DJ Mark Ronson to perform at the line's private club. Ronson says: 'Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin brand were legendary game-changers in the music industry and it’s a thrill to join them as they bring that same spirit to sea travel.'

 

London Heathrow back on small screen

London Heathrow Airport

 

Viewers will be given a unique insight into the running of the UK's biggest airport as popular TV show Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport returns for its fifth series.

 

Airing on ITV, the show had more than 4 million viewers in 2018. From snowy days to assisting passengers, the 12-part series focuses on the day-to-day running and challenges faced by staff at Heathrow. The show is narrated by actress Julie Walters.

 

Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye said that the show is 'a project that perfectly encapsulates our dedicated network of excellent colleagues, working around the clock to deliver a world-class airport service. The documentary gives millions of people a glimpse into the operations of one of the world’s busiest airports – and I can tell you from experience, there is never a dull day.'

 

With cruises on the rise and new feature announcements from Google, it is set to be exciting times ahead. To find out what's making the top stories next month, keep an eye out for June's Travel Digital Digest.

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