From new “experiential” offerings from OTAs such as Airbnb, to fresh techniques for optimising websites, to having a plan in place for a variety of potential dangers – companies leading tour groups for youth travellers have a lot to consider for staying relevant in the ever-evolving market. During a panel session at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference, several of the top tour companies in the youth travel industry shared their best practices and today’s trends for operating one-day and multi-day tours worldwide.
Hot: Content comprehensiveness We’ve all heard the tagline ‘content is king’, but according to Ramsey Kerr, of Dragon Trip, the new buzz phrase is ‘content comprehensiveness’. That is, making sure all your content is extensive, accurate and correctly put into context. It is not good enough to create new content, or even great content.
Comprehensive content is key to integrating into your search (SEO) strategy. The importance of comprehensiveness continues through the entire booking process. It is not enough to bring traffic to your website, you must also attend to the process of engaging potential clients with your site right through to booking and payment. The transition must be as seamless and stress-free as possible. This is what the panellists agreed the major booking sites are doing very well.
Not: Sustainability ‘greenwashing’ Youth travellers are savvy in identifying lack of authenticity. GoEco’s Jonathan Gilben explained that ‘greenwashing’ for environmental sustainability and token gestures just don’t cut it with the enthusiastic and educated youth travel market. However, while young travellers are concerned with sustainability and social responsibility, timing of introducing certain initiatives is important. Christian Wouters, of Tour Radar, said their organisation recently added a ‘Donate Now’ button to their booking page, allowing customers to donate to a local charity of their choice at the time of booking. The drop off rate from the page was so strong, the button had to be removed. Apparently, customers like to choose when and where they donate, and it is not at the time of acquisition.