Key trends and actions for 2021

Given how much ‘crystal ball gazing’ we are being asked to do at present it is easy to be left with the feeling that we have no control over events. And while that might be true in terms of anticipating when markets will open and under what conditions they will return, there is some very good analysis being undertaken all around the World with regard to how our industry will be changed as both a consequence of recent events and the growth in technologies.

The following provides a very broad summary of multiple documents and hundreds of pages of analysis. This is the stuff we need to know and be preparing for now if we want to get out of the blocks fast.

 

 2020 04 14 Tourism Update

Global Consumer Trends

 

“For destinations and tourism operators, the message is clear: however you choose to market your offering to travelers this year, don’t wait. Every day, more and more travelers aren’t just dreaming of their next trip abroad, they are planning and booking it.” Tripadvisor Travel Trends 2021.

The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021

  • Build Back Better
  • Craving Convenience
  • Outdoors Oasis
  • Phygital Reality
  • Playing with Time
  • Restless and Rebellious
  • Safety Obsessed
  • Shaken and Stirred
  • Thoughtful Thrifters
  • Workplaces in New Places

 

Build Back Better

Consumers want to engage with companies/operators that care, demonstrate sustainability, and are values driven. More boutique experiences that put them in touch with nature and local communities and that are sustainable and socially responsible. E.g. Reduce energy and single use plastics and let your markets know.

Craving Convenience

Seamless distribution, instant confirmation and allowing for personalisation. Allow for pre-planning and contactless payments but do not underestimate impulse purchases – they haven’t happened for a year – oh yeah, those too need to be digital.

Do not forget your customer also wants to be recognised, and thanked for their patronage – this means affiliations, fidelity or rewards programs go far.

TNZ will be heavily ‘wholesale’ Trade focused (B2B2C – Business to Business to Consumer) to ensure the maximum reach as markets reopen – have you got your updated offers and pricing in front of travel trade/inbound tour operators now? And if you are advertising products and services, make sure you are able to deliver!

Outdoors Oasis

Embrace the outdoors and create safe zones for people to connect. Technology still plays a bit role. People are keen to change their consumption habits and embrace healthier ones so introduce more outdoor products when possible. Watch out: it still has to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing – better yet, your oasis has to be breath-taking!

'Phygital' Reality

That’s where the real world meets the digital world. Customers can work, play, learn from anywhere. They will be seeking places that allow for this and allow connectivity (B2C – Business to Cunsumer). AR/VR adoption has peaked in the last year. Allowing people to check-in on their own devices, to experience products on their smartphone before buying to modify/personalise from a single point of sale – to give feedback and engage at any time, from anywhere. Companies that deliver safe and memorable experiences via multiple methods and platforms will develop loyal customers.

Playing with Time

Flexibility is the new standard. Consumers want more 'me' time. This means that providers must be flexible, adaptable and anticipate that they will change their minds – and they want to do so without penalty. It also means you must be able to engage with your clients 24 hours a day – it doesn’t mean you need to be there 24 hours a day – it means you need processes and clear pathways to manage expectations 24 hours a day.

Restless and Rebellious

Operators need to cater to consumers that are cynical and less trusting of governments and corporate – especially after being locked-down for an extended period. Whilst people are rebellious, they have never been so united by social media – leaving behind a digital tray offering insights into customer habits and behaviour like never before.

Safety Obsessed

Less contact – and use of mobile payment means better hygiene and also safer. Make payment easy but also safe. Ensure any credentials, qualifications and processes are clearly exhibited and communicated with consumers. If you are COVID ready, advertise it and give that information to Trade!

Shaken and Stirred

Businesses must provide products and service that support resiliency. Providers should allow consumers to incorporate self-improvement and 'me' time – unplanned surprises, inclusions, and sensitivity to individual preferences will go a long way. Arts, wellness, music and nurturing environments will echo with consumers. Visually, nostalgic references will be in demand.

Thoughtful Thrifters

Cautious and frugal – discretionary spending is declining. Value added and health-conscious products are prioritised. Big ticket items are likely to be postponed and savings will be prioritised. Operators need to adapt – not discount! Offer new products that appeal to a more price-conscious market. We should rethink our products and focus on profitability.

Workplaces in New Places

Work-life balance took on a new meaning in 2020 – but even greater is the compartmentalisation of work, play and rest within a 24-hour segment. Working in remote locations, temporary relocation and combining holidays and work may be a new trend.

 


Key actions to take

 

KEY ACTIONS: AUSTRALIA

  • Start re-engaging with travel trade in preparation for the return for Trade and FIT
  • Ensure all products are loaded online and available through direct booking channels with instant confirmation.
  • Focus on new and immersive products.
  • Potential JV with Christchurch Airport, Travel Managers and ANZCRO. (Hello World/Flight Centre)
  • Discontinue discounted COVID rates available online.
  • Distribute rates to OTA (Online Travel Agencies) & Wholesale Partners
  • Ensure all content is on Newzealand.com and Westcoast.co.nz
  • Highlight NEW experiences – time and duration will play an important role. Seeking road trips.
  • Implement marketing automation systems such as email confirmation, and email notices prior to arrival.
  • Ensure all safety protocols and procedures are communicated to trade, OTAs and on website.

 

KEY ACTIONS: UK AND EUROPE

  • Maintain engagement with key accounts to ensure consideration when borders re-open.
  • Focus on Premium Market which is likely to return first – with exclusive products.
  • Senior and family markets likely to follow afterwards.
  • Engage with IBOs (Inbound Operators) with products rates – as well as product line-up.
  • Reassure IBOs that discounted COVID rates will no longer be available online.
  • Ensure you are featured in key brochures as inclusion or optional.
  • Ensure all content is on Newzealand.com and Westcoast.co.nz
  • Ensure all COVID readiness plans and certifications are communicated to IBOs and Consumers (https://www.tourismtradechecklist.co.nz/
  • Implement marketing automation systems such as email confirmation, and email notices prior to arrival.

 

KEY ACTIONS: CHINA

  • Create list of IBOs currently active in market / planning on activity in the market.
  • Engage with IBOs with products rates – as well as product line-up.
  • Focus on re-positioning products with key IBOs accounts to ensure consideration when borders re-open.
  • Focus on itinerary inclusion.
  • Translate collateral to simplified Chinese
  • Enable direct purchase on social medias platforms for FIT and premium.
  • Senior and family markets likely to follow afterwards.
  • Activate joint venture Kia Ora South with Christchurch Airport and China Southern Airline. Engage with Tourism New Zealand Asia/China
  • Ensure all content is up to date and on newzealand.com and westcoast.co.nz

 

KEY ACTIONS: USA AND CANADA

  • Start re-engaging with travel trade in preparation for the return for Trade and FIT
  • Engage with key IBOs with product rates – as well as product line-up.
  • Engage with key travel agents in market – affiliated with consortia, kiwi-specialist specialist program.
  • Ensure all products are loaded online and available through direct booking channels with instant confirmation.
  • Distribute rates to OTA & Wholesale Partners
  • Focus on new and immersive products.
  • Discontinue discounted COVID rates available online.
  • Focus on re-positioning products with key IBOs accounts to ensure consideration when borders re-open.
  • Ensure all content is on Newzealand.com and Westcoast.co.nz
  • Implement marketing automation systems such as email confirmation, and email notices prior to arrival.
  • Ensure all safety protocols and procedures are communicated to trade, OTAs and on website.

 

KEY ACTIONS: INDIA

  • Create list of IBOs currently active in market / planning on activity in the market.
  • Engage with IBOs with products rates – as well as product line-up.
  • Focus on re-positioning products with key IBOs accounts to ensure consideration when borders re-open.
  • Focus on itinerary inclusion for groups.
  • Ensure distribution through API - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7wmiS2mSXY - for direct connectivity with wholesale partners.
  • Ensure all content is on newzealand.com and westcoast.co.nz

 

KEY ACTIONS: SOUTH EAST ASIA

  • Create list of IBOs currently active in market / planning on activity in the market.
  • Engage with key wholesalers in-market – across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam .
  • Engage with IBOs with products rates – as well as product line-up.
  • Focus on re-positioning products with key IBOs accounts to ensure consideration when borders re-open.
  • Focus on itinerary inclusion for groups.
  • Check on Tourism New Zealand Kiwi Link Trade Workshops, face to face and/or virtual
  • Ensure distribution through API for direct connectivity with wholesale partners.
  • Ensure all content is on newzealand.com and westcoast.co.nz

 

JAPAN AND KOREA

  • Create list of IBOs currently active in market / planning on activity in the market.
  • Engage with IBOs with products rates – as well as product line-up.
  • Focus on re-positioning products with key IBOs accounts to ensure consideration when borders re-open.
  • Focus on itinerary inclusion.
  • Ensure all content is on newzealand.com and westcoast.co.nz

 punakaiki