Travel managers around the world have long looked for a way to promote their products and destinations or improve traveler experiences. But first, they need to start with market research to unlock the door.

Despite being one of the world’s largest industries, only a minor proportion of total market research turnover is in travel and tourism, which indicates the relative underuse of research in this industry. It is the intangible nature of tourism and the lack of a truly free market that places certain limits on market research’s relevance. However, the major barriers to effective use are managerial attitudes and a lack of appreciation of how effective research can lead to increased profitability. Moreover, the areas where research would be most beneficial (like understanding consumer motivations and planning for the future) may be those where it is most unlikely to be used.

Whether your business is operating directly in the tourism sector (like running a bed and breakfast) or indirectly (offering goods and services in which tourists may be interested), it’s beneficial to understand how your business is affected by tourism. By conducting tourism research, you may be able to identify a new segment for your business.

The key to effective investment

Market research will help businesses get the industry landscape at the current stage, including competitors, potential and future trends. In addition, understanding the market and analyzing both opportunities and challenges may help businesses prepare a contingency plan and optimize the efficiency of its investment.

Market research helps businesses aware of who their competitors are. For the newbie in the industry, find out where the market is saturated and where there are gaps in offerings in order to build your business around the area where there is a demand but little competition.

Through tourism market research, an enterprise can also catch the gist of what strengths and weaknesses its competitors have and how they are marketing themselves to their customers in order to learn from their strategies, especially from those with a large share of the tourism marketplace.

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For example, if the products your business is promoting are passport carrying cases, you may encounter some stiff competition. Therefore, you should consider different ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd by appealing to a specific segment of the market. You can offer a passport carrying case that doubles as a wallet, or perhaps you can use all recycled materials to create your products.

In the new normal, the behavior and trends of most travelers are also swayed due to safety and health concerns. Therefore, where to focus resources on to resume business and whether there will be any potential problem are the challenges that businesses need to solve carefully based on methodical research.

Tools to optimize business strategy

The research will provide every important detail that supports businesses from discovering niche markets, understanding customers to plan an effective business and communication strategy.

Conducting research can help businesses understand their travelers’ demographics, such as their age, gender, location and income. Find out what triggers them to buy from your business, identify what you offer to resonate with your audience. Are you offering them a product to help them relax more easily on vacation, or are you offering them a service that helps them save time on the trip? Highlight the benefits of your business clearly so they can be easily identified.

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Instead of just concentrating on finding new customers in the current time of travel restrictions, it is important for each airline to ensure loyalty from existing customers and gain more profit from them. So how to maintain passengers’ impression from booking to boarding and til the end of the flight? Airlines need to research who their customers are at the moment, how their experiences on the flight can be further enhanced. Thereby, the enterprise may give the right communication message which can easily reach customers’ decision to purchase as well as avoid spending too much money on unnecessary services.

Hotels or resorts are no exception, especially when the number of guests has been sharply reduced resulted from Covid-19, setting a requirement to minimize operating costs, figuring what important factors affect the guest experience will help managers know which cost can be cut and where to invest more so as to maintain visitors’ favorite.

A platform for developing new products and markets

Once market tourism research to be done effectively, businesses can develop a growth plan and implement it to achieve their goals. You can conduct tourism research to try out new products and services on a small scale before launching them to the whole market. This may help you to fine-tune the details, improve your offerings, and provide customers with something no one else does.

For example, if your tourism business provides guided local food tours, you can develop specific themed tours based on the research of your target market. Find out if they want to see vegan restaurants, for example, or try running a few smaller tours to make sure your customers are happy with all the places before launching the service on a wider scale.

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Businesses can also detect the special trends of each segment, such as the increasing number of women traveling alone in recent years, or the eco-friendly factor that has become a concern for millennials and Zen Z; hence, businesses can offer appropriate services and communication to the right audience.

Especially, for smaller markets such as luxury travel, finding out what kind of services travelers will pay attention to or what their characteristics are will be a great help in creating suitable products, avoiding wasting resources on other segments.

Moreover, when a destination wants to attract a new market, understanding the behavior and habit in the target market (like how Asians differ from Europeans) plays a decisive role in achieving success, helping to develop the right products and media.

Conclusion

It can be said that data and information are always important factors in affecting the business and development of business in every industry, especially in the tourism industry which is in turmoil due to the damage caused by COVID-19. Therefore, research to seize the changes in markets and travelers at this time is a prerequisite step to adapt to the “new normal” and to restore business.

Source: Destination Review

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