The travel industry is one of the fastest developing sectors. New markets, greater ticket availability and plenty of travel destinations make the business flourish. More and more travel agencies start operating. As a result, the competition grows.
Do you operate in the travel industry? Do you feel it’s the highest time to explore new ways of winning customers? Would you like to use state-of-the-art tools and reach out to the customers who no longer look for printed brochures?
Then keep on reading!
Travel business sector is going digital. Are you?
Companies operating in the travel industry are increasingly willing to use online marketing tools. According to the survey by Travel Weekly, in 2017, 74% of travel agents used email for promotional campaigns, 68% were active in social media, and 56% focused on driving traffic to their websites.
As you can guess, today even more market players follow these methods to promote their services.
Do you know that you can use webinars for online communication and marketing activities – on its own or as part of the channels mentioned above? You can employ it not only to promote holiday offers but also to train sales teams and tour guides.
You can even use it as part of a city’s or region’s promotional strategy and aim it at tourists planning holiday trips.
From this article, you will learn how to use webinars in the travel industry. We will tell you what you should focus on when organizing your very first webinar. We will also describe the key features you will find useful when running your online event.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Who can benefit from webinars in the travel industry?
When you think „travel industry”, travel agencies are probably the first to come to your mind. If you own or work for a travel agency, the possibilities of using webinars for communication and marketing purposes are actually endless.
Read on to find out what kind of online meetings you can hold and if tourism offices, hotels and airlines can benefit from running webinars in the travel industry.
What can you use webinars for in the travel industry?
A webinar is an extremely versatile tool, offering a whole of features. Thanks to this, you can address many different needs regarding promotional and marketing activities in the travel industry.
Let’s take a look at just a few examples:
Promotion of new holiday destinations
Have you added a popular holiday resort to your offer? A brand-new hotel in an exotic destination? Exciting optional tours customers can go on while on holiday?
Run an online meeting using webinar platform to:
- present the new hotel
- take your customers on a mini tour around the resort and show them what they can expect
- hold a live online event to show the highlights of one of your new trips
A live presentation where customers can interact with you is so much more than even the most colorful holiday brochure.
Moreover, photos in travel offers are very often retouched. They are taken when the weather is great, flowers are blooming, and the sun at its highest point. After the arrival, vacationists are more than disappointed. The pool they saw in the leaflet is closed during spring and the magnolias that amazed them in the pictures only start developing buds.
You can attractively show your holiday spot and let your customers see what it really looks like. They will appreciate it for sure.
Useful tips before arrival
You can use a webinar platform to stay in touch with the customers who have already bought a holiday package and are awaiting their dream holidays.
Before they set off, invite them to a webinar and give them a handful of tips regarding their trip. Here are pieces of advice that you can give them:
- Talk about local habits. It may be particularly useful if they are flying to culturally distant countries and, e.g. need to conform to specific regulations regarding clothes, gestures, topics of conversations etc.
- Teach the local rules. There are countries where you’d better not violate the traffic rules. You can be fined for littering or even holding hands on the streets, or not allowed to bring in food, plants or animals to certain places. Let them know all that before they depart to spare them trouble when they arrive.
- Share useful tips and tricks. Where to rent a car and what documents you’re going to need? Where to eat to taste the local cuisine? How to use local public transport? These are just a few topics you can cover.
Testimonials from happy customers
One happy customer’s recommendation is worth hundreds of ads, banners or promotional emails. And often it costs you nothing. So, find some time to run a live webinar for one of your optional tours.
Let the participants know there will be a live broadcast and ask if they can say a few words to the camera. For sure, some holiday-makers will be happy to cooperate with you. Maybe they will even answer some questions asked by other webinar attendees. That way, you make your message more convincing – a testimonial given by a satisfied customer is the best form of your service promotion.
If you record such webinars and share them on your site or YouTube channel, there is a fair chance the holiday-makers will start sharing the video via social media. The more willing they will be to spread the word about it, the better. Free promotion – guaranteed!
Promotion of a city or region
Are you responsible for promoting your city among tourists? You surely want to attract the most significant number of visitors.
You can pay for TV or Facebook ads but don’t underestimate less expensive and more useful tools such webinars.
Imagine you are broadcasting an event taking place in your city every year – a street art festival, a summer fair or a sailing race. Use a webinar platform to present it in real time and have an opportunity to interact with your audience. They can comment and ask questions, and you can answer them or try to learn what other events they would like to see.
In many cities, there are so-called free walking tours. If they are organized in your town, join one of them with your smartphone and mobile webinar application to run an online meeting straight from the spot.
Show your attendees a few exciting places they may see on tour. Encourage the guide to greet the webinar participants and invite them to come and join them when visiting the city.
Training for travel agency teams
If your travel agency has many offices scattered around the world, you most probably run regular staff training. New destinations, hotels, and tours. Updates of your terms and condition, special offers and discounts. Political events, natural disasters or changes in currency exchange rates – you have to update your team on all such topics.
Instead of gathering them all at your HQ, run a webinar training everyone can take part. What issues can you discuss?
- How to effectively sell optional tours to holiday-makers?
- How to identify different personality types among customers, and how to communicate with them?
- How to address the needs of different target groups – families with kids, young single adults, elderly couples?
- How to best present the travel agency’s portfolio?
Communication with local partners
You need to always be in regular touch with hotels and local companies offering tours and other attractions. With a webinar platform, you can catch one another whenever it suits you. You can present them the details of your recent promotion for loyal customers or the results of the customer satisfaction survey.
This, however, can work two ways. Your partners can let you know what’s new on offer. You can immediately discuss any details, clear doubts if there are any and take some decisions regarding your future cooperation.
Online customer helpline
Some customers don’t like it when they have to contact your customer service by phone or talk to your consultants via live chat. They require direct communication. With a webinar platform, you can meet their need.
Invite them to join your online meeting whenever they have any questions. They will be happy to be able to talk to a real person waiting for them in front of the camera, not a bot.
You get an opportunity to make sure they have a great experience when getting in touch with your brand.
Promotion of airline services
If you work for an airline and you are responsible for communication with travel agents, you can also benefit from webinars. New connections? New safety procedures at the airports? New ticket discounts?
Run a series of webinars to pass all the necessary information to your partners and keep them updated all the time.
Promotion of a hotel
Are you a member of a promotion team working for a hotel situated in a popular holiday resort? Or maybe you have a special offer for business partners?
Invite your audience to a series of webinars in which you will take them on a virtual tour around your hotel! Show them its most attractive parts – the pool, the SPA, the conference rooms – and answer all their questions on the spot.
Which webinar features will come in handy?
Webinars are much more than the most beautiful holiday brochures. They are also much more than a live video broadcast.
Webinar platforms offer a whole variety of features that let you run a remarkable online event. Let’s take a look at the ones you should focus on:
- Custom branding – use it to design your webinar room to make it look consistent with your brand’s visual identification. Add your logo and custom colors, so the webinar attendees recognize you at first glance.
- Presentation – prepare slides showing a new destination you have in offer or include key points from your staff training. Prepare also the rules holiday-makers have to observe while on holidays. Make a live presentation and then provide some time for a Q&A session.
- Q&A session – it’s a great tool if you want to gather feedback from your audience, answer their questions, and clear their doubts.
- Chat – use chat to talk to your participants in real time. If someone asks a question via chat, you can reply immediately, without having to wait for the Q&A session.
- Webinar recording – record your webinars and make them available on your site, YouTube channel, or social media profile. Share them with your contacts and let them watch your webinars anytime they want, on-demand.
- Polls and surveys – at the end of every webinar, you can run a survey. In the case of training webinars, it can be a test to review the topics covered. For mini-tour webinars, it can be a questionnaire to learn what other parts of the resort/city/hotel the audience would like to see next time.
What should you remember about when planning and running a webinar?
It can be an issue in some cases. Take it into account if you own a travel agency with offices in different locations around the world.
If you are planning a training webinar for your staff, make sure everyone can join. If it’s impossible, schedule a few different time slots and run the webinar several times.
If you want to broadcast live from a tour or a city walk, a mobile webinar app will come in handy. Don’t forget a selfie stick so you can show a wider angle of the neighborhood.
Good Internet connection
Again, you are going to need it if you want to run an outdoor online event. Make sure you have a stable mobile connection to avoid problems during the live webinar.
If it happens that technical problems occur, apologize your audience and refresh your application to get rid of any issues. Continue your event as fast as you can!
Forget printed holiday brochures. The travel industry needs great webinars!
So, that’s it.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can use webinars to promote holiday offers and communicate with customers and teams if you run a travel business.
If you are ready to take the first step and plan your own webinar, don’t hesitate!
Take a look at our pricing plans or contact our consultants and start preparing your first online event.