Travel is very much like a
good story. There is typically a beginning, middle and an end, twists and plot
complications, high and low points and almost always something to be learned.
Many of my own favourite personal stories are a part of some physical journey I
have taken at some point in my life. I'll wager you might be able to say the
all spend much of our time in a very routine, logical work-a-day world.
Consumers want to travel, but all too often approach their planning and
purchasing decisions from the same rational mindset they use to buy a washer
and dryer. Their thinking is all about features, logistics and numbers. The
rational side of the mind gives undue weight to matters like price. The
rational mind understands only cost; it's the right-brained function to see
value. People in the business of marketing travel have the important mission to
assist the buying public in breaking through those barriers to understanding
what a life experience travel can be.
As travel marketers charged
with the responsibility of helping people travel well, it's important to learn
how to use social media to tell a good travel story, to communicate our
passion. When we can romance a memory, a destination or activity, we move far
beyond the logical, rational impediments to travel and move into a more
mythical, emotional realm. I'm not speaking of manipulation but rather to the
ability to address the consumer's more intuitive, holistic faculties.
companies which know how to tell a good story are the most inspirational and
look to social media to communicate with their clients. Social media, with its
mix of graphics, text, video, sound and commenting is the perfect medium for
telling a travel story, for conveying not only the left-brained logistics and
cost of travel but also the right-brained romance and vision.
I love Africa. I first
went there in my forties and nothing ever looked the same again. I climbed
Kilimanjaro with my teenage son, we went on a safari together. I was charged,
and nearly caught, by a bull elephant that I accidentally surprised on a path.
I roamed the streets of Stonetown in Zanzibar and woke one morning to the
simultaneous sounds of the chimes from a Hindu temple, the bells from the
Catholic school and the call to prayer from a mosque. I heard a blind teacher
in Bagamoyo in profound gratitude and with pride recite the number of desks,
blackboards and classrooms in her small village school building. I saw there
the remnants of the slave trade and learned that in Swahili “Bagamoyo" meant
“Lay your heart down" because from that point on, hope was lost to a person
captured for slavery.
the life of me I cannot remember what my trip to Africa cost, but I would
gladly pay it all over again just for the privilege of retaining the memories.
type of passion is what travel is all about. Through social media we can tell
travel stories in such a way as to break through logic to desire, to the place
where the full value of the experience exceeds the price to be paid. Consumers
want stories of their own. As a travel marketer you can use the tools social
media provides to be both the catalyst and the pathway for them.
to communicate your favourite travel stories to the public. When you do, you
will open up your passions to consumers, and passion ignites passion. Be
passionate about helping others to travel well. Be passionate about a great
value for those who look to your company for assistance in travel. Their
well-being should be some part of your mission statement. Here is one way to
demonstrate your empathy with clients, using one of themany videos TROhas produced for travel professionals
to private label with their own logo and contact information. These videos, as
well as our other content, are absolutely free to travel professionals and
can be used in social media, newsletters and websites.
photography, video, world music, landscapes and exotic locations are the stuff
of great stories. You have all of this at your disposal and it's important, not
just for you and your company, but for the consumer.
you and your company are a part of their story.
Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research
Online, an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the
professional lives of travel agents.
Richard Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research Online, an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of travel agents.