Perhaps as a result of our busy, stressed-out lifestyles, global consumers are now valuing their travel time more than ever. What’s more, they’re no longer looking for cheap holidays during which to relax in the sun for a fortnight, but seeking out real experiences that they can share with their friends and recall long after they’ve returned.
According to travel advice firm Virtuoso, luxury travellers are expected to really splurge on their travels in 2017, whether that’s hiring personal guides or booking private jets to explore far-flung destinations.Meanwhile, the Future Laboratory told National Geographic magazine that travel experiences and posting about them on social media matter more to affluent people these days than owning expensive commodities like handbags.
However, they’re still on the lookout for traditional service and home comforts while they’re abroad, which is good news for the owners of luxury hotels: global luxury travel is among the fastest-growing of all tourism sectors.Yet what can be done by the marketers of these high-end hotels to ensure they retain a strong presence and stand out amid all the other providers of luxury accommodation in the world? It’s no longer enough to rely on word of mouth – you have to employ 21st century marketing techniques to engage the nouveau riche.Here are a few tips:
1. Market an experience Everyone wants new experiences these days, either for their personal satisfaction or to show off on Instagram, so ensure you’re showcasing how you can turn dreams into reality. Curate an online experience through beautiful photographs (not stock images), sumptuous design and professional content – and then market it to luxury leisure customers on social media, using hashtags and speaking specifically to your ideal audience. Make people really want to stay with you for your outstanding status.
2. Don’t discount, add valueAs a luxury brand, you shouldn’t be seen to be discounting rooms all over the internet because it makes you appear cheap and appeals to the wrong audience. Instead, you should be highlighting the value you can offer affluent travellers through perks like free Wi-Fi, dining credits, free valet parking and use of a town car. This subconsciously makes them feel they’re getting a better deal while retaining your luxury image.
3. Personalise all the wayAffluent travellers may not exactly be royalty, but they probably want to feel as though they are. To demonstrate how you cater for this, collect as much data as you can about what your guests want and their buying behaviour while they’re with you. This can then be used to add personal touches during check-in for future residents, making them feel as though you’re anticipating their needs and underlining that high-end status.
4. Offer mobile contentAccording to Skift, affluent travellers are more likely to use multiple devices to research and book their trips, so ensure you’re reaching out to them on mobiles and tablets as well as PCs. Don’t forget quick links to concierges for an added touch of luxury.
5. Don’t forget corporate travellersOne audience that is likely to be spending more money than most is the business traveller, even though it’s not technically their own money. However, by making sure they get a really luxurious experience, you’re likely to find they enthuse about it to their boss upon their return – and that should ensure repeat business with the firm. Offer amenities like top-notch conference facilities and charging points for laptops and market them on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook for great results.Market your hotel as a high-end place to stay and you could rejuvenate your property and really boost your revenues.