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Posted on Tue 20th Jan, 2015 in: Industry Comment, Public Relations, Social Media by Rebecca Armstrong

With a boom in holiday bookings this January, it looks like 2015 will be another great year for domestic tourism. According to ABTA, UK summer sales are up by almost 30 per cent in some areas. ABTA research shows that 43 per cent of people are planning a city break this year, with UK cities like Manchester making it onto one of the most influential 'places to visit in 2015' lists. So what do we know about 2015 travel trends and what should UK travel, tourism and leisure companies be thinking about when communicating with their audiences? Millennials in the city 2015 is all about Millennial as they approach their highest-earning years. Hotwire reports that one third of Millennials (18 to 34 year olds) plan to travel more this year compared to last, with London among the preferred destinations. So what personality traits should brands be aware of when communicating with Millennials? Mediatel dispels the myths about this generation in this interesting article. To sum up:
  • Millennial take a collaborative approach, researching and booking a holiday - (looking at reviews, comments and other people's experiences) and wanting their voice to be part of a brand campaign and ambassador of the brands they love
  • They are creative and visual, hence the rise of Instagram, Pinterest and vloggers (all of which travel brands should be communicating on)
  • They are extremely savvy and, whilst in search for unique experiences, they are always looking for added value, clever solutions and value for money
Useful content 30 per cent of leisure and business travellers rely purely on their mobiles to make last minute bookings, but being connected goes beyond the booking journey and now runs throughout the entire experience. BuzzCity reported that 21% of travellers choose to remain disconnected during their holidays. However, over a third stated that their phone is the 'most used recreational device for passing the time'. People stated they used their mobile to stay in touch with friends and family, keep up with work but, most importantly, to get around, research and find local tourist information such as restaurants and visitor attractions. This gives a good indication of what companies should be communicating on social media too - content that is useful, informative or inspirational. DO: Offer me useful tips and advice on social media - create the top ten places to eat in your city (as voted for by the people who live there), the most visited museums via Facebook check ins or a Pinterest board of the best views around (made up of your own guests' pictures). Travel Pinterest Social 'braggies' A survey by Hotels.com found that 5.4 million British Tourists upload pictures within ten minutes of arriving at their destination and recent research by Sunshine.com showed that 42 per cent updated their social media accounts whilst on holiday, with 51 per cent admitting to posting pictures to make their followers and friends feel jealous! The top hashtags include #holiday, #YOLO and #wishyouwerehere. The trend has been dubbed 'braggies' (aka annoying pictures you send of your hotel and surroundings when you are on holiday to make people back home feel jealous). Braggies are promoting the destination/hotel/restaurant, acting as self-proclaimed brand ambassadors, and there's a huge opportunity for brands to be there in the moment, as it happens. Searching hashtags and location settings to share this user generated content, engage and be part of the conversation is a start. DO: Give me something to brag about, like the 'iamsterdam' letters, which started off as a marketing campaign for Amsterdam and have now become an iconic photo-opp. Personalisation ABTA's Travel Trends 2015 report revealed that people are planning to spend more on their holidays in 2015, whilst others seek more value for money, maximising the leisure element of their holiday by packing in as many activities and new experiences as possible. This regained consumer confidence is obviously sure to benefit luxury travel brands and enviable destinations but, whether looking for luxury or value, both require a tailored, personalised experience, from booking to checking out. Brands can offer more by tapping into the personalities and lifestyles of their customers to offer unique elements to their experience - whether it's being able to sync your Spotify playlist or personalise the minibar in your room, or partnering with other brands to offer even more amazing things your customers would love. Go Ape and Forest Holidays DO: Offer me something different, something more than I expect that shows me that you understand that I'm unique and I'm there, bragging about it.  

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