A shot of optimism - outbound international marketing for January 2022

January 10, 2022
A shot of optimism - outbound international marketing for January 2022

At times, the ever changing landscape of restrictions and rules and ensuing consumer behaviour makes it nigh on impossible to define any long term strategy.

So in the absence of such luxuries, let’s focus on short term tactics instead.

It’s my guess that consumers will have a little more money than they are used to at this time of year. January is often a month of detox, resolutions and spending less. However, this is usually to counter the binge shopping/eating/socialising we’re used to doing during the festive period.

But we didn't do this as much this year, for obvious reasons. The Chief Executive of Adnams Brewery recently told us that beer sales were down about 50% compared to previous years. Articles are being published daily about quiet high streets and shops with the continuing shift towards buying online.

It is for this reason that a little more money in consumers pockets, could make for quite a different January to March than we are used to. And if we play our cards right, could we be in for the best first quarter of the calendar year we have ever had?

Over the next few days and weeks, I'll share my thoughts on different sectors and how they can start the year off as well as possible. First up, Outbound International Travel.

International Travel - Outbound

Typically January is peak booking for our summer holidays, and there is no need for this to not be the case in 2022. Whether its families planning a summer villa getaway abroad, or rescheduling your previous holidays for the nth time. It’s my belief that international travel bookings can and should be high in January  and therefore travel operators, agents, and OTA’s should be as strong with their communications and marketing activities as they normally would at this time of year, to maintain share of voice and capture the audiences looking to book.

Safety and flexibility

Its best for international travel providers to highlight safety and fair cancellation or exchange policies. This will reduce risk for people who want to book.

Scarcity marketing

As well as this, I feel that such companies are also available to use scarcity marketing at this time. Companies should highlight that it's going to be a busy summer, and to secure their place they should book now. Otherwise, as the weeks of 2022 roll-out, some customers will be disappointed that their hotel/villa/flights aren't available as they have all been booked.

Warmer climes

Particularly at this time of year, British holidaymakers need something warm and sunny to look forward to. This isn't going to change as as we move into the typically atrocious weather of January and February. Over the next 2 months, the desire to book an international holiday will only grow, so make sure you are running your most effective campaigns right now.

Don’t wait

Also, you don't need to wait for summer for booking fulfilment. Its currently 21 degrees and sunny in Alicante, whilst here in Tavistock right now its a mild 13 degrees, but miserable, wet and grey. I'm positive many Brits will be looking to travel abroad much sooner than summer, so why not provide some great opportunities for February half term, Easter and May getaways?

The differentiator

Whilst many travel and tourism brands are rightly investing in developing their brand proposition and communications strategy at the moment, right now, at this exact moment in time, I'm not sure that consumers need much more of a point of differentiation than the weather. Therefore the typical, sun, sea and sand messages and visuals, combined with effective targeted, trackable digital marketing should be enough in the short term. This means, it’s essential to have red hot marketers and paid media managers working to get your messages out there, to the right people.

So there we go, some ideas to get your teeth into and if you can implement them correctly, in confident these will give your travel business a healthy start to the year.

Anthony Rawlins is the Founder and CEO of Digital Visitor with over 15 years experience in crafting successful marketing strategies for the travel and tourism businesses. He has worked with leading organisations in every part of the industry including airlines, cruiselines, global hotel chains, destinations and attractions. Regarded as a visionary by many industry leaders, through his scientific background, data interpretation expertise and proclivity for creativity, he has a proven track record in accurately predicting future trends. Combined with expansive industry knowledge and pragmatic and commercial mindset he’s has been able to effectively translate these trends into actional strategies and tactics for Digital Visitor’s clients.