Forget the travel content equation for a moment - remember the days when you would walk into the corner travel agency and find racks and racks of brochures?
NB: This is a viewpoint from Henry Woodman, president at ICE Portal.
Many brochures catered to the specific groups, like family travel or romance travel. More importantly, the travel agent knew you (for the most part). The agent knew what type of travel you were looking for, the number of travelers, and the budget.
Today travelers can surf the web for inspiration, recommendations and bookings. Seems like the internet was made for travel – show me pretty pictures, tell me how much, take my credit card and send me a confirmation.
But wait, with all this great wiz bang technology, and everyone taking about Big Data, why can’t the travel sites show me what I want?
For example, say I search for "Family Beach Vacation" – I’d like to see visuals that resonate with that request... Why, then, am I shown a photo of a hot young couple romancing with champagne in a Jacuzzi and beautifully adorned conference rooms?
It’s not resonating with my request for Family Vacation. Internet retailers have made huge strides in delivering more personalization to consumers – but it seems travel is lagging behind.
The way people book travel will get more personal. The most important things people pay attention to when booking travel (besides the destination) is price, reviews and visuals.
Big Data can deliver deeper more relevant demographic and even psychographic data on perspective travelers, and that means a better understanding of the type of trip and the budget.
Now comes the fun part – showing the right visuals that resonate and engage the specific traveler.
It’s a matter of content curation – adding relevant contextual meaning to media galleries so they can be personalized. This curation service adds value to each visual asset, and allows travel marketers’ to show prospects precisely what they seek tailored to their interests.
For example, imagine a traveler seeking that Family Beach Vacation. Wouldn’t it be good to know how many kids, the age of the kids, the interests (like adventure or cultural activities)?
Sure. A family with toddlers may not be captivated seeing images of teenagers playing beach volley ball.
There is actually a two pronged approach to travel content curation – starting with sheer curation, where integrating basic meta-data is automatically attached each asset via a series of algorithms (such as OTA categories, location, geo-codes, captions, etc.).
Going deeper, website owners can add contextual meaning to assets - meaning assets can be grouped and organized for both suppliers and distributors to deliver personalized and relevant media galleries for a variety of travel experiences.
Think of the sales that may be lost when a couple looking to book a honeymoon in the Caribbean sees pictures of kids splashing in the pool. With so many options out there, hoteliers need to ensure they’re being found by the kind of people they want to attract.
Hoteliers with great, compelling visuals, should start thinking about curating that travel content to deliver the right visual, to the right person, at the right time and on the right device!
NB: This is a viewpoint from Henry Woodman, president at ICE Portal, curators and distributors of visual content to the travel industry.
NB2:Equation chalk board image via Shutterstock.