Michael Becker and Adam Hanft
"We know that consumers – especially millennials – support companies and products that reflect their values, that care about what matters to them."
Quote from Michael Becker, CEO of GeoSure, and futurist Adam Hanft in an article on PhocusWire this week about Marketing of Care for travel brands.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered by PhocusWire that week.
Travelers, like the brands that put them in the air or find them somewhere to sleep, face a bit of dilemma.
As travel begins to pick up over the course of 2021, do they think carefully about where they want to go and how they behave when they travel?
Do they want to select destinations, accommodation and transportation based on what could best for the recovery process, the future of the industry and the fate of the planet?
The optimistic assessment is: "Of course! It's been a bummer of a year and we're totally into doing the right thing now that we can travel again!"
There a number of issues with arguing that consumers, whether they are thoughtful millennials or not, will support companies that reflect their "values" and book trips accordingly.
Firstly, the so-called pent-up demand on the scale being suggested by countless brands has no historical precedent, especially in terms of what travelers will do.
It may assume that travelers will select products based on how they thought about their trips before the pandemic. But, equally, it could be that they are so desperate to take any form of trip that travelers just don't care about their selections - just let's get away from lockdowns and travel restrictions.
The industry is flying blind.
Secondly, "values" are wonderful things to discuss in the PR world but, in reality, at scale, such things can be wildly inaccurate or just nonsense.
The best hope that anyone can have right now is that people will actually come through on the industry's desire to capitalize on pent-up demand AND do so in a way that at least illustrates signs of a more thoughtful traveling world.
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