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Interacting with travel information: Surf the net, travel the world

Many years ago, when planning a family holidays, tourists would have to go to a travel agency nearby, get loads of colorful brochures and take them home, where they would have to go through that information for several days to compare lodgings and prices before returning to the agency to hire their desired summer break.

At the present time, the Internet has changed completely the way travelers find and organize their holidays and, instead of travel brochures, they can find travel websites, blogs and social network accounts that offer them all the necessary information… and much more.

Your journey starts here

You don’t need to go anywhere to find your perfect travel destination. Any electronic device (mobile phone, tablet or computer) with connection to the Internet can provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip.

Nowadays, there are dedicated online applications to find and compare prices on a wide variety of types of lodging: from hotels to hostels, bed and breakfasts, apartments or houses. This is because accommodation is one of the most important costs of any trip. In fact, it is the most important one if you like to stay in mid-range or high-end hotels. If you take this into account, it becomes essential to know how to find cheap hotels, with the best prices and the best offers for the type of accommodation you are looking for.

With this type of webs finding cheap accommodation on the internet is very easy. Nothing to do with those times when travelers had to pull recommendations from travel guides or internet pages that used to recommend hotels without including customer reviews.

Some good examples of those are search engines, like Booking, TripAdvisor or Skyscanner, where one can find, compare and book not only accommodation, but also flights, rental cars, restaurants and touristic attractions. Reading the comments or feedback that customers leave about the places they go to or services they use will provide you with a good insight over the experience they’ve had and will help you decide.

A good solution to find all kind of travel options is Omio, a website that offers a search engine to travel around Europe by different means, like trains, coaches, flights and ferries.

What makes Omio unique and new is the fact that this website works by using advanced mapping technology to locate all the means of transport near your search location. That way it determines what routes are available, the cost of each option, and total travel time. This means that Omio can compare and combine different modes of transport for you, making your travel plans even easier and cheaper.


Travel the Blog

When looking for a travel destination, travel blogs have become a must-read to find new and exciting places and plan a special journey. These blogs were trendy before, but after the COVID-19 pandemic they have experienced a huge increase in traffic because they share useful resources that add extra value to travel planning:

  • A traveler can use travel blogs as a source of inspiration to choose a destination for their next trip. The Internet is a window to the world and many bloggers offer interactive content like maps or photo galleries to help their readers visualize the location and get a sense of what it’s like before going. An example of this could be this post by blogger Dave Briggs where he gathers his trips around different European countries. In his Blog, “Dave’s Travel Pages”, this blogger provides insightful travel guide, tips and advice since 2005. It’s one of the longest running travel blogs in the world!
  • You can find essential information and updated travel guides with the best time to visit, tips to make the most of our trip and hints on the less known places of a destination. Also, they feature insider tips and advices on local customs, where to find the best views or take memorable photo shots and how to avoid tourist traps. The blogs Salt in our hair and My global view point are good examples of it. The first one combines great photography, a lot of design, and social media distribution to spread their content.  The blog includes many destinations and many different topics such as travel tips, advices on how to plan your trip or manage your budget, etc. The second one includes content about the personal development and growth side of travel, fun and exciting ways to explore the world, recommendations about unique and beautiful places to visit, tips and tricks on how to save big on flights, accommodation, and hassle as well as travel guides and itineraries that will help with the trip planning.
  • Budget planning is very important for the success of our trip and many bloggers tell you about their travel expenses, along with tips to save money while being in your destination. In this post from World of wanderlust you can see a comparison of travel costs in Europe. This sort of information could be very useful when planning your trip in order to help you decide which destination is the more convenient for you depending on how much money do you want to spend.  Don’t forget that planning your trip in advance it usually help you to save money.  Leaving less to chance means less unexpected spends; Remember as well that last-minute flights and accommodation are often far more expensive.
  • Travel blogs can create a sense of community among its readers, becoming a space to find like-minded individuals who share a love for exploring the world. Some of them are very specific, like those dedicated to solo travelling, only female travelling or family travelling. This type of specific tourism, or niche tourism, has been growing a lot in recent years. This growth is due to the way travelers have changed as consumers. People have become more selective and clearer about their specific interests. Niche tourism is often seen as a more positive form of tourism than mass tourism. This is because it usually involves a smaller number of tourists who (usually) leave less of a mark. In fact, it is often associated with sustainable tourism and responsible tourism. Some new trends in this type of tourism are: adventure tourism, agri-tourism and rural tourism, dark tourism, eco-tourism, gastronomic tourism, health and wellness tourism, LGBTQ tourism, among others.
  • Travel bloggers eventually become travel influencers, who also share their insights in their social networks, like these ones on Instagram or Facebook, and inspire future trips on their followers. The impact of influencers on tourism is continuously growing, and it is considered that many of their followers will choose their next destination by the pictures and comments posted by their favourite travel blogger or influencer.

That is why many touristic brands have already started to collaborate with influencers to develop marketing campaigns with very good results. In fact, they no longer just wait for influencers to make proposals, they contact the influencers they wish to collaborate with directly and establish marketing strategies with them with the aim of boosting their business.

But to have success with this type of marketing actions, brands should bear in mind the following tips:

  • They should establish campaign objectives, discuss campaign ideas with influencers and listen to suggestions.
  • The influencer must always feel comfortable with the content they’re creating. It is the only way to assure that their audience will take their recommendations.
  • Content should be as lively and dynamic as possible.
  • And the most important thing: they should try to choose the perfect influencer for their brand. For doing so they should take into consideration their audience’s demographic and their engagement rate, rather than the number of followers they have.

In conclusion, collaborating with travel influencers for marketing campaigns requires more or less the same process as any other campaign. Using this type of marketing has become something to take into consideration as it has successfully helped many touristic brands to achieve excellent results.

In this way, travel blogs and influencers are called to play an important part in the future of tourism. They will help change the way we interact with travel information as its fluency and content will ‘influence’ us in our decisions: their writing and pictures offer a unique and vibrant perception that helps building and improving the place’s brand. Here, it is essential to see how the digital skills have played a role in securing the future importance of digital marketing and its good practice and strategies. Hence, whether you have already decided where you want to go or are just looking for an exciting destination, most probably your first step will be online.

That is why digital skills have become a challenge for the whole tourism sector. There are a lot of new technologies available that can be very useful to offer a much more complete experience to travellers (artificial intelligence, virtual reality, voice assistants, 5G technology, etc.), but there are also other tools that are becoming essential in an increasingly technological world: the use of digital marketing, online visibility and collaboration with influencers are crucial tools for the sector nowadays.

In short, what we must be clear about is that the digitization of tourism is no longer an option, but a reality to which all must adapt.

This blog contribution was written by our partner Gestlabor.

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