Travel Leaders Group CEO Addresses Trends in Destination Marketing at USTOA Conference
Ninan Chacko Traces the Traveler’s Buying Journey and the Role of Content Curation
Hollywood, Fla. (December 4, 2017) – Taking audience members on a journey from the early days of destination marketing to the leading edge of the travel marketplace, Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko, CTC, outlined how destinations and suppliers can work with travel agency partners to create demand and deliver a customized vacation journey. The speech was delivered at the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) annual conference held at the Diplomat Resort & Spa, Nov. 27 through Dec. 1.
At the same time consumer preferences have expanded, destinations’ goals have evolved from generating generic demand to a far more targeted approach
– Ninan Chacko, Travel Leaders Group CEO
Taking a step back in time, Chacko traced the evolution of destination marketing from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to today’s highly-personalized methodology based on customer expectations and desires.
“At the same time consumer preferences have expanded, destinations’ goals have evolved from generating generic demand to a far more targeted approach,” said Chacko. “Destinations have new goals such as preventing overtourism, practicing sustainable tourism and using tourism as a driver of economic development and preservation of cultural and natural resources. These have led destinations to explore new marketing practices such as promoting shoulder seasons, off-the-beaten-path destinations and emphasizing cultural or historical attractions.”
As travelers seek more personalized and exclusive travel experiences, said Chacko, destinations’ marketing programs must offer a more expansive array of options. One highly-effective approach to attract targeted customers and generate demand is by offering content that fits the buyer’s journey and persona, he noted. Curated content recognizes that travelers are coming to a destination for different reasons, whether it be honeymoon, adventure, culinary, history, wellness or another specialty niche. Destinations can work with marketing partners to develop rich content around the buyer’s journey and scale that content for different buying segments, he said.
Chacko pointed out that by working with a marketing and technology company, such as Travel Leaders Group, destinations can entice the buyer with engaging content, and when the buyer is ready to make a purchase, provide a travel expert to close the sale.
Studies show that travelers who use travel agents spend more, stay longer and take more frequent trips. Travel agents can be particularly effective in partnering with destinations that are longer-haul and involve a greater investment on the part of the traveler, Chacko noted.
The USTOA conference brings together leading North American travel companies with tourism suppliers and destinations from around the world.
Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents. Travel Leaders Group consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide.
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About Travel Leaders Group
Travel Leaders Group (www.TravelLeadersGroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers, Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With over 7,000 agency locations, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest traditional travel agency companies.