Imagine the scene. You are on holiday in the blazing Spanish sun and walk into town to seek out an ice-cold beer. You pass a shop selling English newspapers at twice the price and spot a stand of cheery postcards. You choose a nice one with a view of the beach and wrestle with your Spanish phrasebook in order to buy a stamp. “Me gustaría un sello para una postal, por favour,” you manage to say without anyone laughing.
You sip your beer while writing out the card – weather is lovely, wish you were here, that kind of thing. Then you have to hunt down a postbox to send it on its way, knowing full well that you will be back home before the postcard is.
It seems like a crazy scenario but it wasn’t that long ago that we used postcards to boast about how wonderful our holiday was. Not anymore. Your mobile phone is your postcard, your holiday snaps, your video of the kids at the waterpark and the ubiquitous shots of your legs tanning in the sun or a plate of grilled sardines.
The internet and the technology that uses it have revolutionised the leisure industry, from holiday research before we go to the experience we choose to share with others when we get there.
Nearly all holiday research is now done online, which offers the consumer lots of destination information, including the opinions of other travellers. And according to a report earlier this year by ABTA (the Association of British Travel Agents), 76% of people will then book their holidays online on a PC with around 23% using a tablet and a surprising 13% booking on their mobile phone.
So, with three-quarters of all holidays booked online, web presence needs to be strong across all platforms, making the most of the technology with plenty of video and virtual tours, great pictures and interesting and useful information.
At PureComms we understand the importance of getting it all right. But speed is just as important as content, with research showing that a web user will just go elsewhere if they can’t get what they need quickly enough. Amazon figures reveal that every 100 milliseconds of delay in loading a page will result in a loss of 1% of sales.
Tourism is vitally important to the world economy. It accounts for over 10% of global GDP and one job in every ten is connected to the tourism industry.
That’s why we at PureComms, with offices in Bristol and St Austell, have decided to sponsor Tourism Awards in both Cornwall and Somerset and Bath. We know how important robust and reliable connectivity systems are to tourism providers. But we also appreciate how important it is for the consumer to stay connected.
Even the remotest destination needs a good Wi-Fi connection in today’s market because everyone wants to keep in touch while they’re away. A survey for Schofields Insurance found that 40.1% of Millennials (adults between 18 and 33 for those still working in old money) chose travel destinations based on their Instagrammability.
The pictures they take on their mobile phones will be sent to email addresses, to WhatsApp groups and posted on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. They will want to be able to Skype home, to catch up on the news, research the area, check the weather forecast and maybe even book attractions and restaurants online. They will, in short, be sharing their experiences with other potential customers.
Connections (and we don’t mean trains or planes) are now at the heart of the holiday experience and we all need to get them right.