Gone are the days when holidays in the UK could only be on a beach, next to the bluest sea, under a cloudless sky and with 2.4 children making sandcastles.
In Devon, possibly once a year – but what about the other 364 days? And what about those people who don’t actually like beaches and would prefer to climb mountains – off peak (excuse the pun!).
These days travel and tourism is very different. Connection not perfection is key.
Our leisure time is important, and we want to make the most of it. We want to spend quality time, making memories with family – and friends.
As consumers, our buying process is much more driven by our emotions. We make connections to brands who seem to talk to us personally and understand exactly what we’re looking for.
We want authentic experiences and are heavily influenced by seeing other people with similar tastes or whose lifestyles we aspire to, enjoying them.
Crucially, we make emotional connections when we least expect it. We consume our information in all sorts of ways. Few of us now sit down on Boxing Day with a brochure and choose our holiday. We’ve been inspired by something we’ve seen on Insta or Tik Tok.
Social media influencers have never been more important.
We also now want to be ‘sold’ to. We want to feel inspired and that rarely comes from a highly coloured brochures of the past, but the stories we are told.
Storytelling for brands delivers on so many levels. If it’s done well – and authentically. It gives your brand personality, creates an emotional connection, reinforces your values as well helping you stay memorable.
Understanding the target demographic means you can speak directly to them and push all the right buttons.
What do they care about? What will resonate most with them? What music did they grow up listening to?
Packaging these stories creatively to the right audience is fundamental.
Whether you are promoting a restaurant or a spa, destination or hotel, it’s about tapping into what people want when using their precious leisure time. People don’t just go out for dinner to eat food – they do it to spend time socialising, marking a special occasion – having fun. So that’s what we need to sell – not just the menu.
Those brands that do it well tell stories and build real pictures of the experiences you can share. Think Center Parcs or Visit Wales. Both clever in understanding their target audiences, inspiring and memorable.