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ZOZI Advance is the fastest growing web-based reservation, payment, and customer management platform used by thousands of activity, tour, and event merchants.

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Ashmi Pathela

Welcome to our weekly roundup of industry news and inspiring ideas! We’ll keep an eye out for the biggest trends impacting the tour and activity industry, so you'll have the latest on everything you need to know.  

User-Generated Content Increases Travel Bookings:

“According to a 2014 Google report, 83% of people reference social networking, video, or photos sites for travel inspiration. That means high resolution photos, high definition video, and authentic testimonials that make travelers feel as if they’ve undergone a guest experience before they ever make a reservation. User-generated content has proven to extend a user’s time on site up to nearly 7 minutes for major travel brands, but acquiring that guest media is easier said than done.” (Skift, How User-Generated Content Inspires Travel Bookings)

Quick tip

Ask customers who bring their nice cameras to your tour to share photos of their experience, or better yet - film your happy customers and their testimonials with a GoPro. You can rent a GoPro from Sports Basement for as low as $25 per day.

More Modern Travelers Want Pain-Inducing Tours:

“Cross-continental bike excursions, jungle survival camps, guided ultraruns: agony-inducing holidays are currently one of the travel industry’s hottest trends. “The number of people seeking physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding vacations is on the rise,” says Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. “Carnival cruises and Cabo aren’t cutting it like they used to.” (Outside Online, Rise of the Sufferfest)

QUICK TIP

This may not be a fit for every tour or activity business, but think about ways you can bring another element of adventure to your experiences. For example, if you run kayaking tours, perhaps you can offer a long-distance endurance tour or kayaking camp once a season.

The Rise of Cities:

About 250 families move to a large city around the world every 15 minutes, so the growth in cities is increasing every day.” (Skift, What Top Hospitality Execs Think About Millennials, Mobile, and Mergers)

QUICK TIP

Think about how you can market your business to those new transplants or incorporate city-based experiences fit for urban families.

More Americans Plan to Travel This Summer:

“A new survey shows that a growing number of U.S. travelers who plan to take a trip in the next six months will spend more on their vacation than they did last year. 27% stated they plan to spend more, up 5 percentage points from the same period in 2014. Only 15% of those polled said they would spend less than they did in 2014.” (Travel Market Report, Good News for Agents: More Americans Plan to Travel this Summer)

8 Reasons Why Travel Websites Fail the Consumer and Lose a Booking:

Read the full article by Tnooz here for all 8 reasons. We’ve pulled the most interesting stats below:

  • 94% of people have abandoned a booking online recently, 29% because of factors related to the system being used.

  • 53% of people told us they are frustrated by being shown prices in currencies other than theirs.

  • 68% of people said it was useful when they are shown what add-ons they can pay for during the booking process.

The Rise of Active Family Travel

“These days, active travel sells and families are a top active travel market. It’s no surprise then, that tour operators and destinations are enhancing efforts to market to this niche within a niche. Travel agents who promote active options for families are finding them a good way to bolster their bottom line.” (Travel Market Report, Active Family Travel: A Niche Within a Niche)

Emoji-Only URL Worked Wonders for Norwegian Air

Norwegian Air saw some serious buzz when it decided to announce its latest route, from Oslo to Las Vegas, using only emojis as the URL. The emojis told social media followers that they could fly to Vegas for cheap on the latest route offered by the long-haul low cost carrier. The website is still up here, showing how awkward the URL was when typed out. Of course, each emoji corresponds to a string of text, which is how the application knows which emoji to load. The challenge here was for users to figure out how to type the actual URL in a browser window — and surprisingly, 1600 intrepid social media followers managed to successfully type in the URL during the one day promotional campaign. (Tnooz, Emoji-Only URL Worked Wonders for Norwegian Air)

QUICK TIP

Is there something creative you can do to drive bookings for your business and stand out from competitors? Write down a list of ten ideas to get the juices flowing, or hold a quick brainstorming session with your staff.

Need some help brainstorming ideas for your business? Email ZOZI’s senior marketing manager, Ashmi Pathela, at ashmi@zozi.com.