Today Deloitte issued it's latest report on consumer spending on travel and leisure for 2018. According to its study, more spend is expected on leisure and holidays this year - some rare good news for the travel industry!
Since the recession, holidays have become almost resilient to financial pressures. As consumers feel the squeeze on income whilst working harder and longer than ever before, holidays and leisure trips have become a necessity; a necessary break from the hum drum of daily life and the stresses associated with financial uncertainty.
But should travel businesses breathe a sigh of relief and sit back and relax knowing that the forecast is good for the year ahead?
The answer of course is not at all. Whilst consumers expect to spend more money on holidays this year, that doesn't necessarily mean that they will. All it takes is one month of bad weather to set back profits.
So what can travel businesses do now to shore themselves up for the year ahead, especially now the busy January booking window has closed?
There are of course a lot of moving parts, but intelligent and strategic PR must be a major cog in the wheel of every company's marketing plans. PR and comms appeal to both a consumer's desire for inspiration when planing a holiday, as well as the practical information they need to buy. More often than not, businesses do not balance these demands appropriately, meaning that they lose the consumer in the middle of the path to purchase. Identifying who customers (and target customers) are, how they consume information and what switches them on (or off) is vital intelligence when putting together plans.
To fully capitalise on the intentions of consumers, business must understand what their audiences want and what they need from their holiday provider to make a purchase. This can then be applied to PR and comms, as well as wider marketing, to properly influence decision making and benefit from the forecast intentions of consumers. Preparation is the key to success after all.
“Big-ticket items, such as holidays, are forecast to experience the largest increases among leisure categories compared to this time last year,” Deloitte said. “18-34 year olds are again the most positive about leisure spending in the next three months, and plan to spend more on expensive experiences, such as holidays or culture and entertainment. “Despite pressures from rising inflation and lower wage growth squeezing disposable income, consumers are not cutting back on leisure spending in the same way as they are on other discretionary purchases.”