2019 and 2020 Travel Trends

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Part
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2020 Travel Trends

Seven additional 2020 trends related to general, luxury, and baby boomer travel are underground supper clubs, DNA trips, deep dive travel, wellness travel, luxury train travel, solo travel, and multi-generational travel.

GENERAL TRAVEL

UNDERGROUND SUPPER CLUBS
  • Mystical food-fueled get-togethers are surfacing throughout the world. These clubs are designed for people who like more community-minded culinary experiences.
  • The event features a "pop up dinner" involving new people who are trying new foods in a new destination. The dinners are usually prepared in a home setting by a mystery chef.
  • Sometimes the menu or location are known beforehand, others only share the menu and location after confirming the reservation.
  • The excitement of this kind of dining is that the participants typically do not know what to expect. They can be part of a group of around 30 strangers who gather to savor a culinary adventure.
  • Some popular clubs and restaurants in the US include the Naked Lady Room in NYC, Hush in DC, and the Sunday Dinner Club in Chicago.
  • Underground supper clubs are considered a trend because many clubs are involved and it was identified as a trend by two travel industry sites.

DNA TRIPS
  • There has always been an appetite for visiting the homeland of one's ancestors. However, the difference is the increasing accessibility of DNA technology.
  • DNA trips, also known as "ancestral tourism" are becoming more popular. Companies like 23andMe and Ancestry are taking advantage of the interest through their DNA-based travel offers.
  • Travelers can view a visual breakdown of the origin of their ancestors and get a trip planned based entirely on their roots. They can also get a map containing their origin percentages by the relevant area/country.
  • This kind of travel is so popular that a recent survey found that 23% of international guests in Scotland are visiting the country based upon ancestry.
  • DNA trips are considered a trend because many people are interested in it and it was identified as a trend by a travel industry site.

DEEP DIVE TRAVEL
  • People are desiring to get more from their vacation than simply a great hotel and several tours.
  • They are becoming interested in getting a deep dive into their passions such as "learning from their favorite photographer, chef, artist, winemaker or musician".
  • People want their vacation experience to rise to a new level.
  • They want to enjoy the destination and explore their passions.
  • Deep dive travel is considered a trend because many people are interested in it and it was identified as a trend by a travel industry site.

LUXURY TRAVEL

WELNESS TRAVEL
  • While it is not new to get a wellness break or yoga retreat, wellness and travel are expected to become further intertwined in the future.
  • Holistic health is at the core of any major luxury travel experience.
  • Packages include "a farm-to-table experience, organic pampering products, and complementary mind and body offerings".
  • CBD is also making waves as a result of the recent legalization. Offerings which include CBD spa treatments are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Wellness travel is considered a trend because it is getting more popular and it was identified as a trend by an industry expert.

LUXURY TRAIN TRAVEL
  • Although it seems to be something that was popular in the past, interest in luxury train travel is coming back.
  • There is more opportunity for people to experience a very high-class train trip experience all over the world as many trains are being put back in shape.
  • Packages include "five-course meals, swanky bedroom accommodations, and lavish decor throughout".
  • The difficulty involved in changing hotels, managing airlines and car rentals have made many people to consider luxury trains.
  • Not having to worry about packing bags or traffic enjoying luxury and still getting to visit hard to reach locations make luxury train travel a huge trend in 2020.
  • Luxury train travel is considered a trend because it is getting more popular and it was identified as a trend by two travel industry sites.

BABY BOOMER TRAVEL

SOLO TRAVEL
  • Baby boomer travelers, especially female boomers, are increasingly traveling alone. The solo trend has skyrocketed in recent years.
  • Solo travelers typically want to get engaged in group activities and also take time out to explore things on their own.
  • They want use their freedom of choice as an opportunity to meet the people children of the communities they visit.
  • This increasing demand is expected to continue into 2020.
  • Solo travel is considered a trend because many people are interested in it and it was identified as a trend by a travel industry site and a marketing site.

MULTI-GENERATIONAL TRAVEL
  • Baby boomers are increasingly traveling to luxury villas. They typically want to bring their entire family to spend quality time together.
  • They get value for their money with luxury villas because it costs far less compared to a luxury hotel with the same number of rooms.
  • They have the freedom to cook, enjoy private facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, beaches, and hot tubs.
  • The location of the villa is usually located away from the noisy environment of the tourist sites.
  • Multi-generational travel is considered a trend because many people are interested in it and it was identified as a trend by a travel industry site.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We were able to find 2020 trends related to general, luxury, and baby boomer travel on several business, travel, and marketing sites including LinkedIn, Travel Market Report, Digital Media Solutions, Adventure Student Travel, and Generation Go Travel. We included at least one trend for each type of travel and why they are considered trends.
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VIA Rail Canada

VIA Rail Canada is aggressively pursuing a customer-centric strategy with a focus on sustainability and social efforts. The company recently launched the “Love the Way” campaign to encourage Canadians to take the train instead of driving. For the company’s 40th anniversary in 2018, it launched several video ads, community-based initiatives, and a contest, among other activities.

MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

LOVE THE WAY
  • In 2018, VIA Rail Canada launched a campaign called "Love the Way" as the final phase of the 2016 "Why don't you take the train?" campaign. With a 60-second ad in cinemas and cut-downs for television and online, the campaign presents the idea the Canadians once "loved the way we move" until traffic and other problems changed that.
  • "Why don’t you take the train?" was a collaboration between Touché!, Tink, and Cossette aimed to persuade Canadians to change their habits and take the train, especially along the Quebec City–Windsor corridor where 77% of people travel by car. The video ads compared different habits, without a clear winner, hoping it would encourage people to reflect on their own habits.
  • The 2018 campaign has a similar message to "Why don’t take the train?" that emphasizes the benefits of traveling by train. Anna Bouthillier, chief communications officer (CMO) at VIA Rail explains, "We need to continue to talk to the travelers who are looking for a mode of transport, to make sure Via Rail is considered–that’s the first step. But we need to start talking to more Canadians so that they are more aware, and so that they understand what [Via Rail] means. Not only for their personal benefits, but also for our future in terms of mobility."
  • The CMO also added that "As a rapidly modernizing Crown corporation, our values of innovation, trust, and agility are even more important and represent the guiding force behind all our actions. This tagline is a reflection of what makes us unique and of what lies at the heart of our corporate culture. We are firmly focused on the future. Our ambition is to reimagine the Canadian journey by creating smarter ways to travel. With Love the Way, we hope that Canadians will indeed rediscover the joy of travel and thus contribute to a better future economically, socially, and environmentally."
  • In addition to the previously mentioned spots, the campaign includes print ads, out-of-home, and transit assets aimed at positioning the brand as "unifying Canadians" across all their sustainable travel options.
  • Aside from six-second social media ads and online banners, the campaign also has interactive online videos, developed by Cossette, called "Skip the traffic talk," which presents pre-roll videos of narratives where viewers can skip characters who are talking about traffic.
  • The campaign was launched in displays, print media, web banners, 30-second television spots, web spots (in 30-, 15-, and six-second spots), and 60-second spots in movie theaters.
  • Peter Ignazi, Cossette’s Global Chief Creative Officer stated "(…) getting to one’s destination should be as important and enjoyable as the destination itself. This is the very essence of smart mobility and the cornerstone of the Love the Way platform. We want to inspire Canadians to renew their love of travel."
  • One of the video-ads for the campaign can be found here.
DATA VERSUS CARS
  • The campaign also leveraged real-time traffic and weather data to convey a message to drivers by comparing car and train options. When traffic or bad weather conditions are present, drivers were reminded they took the wrong transportation mode.
  • This strategy was brought to life with a partnership with Google Maps and the Weather Network, creating real-time data management and synchronization across out-of-home and digital channels on 16 stretches of highways covered by VIA Rail.
  • The ads were also customized to each consumer—taking in consideration geo-position, their predicted end destination, weather data, and traffic—to reach travelers at three stages of commute: before, during, and after. They used data to identify potential travelers to send personalized digital banners and search ads during the first stage. They then leveraged the data from "time to destination" on digital billboards. Next, they collected unique mobile IDs of people who saw the billboard and retargeted them later when they were struck in traffic.
  • The contextualized messages generated click rates 95% higher than before and helped increase the conversion rate by 14%. Overall, train ridership rose by 11.7% year-over-year, and revenues increased by 13.9%.
NEW PLATFORM

A SHIFT TO CUSTOMER-CENTRIC STRATEGY

  • Over the past years, the company went through a major shift to focus on a customer-centric strategy, which led to unprecedented growth, allowing the company to tap into new markets and revenue possibilities. According to their corporate plan, VIA Rail aggressively adopted a customer-centric strategy aimed at putting trains where passengers wanted them. This has led to a substantial improvement in the company’s performance.
  • The new customer-centric strategy reversed the decline in revenues and allowed the company to achieve its best record for a given month in August 2017, generating $35 million in revenue. This was achieved by adding new frequencies and station stops, optimizing schedules and equipment cycling, focusing schedules at the times most advantageous for customers, improving services offerings with revamped Business and Prestige services, improving meal and onboard offerings, modernizing its message using target and efficient marketing and advertising, providing more value for its customers and charging more for it while also retaining price-conscious passengers in a targeted way, enhancing social media pages and website, and launching a mobile application.
  • In 2018, the company continued its efforts to build around customer’s needs with the Heritage Fleet Modernization program, the corridor fleet renewal, and a high-frequency rail.
  • The company's Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased to 53, a 24.7% improvement since 2015.
  • One factor of the score increase was the company's focus on personalizing their customer interactions by offering better-for-you choices, an assortment of vegan, gluten-free, and diabetic meals; locally sourced-beverages; digital message towers to provide clearer signage; the option to travel with pets; and overall improvements on the customer journey at different touchpoints.
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • The company has 48,200 followers on Twitter, 22,300 on Instagram, and 181,253 on Facebook. The company updates their social media pages often, with posts in English and French, with discounts, location pictures, employee initiatives, and creative ads, among other features. However, the company lacks real engagement with the public, rarely responding to customers.

SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL EFFORTS

  • VIA Rail ranks number one among transportation providers in Canadian public perception regarding trustworthiness, social responsibility, environmental responsibility, and ethical practices, according to a study by the Faculty of Management of Dalhousie University.
  • In 2018, the company received a Women in Governance Award, a Safety Award for Handling Workplace Accidents, and the Sustainability Award for the proposed high-frequency rail project.
  • The company reaffirmed its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment by being the preferred greener travel choice for Canadians while reducing its emissions per passenger-kilometer.
  • The company is tackling environmental, social, and governance issues by taking an integrated sustainability approach with six pillars: providing the best customer experience, supporting socioeconomic development, operating safely and securely, reducing its impact on the environment, being an attractive employer, and managing their business with responsibility.
  • VIA Rail also offers discounted fares to actively engage with its customers by providing affordable travel options for children, seniors, students, military, new Canadians, and indigenous people. The discount packages are especially popular among students and parents traveling with children.
  • The company allocated $162 million in investments to improve accessibility across its assets, including a 100% accessible reservation ecosystem, with a fully accessible website and app for easy booking, with 15,847 special needs requests answered per year.

ANNIVERSARY

  • In 2018, VIA Rail celebrated its 40th anniversary with a campaign motto "The future is on board." This campaign included video ads, discounts, and contests.
  • The company launched a 40th-anniversary contest, the Canada-wide VIA40 campaign. In collaboration with Cossette, they created tickets upcycled from the steel of a major part of VIA Rail’s history to mark the milestone. "VIA Rail is reusing its past to propel 40 lucky participants toward a more sustainable future by melting the truck of a train that had recently been removed from service and destined for the scrap heap. The truck was part of a railway car that had traveled over six million kilometers, which is equivalent to traveling across Canada more than a thousand times."
  • The company also selected 20 "anniversary cars" in economy class along the route from Halifax to Vancouver and decorated it festively. During the trip, each passenger was given a box that included a free meal, discount coupons, and other small gifts; and one passenger in each car received a one-night getaway for two to the VIA Rail destination of their choice.
  • VIA Rail also launched the "40 Sustainable Actions for our 40th," a community-based and employee-led actions anchored on the corporation’s sustainable mobility pillars. In this initiative, they undertook 40 collaborative gestures that were chosen for their long-term impact on communities. By the end of 2018, employees had volunteered on and completed over 40 sustainable actions across the country.
  • Some examples of video ads for the celebration include the "Repurposing the past to move forward," "At 40 Via Rail is transforming to lead Canadians towards a more sustainable future," and "40éme Anniversaire VIA Rail."
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Part
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The Ghan

In the last year or two, The Ghan’s main methods of increasing brand visibility among national and regional media and consumers have been through social media presence, customer reviews and a modern, user-friendly website. The details are below.

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

  • The Ghan has active YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages where they make frequent posts.
  • On YouTube, they upload professionally done videos which advertise the various trips and highlights of these tours. The videos are short which appeals to the majority of social media users who tend to limited time or a short attention span. Their YouTube videos are on average one minute.
  • An example of this is a YouTube video of their "one-of-a-kind experience on The Ghan". It is 14 second ad promoting their year-end sale and encouraging customers to "book now and save".
  • On their Instagram page, they post high quality and beautiful shots of the environment, food, the train and the overall experience. These posts are uploaded at least once per day. They use hashtags on each post to increase visibility on this platform.
  • On Facebook, they have a professionally shot cover photo and they post videos and pictures of the Ghan experience, with engaging captions.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

  • On the Ghan’s Facebook page they put to the forefront a section where multiple customers provide feedback on the experience and service provided. This section shows the amount of persons who recommended the service and there were many great reviews.
  • They are rated 4/5 by customers. One example of customer reviews seen on their page is of a customer, Lyn Robinson, indicating that she went on Darwin to Adelaide expedition and it was "incredible", and the staff was the best.
  • On YouTube, they have been reviewed by other youtubers conducting their own survey of the experience. The YouTube channel ‘Big bus’ posted a 2019 video review of The Ghan gold service.
  • This increased their visibility to a wider range of audience. They also have many reviews on TripAdvisor which is one of the leading booking companies in the world.
  • They are listed as number one in transportation on Tripadvisor and are highly recommended.

MODERN AND USER-FRIENDLY WEBSITE

  • The Ghan’s website is very easy to use and is very attractive. It showcases all the beautiful pictures of different places to see and all the information needed for booking.
  • Their booking option is easy to identify and is accessible on all the website pages.
  • They also have special offers as well as information on their rail destinations and packages. An example of this can be seen here.
  • Along with those qualities, the website is also compatible with mobile devices, which is very important since the majority of users will be using their mobile devices to gain access.
  • They have specials such as a 2020/2021 savings package which is now open for rail journeys, as well as, early bird offers on their most popular signature packages.
  • They have a beautiful color theme on the website which increases its overall attractiveness and gives it an official feel. This most definitely contributes to bookings and all the information about the tours, destinations and packages are easily accessible to website visitors.
  • The website changed three times in April 2019.
  • They also have videos of their journey as a recognition and celebration of their 90th anniversary.

THE GHAN’S 90TH ANNIVERSARY

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We started this research on the website of The Ghan. There, we found information on the 90th anniversary celebration specials, and observed the features of the website as a strategy to increase visibility. From the website, we searched of their social media pages, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. On these pages we found information pertaining to their social media presence and use in relation to brand visibility.
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Viking

The Viking Travel Service has employed different strategies over the last two years to increase brand visibility among national/regional media and consumers. These include social media promotions, philanthropic strategies, and client testimonials. The findings are below.

STRATEGY 1: SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Viking Travel Services has a very active Facebook page where they post at least once per day. The page uses a variety of methods to increase the brand’s visibility. It uses a high number of visual content (photos, graphics, and so on) to engage its visitors and keep them interested in the page.
  • The company has also developed a unique brand personality and post content that is conversational and engaging. They ask their visitors questions that will lead to comments and shares, hence increasing their brand visibility.
  • Their social media page also contains great videos that have the possibility of going viral. The videos are not boring. They are highly creative and explains the company’s product.

EXAMPLE

STRATEGY 2: VOLUNTOURISM — MAKE A DIFFERENCE TRAVEL VACATIONS

  • Voluntourism is volunteer travel, working vacation that has increased dramatically over the years. People from all over the world are now interested in traveling to a different country to volunteer and make the world a better place. The Vikings are now offering its customers volunteer vacations.
  • Linked with offering voluntourism, Viking Travels has also given support to charities. Through their volunteer vacations, they offer customers a chance to give back to the charity that they support. One their website, they state that volunteers can teach English, build gardens, donate school supplies and other necessities, and much more.
  • This helps to promote the brand’s visibility as philanthropy connects a brand to a conscientious audience, establishes the brand as a leader in the society, and identifies possible marketing opportunities.

EXAMPLE

STRATEGY 3: CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

  • The Viking Travel Services has attempted to increase their brand visibility through a variety of client testimonials.
  • Client testimonials help to increase brand awareness as it populates the website with real feedback from real people.
  • When other customers visit, they can understand the brand from the perspective of another customers, just like them. These testimonials increase the chance of a prospective customer making a booking.
  • Client testimonials build trust and increase transparency.
  • Customers who leave good testimonials will most likely also help to promote the business on their own social media pages, hence increasing the brand’s visibility.
  • The Viking Travel Services have also had customers give testimonials on their very own blogs; this further assists in building the brand’s awareness.

EXAMPLE

VIKING'S ANNIVERSARY

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We first started this research by visiting the company’s website. On the company’s website, we looked for different strategies it has employed to increase its brand awareness. This led us to a variety of different strategies that were employed by the company to increase its brand awareness. From there, we visited the company’s social media pages and also did general searched to find more information. The required information has been found and presented in the findings.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02