“Germany, we’re coming for you,” said a speaker at Visit California’s Outlook Forum in San Francisco last February. He reminded the audience that if California were a sovereign nation, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world (ahead of the United Kingdom and India, and behind Germany).
I traveled to the Visit California forum to check out the pulse of the travel industry. These are some of my learnings:
Content creators are reintroducing destinations
Content creators are taking social media audiences to places they’ve never considered, with new points of view.
Gone are the days when the Hollywood sign or the Golden Gate Bridge was the main attraction; people are looking for a more localized experience: a dive bar off Highway 1 or a bluff with a perfect sunset view, perhaps.
(In my opinion, the GGB is still awesome!)
Unlike influencers, content creators provide relatable, everyday human points of view without being overly produced. This new behavior drives greater engagement and is reinvigorating travelers as pandemic regulations and mandates are lifted and changed.
Social listening is still valuable
With any global footprint or audience, splitting and digesting the uniqueness of the market is essential to creating content that engages your audience.
ICUC Strategy Director Jazmin Griffith spoke at the Forum. She explained: “Social listening helps test your strategy. You can’t create content for your consumers without listening. Consumers want mission-driven brands and social listening may be the key to unlocking that.”
Safety stays at the forefront for travelers
Visit California research revealed that the majority of international travelers still say security protocols are an important consideration for them when selecting their destination.
If you’re in the travel industry, or if any of your content involves moving people to travel, clarify your destination’s regulations around COVID-19 and provide accurate information across all digital touchpoints.
Tiktok is now a need, not a want
TikTok was mentioned in each. unique. speak.
Some of our readers are on the platform. Just be sure to maintain a measurement framework, foster partnerships with creators, and plan for community management. From there, you’re off to the races.
Maybe you can be like @tk.california, a Forum fan favorite dubbed the “unofficial defender of California.” His method for tracking growth? Toast other states (gently, of course).
Gen Z is in high focus
As Gen Z enters the workforce with money to spend and places to go, their values and behaviors are having a stronger impact on the hospitality workforce and the travel industry.
A disruptive generation born between the ’90s and less than a decade (!) ago with an incredible amount of passion, they appreciate advertising and messaging tailored to their unique needs. They prefer it.
According to JUV Consulting, 31% of Gen Z respondents said they think about cultural appropriation when traveling and 46% said they get most of their travel inspiration from social media.
Some of you may be thinking, ‘That’s not my target audience yet.’ Fair. But in our book, the understanding of a NEW generation contrasts with the understanding of previous generations.
We often don’t know who we ARE until we have someone or something to compare it to (Boomers, Gen X and Millennials, we’re talking to you)
Understand your generation by understanding Gen Z in our latest white paper: Connecting with Gen Z. Who knows? You may want to adopt a thing or two.