Luxury Travel Marketing

Luxury Travel Marketing − 8 Key Elements of Success

By: Frank DePino | September 22, 2022

There is no question – tourism is big business. Global tourism accounted for over $602 billion in revenue in 2021 (pre-COVID tourism stood at $1.4 trillion in 2019). There is a clear and voracious appetite among the global population to travel. While the tourism umbrella encompasses a wide range of consumers, there exists at the top a robust luxury travel demographic.

Luxury travel is a thriving industry. Luxury travelers demand and expect a premier experience and won’t settle for less − and, they are willing to pay handsomely for such an experience. As such, the competition amongst companies in the luxury travel sector is fierce. In order to properly separate yourself from your competitors, you need an effective marketing strategy. 

To succeed, your marketing strategy should be thorough and diversified. Furthermore, it needs to be formulated in a manner that solidifies the perception of a luxury brand. And, finally, it has to properly target a specific audience: luxury travelers.

Luxury Travel Marketing − What is it? 

Luxury travel marketing is a tailored form of marketing that focuses intensely on a curated sector of tourists. Its intention is meant to capture the attention − and, hopefully, dollars − of wealthy, discerning, and selective travelers. For further explanation, the concept of luxury marketing (what it is and how it works) is thoughtfully explained here

Luxury Travel Marketing vs Mass Marketing

Luxury Travel Marketing vs. Mass Marketing 

It is important to note that luxury travel marketing stands in stark contrast to mass marketing. Mass marketing “is a marketing strategy in which a firm markets its products or services to a large number of people simultaneously.” 

An illuminating example of mass marketing is deodorant. Deodorant is a product that everyone (hopefully!) uses on a daily basis. Therefore, deodorant companies will market their product to the greatest common denominator (overall population size) in the hopes of connecting with the general public. 

While mass marketing can be effective for certain endeavors, it is not the correct approach for the luxury travel industry. As mentioned, luxury travel marketing is concerned with only a portion of travelers. 

As an example, take a look at the following two websites regarding luxury travel: one is a luxury travel company while the other is a travel publication. Notice the language and images they both use – words such as “high-end”, “private”, “custom”, “personalized”, “gourmet” adorn the pages while beautiful pictures of private cabanas, first class air travel and yachts are predominantly displayed. These words and images promote the idea of an experience reserved for a select group of people. 

Connecting with Luxury Travelers

As such, it is imperative that luxury travel marketing be designed from the ground up to appeal to this unique sector of tourists. The marketing should be inclusive and reflective of the ideas and items that are valued by travelers seeking a luxury experience. 

Luxury travel marketing will often include imagery of yachts, private jets, expensive cars, and exotic locations. Words such as “elegance”, “luxury”, “elite” and “preeminent” are commonly used to accompany luxury travel industries campaigns. Its very nature is exclusivity and the materials used need to align themselves with such an idea.  

Luxury travel marketing strategies will include digital and non-digital endeavors in order to spread awareness.

The profile of luxury travelers

Luxury Travelers − Who are They and What are They Looking for? 

While there is no set definition of who constitutes a luxury traveler – the term has evolved significantly as travel itself evolves – there are certain generalities that continuously ring true. Typically, a luxury traveler is a high-net-worth individual who possesses the means and resources to indulge in luxurious trips and vacations. 

Luxury Travelers Vary in Age 

In terms of age, the largest group of luxury travelers are part of the “baby boomer” (born between 1946-64) generation. This is not surprising; these individuals have either completed or spent decades in their careers and have had time to amass considerable wealth. In addition, many baby boomers are now retired and have ample availability to engage in travel. 

With that said, both Generation X (born between 1965-80) and Millenials (1981-96) possess a healthy portion of the luxury travel market. Again, a correlation between the number of years in the workforce and the ability to engage in luxury travel is not surprising. 

Different Luxury Travel Planning Approaches

The ways in which luxury traveler discovers, plans, and books their experience can also vary according to their age. For example, millennials are far more apt to plan their trip using digital resources. 

On the other hand, those luxury travelers hailing from the baby boomer generation may prefer to do things in a more “traditional” manner. These individuals may opt to hire a travel agent to book their experience.

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Luxury Travel Experiences – Who Wants What?

Similar to how luxury travelers will vary in age, they are also seeking varying luxury travel experiences. Some travelers may seek to book their vacation full of activities (skiing, scuba diving, horseback riding, ATVing as examples) while others may simply wish to relax in their accommodations or on a beach with a book. In either scenario, however, the expectation remains that the experience itself will be exemplary. 

Valuing the Luxury Travel Experience  

Finally, a luxury traveler is no longer solely interested in staying in the finest accommodation or eating at the highest-rated restaurants. A new component of luxury travel has emerged in recent years: personal fulfillment

Now, luxury travelers not only want a luxury experience, but they also want that experience to impact who they are as people. The experience and purpose of luxury travel have evolved beyond merely the materialistic; now, it is meant for many to be an avenue for individual realization.  

Considering the complex and varied nature of luxury travelers, it is therefore imperative that a luxury travel marketing campaign addresses all of these parameters. Let’s take a look at how that can be accomplished. 

Luxury Travel Marketing Strategies 

A successful luxury travel marketing strategy should be as inclusive and holistic as possible. It is important for the marketing strategy to utilize a number of different yet equally important and effective endeavors. The goal is simple: to attract luxury travelers to your service. 

You should consider the following when devising a luxury travel marketing strategy: 

1. Build your Luxury Brand 

Building your brand is essential to establishing a successful luxury travel marketing campaign. Your brand should create a sense of association amongst the public; hearing your tagline or seeing your slogan should immediately elicit a strong degree of recognition regarding what you and your company do. While this process is involved, building a luxury brand is explained beautifully in this post – take a look to get started.

2. Create a Stunning Website

For many potential clients, the experience with your website will constitute their first impression of your company. As such, it is absolutely necessary that your website be beautifully designed, easy to navigate, and provide clear helpful information. To provide some inspiration, check out this piece to explore examples of fantastically designed websites.

Luxury travel marketing needs a stunning website and a specific copywriting

3. Choose the Right Words – Luxury Copywriting 

The descriptive language in your marketing campaign needs to be formatted to connect with the intended audience. The writing itself needs to portray a sense of sophistication and exclusivity in order to resonate with wealthy, discerning clients. 

4. Luxury Travel SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the process of a brand formulating its online presence to maximize its visibility in online searches. Properly executed SEO is critical in ensuring success for a particular brand. Oftentimes, clients will simply click on the first online result – as such, you need to position yourself as close to the top as possible. Explore more regarding luxury brand SEO in order to properly understand and execute a successful SEO operation. 

5. Social Media Marketing

Social Media is the all-conquering method of connection in the 21st century. Billions of people around the globe engage in social media on a daily basis across various platforms. Incorporating a strong social media presence into your luxury travel marketing campaign isn’t just recommended, it’s required. Your content should reflect the luxury-oriented nature of your brand. To discover effective methods of luxury social media marketing, read this article

6. Luxury Travel Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is a requisite component of a marketing campaign. Placing ads in high-trafficked areas of the digital world – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, etc – can yield excellent results. Again, your digital advertisements need to mirror the luxury-oriented nature of your brand. Check out this awesome guide to digital advertising to start devising an effective strategy.  

The power of storytelling to promote luxury travel

7. Leverage the Power of Storytelling

Your brand needs to tell a story and it is your job to share this story with potential clients. As such, your storytelling needs to tell clients who you are and what you stand for; what lies at the heart and soul of your brand? Powerful storytelling can be an incredibly effective tool in a marketing campaign, as explained by this insightful article

8. Email marketing

Email marketing is a savvy way to reach a favorably sized audience in one fell swoop. First, it’s cheap – email marketing is far more cost-effective than other more complex, expensive alternatives. Second, it’s highly effective – the ROI (return on investment) for email marketing is remarkable. According to this post concerning luxury email marketing, such an approach can bring an ROI of over 2500%. 

Hiring a Luxury Travel Marketing Agency 

It is highly recommended to consider hiring a team of professionals to aid in the creation and execution of your luxury travel marketing campaign. 

For starters, the time and attention needed to effectively oversee a marketing campaign is considerable; most likely requiring far more bandwidth than you have on any given day. It also frees up your time to focus on other critical components of your brand.  

Second, it only makes sense to employ individuals who specialize in this particular area. Retaining the services of a marketing agency provides the greatest possible degree of success for your campaign. A professional team will possess the requisite knowledge to effectively and properly implement all of the above aspects of your campaign. Still not convinced? Read this article for 10 reasons why you should definitely hire a marketing agency. 

Reach out to us today to get help in hiring a talented travel marketing agency. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

The Ultimate Guide to Luxury Digital Marketing

Receive your FREE copy of “The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Luxury Brands,” to get insights into marketing your high-end products and services for increased sales.

Conclusion 

Luxury Travel Marketing is a multi-faceted endeavor. It requires a specialized approach in order to secure the interest of those seeking a luxury travel experience. As such, employing the above strategies is fundamentally necessary in order to achieve success in your luxury travel marketing endeavors.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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