Every day, people are looking for and buying various products and services that will solve their problems and help them achieve great results in a faster, easier and simpler way. They are not giving money from their wallet for the product itself, but for the HOPE that this product creates.
Every day, we see nutritional products for quick weight loss, bookmakers that promote earning money easily, rejuvenating beverages and eternal health products. All of them are actually selling hope, that something will get better for us if we buy those products or services.
The same story applies to the travel and hospitality industry.
Some people choose to buy a much more expensive Mackbook laptop instead of Windows laptop with the hope that the others (but also themselves) will see them as “more serious players” in the business. These laptops are certainly more efficient, but soon it comes to the fact that what matters is how much value you can give and how much you know. The computer then becomes irrelevant and a new recipe for accelerated success is being sought. People do not realize that the problem is in them, they must first change their habits and approach to the business. However, people will rather change their computer or software than their own habits.
Banks do not promote their credit offers by telling you about the various economic figures that you will pay each month, but rather about the nice looking home where you will live with your family and that will eventually be yours, about the new car, about travel.
We can apply the same principle to the promotion of accommodation, package tours or any other travel service. It’s nice to highlight the features of your service, but do not forget to offer hope. Tourists are looking forward to buying a particular trip which will bring them some experience and feelings they have expected.
Someone wants to experience passionate love on the trip or to feel the luxury and sophistication that does not exist at their home. Others want adrenaline experience that will make them ‘the cool guy/girl’ among the friends when they share photos and videos on Instagram.
Always keep in mind why people travel and do not use that saying ‘you will always feel like at home in our destination/hotel’ because if tourists really want that, they would not leave their houses at all!
People will not buy your tour just because you have a new bus or because your guide has a license and speaks English. You need to know what they (secretly) want to experience on your journey and then give them hope that they will really get it!
So, if you sell wellness and spa services in advertisements (and on the website), you must first put HOPE in stress recovery, forgetting problems, complete relaxation, and then talk about features of the Finnish sauna, pool, tepidarium.
If you are offering holidays in expensive resorts, show the tourists how they will enjoy luxury during all their stay. Offer them HOPE that during these days they will live the life they may have always dreamed of living: enjoying the pool while someone brings a cocktail in a coconut with a straw and so on. Your clients are those who want to have that kind of lifestyle every day, but since they do not, they will save money for one trip with HOPE, they will experience it for at least 10 days.
We are using this strategy with most of our clients.
Destination Sokobanja, Serbia
For three years, we have been working on the promotion of Sokobanja with a great team from the local tourism board. We know that many middle-aged and older people as children were probably at least once in Sokobanja (mainly on school excursions) and that they have fond memories of Sokobanja (because when we were young, everything was better, wasn’t it?).
Now we are promoting Sokobanja, among other things, to these people, prompting them to go back to Sokobanja, but with their children and grandchildren. We are not putting in the foreground the fantastic nature and healing features of Sokobanja but also HOPE that they will remember their youth in Sokobanja, enjoy the beautiful moments and enable their children to experience the same.
Walk91 Tour, Australia
Here is another example with a client from Australia – Walk91 Tours. These tours offer multiple daily strolls to fantastic landscapes, along the famous Great Ocean Road. These are the so-called ‘self-guided’ tours where tourists get a map, directions, and then choose a route they cross without a guide.
Clients are often groups of friends who do not have much opportunity to socialize, families that live apart, or married couples who do not have much time to talk because of everyday tasks. We realized that people do not come to these tours only for walking and nature, but to restore and strengthen relationships with friends and family members. That’s why we have started to potentiate this in our promotion.
We presented Walk91 Tours as an ideal opportunity to rejoin with the family, to spend time with friends and loved ones, and all that in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. We have offered them HOPE that after this walking tour they will have new joint memories with dear people and that their relations will be even better.
The results are exceptional in both cases.
So, do not just promote your hotel, destination or tour. Think about why these people would really be your guests, what are their secret desires, what are they hoping for and sell it to them!