In: June 2018

21
Jun

Travel Marketing: Travel Clubs versus Online Travel Agencies

The top online travel agencies (OTAs) invest billions of dollars for one purpose – to get the right travel products to the right customers at the right time. Major OTAs like Expedia have been successful by creating multiple brands across different websites targeted to different audience segments. This has been a mixed blessing for airlines and other suppliers (they pay high fees to OTAs), but for regular consumers OTAs have been wildly popular. The reason is simple – OTAs make it easy to find fares online, search for hotel rooms, plan trips and so much more. The OTA value proposition isn’t limited to one category but meets every imaginable need for the connected traveler. The diversity of OTA brands proves how much opportunity there is to serve the needs of unique audiences online, and even non-travel brands and organizations can add new revenue and increase member loyalty through a travel club offering. Travel Clubs Outside the Travel Industry Credit unions, for example, often provide vacation loans to their members. For an additional subscription fee, credit unions could offer their members access to a private travel club online, where they could plan their flight and hotel at discounted rates, talk to…

18
Jun

The Long-range Member Benefits of Travel Clubs – More than Just Miles

The Long-range Member Benefits of Travel Clubs – More than Just Miles

Travel clubs are undoubtedly the new ‘it’ thing. If you are wondering why, just look into the range of services and features they offer to your business. As a member, you get access to insider deals, rewards, preferential rates, special promotions and more. To understand it in detail, let us look beyond regular member benefits and discuss the long-range benefits in detail. Below are long-term member benefits offered by travel clubs that go beyond miles or points accrual: Bespoke experiences Creating a bespoke experience utilizes in-depth knowledge about consumer preferences and buying trends. Considering the fact that millennials form a huge chunk of travelers in the market today, it is important to offer a perfectly tailor-made experience that caters to individual needs. Millennials take, on average, 4.2 trips in a year as compared to 2.9 trips for their older counterparts. (Source) Clearly, they are committed to travel, and a travel club membership gives them the flexibility to choose how to do what they want to do. They are after experiences rather than fixed itineraries and a travel club can be the solution they need. Discounts on the go A travel club that offers discounts on the go is like icing…

18
Jun

How to Achieve Year-Round Brand Engagement with a Travel Club

Brand engagement is the core of any travel business model. The end goal of travel club membership is to increase customer retention and enhance the lifetime value of your customers. It does so via its loyalty programs that enhance customer engagement and consequently increase repeat purchases. Simply put, the more brand engagement, the better results for your travel business. That brings us to the question – how can you achieve brand engagement with a travel club? To break it down for you, let us first look at some facts – Returning customers spend roughly 3 times more than one-time shoppers. 77% of shoppers are repeat/returning shoppers. Returning shoppers account for approximately 33.3% of every $ spent. (Source) It is clear that there is a direct link between brand engagement and customer retention. Now, let us dive right into top brand engagement strategies made possible with a travel club to inspire year-round growth for your travel brand: Update and optimize Travel clubs closely align with the key market trends to continuously update and optimize your brand’s customer engagement. One such powerful trend is the importance of user-generated content. This is illustrated by the fact that 32% of millennials will consult their…

15
Jun

How Airlines Can Strengthen Loyalty & Ancillary Revenue for FFPs through a Travel Club

How Airlines Can Strengthen Loyalty & Ancillary Revenue for FFPs through a Travel Club

What led the airline industry to introduce the original “frequent flyer program” (FFP) concept? Remember, this was long before retailers popularized the “loyalty program” concept. But airlines understood that travel is a unique product that could appeal to a much wider consumer audience, given the right rewards and incentives to travel more frequently and with one airline. It was key for airlines to partner with non-travel brands to leverage those partners’ existing customer relationships (or nowadays, their user base of online shoppers), all of whom are ready and eager for targeted, personalized and discounted travel products. Airline FFPs have evolved far beyond their original points and miles schemes and today are at the center of a sophisticated travel ecosystem– which includes credit card companies, retailers and so many others using the appeal of travel and lifestyle benefits to help sell their non-travel products and services. Travel is both a necessity and a luxury, which makes it an ideal product to sustain added-value ecosystems such as FFPs. Travel and lifestyle clubs are a specific and unique added-value offering within the FFP ecosystem, helping airlines attract and engage high-value FFP members – those that value benefits that augment or enhance travel as…

13
Jun

The Connection Between Travel and Loyalty – How Travel Clubs Can Foster Brand Loyalty

The Connection Between Travel and Loyalty – How Travel Clubs Can Foster Brand Loyalty

Loyalty can never be truly bought… but it can be earned or built through rich, rewarding customer experiences. The first step to fostering brand loyalty is to produce a solid base of repeat customers – brand loyalists – who are 67% more likely to spend than the new ones. The services provided by a travel club are dynamic and greatly improve a traveler’s planning and booking process, as well as the journey itself. This, in turn, greatly impacts the member’s loyalty towards the travel club. When they know that the travel club is watching their back at all times, they no longer remain proverbial fair-weather friends but turn into loyal customers. Here are 6 ways a travel club can foster brand loyalty like no other:   1.    Involve Loyalty begets loyalty. Interacting with customers to build a by-name relationship can make them feel truly valued. Attentiveness to small details such as remembering a customer’s birthday or gestures like asking for client’s testimonial can make a huge difference. For a travel club, these things certainly offer long-term dividends. 2.   Unparalleled customer service A travel club can help provide consistent customer support at all times – before, during and after a customer’s vacation. This…

08
Jun

How Non-Travel Groups Can Benefit from Travel Clubs and the Sharing Economy

How Non-Travel Groups Can Benefit from Travel Clubs and the Sharing Economy

In the past ten years, services like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber have gone from being the cool/new “disruptors” to being the face of a new economy – a “sharing economy,” as it’s called. The concept is really simple: identify underused assets such as private vehicles, spare bedrooms or excess travel inventory and create a private market for those assets online. This opens up an “ecosystem” that allows third-party brands or organizations to harness their customer/user base and give them access to discounted products and services online. The travel industry helped pioneer this opportunity through frequent flyer programs that generate cross-brand engagement and loyalty. In the case of travel and lifestyle clubs, members pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee for discounted access to travel and lifestyle benefits – such as premier lounge access, emergency medical evacuations and travel insurance. In return, those organizations add new revenue from subscription fees, strengthen loyalty with existing members, and attract new customers by aligning their brand with exclusivity and world-class products and services through a private club. Best of all, the organization doesn’t have to lift a finger outside its core business or mission – online clubs can be offered “as a service” and…

01
Jun

3 Reasons Why Timeshare Companies and Owners Love Travel Clubs

3 Reasons Why Timeshare Companies and Owners Love Travel Clubs

If you’re part of a timeshare company, you know the hard work it takes to run a timeshare successfully. It may be paradise on the actual property, but behind the scenes you’re forever hustling to keep sales high, minimize default rates, and (in your spare time) scouting and acquiring luxury real estate. If that sounds like you, keep reading… Not only are timeshare companies selling the dream of luxury vacation properties, they also often encounter clients’ expectations for food and beverage, tours, amenities and other traditionally hotel-like operations. With so much going on, how can timeshare companies expand benefits and services to meet new expectations for today’s digitally connected and experiential traveler?   Here are 3 ways travel clubs can add new value to timeshare ownership and keep owners happy, loyal and spending more. 1.  Create a one-stop shop for travel booking Travelers are accustomed to online travel agencies where they can book their entire trip – flight, hotel, car rental, activities – all at once. More airlines and hotels are re-investing in their websites and booking engines. They understand that whoever controls the booking gets first pass at offering ancillary merchandise from other suppliers. By offering a subscription travel…