Indicators the Tourism Market is Coming Back Post COVID-19
Below is a list of the top indicators to watch to determine when the tourism market will come back.
1. Stay-At-Home Orders Lifted in your Top 10 Feeder Markets
2. Search Volume
People have to look before they book and we will see an increase in people searching online before they book. This will allow us to see the indication that there is an intent to travel to our market.
3. Revenue from OTAs
While we need to keep our core marketing efforts going and not cut any marketing assets that have a positive Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), we do need to let the big companies (the ones with more data and more money) give us some indication of people willing to travel and book. We want to watch this before we turn on our paid ads, like Google AdWords, at full scale. Watch your distribution channels, like OTAs such as booking.com, VRBO, and airbnb. When you start seeing a steady influx of reservations from them, you will know it is time so start scaling up your marketing efforts for direct revenue.
4. Direct Bookings on Your Site
Watch your website closely for an increase in traffic from organic search and people actually booking from it. This will be the first indication the market is back for you. You can set up a Google Alert (if you use Google Analytics) to let you know the moment it happens, so you don’t miss big opportunities to be one of the first to market to the demand.
5. Booking Windows
Pay close attention to these metrics once you do see demand start to come back. 3 places to watch: (1) the booking to arrival analysis in your point of sale or property management system (2) the days to transaction in Google Analytics and (3) Google E-commerce conversion rate. You probably are just coming out of a cash flow injury so watching the core marketing metics Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is CRITICAL. CPA is critical to ensure your marketing assets are doing what they should doing – creating revenue that creates profit that creates cash. You probably need cash now more than ever, so be certain you are watching this metric if nothing else. At the first inflection point in the market, in mid-March, we saw search slowly declining and pace was slower than conversion. We may see that again – people were looking and not booking.
Watch your pace reports by month and if you can, by weekend. IMEG tracks this weekly for vacation rentals. It is key you watch this so you know which marketing levers to throw to ensure we get good ROI and cash from our marketing assets.
If you have any questions about the above we would love to help you. Feel free to Contact us for any questions.
At IMEG, we know you want your travel and tourism business to be thriving. In order to do that, you need effective online marketing. The problem is online marketing is complicated, which makes you feel overwhelmed and confused. You deserve a partner who will simplify the process. We understand how challenging it can be to navigate the digital marketing world. For more than a decade, we’ve delivered measurable results to hundreds of businesses generating $295 million in additional annual client revenue and $1.4 billion in economic impact.