Using Data to Find Sustainable Travelers for Your Destination

Find your ideal travelers online with search, booking, and location data.

Kerrigan Flynn
|
November 21, 2022

As a destination marketer, you work hard to increase awareness of your destination to stay top of mind when travelers are searching for their next trip. As you work to grow your visitation numbers with the right visitors for your destination, you’re probably keenly aware of how that growth can affect the infrastructure, environment, local communities, and other economic sectors of your destination.

By filling your marketing funnel with content about your destination’s sustainability initiatives, you can attract travelers who respect the environment and will preserve the integrity of your destination. We’re going to break down how you can use three key pieces of data and a full-funnel marketing approach to attract the ideal, sustainable traveler.

Using Your Data Mix to Target Travelers Online

Using search, booking, and location data can help you better reach travelers online and understand their behaviors. Search and booking data can provide you with a perspective on what travelers are doing before they come to your destination. Location data gives you an idea of what they were doing while visiting your destination. 

Search Data

Using travel intent data and insights, we can get an idea of who is searching for your destination, competitor destinations, and what are those users interested in. Search data allows you to really dig into how these travelers are planning their trips and get in front of them during crucial times in the planning process. Utilizing insights on which competitor destinations travelers may be viewing can give you the opportunity to drive them to your destination instead, especially those who may not have been considering your destination in their search.

Booking Data

Using booking data, when a traveler does book a hotel or attraction, we then know who is planning to visit you. We can understand what these travelers look like, how they behave online, where they plan to go, how long they are staying, and more. Our insights dashboard can also give you the first look into active demand through bookings.

Location Data

The first two data pieces–search and booking data–cover who is interested in your destination and who is planning on visiting. Once they’ve locked into visiting your destination, location data gives you insight into how they’re moving about. You can begin to think about how to provide them with the right information depending on how they’re moving and what their activities are.  Marketing based on location data helps you disperse travelers to off-the-beaten-path areas to help further your sustainability efforts. 

A Full-Funnel Approach to Attracting Sustainable Travelers

Through marketing at each stage of the funnel–awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty–you can get your message in front of sustainable travelers and drive them to visit your destination. 

Awareness

The first step is to build awareness. By sharing content around how your destination is focused on sustainability and providing best practices for travelers coming to your destination, they can ensure they’re supporting your sustainability efforts. In doing so you can attract travelers who already lean heavily into sustainability or those who want to but aren’t sure how to travel sustainably. While these travelers may not have shown behaviors that indicate they are traveling sustainably yet, we know that 87% of travelers are focused on sustainability and want to take care of the environment. Showcasing that you are a forward-thinking destination can help move those travelers to be more sustainable. 

Consideration

Use travel intent data to see travelers who are actively looking for a trip to your destination with eco-friendly search behavior. Eco-friendly search behavior can be people who are looking at content related to sustainable travel or searching for sustainably-focused destinations.

Conversion

As they move down the funnel into conversion and we see that they've booked, you can drive travelers to less congested areas in your destination by promoting locations you want travelers to go. Tell travelers what you want them to do in your destination and how they can be more sustainable. 

Loyalty

So, they've visited, had a fantastic experience, and learned that your destination is clean and focused on the environment. When you offer a fantastic, sustainable experience, travelers post images of that experience on social media, and this helps build loyalty and interest. People trust recommendations from those they know.

To further build loyalty, take advantage of this user-generated content on your own platforms. After travelers post photos of their experiences, you have the opportunity to reshare these images to showcase these authentic experiences. Travelers appreciate seeing these real experiences. For example, if people visit your beach destination and the beach is beautiful and clean, and you’re protecting the sea turtles as they lay nests, you can elicit peoples’ emotions. 

Rounding Out Your Sustainability Strategy

In our sustainability blog series, you’ve learned how to implement sustainability, build authenticity with user-generated content, showcase sustainability initiatives, and utilize data and a full-funnel marketing approach to find your ideal travelers online. In our final blog of this series, we’ll answer your burning questions around sustainability–how to get people excited about it, how demographics play a role in targeting, how to track and measure success, and more.

Watch our sustainability webinar with Stephanie Dunford, sales director at Sojern, and Zoë Weldon, community growth lead at CrowdRiff to learn more.

Connect with an expert today to learn how Sojern can activate full-funnel marketing campaigns to attract sustainable travelers to your destination. 

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