How the 2022 travel outlook impacts Tours & Activities cost and pricing strategies
In any business, how you price your product is a significant component of your brand experience. And for tours & activities, it becomes even more critical as the industry prepares to bounce back during 2022.
While travel demand is starting to return, customer behaviour and trends are decidedly different to pre-pandemic levels. This means previous pricing strategies for tours and activities may no longer apply.
Operators must consider these changes impact on pricing and adapt to meet what travellers want. Many projects in 2022 are the start of the industry’s rebound, and the right pricing strategy can propel your business.
Travel Spend is Rising
A report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) indicates that the travel sector is projected to reach $8.6 trillion in 2022, just short of the $9.2 trillion predictions before the pandemic.
With revenge travel on the rise, consumers are willing to sacrifice other facets of their lives to fund better travel plans. Data from PhocusWire shows that 71% will cancel going to concerts, 64% will not buy new clothes, and 63% will eat at home rather than dine at restaurants.
It is not just that they are cutting down on other expenditures; they are willing to spend more than they did in the past. Americans are expected to spend 29% more on average for travel, while Singaporean spending is up 7% in 2022 versus 2019. Meanwhile, booking rates are expected to rise by 16% in Australia in 2022 compared to 2019.
Fueling this is the sentiment that many travellers share: it is more important than ever to splurge on trips. This is the opportunity to see the world again, and travellers will not skimp on this chance.
However, being willing to spend more does not mean an immediate price rise with no immediate value. It will be the quickest way to turn travellers off. Understanding what travellers want can help you balance a high-value offering and a profitable pricing strategy.
2022 Travel Trends and Consumer Behavior
New Experiences Are A Priority
Travellers do not just want to spend more; they want to spend more and do it on new experiences. The inability to travel in 2020 and most of 2021 has left many excited to go to new places.
Tripadvisor's data shows that 46% of Australian travellers are looking for new experiences. This is followed by 41% from the US and 38% from the UK. These experiences can vary from new destinations or new tours and activities.
Digital Bookings and Searches
With mobile and online bookings on the rise, it is essential to create a streamlined online booking process that makes the process from online searches to complex travel bookings much more straightforward. One of the ways to market new offerings and have better control over the customer journey is through Google’s 'Things to do' program.
Powered by Livn, businesses get a global distribution system that puts new offerings front and center. And this can attract travellers looking for something new to do or experience. Doing this facilitates direct bookings and allows operators to reduce the commission to OTAs, increasing the operators profit margin.
Higher Frequency Travel
The younger Gen Z and millennials prioritising travel are leading the charge among travel-hungry consumers. More than a third of workers in a report by Expedia would trade a salary increase for more time off to travel. The same report shows 50% of Gen Zs and millennials already have travel plans and 3 in 4 travellers are interested in taking short but frequent trips and the amount they plan on spending.
Strategies To Consider To Get The Price Right
Custom Tours, Group Pricing
Customised or private tours will be more common now that safety and well-being are prioritised. They can be priced higher than regular tours but only up to a certain percentage. Going too high can turn off customers. However, operators should recognise when a group is willing to welcome others to reduce the cost of a customised tour.
Paying More for Flexible Options
There are still some uncertainties when it comes to travel. Customers are willing to pay extra for the ability to easily reschedule bookings if needed. These extra costs are add-ons that make a big difference.
Research indicates that over 80% of respondents will prioritise flexible fare options showing that attitudes toward safety and well-being are still of utmost importance. Travellers will reschedule trips if it means remaining safe, so adding flexibility could be something that operators consider in their pricing strategies.
Sustainable Tours and Travel
If there is one positive thing from the pandemic, it is increasing the number of environmentally conscious travellers. Booking.com has revealed that 78% of global travellers will choose a sustainable travel option. And they are willing to pay extra to reduce their impact.
There are many factors to consider when pricing your travel offerings. Whether you are offering tiered options, a ‘pick and mix’ itinerary or catering to the latest travel trends, the one thing to remember is perceived value. Doubling or tripling prices without a compromise will turn travellers away.