Even when the economy is bad, people still want to travel—they may just do it in a more financially viable fashion than in the past years, but people are still looking for hotels, cruises, airplane tickets and great travel destinations. How is your business meeting the financial challenges of your potential customers?

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 4.49.01 PMMany airlines, cruise lines and hotels are beginning to attract travelers through value packages that allow people to travel for less—gaining more customers. Creativity and offering ‘value’ in this financially tight time are essential to getting business. About two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal came out with an article that argued value is the new green. While travelers may still consider your business’s environmentally-friendly initiatives (green initiatives) important in their travel plans, now it is almost a given that they will be evaluating your service based on the costs and special deals you can offer to ease the financial burden of their travel decisions. The previous article pointed to the trend that consumers are beginning to use brands who are offering a great service for a better price.

Offering great service to your customers may cause your travel business to have to shift financial priorities.  Here is some advice for priorities in 2009:

• Offer travel deals and packages to attract customers
• Build community with potential customers through free social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg and other sites.
• Use Social Media to market your business, travel deals and destination
• Cut back on traditional advertizing
• Refresh the content on your website and optimize for search so you can be easily found online
• Use search engine optimization (SEO) to increase website traffic and to win business from undecided consumers searching for a hotel, airline or cruise vacation the web
• Have a fresh, engaging website that will woo potential consumers to buy from your brand
• Partner with other businesses to offer value package deals

The main thing is: don’t stay the same. The economy is changing, people’s priorities are changing, and even the travel market is changing. Your business must shift from the way things have always been done to adopt creative, cost-effective ways to market your business and attract travelers to your destination.

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