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How to use mobile to lure APAC travellers this summer

With the Asia-Pacific travel market expected to grow to USD 488 billion by 2020, and USD 211.3 billion of that coming from online travel, there are huge opportunities for travel marketers in this region. In fact, due to rising smartphone penetration in the APAC region, mobile bookings are expected to rise to 37 per cent of online travel bookings by the end of 2017.

How can travel marketers capture the attention of APAC travellers? Using real-time data, Sojern’s latest Global Travel Insights report dives into where and when APAC travellers are looking to take their summer vacations to help you plan the most targeted mobile summer campaigns.

Influence of Hari Raya Puasa on travel
The beginning of Hari Raya Puasa is celebrated on June 25. Sojern’s data shows June 23 as one of the top searched departure dates, indicating APAC travellers are looking to take a long weekend to celebrate.

Knowing when these travellers are looking to depart can help you plan the lead time of your mobile ads as well as strategise on upsell initiatives. Encourage these travellers looking to enjoy a long weekend to stay a little longer with mobile booking promotions such as “stay 3 nights, get the 4th night free.” Get travellers to book then and there, instead of waiting until they are in front of a computer screen later, and potentially losing them to a competitor.

Other peak departure dates
It’s also important to consider travellers searching for other dates. Sojern’s data shows June 1 and 2 as two other top searched departure dates. By utilising real-time data, you can target travellers when they are searching to depart, maximising your marketing spend.

Consider using Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT), which reaches travellers who visited your site and searched a specific hotel, flight, or destination, but haven’t booked. Travel marketers can re-engage with these high-intent travellers as they shop by providing real-time availability and pricing information for the exact dates they are searching for. Learn how Fairmont partnered with Sojern to use Facebook DAT to drive over 2,500 direct bookings in a single campaign. And because Facebook is inherently cross device, you can streamline your messaging, ensuring that browsing preferences seamlessly translate from mobile to desktop, and vice versa.

Emerging beach destinations
For early planners, Sojern’s data shows Phuket and Honolulu are emerging beach destinations compared to our April look forward. This suggests that travellers are open to new destinations as long as they offer that all-important beach getaway.

Establish your brand early on in the dreaming phase by using striking imagery and video to feature your destination. Consumers are on social media during all stages of the funnel across devices, so platforms such as Facebook or Instagram are ideal for capturing travellers and streamlining that message, when they move from mobile to desktop, and vice versa. Furthermore, travel’s click-through rate (CTR) on Facebook is higher than any other vertical at 2.63 per cent, and over 50 per cent of travel companies claim more bookings due to their Facebook presence. Use real-time data to craft your summer campaign on Facebook to capture travellers on their mobile devices at each point in the funnel.

Ad formats such as Facebook Video or Carousel are effective in capturing the attention of in-market travellers. If you don’t have an existing video or the time and resources to make one, Facebook’s Slideshow is a great alternative. Slideshow allows you to build a video from photos to create brand awareness while inspiring customers as they begin planning their trip.

Summer travel is rapidly approaching. Now is the time to get your campaigns up and running— to get your brand in front of these travellers as they are dreaming, researching, and booking their trips.

Russell Young

Russell Young is the Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Sojern.