Identifying the Resilient Traveller

Frida Kops   ● 8 min read
This article forms part of a weekly newsletter series that’s sent directly to travel industry professionals every Friday.
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Identifying the resilient traveller will undoubtedly serve as a clear advantage to securing those much needed deposits. I pinpoint a few and how you can market to them.

Let’s get started.

Here's this week's roundup:

Why The LGBTQ Community May be The First To Travel Again

Source: Skift

This article identifies one travel segment who have proven repeatedly their loyalty to the travel industry and their eagerness to travel despite risks. This segment is the LGBTQ+ community.

A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll found that 51% of LGBTQ adults were willing to travel in 2020 versus 46% of non-LGBTQ respondents. Whilst large public gatherings such as Pride are cancelled this year in many major cities, other popular LGBTQ destinations are focused on reopening in order to meet growing demand.

Darren Burn, founder of luxury LGBTQ travel company “Out of Office” and managing director of gave the following  reasons why the LGBTQ community are often the most resilient of travellers:

  1. A higher proportion of this group of travellers have a dual income with no children, which lends to having more free time and money to spend on travel.
  2. Travelling always comes with higher risks compared to the normal population. For example, there are still many countries who criminalise same sex relationships. Therefore, in general, “risk is viewed in a different way to the mainstream”.

“If you think about it, we are sending people to countries where technically they could be murdered for being gay — it’s illegal to be gay in those countries, and yet people will still travel there with our advice because they want to…In general our market is certainly not afraid to travel to more difficult destinations.” – Darren Burn

It’s clear therefore, that LGBTQ+ travellers should be a valued part of the travel industry’s recovery plans with messages of inclusion having the potential to be even more powerful now.

Does your tour operator business target the LGBTQ+ community?

Read the full article here.

Tour Groups Likely to Be Small During Measured Restart

According to Travel Weekly, many tour operators confirmed that they intend to focus on smaller groups. They also agreed that the restart will take time since they have to reassess almost every aspect of their operations. 

Elizabeth Crabill, CEO of CIE Tours acknowledged the small tour group trend for this transformation period, but she believes that the traditional coach tours will remain popular in the long-term.

“The fact is we actually have people calling and booking and expecting to get on a full coach. What that tells me is it’s not going to disappear. There are still people who like being with people and who like the value of large tours.” – Elizabeth Crabill, CEO of CIE Tours

You might assume that you need to tear up strategies that worked pre-covid-19 in order to adapt to smaller groups, however, this article suggests that this isn’t always the case.

One of the big concerns for many destinations and travel companies in 2019 was overtourism. Tour operators adapted to relieve some pressure by breaking into smaller groups, reducing the number of guests per guide, making smaller riverboats – all with the purpose of making the tour more personal. If we look at how we must implement social distancing, then these measures actually work perfectly for tour operators now. 

Scott Nisbet, CEO of Globus Family of Brands expressed a few interesting points, in my opinion, on why people will continue to choose group tours:

  • It will be easier to take a tour and rely on a tour operator who will know all necessary guidelines, safety protocols and procedures.
  • In group tours people can skip lines which makes the experience safer.

“If you think about it, if you are with the same group, whether it’s 20 people or 40, you are with the same group of people all the time,” he said. “If you go on a hop-on, hop-off bus … you are going to be exposed to more risk.”


How much consideration do you give to providing small group tours (if you weren’t offering them before)?

Read the full article here.

Two Out of Three Travellers Eager to Resume International Travel Looking For Safety, Relaxation and Fun

Do you target tourists from the USA, UK, Germany, France or Italy? 

If so, the results of this survey carried out by MINDHAUS will interest you. 

The data suggests that 66% of respondents will be willing to travel as soon as travel bans are lifted. This includes 37.9% which want to be constantly updated while considering their options and 28.1% who are ready to book a trip they were dreaming about throughout the lockdown.


So if your tour operator business has been subtly promoting a certain experience or destination within your customer touch points, then this tactic may pay off for you. 

I found it particularly interesting that safety and relaxation (16.3% and 13.3% ) were more important for people than affordability of a trip (10.7%).

When asked what they considered to be the most important factor to kickstart international travel again, the respondents’ answers were:

  • Finding a vaccine – 11.9%
  • H&S protocols in transport – 11.8%
  • Destinations’ effectiveness towards covid-19 – 11.7%
  • Fully lifting travel restrictions – 11.7%
  • Pre-flight covid-19 tests – 11.7%

Read the full article here.

Here's my top-tip articles:

What to Know About Travel Marketing Across Generations Post-COVID-19

Source: PhocusWire

Two weeks ago I shared opinion from the travel industry on which generation will be the first to travel. I believe it’s wise to have an indication of those who demonstrate the most resilience so that your tour operator business can form a tactical approach to marketing (and help with allocation of marketing budget).

This PhocusWire article ties in perfectly with this strategy because it teaches us how to think through the lens of each generation.

These are the key takeaways from the full article: 


  • The Silent Generation. Born between 1925-1942, this generation values family the most. Therefore, post-covid travelling for them will probably include visiting their loved ones. If you are considering tailoring your tours to the representatives of this group, focus on the concept of “family togetherness” and historical values.
  • Baby Boomers. They crave new experiences leading to self-discovery. Baby boomers appreciate special treatment. Consider offering them central location accommodation or free airport pickup. Remember, that travellers of this age group are now considered vulnerable. Tour operators need to create customized experiences for them to boost travel. If you do everything right, you are guaranteed to get a grateful and loyal customer. 
  • Gen X. Gen Xers are now between 39 and 59 years old. In the current crisis they experience a lot of pressure, worrying about their kids’ and parents’ health. They like to be well informed, connected and have easy access to everything they might need. To win over these travellers, tour operators should provide detailed information about the trip, and reassure that all H&S protocols are in place. Interestingly, travellers of this age group pay a lot of attention to the design of travel websites and appealing offers.
  • Millennials. Freedom-lovers who are always willing to receive positive emotions. It is a great generation for you to target since they are most likely to start travelling even with the risks involved. If your tour operator business promotes destinations with famous music festivals for younger generations, Millennials are the ones you want to market.
  • Gen Z. Born after 2000, this generation’s decision making is highly influenced by their parents. They are consumer-savvy and very resistant to obvious sales messages

By assessing specific characteristics of each group, you will be able to create customized offers and stand out from the competition. 

Are you already implementing any of these tips?

Read the full article here.

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How to Improve Instagram Post Engagement: 4 Tips

Travel is one of the most popular themes on Instagram so you’ll already be aware that most of your customers are “living” there and looking for travel inspiration. 

In order to maximise the platform for your tour operator business, Instagram expert, Jenn Herman, shares her 4 secrets on how to optimise your instagram account and increase engagement.  

Here is a summary:


1. Post format.

  • Instagram algorithm doesn’t show preference for a specific type of post. You will need to monitor what works the best for your audience. However, consider using carousels from time to time because it increases your chances to get more visibility.
  • I would recommend posting a carousel for your destination tips or FAQ from your clients.

2. Post content. 

  • Did you know that posts with blue colour get 20-30% more engagement? Check that next time you post a photo of blue waters from an exotic destination or blue skies from your cycling tour.
  • Featuring  people on your instagram is another popular content type. Why not try a photo of your team or your client with his feedback in captions. 
  • While people connect to people, they LOVE animals. Share your pet pics and get more engagement.

3. Post caption.

  • You probably know how important it is to grab the attention of your Instagram visitor as quickly as possible. That’s why the first line of your caption is so important. Keep in mind that the majority of people will read the first two lines only. If they are not “hooked”, they will simply pass.
  • Unless you are a well-known tour operator brand, consider applying hashtags. They will help you to get exposure if used properly. 

4. Post branding.

  • While applying the same filter across all posts is a well-known tip used by many, there are a few other hacks to take into account. For example, Herman doesn’t recommend using watermarks and logos. Instead, apply your brand colours in your post design. 

. Which of these tips you will use on your next Instagram post?

Read the full article here.

How COVID-19 Is Changing the Language of Marketing

Source: Forbes

Do you use words and phrases  like “unprecedented” or “we are here for you” in communications with your customer? 

These are the worst words you can be using now according to Jason Heller, President of ad-tech company, Persado. In this interview, Heller offers insights into the words that drive conversions

  • Today’s messages should use less urgency and attention grabbing, they need to be more empathetic.
  • You should step back from generalized marketing messages and focus on what really matters to your customers.
  • It is time to move from “we are here for you” to “here is how we can help”. Instead of “we are in this together” and “stay home and travel later” tell your customers what measures your tour operator business has implemented to continue providing the best possible experience.  In other words, you should show them that your tour operator business is not simply surviving.
  • People want to know when things can go back to normal. Stay well-informed about industry updates and share with them “a bit of good news” when there is a chance.

“It’s important to acknowledge that this is a journey. While the direct marketer’s playbook may not go out the window, many of the aggressive tactics are looked at as tone deaf right now.”


Should you use a strong call to action? 

It is one of the most effective practices in direct marketing, but today you should incorporate emotion language and think about the perception. If your CTA creates urgency for action or induces anxiety or fear, it definitely won’t work right now.

With this in mind, I recommend you to audit your content and make sure that your tour operator business uses language focused on trust and safety.

Read the full article here.

A statistic I found interesting:

55% of French, 55% of British and 62% of German respondents are ready to resume outbound travel, stating that they will be willing to take an international leisure trip within 2020. (MINDHAUS)

A question for you:

Where is your focus right now?

Share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook and Linkedin page or drop me an email at [email protected] – I’d love to hear from you.

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