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Today’s traveller is online and connected at every stage of their journey. Google has identified the five stages of travel - an essential guide for tourism businesses to be successful in the digital world.

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Dreaming

People dream about their next holiday on Pinterest where they create a bucket list of places they want to see. They are inspired by their friends’ holidays, which they follow step by step on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram. Youtube and travel blogs are also consulted for travel inspiration.

Planning

People visit about 40 websites before they book. Planning is also a social activity: people ask their friends on Facebook and Twitter for personal recommendations. Pinterest and tools such as Pintrips also allow groups to coordinate and discuss their travel planning.

Booking

Hotel bookings hinge on review sites such as on Tripadvisor and Yelp. People are more likely to book hotels which have responded to reviews – and less likely to book hotels with no reviews at all. They also expect to book online or on mobile without ever having to pick up the phone.

Experiencing

Then for the actual holiday. People stay connected while they’re on holiday - using smartphones to search for things to do and places to eat while on the move. So it’s essential for your business to appear on search results and Google Maps – right at the moment when your customers are searching for you.. People might also check-in on Facebook and Swarm wherever they go, creating a virtual trail.

Sharing

Pictures, comments and HD videos are now shared instantly, straight from mobile devices across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. People tend to mention and tag the businesses they’ve visited – which may inspire others to visit too.

Are you part of the digital journey?

Are you active on the platforms your customers are using? Are you a source of inspiration for them? When was the last time you received a review on Tripadvisor? Are you easily found on location-based mobile searches? These are all important aspects to being a successful part of your customer’s digital journey.  Because if you’re not part of the digital journey, chances are you won’t be part of the real journey either.

There’s lots of help and support available. Digital Tourism Scotland can help you to find out more about the different platforms, which ones to use and how to make sure you provide the right content at the right time. Find an event, or get in touch:

Digital Tourism Scotland

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