Understanding Guests

Know Your Travelers: Behaviors That Drive Bookings

Post by
Samantha Hardcastle

July 7, 2021

Know Your Travelers: Behaviors That Drive Bookings

You probably have a decent idea of the type of traveler you attract. Perhaps you’ve spent some time observing your past guests and have a picture in your mind of who they are. Families with teenagers from the Midwest, young couples from metropolitan cities, sun-chasing solo adventure enthusiasts from all over… these are the ways we frequently label our customers.

Unfortunately, these are generalized labels and they don’t really help us with our marketing. Why? Because in order to have marketing that hits home, we have to know more about who we are speaking to. This type of demographic data (such as gender, geographic region, family dynamics, profession) can only show us a sliver of the full picture. With just this awareness alone, it’s like doing business with one hand tied behind your back!  

Knowing your ideal guests on a psychographic level is where the real magic happens. What they value, their likes & dislikes, what sort of lifestyle they live, what motivates them, their attitudes, daily behaviors, what they’re trying to escape from and what they’re trying to move towards… when you know travelers on this deeper level, two things happen.

First, you are able to personalize your experience to them in valuable ways that no one else has even thought of. And then from there, you can address the things that are most important to them in your marketing.

For example, let’s say you run a boat tour and realize that the common thread between all your guests is not just a love for being on the water, but actually a desire to learn new skills. After all, research conducted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association has found that this is one of the key motivations for adventure travel. When you have this awareness, you can take it and integrate it into your tour and market your journey as a learning experience. This then gives you an edge over other tours that are marketing themselves purely as a sightseeing experience.

It’s not just what you know, it’s what you do with what you know. How would you elevate your experience if you knew that most of your guests are animal lovers? Or that they tend to be more introverted than extroverted? Or that many of your guests share an affinity for crafts and flea markets? How would you market your experience to someone who is brave & optimistic versus someone who is slightly more timid & risk averse? This is what looking at your traveler through a psychographic lens encourages.

If you want to attract certain type of people who have certain interests and personality traits, then it starts with your marketing. If you want to attract travelers that share your values and passions, then it’s essential that your values and passions are clear on your website, social media, and experience listings. Want to attract travelers who have a great sense of humor that you can joke around with? Use humor in your marketing. Wish you attracted more guests who are conscious about cleaning up after themselves? Weave in messaging about sustainability and the importance of environmental consciousness into your marketing.

Here are the different types of psychographic aspects you should be paying attention to, and some tips and advice to getting started.

1. Personality: What traits does your ideal traveler have? Are they clever and opinionated? Fickle and strong-willed? Curious and creative? Write down the traits you notice in your current guests, and then write down the traits of the people you wish to attract more of. Find the commonalities and make sure that your marketing message takes on these traits.  

2. Values: Values are the things people care about and prioritize most. These can be tangible (such as physical fitness) and intangible (such as balance and harmony). Pay attention to the conversations you have with your guests and listen for the things they get passionate about. This is one way to uncover someone’s values.

3. Interests: What fascinates someone? What do they love spending their time learning about or doing? Interests run the gamut, and can be as typical and wide-ranging as sports, or as specialized and specific as bonsai cultivation. Someone’s interests usually color their personality and can tell you a lot about them. A die-hard football fan is going to be drawn to a completely different experience than a bonsai artist. Do you know what interests your guests?

4. Lifestyle: People’s lifestyles look different based on their careers, family makeup, whether they live in a fast-paced city or slow rural suburb, and more. Where someone is from, what they do, and their relationship status have a direct impact on the way they live their life. It also has a direct impact on the types of experiences they book. Start paying attention to the different lifestyle aspects of your guests, and the commonalities between them.

5. Motivations: This is a big part of what drives behavior. As humans, we share many of the same motivations – to feel a sense of freedom, belonging, wellbeing, security, and more. Oftentimes though, there’s one or two motivators that are stronger than the rest, and these are the motivators that drive travel behavior. To get a full picture of the range of travel motivations, the archetypes can be a major help.

6. Beliefs/attitudes: The beliefs people have about themselves and the world around them is another big driver of behavior. If you have a belief that you can’t have fun in the cold, then you’re not going to book a ski trip. Meanwhile, there’s a large percentage of the population that believes this is a fun way to spend their time. So, what are the most common beliefs and attitudes of the people who you’re trying to attract?

The more of a layered, holistic image you can get of your ideal traveler in your mind, the more you will see opportunities to surprise & delight them. You can even create high-value packages that speak to their unique values, personality, motivations, and other psychographic details. There is immense power in knowing your guests and using that insight to drive bookings – so use it!

Junglebee integrates with Zapier so that you can start connecting with your guests immediately after booking. Consider using email or survey software to learn more about your guests before they arrive. This is the kind of personalization that pays off tenfold and shows your guests that you care. Click here to learn more about our features.

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