With the holidays season fast approaching, luxury travel and hospitality brands are ramping up their marketing efforts.

With most affluent travellers now researching, planning and booking their holidays online, it is essential for luxury brands to be present at the right time if they want to attract potential visitors.

The online customer journey provides indeed luxury travel brands with new avenues to engage their consumers across devices and channels. Mobile and social media, in particular, are playing an increasingly important role in the decision process of wealthy travellers. Tourists will browse through their Instagram feed and seek recommendations from their friends and trusted social media influencers to find inspirations on where to go.

In addition, younger affluent travellers are looking for original and authentic travel experiences. They want to explore new locations and experience different types of vacations.

These changes provide luxury brands with new opportunities to inspire and influence affluent tourists at the different stages of their purchase process. That process isn’t as linear as it used to be, however. Research by Google found that was once a simple funnel is being replaced by micro-moments, resulting in a complex booking process.

Luxury travel and hospitality brands need to activate their marketing to the affluent travellers at four key moments if they want to influence their customers’ decision:

  1. Dreaming: when travellers are seeking inspiration online on where to go
  2. Planning: once travellers roughly know where to go and decide what to do and where to sleep
  3. Booking: when travellers will purchase their flights and accommodation
  4. During the trip: ongoing engagement is required during the travellers’ holidays to surprise and delight them

To reach and influence tourists, luxury travel brands must take an omnichannel approach and provide relevant content throughout all four moments.

With a growing number of travellers, especially the Millennials and Generation Z consumers, preferring travel experiences over material goods, the luxury travel and hospitality industry is well positioned to benefit from more spending in the coming years.

But as those same travellers favour integrated travel resources and booking platforms, luxury travel brands will have to find new ways to stay relevant and engage their consumers.

Winning luxury travel brands will be the ones embracing mobile, big data, and innovative technologies to accompany the affluent travellers through their entire customer journey.