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Trendspotter: Luxury travel market

This year’s ILTM show has demonstrated that online marketing, especially social media engagement is key to the top players in luxury travel industry. The main reason is that successful online presence equals measurable results: room reservations. The statistics differ from one hotel to another. Some claim to have ca. 20% of total bookings coming from online up to 80% for apparently more online marketing-savvy managers.

Emilia Jedamska, the owner of a luxury online magazine Top10tastes and sales director at Relevance Web Marketing comments on this year’s International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes and spots emerging trends.

When it comes to luxury hoteliers’ favourite social platform, Facebook is still the winner despite its limited audience reach. Facebook’s limited Fan Page reach turned out to be a very little known fact among marketing directors of luxury hotels.

For brands selling dreams (or dream holidays) the adage a picture is worth a thousand words has always worked well so no wonder that the second preferred social platform is Pinterest.

Photo above: Emilia Jedamska with Stephane Fruitier, the publisher of The Most Exclusive Hotels in the World.

When it comes to the question » who is actually managing your social media presence » the answers are still diverse: from secretaries, assistants, through managers themselves to in-house experts and digital agencies (but still in minority). The future seems to be bright as many managers made comments on the current state of social affairs as being ‘not sufficient’, ‘amateurish’ and expressed their huge interest in going social, embracing their fans, followers, circles and friends.

Improving positions in organic search results in Google local engines gains more and more attention among luxury hotels managers and marketing directors. Germans and the English are still among the most wished-for guests but Russians, Brazilians and Indians may soon dethrone good old Europeans. Nigeria (with emphasis on Lagos) and Turkey were also mentioned by a few as a top location of the rich keen on travelling.

Let’s not forget the most sought-after luxury travellers: the Chinese. The topic is vast and deserves a separate article. In the meantime I recommend reading The China Luxury Travel Market Observer by Stephan Burianek and Stephan Tauchhammer.