A guest blog by coupler.io

Tour and activity companies have been going online for some time. They actively use travel and tour websites as well as mobile apps. Not surprising why that happens. Many travel bookings are made online because it’s convenient for customers to find what they need in a few clicks lying on a couch.

Considering this, operators need to polish their processes. That’s why adopting automation is crucial for success in the tourism and travel industry. It allows to boost employee productivity and improve customer experience. Also, automation is a great addition to the travel customer journey.

Are you wondering why and how to automate the customer journey? This post is for you.

The following article will describe key benefits and use cases of travel customer journey automation.

Understanding customer journeys in the tourism and travel industry

The customer journey describes customers’ interactions with a brand. It includes various stages –  from awareness of your service to post-purchase engagement. 

“Customer journeys” differ from “buyer journeys”. A buyer journey mainly refers to the overall process of arriving at a purchase decision. On the flip side, the customer journey focuses on the overall purchasing experience of the consumer.

Creating a travel customer journey map is essential to visualize the specific stage of the customer life cycle. It offers valuable information regarding the customer needs at each step of the process. Also, it encourages potential customers to move further.

Customer journey mapping also enables you to view your organization from the customer’s perspective, which can help you identify and address any issues or gaps in your current traveler experience.

In the travel and tourism industry, by gaining a deeper understanding of your customers, you can tailor your marketing efforts to their specific needs and improve customer touchpoints across all customer journey stages.

Understanding the travel customer journey

Travel Customer Journey Map Example, Source: Threesides

Stages of the travel customer journey

To effectively attract and engage customers, it is essential to comprehend the various stages of the travel buyer’s journey. The most common classification involves five stages:

stages of the travel customer journey

Source: Resbook

During the Dream stage, you attract people with your content. Social media channels work well to catch people’s attention with “dream” content. 

Travelers require comprehensive information to address their queries and plan their trips effectively at the Planning stage. So, your website must offer accessible, informative, and actionable content. 

During the Book stage, converting prospects into customers is important. Your website or app must offer user-friendly service, so travelers can purchase, receive all the required help, and be notified about critical nuances.

The Experience stage is next. Here, the focus is on delivering exceptional hospitality. The level of service and communication you provide will impact customer experience and your brand reputation. 

The final stage is the Share stage. During this one, leveraging the opportunity to obtain valuable testimonials is valuable and makes customers return. It is crucial to seek reviews through email follow-ups after booking proactively.

Breaking down the process of the digital marketing customer journey makes it easier to manage and identify the gaps and bottlenecks. 

Key benefits of customer journey automation

The travel and tourism industry should be open to new technologies. Particularly, by using automation, tour and activity businesses  can streamline various processes:

Even small travel agencies, hoteliers, and tour operators can use these technologies to enhance their current flows or create customized automated travel systems. 

Now, let’s discuss some benefits of automation for tourism and travel customer journeys.

It improves employee productivity

The first benefit of automation relates not directly to customers but to employees. Automation impacts employer productivity. And productive teams will keep your customers satisfied. 

Machines perform high-volume and repetitive tasks with greater speed and accuracy, so saving time for employees and minimizing errors. For example, tour operators can use templates to create reservations quickly, with the system calculating net prices based on component costs and adding a margin to produce the selling price. 

Certain tourism and travel software can automate the completion of forms through features such as auto-filling, enabling RPA (Robotic process automation) bots to enter and update passenger name records accurately. RPA software can also automate document checks, verify signatures, and recommend approval or rejection.

In sales, you can automate communication with customers and suppliers via automatic customer journey emails, invoices, reminders, alerts, and more. This allows employees to focus on more meaningful and creative tasks. 

It empowers customer experience

Automation can also improve customer experience. For instance, automation can:

  • predict potential disruptions, such as flight delays, weather conditions, carrier information, etc. Travelers and businesses can use this data to plan alternative routes or find available accommodations automatically.
  • inform travelers about safety. Real-time government and corporate sources updates can trigger alerts or notifications in case of dangerous conditions. Also, in-app GPS tracking can keep travelers informed about possible difficulties while commuting.
  • gather client feedback. Using automated email surveys, you can collect insights for improvement and understand customer needs.

It enhances personalization

We all know that customers prefer personalized experiences that cater to their preferences. 

AI-powered engines can effectively meet these demands by utilizing a range of data sources:

  • metadata (location, browser, device, referral source)
  • behavioral data (previous bookings, searches, subscriptions, and online activities)
  • purchase history 
  • social media data (ratings, feedback, shared content, comments, and location tags)

By analyzing this data, you can create user segments and automatically adapt interfaces, layouts, feeds, and other elements to cater to specific needs.

Also, price aggregators must work behind the scenes of an OTA’s website or mobile app to provide visitors with the best tourism and travel product prices. 

A travel booking engine is necessary to connect suppliers through travel APIs, receive relevant information, and display it on the search results page. Booking engines can understand search rules to dictate which products to show and at what price to specific users. As an illustration, the sales team can set up the sending of follow-up emails every few days or upselling emails tailored to a customer’s purchase history a few days before a trip, increasing sales.

It adds flexibility and scalability

Automation can provide scalability, allowing for effective service and excellent customer experiences without expanding the customer support team.

To achieve this, some tourism businesses are implementing technologies like chatbots and virtual agents to alleviate the workload of their agents and improve response times. With such assets, customer requests can be intelligently addressed 24/7.

Additionally, you can use automated customer analytics to optimize pricing and marketing campaigns. You’ll have a space to identify growth opportunities and be more flexible with marketing efforts.

Use cases of travel customer journey automation

We’ve explored the key advantages of automation for your business. It’s time to review five areas where customer journey automation is highly valuable.


Using automation solutions, you’ll save a lot of time handling your PPC campaigns and making them appealing to your target audience. Ads automation provides tools to control, manage, and improve your ads campaigns. 

With automation, you can quickly collect keywords and manage biddings. Besides, you can scale the number of ad campaigns effortlessly.

In terms of PPC optimization, you can segment audiences and create personalized offers. You can promote multiple offers and streamline the tracking of discounts and coupon codes you use in your SEM campaigns with the help of coupon management software.

Another thing is campaign analysis. Overviewing performance and spending in ads management tools, you can see what works and what can be improved.


Automation allows you to remove bottlenecks related to creating and distributing various types of content. 

Content management solutions can help you moderate your marketing materials. Particularly, you can create templates, improve marketing copies, generate images, and even use AI tools for crafting videos.

Using content planning platforms, travel agencies are able to control:

  • content projects (from ideas backlog to performance reporting)
  • content production flows (from assigning tasks to editing)
  • publishing processes (from a content calendar to posts scheduling)

Eventually, you’ll have a determined plan for content creation and effortless collaboration.

Lastly, automated solutions are a way to optimize conversions of your website or app. Automatic pop-ups, widgets, in-app messages, and landing page optimization are among the use cases you should consider to leverage your content marketing efforts.

Email marketing

Across different industries, email marketing still has the highest ROI of 3,800% on average compared to other channels. 

With the help of automation, your business can leverage this strategy. Email marketing automation can ease their interactions with customers. Personalized and automated emails can motivate customers to move within the tourism and travel customer journey and improve customer retention. 

For instance, tour operators can use automated welcome emails to make a first impression vivid. Also, triggered confirmation and notification emails provide customers with all the necessary information about their orders and trips. 

how email marketing plays a role in the travel customer journey

Source: CloudKettle

Companies engage with customers at the Share stage as well. With post-purchase emails, you can entice guests to return or gather their feedback. Also, you can distribute your content by sending email newsletters with blog articles or news. You should use your customer base to share information about upcoming events or send promotional campaigns.

Different stages of email marketing campaigns are automation friendly. Creating email templates and copies, segmenting your customer lists, scheduling, and sending emails is much more effortless with the help of automation tools.

Social media

Social media can be a powerful tool for the travel industry, and automation can make it even more effective. 

Chatbots can assist customers in searching and booking through social media platforms like Facebook. They can suggest modes of transport, showcase availabilities, provide travel ideas, and update customers on booking status and schedules, customer-specific information, etc. Besides, this channel might be used to share promotions, contests, giveaways, and more.

As for social media activity, using social media monitoring, you can check hashtags and mentions to gather testimonials about your company from various platforms. Offering rewards such as discounts or thank-you gifts to those who promote you can incentivize them to become returning visitors. 

Except for chatbot automation and social media monitoring, you can automatically schedule and publish posts. Regarding social media content, you can streamline creating media and templates with social media management tools.


In the tourism and travel industry, tracking the success of your activities through data analysis is crucial. To make it accurate and effortless, there are data integration, analytics, and visualization solutions. 

Using automated solutions for analysis, you can collect metrics of your campaigns. For instance, by monitoring open rates and clicks for each email, businesses can evaluate its effectiveness. 

In parallel, AI-powered solutions can process vast amounts of data to predict customer behavior and help tailor converting materials. 

Besides, automatically collecting and analyzing reviews on websites and social media can also provide valuable insights into improving your service.

To start with travel customer journey analytics, you can use the in-built functionality of automation platforms or create custom dashboards and reports with third-party tools.


By using automation, you can optimize many aspects of your travel customer journey – from first impressions to post-engagement interactions.

For instance, Rezdy is an online booking system that provides your tour activity business with advanced features to automate the booking process. These features include the likes of real-time availability viewer, automatic communication and updates, and secure integration with various payment gateways.

Of course, crafting a customer journey and implementing the steps mentioned above is possible without automation. But the level of effort, team involvement, frequency of errors, and spending will be higher.

From small tour operators to online travel agencies, automated customer journey management has the potential to revolutionize the travel industry by eliminating inefficiencies and refining workflows.

Written By – Dmytro Zaichenko – Marketing Specialist, Coupler.io

Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Coupler.io, an all-in-one data analytics and automation platform. He has over 3 years of experience in digital marketing, particularly in SaaS. Apart from experimenting with marketing tactics, he’s a huge NBA fan.

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