A guest blog by Dialpad

Updated February 2024 – The age of digital transformation is, quite literally, transforming marketing strategies within the travel industry and tourism sector. We’ve entered the age of hyper-personalization, and in this new ecosystem, tailored experiences are the name of the game.

The market size for global customization and personalization within the travel sector is set to reach a staggering $620.71 million by the year 2032.

With this in mind, today we’re going to be discussing how to develop a killer personalization marketing strategy and create valuable, personalized experiences for your clients.

What is a personalization marketing strategy?

Personalization in marketing is all about mobilizing customer data to inform your marketing strategy. In other words, organizations using personalized marketing will gather data on their customer behavior and individual interests, preferences, and habits to create tailored travel experiences and custom content across their digital channels.

Why is personalization important?

Personalization is a growing marketing trend. In particular, customization is being rapidly adopted within the travel sector. Personalized experiences build trust, customer loyalty, and retention, better the customer experience, and improve a brand’s ability to communicate and engage with customers effectively.

What’s more, customers are starting to demand this personal approach as the bare minimum. In fact, according to Forbes, 63% of customers are likely to stop buying from a brand as a result of poor personalization.

Luckily, AI is making it easier for travel marketers to execute personalized marketing campaign ideas for success. AI technology can now be used to improve response times in customer service and generate real-time tailored recommendations based on customer preferences, behaviors, and purchase histories.

How to create a personalized marketing strategy

We know why personalization is important, but what actually goes into a great personalized marketing strategy for tourism and travel companies? Well, let’s find out. These guidelines will help you start mobilizing personalization techniques within your own brand marketing in no time at all.

1. Mobilize your data

The first thing you’ll need to do when creating a personalized marketing strategy is to mobilize your customer data. You can collect data from every interaction with your customer base, from calls on your virtual phone number to interactions on social media. The more information you can gather on your customers and demographics, the better you’ll be able to anticipate and implement their needs. This will also allow you to optimize every touchpoint of the customer journey and improve customer satisfaction.

For businesses in the tourism sector, the basic data points to collect include things like:

  • Contact information
  • Length of stay
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Who are they traveling with (i.e friends, family, children)
  • Types of activities they tend to participate in
  • Whether they usually reserve family rooms or doubles

This is the information that’s going to help you build a detailed map of your customers’ preferences and, therefore, allow you to target them with content, offers, and marketing efforts that they will want to engage with.

2. Create personalized recommendations based on customer profiles

Armed with detailed customer data, brands can start to create custom recommendations based on individual customer profiles. Advanced machine learning tools are even capable of generating targeted recommendations for the purpose of cross-selling and upselling to consumers.

For example, a food tour might use AI chatbots to collect data from their customers’ previous trips and offer personalized marketing through targeted recommendations based on their individual booking history. This data can also be used for the purpose of reaching out to customers via social media, email, SMS, or any other marketing channels to increase bookings.

tips to creating a personalization marketing strategy

3. Optimize retargeting campaigns with hyper-personalization

By segmenting customers by sales criteria (e.g. conversion rate ), brands can also improve their remarketing campaigns.

Brands can retarget their most promising customers with targeted content (such as those who have clicked on an online ad, visiting a competitor travel website, searched a relevant key term, or engaged with social media content).

This is an opportunity to remind customers who have already engaged with relevant content, but not yet made a purchase, of your products and services.

4. Personalize SMS and email campaigns

incorporate personlized email marketing

Next, make sure that you are personalizing your customer communications over email marketing and SMS. Email and SMS communication is increasingly popular with customers and eliminates the need for lengthy or long distance calls. Instead of sending out generic booking and marketing emails and texts, brands should be addressing individual customers directly by name.

Engage customers with targeted promotions, reminders, and pre-marketing messages. For example, you might offer special discounts to your customers on their birthday or to repeat customers who have demonstrated their brand loyalty.

5. Leverage social media

When it comes to achieving success with personalization, social media is your best friend. Instead of calling a dedicated phone line or toll-free number, customers can simply reach out quickly via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The informal nature of social media platforms provides the ideal framework for those more personal brand–customer interactions.

You can use these channels to engage with customers directly and target your buyer persona through social media advertising. If you’ve got a dedicated app for your service, social media is a great place to generate engagement (for example, by encouraging your audience to use a QR code to download your app ).

Brands can use social media to find out more about what customers like and dislike about their services through comments and reviews, and check out the competition to see what’s working particularly well for them.

Use social media to promote your personalization marketing strategy

Cultural Places has an innovational platform for cultural institutions that gives you access to a number of digital tools, including an audio guide, for when you are visiting museums and heritage sites in order to enhance the experience.  This type of information can be provided on audiobooks much as you might find at a museum. If this is something you are interested in you may wish to look into audiobook editing services.

6. Use geotargeting

Another way to create tailored experiences is to use geotargeting, or location-based marketing. This involves targeting consumers with relevant content specific to their location (that could be their country, region, state, or even specific postcode).

A wine tour business, for example, might use geotargeting to target travelers in a specific location with adverts for wine-tasting experiences. The more data on individual preferences you have, the better. Some marketers will even collect data on canceled flights and target affected travelers.

The more data you have, the better. Some marketers will even collect data on canceled flights and target affected travelers.

7. Engage with customers via chatbot

Chatbots are the best friend of personalized marketing. More and more, today’s customers want fast and individualized services. Chatbots facilitate real-time customer support by answering standard questions in a short space of time, and collecting customer data in order to provide more accurate assistance to each customer. It is also less labor intensive than using live chat apps that must be manned by staff.

One hotel brand that has mobilized chatbots for success is Mercure. They use chatbots on social media platforms like Facebook to help their guests get quicker answers to their travel queries and enquire about potential travel destinations.

Chatbots help to boost personalization

Mercure uses their digital chatbot to help customers with everything, from keeping track of their location details to offering targeted, geo-specific recommendations based on customer data.

This kind of digital concierge service is a highly effective way to communicate with guests. Not only does it feel more personal, but it allows the hotel (in this case Mercure) to keep track of individual customers’ location details and data which can, in turn, help them generate even more personalized campaigns.

It’s time to get personal

For tour and activity providers, personalization needs to be a top priority. Today’s customers want highly individualized services that speak to their specific wants, needs, and desires. Effectively collecting and mobilizing your customer’s personal data is key to creating highly tailored experiences, recommendations, content, and messaging. Furthermore, it helps you foster customer relationships and further improves the overall customer journey.

Master the art of personalization by utilizing an online booking software to seamlessly process your bookings. A reservation software like Rezdy equips your business with advanced tools such as real-time availability viewer, automatic guest communication, integration to various payment gateways, and further boosts automation within your business’ operations. Furthermore, Rezdy offers distribution solutions that connect you with the industry’s biggest resellers – so you can get your business out there. Rezdy Channel Manager is a distribution platform specifically catered for the tourism industry; connecting operators with access to over 25,000 active resellers worldwide.

Curious to see how Rezdy can fit within your business? Start your 21-day free trial or book a demo today.

If you enjoyed this article –  Personalization Marketing Strategy for the Tourism Industry – be sure to sign up to receive the Rezdy newsletter, a valuable resource for those who want to stay up-to-date on the latest industry happenings.


Written By – Gerard D’Onofrio – Country Manager, Australia, Dialpad

Gerard D’Onofrio is the Country Manager for Dialpad in Australia, an AI-equipped business communications solutions and enterprise VoIP platform for better communications at work. Gerard is experienced in discovering world-class developments and turning them into effective business advancements, wherever he goes. Here is his LinkedIn.

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