One of the most significant marketing trends for the travel and tourism sector in 2018 is live streaming.
The technology has evolved as such that anyone with a smartphone device can reach out to viewers and possible visitors and provide a fresh perspective on holiday destinations, accommodations and all kinds of travel experiences.
In 2000, TripAdvisor pioneered the concept of holiday reviews, empowering guests to write eye-opening accounts of their holiday experiences which, in turn, forced many within the travel industry to up their game and provide the best possible service.
However, the advent of social media platforms and the ability to stream live video in high-definition quality to family and friends has enabled us to capture the personality of a hotel resort or even an entire town that still images simply can’t compete with.
MO’s prediction on 2018 social media trends states that the live streaming market could be worth over $70 billion by 2021, with four-fifths (80%) of consumers preferring to watch a live video than any other form of social content.
Travel agents, airline operators, holiday resorts and any other type of tourism brands must jump on the live streaming bandwagon before being left behind.
How Live Streaming is Transforming the Travel Industry
No Need for Five Page Hotel Reviews Anymore
Holidaymakers no longer need to sit down and write lengthy emails and posts when it comes to reviewing their trip away to other tourists.
Rather than taking millions of photographs to accompany a five-page hotel review, vacationers can now demonstrate everything they want to show and tell through a live stream to family, friends and even strangers.
Millennial travellers are obsessed with getting authentic and unique experiences away from home. Live streams of resorts, excursions and other random sights and sounds can help people feel as close to the action as those videoing.
Providers Can Convey Experiences More Vividly
For the long-term sustainability of the travel and tourism sector, travel operators are required to get in on the act of live streaming too.
For instance, in 2015 Skyscanner broadcasted a 24-hour stream via Periscope, giving holidaymakers precious nuggets of information about some of the most popular travel destinations around the world. Live streaming is a way of providing added value and inspiring viewers about the possibilities.
Some of the world’s biggest travel brands have ready-made live streaming audiences through their social media channels. For instance, when Royal Caribbean brought all three of their Oasis-class cruise liners together in 2016, they streamed the docking of their biggest ships to articulate their magnificence and even hosted a Q&A session with the company’s CEO.
All of this was streamed via Royal Caribbean’s Facebook page – their potential audience? 4.3 million people that had previously subscribed to their page.
Airbnb also streamed live 360-degree videos on its Twitter handle via Periscope, with the aim of promoting specific towns and cities as fascinating destinations to explore by liaising with a number of their property hosts.
Drones Offer a Unique Perspective
The streaming quality of drone-captured video has also helped brands in the travel and tourism sector to get creative with their marketing material. They can now live stream affordable and unique live videos of their resorts.
For instance, a holiday resort that wishes to make more of the fact it can be used as a wedding venue may choose to stream a live video snippet of a wedding on-site aerially from a drone. Adventure excursion and tour operators can also make the most of drone footage too.
In the US, a Californian operator named Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching has developed a viewer base of more than eight million on its YouTube channel solely through its live drone footage, capturing footage of dolphins and whales at sea, helping tourists to understand what they could experience when exploring even the most remote destinations.
Live Streaming Legitimate in Many Industries
The immersive nature of live streaming has revolutionised so many other industries too.
The music and entertainment business has been able to bring live shows to fans around the world. Who could forget MTV’s broadcast of Ariana Grande’s Manchester benefit gig?
Last year, Facebook signed a deal to live stream professional sport across its social platform, spanning Major League Soccer and even the UEFA Champions League. English football supporters can also now use iFollow to stream their team’s away matches from the comfort of their own home.
Elsewhere, Betway’s HD live casino allows fans of games such as blackjack and roulette to be at the heart of the action with the chance to watch their table games unfold live in real-time via multi-camera technology.
The eSports gaming industry has also introduced live streaming of professional video gamers doing battle on Twitch, which has become synonymous with iGaming and regularly welcomes 100 million-plus monthly viewers.
The World’s Biggest Live Streaming Players
If you’re in the travel industry and you’re wondering where to start with your live streaming journey, Facebook Live is certainly a great place to start.
More than 20% of all Facebook videos are now live streamed, with each live video said to be 300% longer than other video content on average.
Instagram and Snapchat offer the chance to create short-burst live videos, while Periscope is another useful platform to rival Facebook Live that can be used for Q&A’s with prospective guests to truly personalise destinations and put a face to your resort.
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