Although originally addressed to travel agents, Kelly’s recommendations are good advice for any travel and tourism marketer.
To understand why you should market to Hispanics, just look at the numbers
- According to the 2010 census, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the U.S.
- There are 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. and 1 in 4 of Americans under 18 are Hispanic.
- The Hispanic population grew by 43% from 2000-2010, and accounted for 56% of the population growth in the U.S.
Here are 5 recommendations from Kelly on how travel and tourism marketers can help attract Hispanic travelers:
1. Make it operationally easy for Spanish-speaking guests to deal with your brand
- Present a Spanish-language option for your website, even if it’s just FAQs.
- Do the same for your phone answering system.
- Many Hispanics are in service industries so they work late hours. Consider extending your hours to 8 pm on weekdays and opening on weekends.
2. Speak Spanish
- This seems obvious, but what you may not know is that many English-speaking Hispanics prefer to speak in Spanish if the choice is given to them.
- Make sure you have at least one Spanish-speaking reservations or information agent on staff. It’s important, too that they have good travel expertise and service skills.
3. Develop expertise in what the Hispanic market wants and needs
- Hispanics often bring family members on business trips, so cater to spouses and kid of the Hispanic business traveler.
- Other trends in Hispanic travel include extended family and multigenerational travel and a love of shopping. Understand them and cater to them.
- You can also cater your menu and service offerings to Hispanics. The Westin Hotel in San Antonio serves Mexican cookies in its afternoon tea time because American cookies are too sweet for their Mexican guests.
4. Market through social media
- If your marketing budgets are limited, social media is an efficient way to reach Hispanics.
- Hispanics spend a larger portion of their time on social sites than other ethnic groups.
- They also trust what their friends say on social sites more than other groups.
5. Understand that Hispanics make decisions differently
- Hispanics usually want to involve the whole family in the decision-making process. So your reservations and customer service reps need to be more patient and consultative.
Thanks to Nick Verrastro and the crew at Travel Market Report for this excellent advice.
How about you? What are you doing to make your travel and tourism marketing more Hispanic-friendly?