After a long gap, Yatra.com has launched a new digital campaign called #ReasonToTravel. Shweta Singhal, Head of Marketing & New Business Initiatives, Yatra.com describes how the brand is making it safe for people to travel again despite the apprehensions owing to COVID-19
Q] Why did Yatra.com feel this is the opportune time to launch a campaign considering that people are still afraid to venture out?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the travel industry and we believe it is essential for us to engage with consumers through constant communication across channels to re-ignite their love for travel. At Yatra.com, we aim to promote travel in the post-pandemic world and bring the buzz back around travel.
Through our latest digital campaign #ReasonToTravel, we are focusing on building consumer confidence and spreading the message that it is time to travel again.
Q] What is the insight behind the current ad #ReasonToTravel and what is the marketing mix like for it? Will you also be using mass media?
During the pre-COVID times, travel was essential and had become an integral part of people’s lives. But due to the pandemic, skies had shut, and travel came to a standstill. Consequently, with the world slowly returning to normal and with the gradual opening of the skies we saw the opportunity to promote travel in the post-pandemic world.
We encourage people to travel not just for essential work, but also to take a break, catch up with friends, or family even to celebrate special occasions. We have focused on digital media and marketing for the campaign as a majority of our audience are present on social media and the message can be efficiently communicated.
Q] Interestingly you have still not targeted all those people who are waiting to go for a vacation to exotic places and have highlighted just those who want to meet their family…
At Yatra.com, we have consistently encouraged and advanced safe getaways and holiday trips for our consumers by introducing initiatives such as ‘Clean Pass’ across our partner hotels, cabs and bus service providers, which comes with a promise of safety and security across all touch points during a customer’s journey.
We have also launched ‘Yatra Service Assured Packages’ for travelers where they will be provided with a secure, clean and safe environment for future leisure travel. This special package is designed with the best of essentials and includes hotel services with 24 x 7 emergency help line number, travel insurance, sanitized vehicles, flexible check-in and checkout, meals prepared in hygienic conditions, and quality transport services for the convenience of the customers.
Q] Are you seeing people return to full-fledged travelling as of now or is there still fear?
The last few months witnessed an uptick in demand largely due to individuals travelling to their hometowns or for essential purposes. During the festival of Eid and Rakhi, we had witnessed a slight growth as people traveled to their home to be with their loved ones to celebrate the festivities.
However, customers are still cautious and planning their travel basis need and safety guidelines laid down by different states for travel quarantine period. As the government is gradually relaxing travel restrictions and few states re- opening their borders to tourism, travelers are still slowly gaining confidence to travel.
Additionally, emerging trends such as ‘workcations’ and staycations are here to stay and are popular among people allowing for a quick getaway. We can expect the travel sector to make a gradual comeback and pickup especially during the holiday season of October-December.
Q] How do you see Yatra.com utilising the festive season and IPL season to draw attention back to travelling? Will you be spending heavily in this period like the earlier years?
The upcoming festive season of Dussehra / Diwali / New Year presents a huge opportunity for domestic travel uptake. Besides travel to be with family, we expect an increase in vacations within the country.
Many travellers would also make use of the air bubbles created between India and UAE, Maldives, UK and many other countries that the government is negotiating with. IPL would be a big draw to Indians living in the Middle East and here in India, though the digital audience here would be substantially higher.
As far as marketing spends are concerned, they would be in line with the increased business opportunity as well as the shifts in consumer behaviour that the pandemic has brought about. Spends for the IPL season would be more targeted towards the audience on relevant digital channels.