Your Guide to Mapping the Travel Customer Journey

June 6, 2023
Your Guide to Mapping the Travel Customer Journey – Ontario SEO

Technology has revolutionized many aspects of our lives and travel is no exception. Booking vacation nowadays is a multi-device and multi-channel experience for customers. Gone are the days when travelers simply booked a flight and hotel without much thought or research. With access to endless information and reviews online, the planning process can be overwhelming for many. It’s crucial to understand your customers’ thought processes and needs at each stage of their travel journey.

Mapping the travel customer journey is essential for creating a seamless and enjoyable experience for your customers. From dreaming to booking and post-trip feedback, tracking their journey can help you tailor your marketing efforts and ultimately drive more sales. In this article, we’ll guide you through each step of the travel customer journey and offer tips on how to optimize each touchpoint.

Key Factors that Influence the Customer Journey

The customer journey is influenced by several important factors, and it’s vital for businesses to know and work on these factors to provide a better customer experience.


The reliance on mobile devices and online platforms is changing the way customers research and book travel. Customers expect a seamless and convenient way to research and book their travel.


Customers want tailored recommendations and experiences based on their preferences and past behavior. If you want to create a connection and ultimately boost revenue and retention, personalizing your customers’ journey is crucial.

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is also crucial throughout the entire journey, from booking to post-trip follow-up. Customer service is what can make our break your brand.

Social Media

Social media platforms have revolutionized how customers interact with brands. It plays a significant role in shaping the customer journey, as many travelers use social media for inspiration, reviews, and recommendations.

A Traveler’s Customer Journey

Understanding the travel customer journey can help you create more personalized and effective marketing strategies. By creating and examining your traveler customer’s journey, you can see the opportunities to increase conversions at every stage.


“I want to get away”

Your traveler is craving an adventure and is starting to daydream about visiting a destination. This is the first stage that any person thinking about travelling will begin with. Think of this stage as someone browsing for travel inspiration and saving ideas for later. The traveler is hopeful and excited about the prospect of traveling to your destination.

Things to Consider

  • Most travelers are not brand-committed during this stage
  • They may not have a destination selected

How to Win This Stage

  • Ensure you’re showing up in top-of-funnel searches, especially on mobile
  • Create stunning visual content that inspires the traveler
  • Highlight the experiences that differentiate you from competitors
  • Use imagery that shows your target demographic


“I am planning to get away”

A destination has been selected and the planning begins for choosing accommodations, travel, and excursions. Your traveler is comparing options, prices, reviews, and other factors before finalizing their decisions. It’s a crucial stage for travel businesses as you need to stand out from your competition to capture these leads.

Things to Consider

  • 70% of travelers are using their phones to research travel
  • Travelers use search engines as the most common way to discover brands
  • Some travelers could have hundreds of digital touchpoints before making a purchase

How to Win This Stage

  • Appear in search engines when people are researching specifics for a destination
  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, including your booking process
  • Use paid advertising to target travelers actively searching for keywords related to the planning process
  • Increase discoverability with a content strategy that puts your brand at the forefront of their mind
  • Make sure your business’ unique features are clearly featured on your website
  • Understand where your customers are coming from and what channels to target


“I am ready to book”

Traveler has shortlisted the places they want to book. It’s a matter of time before the purchase is completed. They are looking for a smooth booking experience that is simple and easy to understand and complete. Their decisions to book might come down to price, customer service, and convenience.

Things to Consider

  • 94% of travelers switch between devices to check prices or make a purchase
  • Some travelers may be willing to increase spend if you highlight that it’s worth it
  • Travelers will abandon a website if there is too much friction during the booking process

How to Win This Stage

  • Ensure your booking engine is well-designed and easy to use
  • Improve your branded search results to appear at the top of the page
  • Use retargeting advertising to capture bookings
  • Consider using autofill to make forms simple
  • Have a variety of call-to-actions to offer flexible ways travelers can book
  • Implement one-click buttons to make the process seamless


“I can wait to explore”

This stage is your time to shine as a travel business. Your traveler has arrived at your door and is ready to experience and explore all that you have to offer. This stage is where you create customer loyalty. By providing resources and information during their visit, you create repeat customers and brand ambassadors.

Things to Consider

  • 84% of travelers decide on their excursions after arriving to their destination
  • Travelers expect their travel provider to share relevant information before and during their trip
  • This stage is where you should be focusing on strengthening the relationship between guests and your business
  • Customer service is critical for ensuring your customers leave your business happy

How to Win This Stage

  • Use email marketing to share recommendations, deals available to guests, or add-ons
  • Make information accessible across your sites and apps
  • Establish partnerships with other travel businesses to provide recommendations
  • Use hyper local ads to target travelers during their stay
  • Provide useful information for first-time visitors


“That trip was amazing”

This is an important stage for travel businesses to consider. The role technology plays in our daily lives makes this stage important. Just because the vacation has ended doesn’t mean that the relationship with your brand is over. This stage is about retaining the customer and turning them into brand ambassadors.

Things to Consider

  • Identify and understand all the places where your customers share feedback
  • Build a community online that allows for communication between the brand and the customer
  • Actively monitor your reputation online

How to Win This Stage

  • Promote and encourage travelers to tag your business in photos that you can share online
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews on sites like Google, TripAdvisor, or your own website
  • Offer rewards for booking their next stay or referring others to your business
  • Use email marketing to entice customers to book another visit
  • Use remarketing ads to target customers that made a purchase
  • Keep your social media accounts active to highlight what you have to offer

Tips for Mapping Your Customer Journey

Every business should have its own unique customer journey as not every business is the same or has the same budget or resources. It’s important to apply the customer journey to your personas and create strategies on how to drive customer actions through their journey. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get the process started.

  • What are you trying to achieve with the customer journey?
  • What resources and budget do we have available?
  • What are my customers’ pain points?
  • What data is available to me to create my customer journey?
  • What KPIs will we use to measure success?
  • Is my customer journey map current?

Win Every Stage of the Customer Journey with Ontario SEO

Mapping the travel customer journey is essential for any travel business that wants to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for its customers. With the use of technology and social media, travelers now have access to endless information, making the planning process overwhelming for many. It’s vital to understand your customers’ needs and thought processes at each stage of their journey.

By understanding the traveler’s customer journey, businesses can create more personalized and effective marketing strategies, increase conversions, and ultimately drive more sales. Ontario SEO can help your business win at every stage of the customer journey, from dreaming to exploring, and create repeat customers and brand ambassadors. Contact us today learn more about our years of experience supporting marketing teams in the hotel and travel industry.