How the travel industry can use SMS reminders to stay safe this summer

The challenges faced by the travel and tourism industry under the current restrictions have been significant, and are likely to resonate for years to come. Now more than ever, people are aching to get away from their everyday lives and head off on a much-deserved holiday. 

However, a recent survey by YouGov found that, while 44% of Brits said they are keen to take a leisure trip domestically in the next twelve months, just one in three plan to venture abroad. 

With the industry still uncertain, it’s important that businesses effectively communicate with their audiences. From sharing critical travel information to confirming bookings and offering cancellations, here’s how: 

The rise of the staycation

In the UK, during July 2020 alone, Google searches for ‘staycation’ increased by over 500% when compared to the previous year. With so much uncertainty around foreign travel, confusion around where you can and can’t travel to, and the rules and regulations surrounding quarantining, PCR tests and COVID-passports, it’s no surprise that more and more holidaymakers are opting to enjoy a UK staycation, instead of venturing abroad.

The benefits of SMS reminders

There are so many benefits of travel SMS messages. Here are just a few of them:   

  • Cost-effective: sending SMS reminders is an affordable way of communicating with your customers and, as they can be automatically scheduled, it frees up your staff for more important jobs
  • More likely to be read: did you know that, on average, we check our phone a massive 58 times a day? With most people only checking their personal email accounts every few days and SMS boasting up to a 98% open rate, it’s clear that it offers a much more effective way of getting your customers’ attention
  • A handy source of information: chances are, at any given moment, your phone is never more than a few feet away from you. That makes SMS handy for when customers need to quickly remind themselves of when, or where, their booking is ​​or to find contact details for your hotel, holiday home or apartment 

How can businesses use SMS marketing for travel agencies, hotels and holiday homes?                 

When it comes to travel SMS messages, there are so many ways the travel industry can make use of them to keep staff and customers safe this summer. 

SMS offers the travel industry the opportunity to connect with customers and send personalised information while also helping to improve the customer experience.                                      

Payment reminders

In the first 10 months of 2020 alone, the COVID-19 pandemic cost the tourism industry $935 billion in revenue worldwide, so it’s not surprising that a number of travel businesses are still looking to recoup their losses from the past year. 

SMS provides a simple and cost-effective way to send payment reminders, and your customers are much more likely to read them and take action. 

Time-sensitive deals and discounts

With demand soaring, many UK holidaymakers are struggling to make bookings, so timely deals and offers are key. 

Whether you’ve got space due to cancellations or simply trying to improve capacity, SMS alerts make it simple for travel businesses to reach a large audience instantly. 

Similarly, if customers have discount or coupon codes, you can use SMS to remind them and encourage bookings before they expire.

COVID-secure check-ins

Offering a secure check-in procedure can go a long way towards speeding up the process and keeping staff and customers safe by allowing guests to bypass the usual front-desk check-in and instead access their rooms using a mobile device. 

This allows businesses to minimise the contact between staff and customers, helping to decrease the spread of Covid-19. 

Communicating vital information

If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that having a solid crisis communications strategy in place is key. 

From sharing travel alerts to up-to-date safety information and restrictions, with SMS reminders, it’s easier than ever to communicate instantly with customers and to alert them to vital information that can affect their bookings or travel plans.

Follow up communications

Customers now expect instantaneous booking confirmations and reminders for extra peace of mind, and SMS offers this. 

Similarly, if your customers have visited you before, you can encourage them to return by marketing new experiences along with any loyalty schemes or programmes you may be running. 

Template examples:

Do you need a helping hand in coming up with the right travel SMS messages for your customers? Have a look at our templates for guidance.

Booking reminder

Thank you for booking with {LOCATION}! We look forward to welcoming you on {DATE & TIME}. Feel free to call this number or visit us at {LINK} if you have any questions. Thanks, {LOCATION/NAME}

Check-in reminder

Hey {FIRST NAME}, you can now check in to stay with us at {LOCATION} virtually. Please head to {LINK} to check-in and for more information. We can’t wait to welcome you! Thanks, {LOCATION}.

Check out reminder

Hi {FIRST NAME}, thanks for staying with us at {LOCATION}. Fancy a discount on your next stay? Here’s a 5% off voucher {CODE}. We can’t wait to see you again! Kind regards, {LOCATION}.

Payment reminders

Hi {FIRST NAME}, we’d just like to remind you that the amount of {SUM} was due for payment on {DUE DATE} / is due on {DUE DATE}. 

As the travel industry continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, SMS reminders offer businesses the option to provide exceptional customer service and to communicate quickly and easily with guests. Find out how we can help.