QUALITATIVE RESEARCH: HELPING TRAVEL AND TOURISM RECOVER AND THRIVE POST COVID
COVID-19 disrupted businesses, overhauled systems, defined new norms, and brought tremendous uncertainty. While online streaming, online retail and pharmaceuticals thrived in a re-configurated economic and social landscape, in-store retail, entertainment, and travel and tourism giants suffered.
Facing the resulting decline and eventual paralysis of travel and tourism, industry leaders find themselves wondering how to reach their prior business levels. But business owners in the travel and tourism industry face more challenges than regaining their customers and recovering lost businesses. They need to understand how their target audiences’ perspectives and wants have shifted before taking proactive steps to meet new consumer needs and adapt to new norms.
Aimed at helping business owners understand the desires and preferences of their customers, Ready to Launch Research conducts in-depth qualitative studies to help business owners gain insight into their customers’ logics and behaviors, in addition to recommending tailored strategies that translate insight into immediate action. By providing traveler focused and industry specific data, Ready to Launch Research will help your business focus on what your customers value the most.
What is Qualitative Research?
Qualitative Research is a market research method that engages in deep dialogues with your target customers to uncover the patterns and underlying motivations of consumer behavior.
Qualitative market research methods include Focus Groups, In-depth Interviews, Ethnography, and User Journals. For the travel and tourism industry in particular, we recommend Market Research Online Communities (MROC), Travel Influencer Studies, and Travel Diaries.
Qualitative Research vs. Quantitative Research
|Qualitative Research||Quantitative Research|
|Sample||In-depth conversations with small groups of target audiences, each group having 10-30 participants||Large sample size from the target demographic; 100-5000 participants|
|Research Execution||Semi-structured and in-depth interviews that allow for flexibility and plenty of room for follow-up questions that allow the researcher to quickly pinpoint consumer pain points and organically test potential solutions to business problems||Closed survey questions, usually multiple choice|
|Analysis||Besides uncovering trends of consumer behavior, the analysis attends to language nuances and unearths consumer sentiments and opinions, providing clues for effective marketing messages||Statistics analysis generalizing consumer behavior into large trends, spotting the most outstanding problems faced by businesses; limited capacity for deep investigation of consumer reasoning|
|Research findings and recommendations||Recommendations for the industry and for your company in particular; innovative strategies based on insights into your target audiences||Recommendations for the general industry|
According to quantitative data developed by the World Bank, tourism destinations recorded 1 billion fewer international arrivals in 2020 than in 2019. It was only expected, considering most of the world was under COVID-19 induced lockdowns, curfews, and stay-at-home orders. The pandemic paralyzed plans of travelling past your neighborhood, let alone travelling across national borders.
As the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts, international tourist arrivals could grow between 30 and 78 percent in 2022 compared to 2021. But international tourist arrivals will still be more than 50 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Such quantitative data indicates trajectory based on consumer trends, and can predict where the travel and tourism industry could head in the coming months.
While quantitative data will help business owners be better aware of business contingencies, it is insufficient to help businesses successfully adapt and thrive in the new norm. The unique insights offered by qualitative research will help you gain an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the “why” of consumer behavior, in addition to recommending strategies and solutions that you can immediately put into action.
As a Business Owner in Travel and Tourism, Why Should you Consider Qualitative Research?
Although travel restrictions are lifting and borders are opening, international and domestic travelers still seem reluctant to hop on the next plane. What are their top concerns, and what kinds of travel options do they want to see the most? Qualitative research answers both the “why” and the “how.”
• Qualitative research methods will create consumer personas to pinpoint the exact pain points of your business’ target demographic.
• Qualitative research methods like Focus Groups, In-depth Interviews, and Ethnography will arm your business with deep insights into consumer behavior, helping you devise thoughtful marketing campaigns, pricing structures, and information driven content that increase your appeal to consumers.
• MROC bridges geographic divides and reaches consumers across the globe, translating your products across different cultures, nationalities, and generations.
• Travel Influencer Studies look at growing trends and sentiments held by travel influencers in the post pandemic era to provide insight into consumers’ expectations and desires.
• Travel Diaries track consumer journeys, habits, and attitudes for the duration of their travels, helping to elucidate triggers and motivations on a microscopic level throughout their travel experience.
Qualitative research will empower your business with valuable insight and help your team make informed and educated decisions, so you could set yourself well ahead of your competition and thrive in the post pandemic era.