Greig Holbrook, founder of Oban International, experts in helping businesses grow online in overseas markets.
While everyone knows about Christmas, Black Friday and Singles’ Day, there are hundreds of other celebrations across the world that present opportunities for travel companies.
Whether traditional religious events or newly created commercial festivals which have become linked to travel, such events have the potential to drive travel, accommodation and excursion online bookings – from Asalha Puja (when many Thai people travel to temples or their ancestral homes) to Zhonghe (when in China people go to watch dragon dances and celebrate with friends).
Based on insights from our local in-market experts in nearly 80 countries around the world, Oban International has created a calendar of 220 events which could increase online bookings and form a part of your international strategy.
Here is just a brief selection which could feature in your 2017 marketing strategy:
1. Golden Weeks – celebrated in China from 29 January and 1 October
The significance of China’s bi-annual Golden Weeks increases each year: in one week last year consumers spent $180 billion, a 10.7% rise since 2015. Over the same period, nearly 600 million people travelled locally, and a record 6 million went overseas in October 2016.
2. Ramadan – celebrated globally for one month from 26 May
Celebrated by millions of Muslims around the world, Ramadan is often considered in marketing plans, but it’s important to note that timing during the month is crucial. If you’re carrying out activity, focus on the period two weeks before the start through to the second week – travel sales increase by 35% during this time and then fall for the rest of the month.
3. Dia dos Namorados – celebrated in Brazil on 12 June
When other countries celebrate love in February, Brazilians are distracted by Carnival. Instead Lover’s Day takes place in June when similar gifts are exchanged. Think about focusing on romantic getaways for the day itself and as a gift for later in the year.
4. Republic Day Holiday – celebrated in India on 26 January
A bank holiday in India, Republic Day celebrates the birth of the constitution in the fifties. Watched by millions on TV, thousands more travel to see the grand parade in Delhi, which includes representatives from all over the country.
5. Golden Week – celebrated in Japan from 29 April
Japan’s Golden Week is also well worth acknowledging. Each year, 650,000 people go abroad during this time, and 24 million travel within Japan itself.
6. Sham el Nessim – celebrated in Egypt on 17 April
An ancient Egyptian festival marking the start of Spring, many celebrate by going on walks, traveling in boats or visiting open spaces. In 2016, the Giza Zoo alone had 150,000 visitors. Others take advantage of the long weekend to travel to beach resorts, with more than two million visiting the Alexandria governorate.