One stage that is sometimes overlooked in the travel experience is the process of anticipation. In this exclusive article for EyeforTravel, travel mentor Don Birch argues that far more can be done in the travel cycle.
In a eureka moment I have realised that the traditional travel cycle of ‘inspire, research, validate, purchase, consume and report almost never explores the buzz of ‘anticipation'. Arguably for most leisure travellers, anticipation is a major component of the travel experience.
I confess that in thinking and writing about travel, I personally often make the same mistake. Psychologists will tell us that delayed consumption is much more powerful that the short-term hype of instant gratification; indeed for many travellers the journey is more enjoyable than the destination. Ask your average back or grey packer.
My wife and I will be taking our granddaughters to EuroDisney this summer and as you can imagine child-borne anticipation is in overdrive. Working on the basis that well-informed anticipation would be an important part of their overall experience, we researched or at least attempted to research material that the little girls could digest before the big event. Suffice it to say that this was a painful and unrewarding endeavour and just goes to highlight that even one of the best event managers in the business fails to understand the polish that well- managed anticipation can add to the overall product value and, of course, enjoyment.
It is no co-incidence that research shows that leisure travellers spend up to 15 hours on the web researching their holiday. In many cases they are building and enjoying expectations, but as I discovered it can be a very frustrating experience.
So why don't we do more to leverage the power of anticipation as part of building value?