By Amal Hussein, Copywriter
As many may have experienced since the pandemic, travel is no longer the calm and exciting experience that it once was, rather a frantic research filled wave of entry requirements and tests, all before you even get to your hotel! Unsurprisingly, due to this the use of travel agents have once again become popular, with the focus of the public shifted towards soley arriving at their destination rather than the process itself.
As a result, as you can imagine industry traffic is increasing and thus we have put together this dedicated guide on the travel industry, and how advertisers should navigate (pun intended) their way around platforms. Included you’ll discover expert tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your travel advertisements this year.
The travel industry is composed of several pillars, including hospitality, transportation, attractions, travel companies, and much more. This hard-to-define industry is a constant presence surrounding us, in one way or another, and dominating much of the world’s income. Globally, travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP was approximately $2.9 trillion in 2019. The United States’ travel and tourism industry, on its own, contributed the largest sum at $580.7 billion.
The retail value of the global hotel industry was $600.49 billion in 2018. Moreover, the airline industry alone generates $1.7 trillion economic activities, and more than 10 million jobs in America, making the aviation industry support $3.5 trillion (4.1%) of the world’s gross domestic product.
In 2020, when a global pandemic was announced, things didn’t seem that positive for the travel industry. It was something nobody was able to predict, the only secure way to stay safe was to social distance and stay home… Quite the opposite of travel and discovery!
Due to the pandemic, travellers and the industry itself had to conduct a rethink. Since Covid-19, the global leisure travel spend decreased by 49.4% in 2020, compared to previous years, reaching $2.37 trillion. Whereas in 2019, it achieved approximately $4.69 trillion. International travel was by far the most negatively impacted by the global pandemic. As a result of governmental policies to control the pandemic, there was a huge cutdown of tourism flows and business operations during this time, with high levels of travel cancellations across the globe.
The main travellers concerns in light of Covid-19 are as follows:
- Big crowds (airports, subways, etc.)
- Safety and cleanliness of public transportation
- Anxiety around other people not wearing masks in public spaces
- Wearing a mask for a long period of time
- Trusting car rental services and accommodations (e.g. hotels) are following the necessary hygiene guidelines
Bruce Poon Tip, author of Unlearn: the Year the Earth Stood Still, had an interesting take on the pandemic. He commented “I still believe travel can be the biggest distributor of wealth the world has ever seen. This pause gives us the gift of time to consider how we can travel more consciously”. Maybe Bruce was right!
Arguably, moving out of the height of Covid-19, the travel industry is now on track for many changes.
Here are the top 10 ways in which the travel will change post-pandemic:
- Sustainability will be a driving force
- Our journeys will become more inclusive
- Small communities will play a bigger role
- We’ll seek quality over quantity
- We might prefer roadtripping
- Travel advisors will become essential
- We’ll appreciate staying closer to home
- We’ll look out for hygiene
- Simplified check-in/contactless check-in
- Robot-maids/room service
What can the Tourism Pillars do to Drive Advertisement Campaigns on Social Media?
In order to control the pandemic, the world has undergone a drastic shift in patterns, with technology advancing to help millions of individuals maintain their sanity. As we gradually start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, individuals are once again excited by the notion of travel, prepping their growing bucket lists for use. As the long awaited freedom edges closer, the tourism industry must begin their marketing planning, advertising the countless options that await us. Just as technology has helped ease the quarantine boredom, over the next 12 months, artificial intelligence will be utilised to respond to Covid-19 travel related queries and keep them up to date on the newest regulations.
Technology will also continue to be used to minimise face-to-face contact. Biometrics will be put in place for consumer-facing applications, such as completing check-in protocols via facial or fingerprint recognition technology. Thus, this is the ideal time for businesses in the travel industry to invest in travel influencers and make those at home eager to travel once restrictions are fully lifted.
Another incredible opportunity for platforms like Snapchat is to take advantage of the virtual reality feature, allowing users to virtually travel to places like the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace. It also offers an opportunity to build a list of ‘places to visit’, opening the door to unparalleled advertising opportunities, utilising this list for campaign targeting, and resulting in international audience reach.
Some companies may have reservations advertising their service/product on social media vs traditional formats, with concerns over practicality and sustainability. However, it may surprise you that advertising through social media platforms is both practical and beneficial, offering extended reach to millions of users without harming the environment. Whereas, traditional mediums such as posters, produce a lot of waste and can’t be repurposed later on.
We can clearly see the benefits of social media platforms in travel industry advertising. Everyone wants to feel a connection to the places they visit. They want to make sure those days stay with them forever. This is exactly why there is no better time than now for the travel industry to invest in advertising on social media. Afterall, it’s an ever-growing industry that contributes tremendously to the world’s economy and is proven to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.