People love to dream about travel, and the benefits of doing so can be profound. As outlined by the U.S. Travel Association’s “Let’s Go There” campaign, a poll conducted by happiness researcher Michelle Gielan found that 97% of respondents say that having a trip planned makes them happier, while 71% reported feeling higher energy if they had an upcoming trip planned in the next six months.
Our user research studies show too that dreaming is important to people visiting our sites, not just shopping for travel. We have been running a weekly intercept survey on Expedia sites since April to understand why people are visiting. We found that, interestingly, people are largely visiting our sites to dream about their next trip—and that desire has stayed strong over the months. And in today’s world, declaring we all have pent-up desire to travel is a huge understatement! Until people can travel more freely, they are going to virtually explore where to go, when to go, how to go—and hopefully find that happiness and optimism so many of us look for in travel experiences.
Even if your destination is not yet ready to welcome travelers, you should still be inspiring travelers, driving awareness, and providing important information regarding when they can travel and when businesses will be ready to welcome them. Research has shown that travel marketing in times of uncertainty demands you move even more flexibly and quickly throughout the consumer journey, delivering the right message at the right time.
My team of passionate storytellers collaborates with brands on Creative Partnerships campaigns to create unique and compelling media experiences to help travelers dream, discover and decide on their next destination.
Travel hasn’t stopped but it has changed. And my team has needed to think differently to help our partners and customers to adapt to the current environment. Our offerings range from custom campaigns and co-brand marketing, to our newest Travel Spotlights, which feature a variety of extremely flexible formats that provide opportunities for dynamic and relevant messaging in an ever-changing world.
Travel Spotlights can take many different forms: flowing editorial narratives, suggested itineraries, engaging quizzes, and more. For instance, the Gallery format can showcase the beauty of a destination or property similar to an image-filled social media feed, aimed to inspired and excite. Likewise, the Listicle format can showcase important health and hygiene protocols, designed to inform and educate.
We recently launched a campaign with Avis-Budget to target domestic travelers in a fun new way, knowing travelers are opting to travel closer to home. The campaign showcases some of the most inspiring U.S. road trip ideas through beautiful imagery and interesting content, while also reassuring with messaging that encourages customers to embark on a trip as soon as it is safe to do so.
Meanwhile, in Australia we launched a campaign with Tourism Northern Territory to spotlight their undiscovered parks, towns, and beaches. The page encourages travel shoppers to book travel and explore beautiful open spaces and dramatic landscapes. The lovely, editorial-feeling content is designed to help would-be visitors dream, plan, and book.
One positive thing that we’ve learned over the course of this year is that people will always love to dream of travel. Luckily, we can help our partners tell their stories, no matter what stories they are, in creative ways that are as beautiful and engaging as they are informative and important. We want to produce content to keep travelers dreaming and booking when the time is right for them.