Helping Partners Rebound: Introducing our Destination Relief Program

Wendy Olson Killion, Vice President, Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions
July 6, 2020
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As all of us in the tourism industry continue to monitor and manage the impacts of COVID-19, we are seeing areas around the world starting to open back up and green shoots of increasing traveler demand. Travelers are beginning to consider venturing beyond their homes again (talk about pent-up demand) and are looking to reschedule missed trips, plan new adventures, and find ways to reconnect with family and friends. Our exclusive data from our Expedia Group brands is showing that over the last couple months travel searches on our sites are on the rise across each region, and that on average globally most searches are for domestic trips and in a 0-21 window – pointing to people being ready to travel. (See our COVID-19 webinar series for more on the latest data we are tracking.)

To build on these early optimistic signals and help drive demand to destinations, we are offering $25 million in advertising relief to help our partners rebuild consumer trust and confidence in travel. As part of the broader Expedia Group commitment to helping travel partners recover from the crisis, our destination relief program will help travel advertisers large and small to leverage the scale and reach of our brands around the world to tell and show travelers that destinations are open for business and ready to welcome visitors again.

As we shared with Adweek last week, we believe that destinations and tourism organizations are key to travel industry recovery. From local players to national tourism boards, these organizations will play a vital role in reviving the hotels, airlines, transportation, tours, local businesses and communities that they represent and serve. Whether inspiring travelers to dream about their next trip, educating them on the state of travel or driving demand, the more that we can help destinations and the broader travel industry with recovery efforts and help travelers go places, the more we will all benefit.

We have worked in close partnership with the heads of our family of travel brands—including Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Vrbo, Hotwire, Wotif, ebookers, and CheapTickets—to develop a robust and global program providing generous value adds to travel marketing campaigns. These packages will be available to destinations and tourism boards, as well as lodging, transportation and activities partners and other advertisers looking to promote a destination. Since every partner has different objectives and resources, we created a scalable and tiered program to ensure that marketers with budgets of all sizes are able to stretch their spend even further to allow destinations and brands to showcase their messages of hope, inspiration and when they are open for business. Plus with our exclusive real-time travel intent and demand data, we can help destinations understand how and when demand shifts, and provide precise targeting to help connect with the right travelers at the right time.

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How can advertisers participate in the destination relief program

Advertisers can participate through a standalone campaign or a co-op campaign—which are an efficient way for multiple partners to collaborate on a collective campaign to minimize ad spend and maximize results—to promote a destination to travelers across our brands. 

We are offering multiple levels of participation in the program, and advertisers can select from a comprehensive range of recovery packages with flexible, nimble and scalable advertising solutions designed to help destinations generate and capture demand. From rich media and display advertising, to traveler coupons and discounts, to targeted email and social media, our suite of products work hard for all our advertising partners, whatever their budget. Advertisers need to sign up by September 1, 2020 and serve media by the end of January 2021.

So far nearly 20 destinations and tourism boards have signed up for our program, and we are working with many more to launch campaign activity in the coming weeks. Some of the first participants include city level organizations like Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Louisville Tourism, regional organizations including Los Cabos, Mexico and national tourism boards, such as Destination Canada. More to come as we continue to grow participation and kick off these campaigns.

Throughout our 20 years in the travel advertising industry, and nearly a decade of helping destinations with recovery efforts, the one constant is that we are better together. We truly believe the power of destinations to inspire and we hope that our relief program helps our partners of all sizes around the world see positive impact as we all work together towards travel industry recovery.

Learn more about our destination relief program or connect with your Media  Solutions representative.

Picture of Wendy Olson Killion, Vice President, Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Wendy Olson Killion
Vice President, Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Wendy Olson Killion is a vice president of business development at Expedia Group Media Solutions, where she oversees marketing partner relations globally, leading teams around the world in the creation and implementation of innovative digital media campaigns across the portfolio of Expedia Group travel brands. She previously directed global product development and marketing for the entire suite of advertising products, including display, email, social and mobile solutions. Before joining Expedia Group, Wendy led product management of the emerging channels and brands at Cars.com, including their mobile offerings. Wendy also previously spent five years at J.D. Power and Associates where she managed a suite of publications aimed at defining automotive marketing online for OEMs and automotive dealers, and co-founded the Automotive Marketing Roundtable conference. Wendy is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and lives in Seattle with her family.
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