Shedding light on Australians’ travel habits is the new study commissioned by Expedia, What the findings show is that the average Australian prefers international travel rather than domestic, and seeks a variety of activities while vacationing. Like other travelers across the globe, Australians want to ‘experience something different.’ Marketing your brand as having diverse and unique experiences can help tap into the Australian travel market.
We are looking forward to participating at the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention, taking place July 11-14 in Montreal, Canada, as the presenters of the first ever DMAI Insights Forum. We will be sharing our latest custom research examining the behaviors of global travelers, as well as best practices for destination marketing organizations (DMOs).
Every year we are thrilled to be part of IPW, one of U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) largest events focused on driving international visitation to the United States. We were busy at the show this year, and had the opportunity to meet with our partners, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), hoteliers and travel brands (140 of them to be exact) to talk about what’s next in digital marketing and share ideas and best practices to continue to increase travel to the U.S.
This week at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), Australia’s largest travel and tourism event, we met with and learned from industry experts on new tools and campaigns in the travel industry. We also had the pleasure to present the first of our APAC Partner Awards to two Australian destination marketing organizations (DMO) who leveraged creativity to increase awareness and visitation to their destinations. The two winning campaigns include:
Texas is a competitive market, so to break through the clutter Visit San Antonio (VSA) took an innovative, interactive approach to digital advertising that would showcase the wealth of activities and experiences the destination offers leisure visitors.
VSA, in partnership with Proof Advertising, teamed up with Expedia Media Solutions to create the first domestic tourism campaign featuring 360-degree video content within Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)-compliant banner ad units.
Launching today, the “My Day in San Antonio” campaign prompts people to engage with 360-degree video footage within the ad units; by clicking on hotspots within the video, users can discover a variety of San Antonio locations and experiences. As users engage with the hotspots and explore the content, the banner ad is transformed into a “choose your own travel adventure” quiz in which viewers can plan their perfect day in San Antonio. After interacting with the ad and creating their perfect San Antonio adventure, users will be delivered a personalized itinerary based on their choices and can enter to win a trip to San Antonio.
All 360-degree video content interactions and engagements happen within the IAB-compliant banner ads, breaking the boundaries digital advertising campaigns were previously constrained by. It provides a fluid experience as the user doesn’t need to leave the site to experience the 360-degree ad content. The ads are powered by patent-pending panamorphic technology developed by Advrtas that facilitates total ad responsiveness to multiple mobile phone sensors including the gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer. They are also full screen capable and play in all browsers and in app across all platforms and devices.
Advrtas, the world’s first 360-degree and virtual reality marketing and advertising solution, was chosen as the technology vendor for ‘My Day in San Antonio’, as it’s the first to be able to offer this immersive video capability to advertisers.
The campaign is designed to increase market share against competitive destinations within Texas, particularly San Antonio drive markets. It will run through September and is live across all Expedia, Inc. sites in the U.S. and select sites in Mexico, including Travelocity, Hotels.com and Expedia.com.
This week, our team travelled to Dubai for the annual Arabian Travel Market where we met with our partners, heard from leading voices in the travel space and uncovered the latest trends impacting the travel industry in the Middle East.
We were honored to participate in the event, and to have the opportunity to share on-stage our insights from a recent custom study we commissioned with comScore as well as showcase a few digital advertising campaigns that drove significant results for Middle Eastern partners. As outlined in my presentation, people are increasingly spending time consuming travel content online, which points to the opportunity for brands and destinations to reach and engage travelers through digital media. To do so in a way that resonates with travelers and drives results that impact business growth, there are four keys to a digital media strategy that we recommend, including:
- Data. With digital marketing, we have unprecedented ability to use data to understand and engage our target audiences, optimize our campaigns and measure results to demonstrate real business impact.
- Authenticity. In a competitive travel market where brands need to break through the noise, it’s important for travel marketers to focus on what makes their brand or destination unique and authentic.
- Interactivity. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it’s often not enough to cut through the clutter and engage with new visitors. Using interactivity helps involve the user and keep the brand top of mind.
- Partnership. Partnership is a core tenant for our business and industry at large, and a key tool to bring scale to your efforts. Consider the opportunities you have for partnership – whether with your destination marketing organization, industry influencers, online travel agencies, and more – to cast a wider net and reach into consumers where they are online.
We also had the pleasure at the show this year to recognize two of our partners with Expedia Media Solutions EMEA Partner Awards, including the Moroccan National Office of Tourism, which was awarded African Campaign of the Year; and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, which was awarded with our Hotel Campaign of the Year!
African Campaign of the Year: Moroccan National Office of Tourism
Building on a successful eight-year relationship with Expedia Media Solutions, the Moroccan National Office of Tourism (ONMT) wanted to implement a campaign that would promote the destination’s new MUCH MOROCCO branding, generate awareness of Morocco's top 10 cities and inspire users to engage with the destination in a fun and interactive way. Targeting users on Expedia sites in the U.K. and U.S., the campaign includes a robust marketing plan, social media amplification and a microsite featuring a customized concierge tool designed to drive visitation throughout Morocco’s top cities. The campaign, which is Expedia Media Solutions’ first Creative Partnership campaign in Africa, has generated nearly 15 million impressions to-date and successfully engaged the target audience, with average time spent on the microsite eclipsing 1:10 in the U.S.
Hotel Campaign of the Year: Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts has a long-standing relationship with Expedia Media Solutions and has historically utilized display advertising and TravelAds to promote its hotels in the U.S. and U.K. For its most recent campaign, Jumeriah worked with Expedia Media Solutions to promote its eight Dubai properties through a refreshed strategy, which included new placements on Hotels.com EMEA and Arabic, targeting travelers in countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The two-phase seasonal campaign targeted different audiences during Dubai’s peak and off-peak seasons. Phase one targeted travelers from the GCC, as well as those traveling to the Middle East in the Summer. Visiting Dubai during the summer can be very attractive to travelers, due to the typically less expensive flight and hotel prices, which can make luxury properties like Jumeriah more affordable. Phase two targeted travelers from the west, Australia and New Zealand during winter months, as the climate in Dubai is more favorable during that time. The creative and refreshed strategic approach drove room night demand for Jumeriah’s Dubai properties and resulted in a 26:1 return on investment.
Canberra, Australia’s capital city, is home to Australian Parliament and several major cultural attractions, iconic national treasures, rich history and culture. Canberra is a popular destination for both Australian and international tourists, however traditionally there is a decline in leisure travelers during the summer months (November through February).
What is known as “The Silk Road,” a route that connects China to Europe, is virtually brought to life in our new digital integrated campaign in partnership with the Hangzhou Tourism Commission. The “Silk Road Race, Explore the Living Hangzhou” campaign showcases the vast array of experiences available to travelers in Hangzhou, a city with the perfect combination of history and modernity, nature and culture. From scenic locations like the West Lake to more than 60 cultural relic sites, pagodas and temples, Hangzhou offers plenty for the traveler to see.
With its sandy beaches and turquoise waters, Cancun has long been a dream destination for the sun chaser, and often the spring breaker. To show that the destination has so much more to offer for travelers of all types, the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the destination marketing organization (DMO) for Cancun, partnered with Expedia Media Solutions to launch an integrated and multi-channel campaign. “Discover Cancun” showcases the cultural, archaeologic and adventurous experiences available to travelers.
While it’s impossible to predict where and when a natural disaster, virus outbreak or terrorist attack will happen, it’s not impossible to have a strategic plan in place that will empower destination marketing organizations (DMO) to mitigate the impact to local tourism during and after a crisis. Here are a few things to keep in mind.