LATAM Airlines, which operates flights to and from Latin America, was looking to secure their position as the trusted airline for South American travel. Though they have flight routes all over Latin America, they narrowed in their sights on Lima, the capital and largest city of Peru, and Cusco, another Peruvian city known for its archaeological remains, to feature as travel destinations.
We all know that acquiring a new customer costs more than nurturing an existing one, which is why developing a loyal base of customers is crucial to many brands. This is especially true in the travel and hospitality space where people are looking for a dependable experience regardless of where in the world they are. In hospitality alone, 37 percent of consumers show a high level of loyalty to the hotel where they stay.
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:
National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), now in its 34th year, is the annual salute to travel in America spearheaded by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA). Travel is an industry that not only is an indispensable source of American jobs, but is one of the strongest, bringing in $2.3 trillion for the U.S. economy, as reported by the USTA. The U.S. travel industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has recovered far faster than other economic sectors since 2008. Spending by travelers everywhere in the U.S., which currently totals over $947 billion annually, supports 15.3 million American jobs. That’s one in nine Americans whose employment depends upon plenty of travelers visiting and exploring the U.S.
Many of our U.S. marketing partners share a similar goal, to reach and engage travelers and often to drive travel and tourism. By creating digital marketing campaigns for brands and destinations across our global network of Expedia Inc. brands, we reach an active network of travelers to bring this objective to reality. In celebration of NNTW, we want to share a ‘Face’ of our Expedia Media Solutions team who created an award-winning campaign with a significant partner to drive awareness and tourism in the U.S.
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.
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.
This week at ITB in Berlin, we had the pleasure of presenting our annual partner awards to campaigns launched in EMEA that demonstrate innovation, creativity and achievement in travel marketing. The partner awards recognize campaigns that leverage media solutions across travel marketing categories, and include the following recipients this year.
Last fall, VisitBritain showcased the amazing moments that could only be experienced in Great Britain through a that included the “365 Days of #OMGB” content platform. Now, as a part of our multi-year partnership, we’re unveiling the next iteration: an innovative, new video player which is the first ever to utilize a smartphone’s gyroscope and compass as a way for users to navigate and engage with inspiring destination content.
Imagine hopping on a fixed mountain bike and riding through the majestic landscapes of Sedona. While donning a virtual reality (VR) headset at the Cubs Convention Chicago, that’s exactly what people in Chicago got to experience without even leaving their state.