By ExecEdge Editorial Staff
According to the U.S Travel Association, total travel spend in April of 2022 was $100 billion, 3% above 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. As consumers itch to get back into travel, it’s no wonder bookings are on the rise. In fact, AdTheorent found that consumer interest in travel may be at an all-time high with 57% of 2022 travelers considering themselves “Revenge Travelers,” classified as people making up for lost time traveling due to 2+ years of travel restrictions/limitations caused by the pandemic.
The newly released AdTheorent Travel Advertising Trends Report from AdTheorent (Nasdaq: ADTH) identifies key trends related to consumers’ interaction with digital advertising during the travel journey, as well as the importance of proper targeting and ad relevance. As competition for travelers’ strapped budgets continues to increase, advertisers and marketers must optimize interactions with consumers throughout their journey, by reaching them where they are with timely, relevant content.
AdTheorent’s Report examines the impact of various immersive advertising creative formats in researching and booking travel, transportation and lodging, as well as consumer booking timeframes. Additionally, the Report highlights emerging travel styles, preferred payment methods, key motivators and considerations for travelers when evaluating vacation destinations, as well as holiday travel research and booking trends.
“AdTheorent’s Travel Advertising Trends Report shows that consumer interest in travel has rebounded enthusiastically, and that properly targeted and well-executed digital advertising can be a key driver of consideration and booking for travel brands such as destinations, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, restaurants, attractions and more,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of AdTheorent. “At AdTheorent, we use privacy-forward machine learning and data science to drive superior digital ad campaign performance for travel brands – measured by tangible business outcomes such as travel bookings, online and offline sales, as well as deep-funnel site actions. We commissioned this research by the Harris Poll to gain consumer-provided insights into travel decisioning and bookings to further inform client strategies and we are excited to share the results.”
With more than 4 in 5 travelers (83%) in 2022 planning to splurge on travel expenses this year, it is a critical time for travel marketers to gain consumer mind share and wallet-share. Additional findings note that relevant or tailored ads create brand equity for a travel company and drive increased visitation to travel destinations. Conversely, irrelevant ads can have the opposite effect, causing consumers to have a less favorable opinion of the travel company, and making them less likely to visit a destination.
DIGITAL DEVICES LEAD THE WAY: Digital dominates the travel journey and the majority of travelers have booked a vacation because of ads, with digital ads proving most effective. A majority of travelers overall (defined as those who have been on a vacation that required at least one overnight stay) use digital devices to research (82%) and book (77%) their trips, and they are using digital devices for everything from lodging to activities.
TAILORED ADVERTISING WORKS: Relevant and personalized ads drive positive opinions and bookings.
- 72%: Receiving an advertisement that is relevant or tailored to me (i.e., personalized based on things like location, travel history, preferences, etc.) from a travel company would make me more likely to visit the destination being advertised.
- 56%: Receiving a random advertisement that is not relevant to me from a travel company would cause me to have a less favorable opinion of that company.
- 69%: Receiving an advertisement that is relevant or tailored to me (i.e., personalized based on things like location, travel history, preferences, etc.) from a travel company would cause me to have a more favorable opinion of that company.
- 53%: Receiving a random advertisement that is not relevant to me from a travel company would make me less likely to visit the destination being advertised.
NEW TRAVEL STYLES ARE EMERGING: Travelers are interested in new types of travel as well as emerging technologies.
Travelers are interested in the following types of travel:
- 79%: Microcation (i.e., a short leisure getaway, no more than 4 nights)
- 69%: Second city travel (i.e., traveling off the beaten path, swapping a destination for a lesser known but similar alternative)
- 67%: Ancestry travel (i.e., visiting a destination based on family history/roots)
- 67%: Cash-free travel (i.e., traveling without cash)
- 54%: Solo travel (i.e., going on vacation alone)
- 54%: Motion-based travel (i.e., trips that involve motion and physical activities such as biking or cycle-based trips, bike to boat vacations, swim tours, etc.)
- 54%: Eco tourism (i.e., travel that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people including carbon credits when booking a flight, renting an electric vehicle, volunteering, etc.)
- 51%: Group retreat travel (i.e., wellness retreat, corporate retreat, music festival)
- 46%: Bleisure travel (i.e., combining business and leisure travel in one trip)
These surveys were conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of AdTheorent on November 10-12, 2021 across 2,039 US adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,873 were travelers; and May 17-19, 2022 across 2,015 US adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,691 were 2022 travelers and 1,578 are holiday travelers. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.
To view and download the AdTheorent Travel Advertising Trends Report, please visit: info.adtheorent.com/travel-trends