Travel Marketing 101: Everything You Need to Know

People are ready to travel. Where, when, and how varies as much as the individual. Passion, timing, and budgets lead the way. A smart media strategy, combined with evocative storytelling, will transport consumers to your destination.

Top Travel Industry Trends (2022–2025)

Again, how and where we travel varies, just as much as the destinations themselves. Below are just a few ways people are traveling. Understanding who is traveling where—and why—will inform strategies and personalization.

  1. Travelers Go it Alone: 25% of all American millennials plan to travel by themselves each year.
  2. Travelers Crave Local Experiences: The “experience economy” is huge in the travel industry. Consumers crave authentic experiences that distance them from mainstream tourism.
  3. Going Virtual: For consumers who want to sample and learn about different places without leaving their homes, there’s the alternative of booking a private tour and activity with locals around the world virtually, and viewing in the metaverse.
  4. Bucket List Travel: Always wanted to see an Emperor Penguin? There’s a cruise for that. Interested in seeing the beaches of Normandy? There’s a personal tour guide for that. Chances are the journey for these experiences starts with a recommendation from a friend and a good old-fashioned Google search to get the lay of the land.
  5. Business and Leisure Travel: Working remotely can mean Italy as much as Hoboken. The concept of being location-independent— traveling and working remotely— has become a new mainstay post-pandemic. In turn, digital nomads are searching for locations and deals on where to work and play.
  6. Sustainable Travel: Most U.S. travelers believe there aren’t enough options when it comes to sustainable travel. Nearly 70% of travelers say they are more likely to book accommodations if they know the property is planet-friendly.


Travel Industry Trends Resources:
Generational Marketing
2023 Marketing Trends and Predictions


Essential Travel and Tourism Marketing Strategies

One of the best travel marketing tips to keep in mind is that most customers are not really paying for products or services in their minds. They are paying for experiences. As with nearly all businesses, technology presents the travel industry with seemingly endless opportunities to connect with customers. Below are just a few way brands are getting noticed:

Video Marketing

In the travel industry, videos have long been an indispensable marketing tool. They show off destinations and hospitality businesses in their full glory. Travel marketers that lean into video creation—and that doesn’t have to equal big budget productions—will forge connections with target audiences. Digital video is an amazing way for brands to educate, elicit emotion, and tell compelling stories.

OTT Marketing Reaches Viewers with Non-Skippable Video 


Virtual Reality Experiences—The Metaverse and You:

It’s the ultimate test vacation. The metaverse can transport you just about anywhere and no passport is required. Like what you see? Post an offer and start planning. While still in the early stages, the tourism industry is already making the jump in the virtual reality (VR) world. Over the past few years, museums have introduced more creative ways to interact with exhibits and some have even taken consumers on pub crawls. Thomas Cook, a pioneer in the travel and tourism industry for more than 170 years, is using 360 VR films so travelers can test the waters of Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt and more. And if you’re trying to reach Gen Z, they’re here and they’re ready to go places.

Blog: AI in Travel Marketing

Augmented Reality Enhances Real-World Settings

AR, or augmented reality, differs slightly from virtual reality. AR uses apps and overlays to create an experience and show additions to a particular setting. Travel companies can use this to advantage by using AR to transport and showcase their offerings.


Content Marketing and Native Advertising

Few things combine time and place to greater effect than native advertising. It’s the ultimate storytelling device, empowering marketers to say exactly what they want to say and where. A good magazine ad or digital native advertising piece will take the shape of an article—for example, by showcasing a vineyard in Napa on the cover of Travel + Leisure or a video highlighting the beaches of Mexico within a surfing site. The creative will transport viewers, and hopefully a nicely placed call-to-action leads to a website that will give audiences more of the information they seek.

A few native advertising tips:

  • Create content that encourages the reader to act
  • Know how you’re going to measure results: what is it that you want user to do after they read your article or play your video?
  • Try to be original. If you are one of several players trying to host destination weddings, why should they pick you? Are you offering a special incentive code?
  • Be authentic. Be real. Native content is storytelling, not overt advertising. It isn't directly selling, per se, but rather sparking ideas.
  • Find a fit: Be mindful of where you’re running your creative and complement the space. It’s a curated audience you’re being seen in, so make the most of it.

Move Consumers from Awareness to Action with Native Ads


Digital Audio

For many, the first step to a journey is “hey Siri,” "ok Google," or “Alexa,” so it’s little surprise that increasingly travelers (and potential travelers) are turning to devices to book hotels or flights, and learn more about excursions and dining experiences. Markers can optimize content to capitalize on voice searches.

Free E-Book: Digital Audio Advertising Dominates


Personalized Messaging Enhances Customer Experience

The goal of effective advertising is to personalize messaging so it's as relevant and beneficial to the recipient as possible. If a travel brand is targeting a young family, it makes sense to highlight the activities for minors. If trying to become a bachelor or bachelorette destination, it may make sense to include in your ad the customized experiences available to enhance their stay (and perhaps a discount code). Leading with a customer-centric perspective distinguishes brands, creates affinity, and earns loyalty.



Data Draws the Big Picture: Big Data in the Travel Industry

The importance of data analytics to drive performance and ROI cannot be overstated and data visualization platforms play an important role in this. They—quite literally—provide a big picture of how all elements in any particular ad campaign are performing. Operators, in turn, can use this information to see what creative is performing strongest, and which platforms are driving the most visit to optimize performance.

Gathering the data enables travel and tourism entities to discern data sets and maximize budgets. Data visualization platforms, such as MNI’s industry-praised Optics, gives advertisers the ability to evaluate key metrics and optimize ROI.

  • Engagement rate: How are people engaging with your content? Are they commenting, saving, and sharing, or merely scrolling past? If you have a million followers but only 1,000 interact with your marketing, that is not a great return on your effort.
  • Targeting/Retargeting: Are your ads reaching new audiences and are you using data to re-engage potential leads or customers who leave your website without converting? Retargeting ads are designed to help advertisers reach visitors who do not convert right away. These campaigns are effective because they allow advertisers to target engaged customers with a highly relevant ad. Retargeting delivers strong results for increased awareness, website traffic, and conversion rate.
  • Putting it all together: Let the picture of what you see tell you where you want to go, where you should be spending more, what ads you should optimize. For the effort that your business is putting into collecting and maintaining a database, you should be able to obtain an equal or greater amount of value from the insights it gathers. 

Employing data visualization is now a necessity. Download our new e-book and see why.

Get Started with Travel Marketing Today

Attitudes to travel are a moving target. Whether traveling for business or leisure, going by air or train or car, the desire to travel is real. Telling your target audience how you will be providing value and keeping them safe is essential. Step #1, know your audience. Step #2, connect with them. Step #3, embrace a multi-channel strategy. To do this, it’s incumbent to keep up to date with the very latest travel marketing strategies and to partner with those that do it best.

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