Finally Joins Major Hotel Chains in Book on TripAdvisor – Skift

Trip Advisor

“A Skift take”’s participation in Book on TripAdvisor is a major win for TripAdvisor, which launched its Instant Booking product a couple of years ago and was slow to get hotels, and especially big online travel agencies to join. The U.S. Justice Department was correct, during the Expedia-Orbitz merger review, to see TripAdvisor Instant Booking as an emerging player to heighten competition.

By Dennis Schaal: Skift

Source & Read more: Finally Joins Major Hotel Chains in Book on TripAdvisor – Skift

3 Marketing Lessons From The Top Travel Brand Videos On Social

Digital video is taking off as a marketing tool, and brands are using it in more and more creative ways on social media. For travel brands – which can benefit from showcasing the visual elements of the experiences they offer – it’s especially important to have a strong video strategy.

Source: 3 Marketing Lessons From The Top Travel Brand Videos On Social 08/31/2015

Digital video is taking off as a marketing tool, and brands are using it in more and more creative ways on social media. For travel brands — which can benefit from showcasing the visual elements of the experiences they offer — it’s especially important to have a strong video strategy.

We researched the videos travel brands posted to Facebook that received the most likes, comments, and shares so far in 2015. A few clear themes emerged over and over again, giving us some insight into what makes an engaging travel video. Here are the creative marketing lessons we learned from the most engaging videos.

Tap into experiences everyone values

In the beginning of the year, Singapore Airlines created a video around something everyone can relate to: New Year’s resolutions. The footage takes a look at different groups of people and their resolutions that relate to travel. (For example, one man wants to take his family on their first family vacation ever, one woman wanted to take a solo trip, and so on). Singapore Airlines paid for their trips and documented their experiences. Much of the footage was filmed using GoPro-type devices, which gives the video a more personal vibe.

The video works especially well because it’s about something that’s consistent with an airlines brand. New Year’s resolutions are a common experience for people and travel is often a part of them. Singapore Airlines was clear about their involvement in each group’s trip, which works well because people value transparency. The video received roughly 105,000 interactions and 218,000 views. (That’s nearly one interaction for every two views.) It’s the fourth most-engaging video from a travel brand so far this year.

Give your audience an inside scoop

In February, KLM released a video demonstrating how autopilot on planes works. It gives viewers an inside look into the cockpit and the procedure of flying from the pilot’s perspective — all the way from takeoff to landing. The video got shared on Facebook nearly 30,000 times and was viewed over 2.2 million times. It’s the eighth most-engaging travel video this year.

The reason this video works so well is that it taps into an area of people’s imagination. Fans love to get the inside scoop into what’s going on, and they appreciate feeling like they get to access something that had been inaccessible before. That’s one of the reasons why, for example, the McDonald’s video earlier this year showing how their fries are made got a lot of attention.

Overproduction isn’t always necessary

Not every video needs the planning and precision of a full-length feature film. Social is a great place to share real things that are happening. When overproduction happens, brands can often appear ingenuine and out of touch. Sometimes, the best videos can come out of filming real people experiencing real things.

In June, Virgin Atlantic uploaded a video of a surprise they gave passengers on a Detroit flight: Richard Branson and the Virgin Atlantic team arranged for the cast of Motown the Musical to perform in the aisles in celebration of the airline’s new Detroit service. The light-hearted video gives us a glimpse into the performance and the reactions of the passengers.

It’s clear this surprise was enjoyed by more than just the passengers on the flight; it received over 86,000 interactions and was viewed almost four million times. It ranks seventh on the list of top engaging travel videos on Facebook this year.

Perhaps the best feature of a strong video strategy is being dynamic. Travel brands can approach online video in many different ways. They have a huge opportunity to showcase visual content since it’s so closely tied to their industry. It’s important for travel brands to keep exploring to figure out which ideas are a hit and which are a miss, and they should continue to test out videos on social in new ways to continue connecting with their audiences. In order to succeed in the eyes of consumers, they must be willing to explore meaningful experiences and share openly with their audiences.

Easyjet launches major brand campaign to celebrate 20th birthday | Marketing Magazine

Easyjet is turning 20 and, speaking exclusively to Marketing about the launch campaign, marketing lead Peter Duffy said it wanted to showcase people’s own travel journey over the years towards what it now calls ‘Generation Easyjet’.

Source: Easyjet launches major brand campaign to celebrate 20th birthday | Marketing Magazine

Easyjet is turning 20 and, speaking exclusively to Marketing about the launch campaign, marketing lead Peter Duffy said it wanted to showcase people’s own travel journey over the years towards what it now calls ‘Generation Easyjet’.

Affordable travel as an enabler to let people do things they want to do is as relevant now as it was 20 years ago

In our need to quantify, catalogue, remember and reminisce, it feels as though there is always a birthday to celebrate or a special day to congratulate. Indeed, Ebay and the are both apparently celebrating their 20th year this year. But few can really claim a stake in behaviour change and, according to Peter Duffy, group commercial director of customer, product and marketing at Easyjet, that’s just what Easyjet are setting out to do in its birthday campaign.

According to Duffy, the brand started by asking customers whether there was any relevancy in celebrating. “We did research with customers to ask ‘was it even relevant to talk about our birthday or do self congratulatory work?’ What we found is that consumers really recognised the journey as a metaphor for their own travel journey.”

“They realised that there was a time before when travel was expensive and it was hard to get to the places you can get to today. What it’s done is changed the way we travel for anyone that uses Europe. You can now decide to drop into Nice or Budapest or Moscow, or even Leeds,  Edinburgh or Manchester,” he adds.

With a thumbs up from the customer, Easyjet is today launching a TV-led but multi channel brand campaign that aims to shine a light on people’s own travel journeys. Central to the messaging is the fact that, despite such a journey over the 20 years, the company still offers some flights for its original £29.99 price.

The birthday falls on 10th November and the company will host special events in key locations on that day, with a TV ad and digital work by VCCP promoting its landmark age launching from today.

If ever there was an inclusive brand, it’s us

The focal part of the social media activity will be asking customers to send in “iconic” images from their Easyjet travels over the years, which the company will print onto an Easyjet plane. It will also be running a curation-led content marketing effort by creating ‘top 20’ lists and guides for customers.

Duffy says that while he’s calling the campaign TV-led, he is keen to reiterate that video content is consumed by customers on the platforms they prefer. “When I think TV, I mean video content and people will receive that on whatever device they choose. Of course we’ll also [promote around] the Rugby World Cup and use digital to involve customers. If ever there was an inclusive brand, it’s us.”

But while Easyjet may have helped pioneer us towards a more mobile, travel-savvy nation or turned us into ‘Generation Easyjet’, the competition 20 years on is fierce.

“What’s interesting is that things are similar and some are different. Affordable travel as an enabler to let people do things they want to do is as relevant now as it was 20 years ago. It’s the industry that has shifted towards this way of doing things,” he says.

To stay relevant as a brand for the next 20 years, when the market will only get more competitive, Duffy says, “Consumers will decide with their feet. It will be a combination of being in leading airports, in the city and at affordable prices with great service. Our crew is famous for its attitude and that is our competitive advantage.”

New global retail study reveals consumer demand for new ways to pay

The world’s first retail focussed social listening study by MasterCard, highlights consumers desire for retailers to adopt new payment technologies

Source: New global retail study reveals consumer demand for new ways to pay

Shoppers around the world are demanding their retail experience is transformed, a study by MasterCard has revealed on the eve of this year’s World Retail Congress. Retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies, as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay, MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has uncovered.

In a world first, the MasterCard study in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.

The global social listening study identified some of the key trends within the shopping and retail space, in order to provide retailers with stronger insights and understanding of their audience. Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’.

Key findings identified from the MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study include:

  • Convenience through technology innovations: New payment innovations and launches into the payments market stirred up the most conversation, the study found. The emergence of new digital payments lead to the most positive conversations around convenience (77%) with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage. Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.
  • Being rewarded: Rewards and benefits for the consumer was the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail. Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards & benefits was most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly, such as with MasterCard’s Fare Free Friday’s in London.
  • Demand for increased acceptance: After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study. Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector. Fashion focussed shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as NFC acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.

In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the globally biggest social media platform when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.

Carlos Menendez, Executive Director for International Markets at MasterCard said;

“The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”

The Travel Marketing Store On Tour In Iran

Over the last few days Duncan from The Travel Marketing Store has been taking part in a four city conference tour on Digital Marketing in Tourism in Iran.  So far it has been difficult to get the time for him to report on the tripImam Reza Holy Mosque simply because the itinerary has been so packed.

Today he visited the Holy Shrine of the Iman Reza which is located in the largest Mosque in the world in Mashat.  Duncan stated “It was truly an incredible experience and we were overwhelmed by the hospitality and welcome that we received”.   The Mosque and shrine is visited by over 25 million pilgrims a year.

Duncan addImam Reza Holy Mosqueed, “It is clear after visiting Mashat and Tehran that the country is certainly excited about the lifting of sanctions and the potential to re-build its tourism economy which according to the WTTC was 25% of GDP.  Today it is only 2%.  Iran represents a significant opportunity for tourism development and inward investment in the infrastructure to make it happen.  It is a great privilege to be here so soon as the market re-opens and to build new friendships and business links”.

Last year very few Visas were issued to United Kingdom citizens but this is set to change with an agreement to mutually re-open consulates. The conference tour continues tomorrow in Tabriz.

More details of Duncan’s trip will follow in our blog.

International tourist arrivals up 4% in the first four months of 2015 | World Tourism Organization UNWTO

International tourist arrivals up 4% in the first four months of 2015 | World Tourism Organization UNWTO.

UNWTO logoInternational tourism demand continued to be robust between January and April 2015 with tourist arrivals increasing 4% worldwide according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Almost all regions enjoyed strong growth. Prospects for the May-August period remain upbeat, with close to 500 million tourists expected to travel abroad during these four months.

Destinations worldwide received some 332 million international tourists (overnight visitors) between January and April 2015, 14 million more than the same period last year, corresponding to an increase of 4%.

This result follows an increase of 4.3% in 2014 and consolidates the upwards trend of international tourism in recent years (+4.5% international tourist arrivals a year on average since 2010).

By region, the Americas (+6%) led growth, followed by Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East, all recording 4% to 5% more arrivals. By subregion, Oceania and South America boasted the strongest increase (both +8%), followed by the Caribbean and Central and Eastern Europe (both +7%), the latter rebounding from last year’s decline. In Africa, demand weakened in 2014 after years of solid growth, affected mainly by the Ebola outbreak among other challenges. Limited data currently available for January-April 2015 points to a 6% decline, as African destinations struggle to recover from the misperceptions affecting the continent.

“It is encouraging to see the tourism sector consolidating its excellent results despite security concerns and unrest in many parts of our world”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “This underscores that tourism is a surprisingly resilient economic sector which increasingly contributes to development in many countries around the globe. For national governments, it is a reminder that tourism can be part of the solution to foster socio-economic development and job creation”, he added.

Strong results across many destinations with a rebound in Central and Eastern Europe

In the Americas (+6%) all four subregions continued to enjoy significant growth in January-April 2015, led by South America (+8%) and the Caribbean (+7%). Strong outbound demand from the United States fuelled results as 20 million US tourists travelled abroad through April, 7% more than during the same period last year.

Asia and the Pacific (+4%) consolidated its growth of recent years, with Oceania (+8%) and North-East Asia (+5%) in the lead. South-East Asia (+3%) recorded moderate results this four-month period as the rebound in Thailand (+25%) was offset by declines in other destinations.

Europe, the world’s most visited region, enjoyed continued strength with international tourist arrivals growing by 5% through April. Arrivals in Central and Eastern Europe increased by 7%, rebounding on the poor results of 2014 following the conflict in Ukraine and the slowdown of the Russian economy. Southern Mediterranean Europe (+5%) maintained strong growth, though for many destinations these are low season months. Western Europe and Northern Europe both enjoyed a solid 4% increase in arrivals, partly due to good results in traditional winter sports destinations.

International tourist arrivals in the Middle East are estimated to be up by 4% through April, further continuing the region’s recovery which started in 2014 after three consecutive years of declines. Africa’s international tourist numbers, on the other hand, declined by an estimated 6% as a consequence of the decrease in arrivals to North Africa (-7%) as well as to sub-Saharan Africa (-5%). Figures for both Africa and the Middle East should be read with caution, as they are based on limited available data for these regions.

“The Ebola crisis in West Africa and the security concerns are serious challenges for Africa’s tourism and for the international community as a whole. We must work together in managing and overcoming these challenges and in supporting destinations for a prompt recovery. It is important to remember that tourism is the lifeline of many communities around the world and that we face today a global threat that affects all our societies”, said Mr. Rifai.

Optimistic prospects for the coming months

Close to 500 million tourists are estimated to travel abroad between May and August 2015, the Northern Hemisphere holiday peak season, a total that accounts for some 41% of all international tourist arrivals registered in a year.

According to the latest results of the UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index, prospects for this period continue to be bullish and are the highest for this period since the pre-crisis year 2007. The sentiment is positive among all regions and areas of activity.

Business intelligence tool ForwardKeys also shows healthy growth in international air travel reservations for May-August 2015. Overall bookings are up 5% thanks to strong demand for domestic air travel (+7%) and continued growth in international travel (+4%). By region, air reservations increased most in Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Europe, while reservations to and from Africa and the Middle East are weaker.

According to the forecast issued by UNWTO in January this year, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 3% to 4% for the full year 2015, in line with UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% a year for the period 2010 to 2020.

Please note that results presented here reflect preliminary data reported to date and are subject to revision.

Relevant links:

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, including excerpt with tables on international tourism arrivals per world region for free download

UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2015 Edition (free download)

Infographic: International Tourism in 2014 (International Tourist Arrivals and International Tourism Receipts) (pdf)

Infographic: Why Tourism Matters (pdf)

Back to basics – ten tips for travel search marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Back to basics – ten tips for travel search marketing [INFOGRAPHIC].

Hanapin Marketing, a UK-based agency which works with a number of travel and tourism brands, has produced a rather handy, back-to-basics guide to search marketing in the travel industry.

(click image or here for a larger version)

hanapin infographic 550px

TripAdvisor will offer a million dollar digital marketing campaign to PATA CEO Challenge winners

pata logoEmerging tourism destinations have an unprecedented opportunity to boost their digital marketing campaigns, thanks to a collaborative venture between the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and TripAdvisor.

The PATA CEO Challenge offers two prizes, each valued at US$500,000, for regional, state and province tourism organisations, and secondary and tertiary cities that are able to demonstrate the uniqueness and authenticity of their heritage, customs, culture and natural beauty to local and international travellers. Awards valued at US$500,000 will be presented to the winners of each category: States, regions and provinces; and second-tier/third-tier cities.

Trip AdvisorThe winning organisations will work with dedicated teams from TripAdvisor to create unforgettable digital marketing campaigns that showcase their destinations to global stakeholders.“The PATA CEO Challenge is gathering momentum and we are receiving enquiries and entries from a very broad spectrum of new and emerging destinations. This is a remarkable opportunity to work with TripAdvisor’s digital marketing experts,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “We have received many enquiries from organisations in mainland China and to assist them we are accepting entries in Simplified Chinese.”“Travellers around the world are always on the lookout for places to discover and explore.

By participating in the PATA CEO Challenge, emerging destinations will have the opportunity to showcase their unique destination to TripAdvisor’s global travel community,” said Sarah Mathews, Head of Destination Marketing, APAC at TripAdvisor. “We look forward to receiving even more creative entries as the deadline draw near.” Deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 1, 2015. The awards will be presented at the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London on November 2, when the guest of honour will be UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai

via TripAdvisor will offer a million dollar digital marketing campaign to PATA CEO Challenge winners.

The secrets of digital travel ad targeting » ClickZ UK

The secrets of digital travel ad targeting » ClickZ UK.

Ahead of StrategyEye’s Future of Travel event on Wednesday 2nd September, Stephen Tayor, vice president and managing director of travel ad platform Sojern, talks through the do’s and don’ts of targeting consumers in digital travel.

The Future of Travel, at The Escalator in East London, will feature keynote speeches from Expedia, Hostelworld and Sojern along with five-minute pitches from start-ups including Hostmaker, Tripster and Triptease. Click here for more information24.

What is Sojurn’s primary focus?

We place ourselves firmly in the middle of marketing, advertising and travel technology. We’re a business that specialises 100% in the travel sector. The digital environment for travel is huge. Making sense of it all and helping the big travel brands communicate with the right person at the right time, in the right way, is what we aim to do.

We collect and aggregate huge volumes of anonymous travel intent data by working with companies like airlines and meta search companies.

What is changing in the way consumers are doing their own research?

The power that has gone to consumers is incredible. There is such a proliferation of information available, which is the reason why we exist. Online travel agencies are appearing such as HotelTonight, TripAdviser and Airbnb. Where I book, how I book, when I book – if you’re a hotel, how on earth do they reach the right client? That’s the problem we try and help solve for the big travel brands. The proliferation just means it’s a very exciting time, and on the brand side of it, it all comes down to use of data. With our data you can see when people are booking their flight, this is when they are travelling, and using that data a brand can work out when the right time is to talk to them. The data is invaluable.

What’s the key to targeting the right customer?

It comes down to the quality of the data you use and how you deploy it. Generic retargeting to everybody, which goes on a lot, is the worst rule of data marketing. Trying to sell something to someone that they just chose not to buy is stupid, Bombarding people with ads is irritating. The key is better and better data. If someone hasn’t bought something there is a reason, so you need to use the next level of data.

For example, give them options – we know for example that a certain person was searching for Chicago as well as New York, so offer them that as a flight option. Retargeting can be incredibly powerful, but the vast majority is wasted. It’s not a trivial problem to solve.

What are the key trends you see emerging in digital travel in the different markets?

We are in the US and Europe and we are expanding because the majority of travel companies exist all over the world. We are being pulled by our European clients into the Middle East, so Dubai is incredibly important for us. Then there was a pull into Asia Pacific through Singapore – Singapore itself is a natural travel hub and gateway to the rest of Asia. Singapore and Dubai are investing huge amounts of their GDP into travel products.

There are big differences between markets. The US is a phenomenal business market for us, but the vast majority is domestic travel. London, however, is an international market. The data targeting therefore needs to be a lot more granular. Germany is a market where travel agents are still prominent and going strong. Asia Pacific, where we are still learning our way, it is a market that is changing the whole time, and everybody is adjusting there, there is a fast growing middle class, and many affluent customers to target. It used to be about Japan, but now China is driving growth. Each market has very distinct travel patterns and you need to suss them out.

Find out more and learn how to attend The Future of Travel here.

The Week in Travel Stats: Learn Where Your Clients Could Be Headed Next | Travel Agent Central

The Week in Travel Stats: Learn Where Your Clients Could Be Headed Next | Travel Agent Central.

From last-minute summer road trips to a look at which destinations are trending right now, the week in travel stats provided a good glimpse into what’s hot in travel for the rest of the year.

U.S., Spain Top Most-Searched Destinations in Q2

This week travel marketing platform Sojern released a look at the most-searched destinations of the second quarter of 2015, an indicator of where travelers are looking to book at the moment.

The United States and Spain were the most-searched destinations, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Portugal, Turkey, Greece and Russia. The latter re-entered the list after a quarter’s hiatus, replacing Thailand.




Beyond the top 10, here are the destinations that captured the most traveler interest by region since summer 2014:

In North America, Haiti moved up 34 ranks since summer 2014, after experiencing a dramatic decline in tourism in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, followed by Iceland, up 11 spots.

For travelers from Western Europe, Cuba pushed up 12 places to position 41, thanks to a lot of media attention and the detente with the U.S. Czech Republic, Iceland and Romania each moved seven places up in the ranking.

In Latin America, Aruba’s appeal increased over last year, pushing it up 11 spots, followed, by Hungary, up 10 spots. The latter is one of the more affordable European destinations, as a non-Eurozone country.

In Southeast Asia, Bangladesh moved up eight spots and Qatar seven since summer 2014.

For travelers from the Middle East, Sudan gained the most popularity (up 24 spots), followed closely by Bosnia and Herzegovina (21 spots), a country which the World Tourism Organization estimates will have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world by 2020.

Read more

Top Restaurants for Last-Minute Summer Road Trips

Even as we head into August, clients could still be looking to take one last summer road trip. OpenTable has released its 2015 Summer Road Trip Restaurant Guide highlighting top eateries for your clients to visit.







Compiled by OpenTable insiders across the nation, the guide highlights culinary destinations along some of the country’s most popular road trip routes.

The OpenTable 2015 Summer Road Trip Restaurant Guide includes more than 100 restaurants, from Grace in Portland, Maine, to Meriwether’s Restaurant & Skyline Farm in Portland, Oregon. OpenTable’s regional teams around the United States curated the guide.

Source: OpenTable

1 in 4 Business Travelers Can’t Use Ride Share Services

This week also saw a flurry of research into the world of business travel from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention 2015.

As part of a panel discussion at the event, the GBTA Foundation released a new report on the future of ground transportation in the sharing economy. Key takeaway: With one in four business travelers barred from using new ride share services, rental cars and taxis remain the most commonly used methods of ground transportation among business travelers.


“Our research shows one in four (24 percent) travel buyers say their company does not allow their business travelers to use ride-sharing companies, by far the highest percentage for any form of ground transportation,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. “In addition, a large number of companies still have not adopted policies around ride-sharing companies, revealing a need for education about the benefits and the risks. GBTA hopes this study is the start to closing that knowledge gap and we welcome an open and constructive dialogue on this topic.”

Read more

Business Travel Spending to Hit Record High of $1.25 Trillion in 2015

Another report from the GBTA Convention brought some good news for business travel. Driven by a surge in China, business travel spending is expected to hit a record high of $1.25 trillion in 2015.


Despite recent economic turbulence, China business travel will increase by 61 percent over the next five years, from $261 billion in 2014 to $420 billion in 2019. That increase is greater than the increases in business travel growth in the next 8 largest countries combined, including the U.S., Germany, India, U.K., Indonesia, France, Turkey and Japan.

“Despite recent economic speedbumps, China will pull away as the global leader in business travel over the next five years,” said McCormick. “On the horizon, we’ve identified five nations that are also seeing extraordinary growth and could very well turn into the business travel markets of the future. Another market to watch is India, which is statistically where China was 15 years ago.”