State of Wi-Fi Report Shows Rapid Expansion of In-Flight Internet Service – Skift

An annual report from Routehappy reveals that in-flight Internet is a rapidly growing commodity among global airlines and that across adoption, American carriers are leading the way.

60 carriers around the world now offer in flight Internet, up from 52 last year.  As a result, passengers can expect to find connectivity on about 36% of miles flown around the globe.

Higher quality internet connections are also on the rise according to Jason Rabinowitz, Routehappy’s data manager.

Last year, connections capable of streaming video only accounted for 1% of all miles flown while this year that percentage jumped to 6%. Medium and slow speed connections in this year’s study accounted for 53% and 41% of miles flown respectively where flights had internet. A medium connection defined in this report is capable of full web browsing and some media streaming while a slow connection can only handle basic web-based tasks like email.

That adoption of higher speed internet should further improve though 2016 as a new batch communication technology reaches the market. Gogo’s 2KU service, launched last year, provides transfer speeds of up to 70 Mb/s and is currently being installed across numerous aircraft and carriers. Inmarsat, a largely European solution, is also now coming online.

In terms of general Wi-Fi adoption, the report also found that American carriers seem to be leading the rest of the world, no doubt driven by the ultra-connected user base. Delta, United, and American Airlines (in that order) lead the world in airline seat miles with Wi-Fi capable aircraft, while carriers like Virgin America have their entire fleets outfitted with internet capability.

For passengers flying long haul routes, however, the legacy U.S. carriers aren’t necessarily the best bet. Emirates, which outfits many of its long haul routes on Wi-Fi equipped jumbo jets operates nearly double the number of miles that the next carrier does, while Lufthansa has 100% of its long haul fleet equipped with service. The best legacy carrier for inflight Wi-Fi was measured to be United Airlines.

Routehappy’s full dataset can be found over on its site.

Below is an infographic with the highlights.

Source: State of Wi-Fi Report Shows Rapid Expansion of In-Flight Internet Service – Skift

Prepare for ‘book now’ on Instagram! It’s the social platform taking travel by storm | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

When Instagram launched back in 2010, it seemed like a great idea. By September 2011 it had 10m users and it wasn’t long before Facebook had spotted this fast-growing visually driven opportunity. By April 2012, Instagram had been drawn into the Facebook-fold and has been pretty unstoppable ever since.

According to EyeforTravel recent research, the fast-growing social platform has 400 million monthly users, up by around 25% on the previous year. Another stand out number of the research is that 60% of travel companies today are including Instagram in their marketing mix, putting it behind only Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn.

60% include Instagram in their marketing mix

95% the number of marketers using Facebook

75% of brands incorporate social content directly onto their brand website

Source: EyeforTravel

Given how much travellers love to take snaps and how shareable Instagram had made this, not to Facebook’s vested interest, this isn’t surprising.  However, there are some interesting developments on the horizon. According to James Quarles, Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram: “Inspiring people to ‘Book Now’ on Instagram is already being adopted by the industry, including major hotel brands and airlines.”

The results, he adds, “are promising”.

Battling it out for marketing dollars

While it comes as no surprise that Facebook is the clear winner in the battle for marketing dollars (95% of marketers today use it), a number of newer networks are making inroads – Pinterest, Vimeo, Foursquare and Tumblr all make the top 10.

“Imagery is a critical part of the travel decision-making process and our research, which shows the rise of a number of sites specialising in photos and video, bears this out,” says Alex Hadwick, head of research at EyeforTravel.

How brands are spending their marketing dollars

Looking ahead, this points to growing opportunities for travel companies to engage in more direct marketing to consumers through social media channels. “They are also now able to close the loop, with several of these sites adding ‘buy buttons’ that can redirect to a brand’s booking pages,” says Hadwick.

The incorporation of travel companies onto social media is also happening in reverse, with brands placing social media directly onto their brand websites. Over three-quarters of those surveyed report that they incorporate social media content onto their websites already, and nearly half host blogs and videos.

Source: Prepare for ‘book now’ on Instagram! It’s the social platform taking travel by storm | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

Up-close with Expedia’s fast-growing ad agency – Tnooz

Little has been written about Expedia Media Solutions, the small but fast-growing advertising agency arm of the online travel giant Expedia. In 2015, the division is estimated to have generated about $200 million in revenue. That’s pocket change for the Bellevue, Wash.,-based parent company, which earned nearly $2 billion in the third quarter of last year alone.

Yet Expedia Media Solutions — or MeSo, as it’s known internally — is notable for its solid growth. The division had a 23% annualized growth rate on a nine-month, trailing period, as of the third-quarter, according to a Tnooz analysis of the parent company’s filings, which was corroborated by Kevin Kopelman, director of research at investment firm Cowen and Company. (Expedia declined to break out official numbers for this story.)

Fractured market

Expedia Media Solutions helps clients — primarily travel ones, such as hotels, airlines, and tourism boards — by creating and running ad campaigns aimed at boosting bookings, visitor numbers, and awareness. In a rare competitive advantage, it knows how much value a client earns from an ad because the bulk of its ads link-in to Expedia-owned brands, where it can measure changes in demand and user behaviour before, during, and after a campaign.

A hotel chain, for instance, could see if a sponsored listing in search results generated meaningful returns in room-night growth or if a brand campaign coincided with a lift in intention-to-buy among consumers. Expedia Media Solutions is notable for its attempt to bring enterprise-scale solutions and thinking to travel marketing — a sector that might be broadly described as being small-bore, fractured, and still heavily analogue. Director of product management Wendy Olson Killion noted in an interview:“

For hotel franchises, for example, there are different budgets: there are national budgets, local budgets, regional budgets. You’ll see regional travel groups, maybe a certain set of hotels, or brands of hotels in a location.”

Similarly, the destination marketing organization (DMO) side is practically a cottage industry of boutique advertising agencies, small publishers (such as travel magazines), and tourism officials. In short, travel marketing at the ad-unit level is not an obvious hunting grounds for an enterprise-scale company like Expedia.

Expedia Media Solutions has had to fight an island-by-island campaign to gain market share. It has made gains recently by adding several high-profile clients, such as Tourism Australia last June. It has done work for the destination marketing organizations of Britain, Denmark, Dubai, and the Netherlands.

Despite the big clients, Expedia Media Solutions said it is “well equipped to help the individual small supplier.” Matthew Reichek, senior director of product and analytics, cited this hypothetical example:

“If I own a B&B in Worcester, Mass., let’s say, and you represent a big chain across town, you and I can compete on a level footing using our TravelAds product…. “I can have a thousand dollars to spend, you can have a hundred thousand dollars to spend, yet if I bid more than you for certain targeting parameters, I’m going to get the positioning I want for those targeted customers until I hit my budget and you won’t, provided all the other things are equal.”

Simplicity is another factor that the division touts. A client can also come speak to one sales person to target a broad spectrum of types of travelers worldwide.

Sharper targeting

Just because it works at an enterprise scale doesn’t mean that Expedia’s ad agency arm takes a one-size-fits-all approach, said division head and global senior vice-president Noah Tratt:

“We are pretty good about identifying the nuances in people’s goals and building campaigns that are customized. We use our research and analytics to inform your creative; how much content you need to invest in; the pitch, your approach. We can target based on a lot of activity that people do on Expedia and then we can layer on other kinds of targeting variables as well.”

“For example, clients can request ads be displayed to specific demographics in specific geographic locations who are using particular types of devices and exhibiting particular types of search behaviour.”

“If I’m marketing, say, Holland to a Brazilian or to an American or someone from the People’s Republic of China, we know from booking behaviour that visitors from those destinations are going to come for a lot longer, on average, than ones from, say, the United Kingdom and Germany.”

“We would tailor our campaign for a destination according to our research from booking data on each target nationality’s typical behaviour and interests.”

Shaking up destination marketing

Expedia Media Solutions thinks it has a few competitive advantages over its boutique ad agency rivals. It said that it excels at enabling a DMO to target customers across Expedia-branded sites that match its preferred customer profile. Other shift-share reporting services can tell any given tourism board what its competitive set looks like. But Expedia’s reports may be more comprehensive than its competitors’ are when analysing at the ad-unit-level behaviours like click-through rates and impressions.

An official in, say, Macau, could choose to specifically display ads to, say, Canadians in a city whose travel buyers have recently shown a disproportionate interest in searching and buying flights to Macau and its competitors.

Reichek added:

“Targeting may sound kind of antiseptic, but if you talk about intention-based advertising, that’s what we’re doing, because, when users come to our site, they conduct certain activities that are expressing intention, where they want to go and what they’re interested doing, and you can divine a lot of meaning from that.”

Source: Up-close with Expedia’s fast-growing ad agency – Tnooz

Obvious personalisation – Big Data to organise travel around the weather

Personalisation (you really can’t get away from the word these days) comes in many forms, but sometimes the most simple application of it can potentially provide the biggest rewards.

So whilst travel brands figure out how they can slice and dice the mountains of data which is now captured about a customer over time, it is actually an external factor that has a huge influence on travel purchasing decisions.

From a leisure travel perspective, what the weather is likely to be in a destination is hugely important.

This is obvious – but how many travel brands go beyond just providing an online chart that will indicate if the average temperature and precipitation are likely to be best for the beach or for visiting museums? And how many then tie that into their marketing and content strategy? Probably very few.

Step forward DigitalMeteo, a ten-year-old data science organisation from Spain which is run by meteorologists and has a Big Data-led idea for the travel industry.

The company argues that, firstly, travel brands are missing out on ensuring their travellers are armed with the right information about the weather in a destination, but more importantly, how metrological data can then be used to target new customers through marketing and web content.

Furthermore, matching the weather patterns with the data from user profiles so companies have an opportunity to then have a relationship with the customer that arguably hits at the heart of the personalisation conundrum: relevancy.

So how does it work?

Speaking during the FITURTech event in Madrid, Spain, this week, DigitalMeteo CEO Emilio Rey (himself a meteorologist) and business development manager Fabian Gonzalez say they have analysed decades of weather patterns to create a predictive tool that plugs into a travel brand’s back-end.

The platform then works in various ways:If the weather on a given day is cold and wet in the user’s location (checking the IP address), then content on a website will alter so that it features destinations and relevant images where the weather is more favourable.

Data can also be used to make alternative suggestions to a user when they enter dates and destinations for a trip, based on what the weather is likely to be.

Over time, with return customers, the system will be able to suggest destinations knowing that on a previous trip the user had a poor experience because of the weather.

The platform works both ways, as well – having the historic data of thousands of travellers has allowed the company to establish particular trends in trip behaviour.

For example, when it rains in Madrid, citizens are most likely to search for city breaks to Paris, Rome or elsewhere in Europe, but on warmer days they often search for beach destinations elsewhere in Spain.

Such efforts to understand and capitalise on weather patterns are probably even more important when it comes to a company’s digital marketing strategy.

DigitalMeteo says that being able to quickly react to a weather situation (a typically grey, miserable day in London, for example), using customer email marketing, allows a company to target users with both relevant and timely offers for a trip.

The platform has been tested in recent months with an unnamed, major online travel agency in Spain, Gonzalez says, with further results and details about the partnership to be announced in a few months.

Source: Obvious personalisation – Big Data to organise travel around the weather

Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

 Just as travelers plan their trips to make the most of their stays, travel marketing experts need to plan their digital budgets and strategies to make the most of their spend. But with a new year come new choices, channels, and chances for online success.

To make the best digital decisions, travel marketers need to know the top trends, tech, and tactics that will matter to marketing in 2016. Rather than track down all of this data, your ticket to the latest travel insights is a fact-packed infographic created by MDG Advertising called Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Trends.

It pinpoints the five key strategies for making the most of your travel marketing budget and business over the next 12 months. To arrive at the right budget decisions, check out this informative infographic.

1. Spend on Your Website

Investing in your website is one of the wisest decisions you can make. With more and more people looking and booking on travel brand websites than third-party sites, your website delivers the first impression of your travel brand. And an optimized, user-friendly website can create a lasting impression and drive visitors to book without a second thought. The infographic shows:67% of travellers think it’s simpler to book on a travel brand website than a third-party site.

Almost two-thirds of travellers think it’s less expensive to book on a travel brand website.

Top Takeaway: To make the most of this mind-set, view your website as an important digital hub that gives online users everything they want and need.

2. Optimize MobileMobile has become a must in people’s lives, especially when researching and reserving travel. In 2016, even more travellers will be searching for travel online. According to the infographic, you can expect: 49% increase in mobile search for hotels and cruises. 47% rise in mobile search for car rentals and tours and attractions.

Top Takeaway: To serve this mobile market, make sure that all of your digital offerings, experiences, and communications are optimized for every mobile device.

3. Expect to Welcome More Millennials

Millennials already make up 40% of leisure travellers who book travel online. In 2016, their share of both the business and personal travel market will increase even more. To target these young adults, it’s essential to understand that Millennials have specific travel tendencies, such as:  They frequently book travel and share their experiences on mobile devices and digital platforms.

They tend to extend and blend business trips into personal vacations.

They spend more each day on trips than other age groups.

Top Takeaway: Use these Millennial insights to develop your digital properties and target your online messages.

4. Revisit Reviews

In 2016, online reviews and review sites will matter more than ever to travellers. According to the infographic:64% of travellers visit travel review sites like TripAdvisor for vacation ideas.

Almost half of travellers have been compelled to write a review after a travel experience.

Top Takeaway: Since these reviews are so important, travel brands need to regularly revisit and review all guest reviews to learn what they liked and lacked in their experiences.

5. Keep Your Eye on Video

Digital video is becoming more and more popular with travellers, especially on social networks. The infographic reveals these stunning statistics:

Top Takeaway: In 2016, video is a vital investment that must be incorporated with social media to reach and resonate with travellers.

 

Source: Travel Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Must-Watch Digital Trends [Infographic]

Shazam can be a neat marketing tool, but travel brands aren’t listening: by Kevin May, Tnooz

Many travel companies claim to be “joined-up” with their marketing efforts these days – but still they appear to forget there is more to it than showing a fancy ad.

A case in point is the latest run of Christmas-New Year TV and online ads from some of the UK’s most high profile travel brands.Tour operators have traditionally seen the December break as the ideal time to showcase their latest marketing campaign, often with a slick new ad to be shown during key commercial breaks in the Christmas TV schedule.

Nowadays, such campaigns have taken on considerably more importance as they are also created for the web market.

True to form, UK rival tour operators Thomas Cook and First Choice unleashed their latest efforts in the days before Christmas, with slickly produced TV and online videos.

British Airways was another.

There are two common themes running on the clips.

The first is the importance of music.

The second is, despite that importance, two of the brands have missed out on connecting the audio in their ads to the biggest music recognition platform on the web.

In June last year, Shazam started a new initiative whereby brands could link their advertising campaigns to the platform so that users who “Shazamed” a piece of audio could obtain more information about a product or service.

Brands were encouraged to place the Shazam logo (a small but recognisable “S”) somewhere on the creative and then link the track on Shazam for details about the song and what the ad is promoting. Subtle, but potentially rather effective.BA and First Choice didn’t think about this.Marketers might shrug and claim it’s a wasted effort.

But perhaps not when they realise that, according to media and marketing publication The Drum, their campaigns were some of the most “Shazamed” songs of the Christmas period.

Still, hats off to Thomas Cook for thinking more laterally.Thomas Cook provided a small link on the YouTube version of the ad so users can download the song on SoundCloud, but although it didn’t use the “S” in the clip it did connect the dots back to Shazam so that the newly released song has “From Thomas Cook Advert” as its title.

Source: Shazam can be a neat marketing tool, but travel brands aren’t listening

TripAdvisor Reveals Top Travel Trends for 2016 According to Annual TripBarometer Study

Trip AdvisorOn 15th December TripAdvisor today announced the results of their TripBarometer study, the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey, highlighting key travel trends for 2016.

Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 survey responses from travellers and the hotel sector worldwide. The TripBarometer “2016 Travel Trends” report presents a snapshot of the travel landscape for 2016, revealing US domestic and global travel trends.

“This year’s TripBarometer shows that U.S. travellers continue to recognize the importance of treating themselves to travel,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. “With one third of survey respondents planning to spend more this year, we expect to see even more travellers checking both domestic and international destinations off of their wish lists.”

U.S. Travel Trends of 2016

Seventy-eight percent of U.S. travellers plan to spend more or the same in 2016, which is the third largest annual travel budget among countries globally:

Top 10 Markets that Intend to Spend the Most in 2016

(average of all countries after conversion into USD)

1 Australia $ 10,900
2 Switzerland $ 10,100
3 United States $ 8,400
4 United Kingdom $ 8,300
5 New Zealand $ 8,000
6 Canada $ 6,500
7 Austria $ 6,400
8 Germany $ 6,300
9 France $ 6,000
10 Argentina $ 5,900

Top Reasons U.S. Travellers Will Spend More on Travel in 2016

  • Because they/their family deserves it (46%)
  • Going somewhere on their wish list (46%)
  • Going on more long trips (38%)
  • Longer length of trips (34%)

U.S. Baby Boomers plan to spend $10,600 on travel in 2016, twice as much as Millennials ($5,300). This is higher than the global averages – $8,700 and $2,900, respectively.

Ninety-six percent of U.S. travellers are planning a domestic trip in 2016 compared to the global average of 90 percent. Seventy-two percent are planning an international trip, which is slightly lower than the global average of 85 percent.Top Reasons U.S.

Respondents Choose Travel Destinations

  • Culture of the destination (50%)
  • Recommendations from family and friends (36%)
  • Events (34%)
  • Special offers/packages at hotel or accommodation (27%)

When selecting accommodations, cost is the key consideration for travellers in the U.S. – 94 percent of respondents named price as the most important factor when booking the accommodation for their last trip. Accommodation ratings (90%), TripAdvisor reviews (89%), proximity to attractions (86%) and dining options (79%) also ranked high on the list.

Germans, on the other hand, are more likely to find travel inspiration from their favourite documentary with 26 per cent revealing they have chosen to visit a destination simply after seeing it on screen.

Americans and New Zealanders are far more practical, however, choosing their final getaway locations in accordance with events they have to attend.

U.S. Traveller Quirks

The Top 5 Things U.S. Travellers Won’t Leave Home Without

  • Toiletries (77%)
  • Smartphone (74%)
  • Camera (57%)
  • Clothing for special occasions (56%)
  • Adaptor (51%)

U.S. travellers rank as the fourth most “germophobic” in the world, with 37 percent listing hand sanitizer as a travel essential, compared to 23 percent globally. They value their beauty rest as well – 13 percent bring their own pillow, higher than the global average of six percent.  37 per cent of British survey participants named their must-have travel essential as an e-book.

Meanwhile, Indonesian, Argentinian, Malaysian, Chinese and Mexican travellers are the top five nationalities most likely to pack an extra suitcase when they take a trip – likely, to ensure they have plenty of space to transport their shopping haul.

And though Indonesians may be most likely to be spotted sporting wearable technology, 12 per cent of Chinese travellers revealed they were also careful not to leave home without it.

But only two per cent of Italians would be caught trying out the tech trend.

Amenity Deal Breakers

Certain amenities will make or break a hotel’s chances of earning a booking. U.S. travellers expect more for less, and will book elsewhere if an accommodation does not offer:

  • Air-conditioning (70%)
  • In-room Wi-Fi (42%)
  • Parking (38%)
  • Safe deposit (25%)
  • Breakfast (24%)

A third of all Thai, Indonesian and Indian travellers say that they are planning to try an adventure holiday for the first time in 2016, while one in six Indian millennials refuse to book a hotel without gym facilities.

And the most frequent flyers? Ten per cent of all jet-setting Swiss travellers polled revealed that they were planning on taking more than 10 international trips in the next year, making them the most likely nationality to accrue some major frequent flyer points.

But don’t expect them to be using those miles to visit family members abroad.

New Zealanders are the most likely to fly across an ocean to visit family, with 30 per cent saying they’d choose a destination to spend time with their next of kin.

In contrast, Russian, Austrians and Thai are the least likely to do so. Only four per cent said they’d select a destination for this reason.

TripAdvisor summaries the report into 6 key travel trends:

Trend #1 – Seeking new experiences

In the coming year, travelers of all ages will seek out things they haven’t tried before, from cruises to solo travel and more.

  • Globally, 69% of travelers plan to try something new in 2016.
  • 1 in 5 global travelers said they would try a cruise for the first time next year.
  • 17% will try solo travel for the first time in 2016; 15% will try adventure travel for the first time.

Trend #2 – Spending more because it’s “worth it”

Worldwide, travelers are open to spending more in 2016 than they have in the past—and not just because of rising costs.

  • 1 in 3 travelers (33%) are planning to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year.
  • Among those who plan to increase their travel budget, 49% said they will do so because “because I or my family deserve it.”
  • 31% said they would spend more on travel because “it’s important for my health and well-being.”

Trend #3 – Choosing destinations based on culture, special offers

Today’s travelers choose destinations for a number of reasons, including special offers from accommodations.

  • Globally, 47% of travelers say they have visited a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country.
  • 1 in 5 travelers (21%) have chosen a destination because a hotel had a special offer or package.
  • “TV tourism” is on the rise: 1 in 5 global travelers have visited a destination because they saw it on a TV show.

Trend #4 – Staying cool and connected

Among the amenities that travelers will look for when they book an accommodation in 2016, air conditioning and WiFi stand out.

  • Globally, 63% of travelers said air conditioning is a must-have when choosing a place to stay. That makes it more of a deal-breaker than breakfast (40%) or a swimming pool (26%).
  • 46% said free in-room WiFi is a must-have amenity—meaning that, if an accommodation did not provide it, they would look elsewhere.
  • 26% of travelers said that they require an accommodation that has super-fast WiFi; 11% are willing to pay extra for this service.

Trend #5 – Rising room rates (and optimism)

Many accommodations plan to raise their room rates next year, while the majority of hoteliers say they’re optimistic about profitability in 2016.

  • Nearly half of hoteliers globally plan to increase room rates in 2016 (47%).
  • Most accommodations are increasing rates to compensate for increased overhead costs (65%), although more than a third are increasing rates because of recently completed renovations (37%) or because of increased demand (35%).
  • 3 in 4 business owners are optimistic about profitability in 2016. The majority of those who are optimistic say it’s because of local events and conferences taking place in their markets next year (65%).
  • 91% of hoteliers see increasing direct bookings as key for the future of their business.

Trend #6 – Managing reputations online

Online presence remains important: In 2016, businesses will be keeping a close eye on what people are saying about them on the web.

  • 93% of hoteliers said that online traveler reviews are important for the future of their business.
  • Online reputation management is still the biggest area of investment for accommodation owners in 2016, with 59% investing more in this area than they did the previous year.

For additional information about the TripBarometer, please visit: tripadvisor to download the global report.

Source: TripAdvisor Reveals Top Travel Trends for 2016 According to Annual TripBarometer Study Nasdaq:TRIP

Travel trade leads the way in ‘moment’ marketing

The travel industry is leading the way in the new marketing buzzword, ‘moment’ marketing, according to research.

A recent Warc and Deloitte 2016 Toolkit highlighted ‘moment’ marketing – where data and technology are used to identify brief marketing opportunities – as the number one trend for next year.

And moment marketing firm TVTY claims the travel sector is already using the most sophisticated ‘moment’ marketing strategies.

Online ‘moment’ marketing campaigns are triggered by offline events including sport, TV programmes, adverts, financial events and the weather.  TVTY says it’s about connecting with people at the key moment when they reach for their phone or laptop or use social media.

Its research found that 64% of digital marketers in the travel industry were going to allocate more budget to moment marketing in 2016.It also found 29% use both their own TV and competitor’s advertising to trigger campaigns and 43% use travel metrics (such as public transport delays) to launch ‘moment’ digital campaigns.

Antoine de Kermel, UK MD of  TVTY, said: “Travel is a highly competitive space online. There is a lot of innovation in digital marketing, and travel has been an early adopter of moment marketing. We see travel marketers using a lot of triggers to target consumers, but, as you might expect, weather is a very popular trigger.

“People are much more likely to book a getaway when the weather suddenly turns bad, or when another transport delay drives commuters to pack their bags for a carefree week in Barbados.”

An interesting trend we’re seeing, specifically from travel companies, is a desire to use new sources of data – like flight delays – as a trigger for digital campaigns. For example, a popular airline might want to launch a campaign, which highlights its own punctuality whenever its nearest competitor is facing delays.”

You can access their latest white paper here.

Source: Travel trade leads the way in ‘moment’ marketing

Travel and hospitality companies have made good progress in the journey to digital maturity – new report | Econsultancy

More than a third (35%) of travel and hospitality organizations classify themselves as ‘digital disruptors’, and a further 48% describe their organizations as ‘fast followers’, according to research published today by Econsultancy and Adobe.

Additionally, over two-fifths (43%) of companies in this sector say they have a ‘central, integrated function dedicated to digital transformation’.

A global survey of nearly 200 senior digital marketing and e-commerce executives working for companies in the travel and hospitality sector found that the rise of digital-only companies and the sharing economy are top of mind when it comes to competitive and environmental pressures, and are important factors in driving companies to optimize and sometimes redefine their proposition and services.

The Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector report also found that companies in this sector have really grasped the importance of mobile and are more focused on this business imperative than their counterparts in other industries, placing mobile at the heart of the customer journey.

Two in five (41%) companies agree that they are ‘mobile-first’, and almost two-thirds (63%) say that they have budget specifically allocated to mobile experimentation over the next 12 months.

The research has also revealed that the vast majority (82%) of companies are attempting to build a 360-degree view of customers in order to communicate to them more effectively. Three-quarters of responding companies (75%) say they have a data analytics strategy, but a significant proportion of these say (44%) that this strategy isn’t multichannel.

According to Mohammad Gaber, Head of Industry Strategy & Marketing, Travel & Hospitality at Adobe:

“The results of this research point to a technology, cultural, people and process transformation that is occurring in this sector. With focused integrated transformation functions, increasingly mobile-first posture and formalized data analytics strategies, it’s clear that progress is being made.

“However, significant opportunities remain, including a greater omnichannel data view, enhanced collaboration across marketing / technology teams and, importantly, the delivery of multichannel personalization.

”Other key findings include:

  • ‘Customer experience’ is the area where companies are most likely to be focused in the context of developing their digital capabilities over the next 12 months.-) More than a third (38%) of responding organizations say they are committed to the use of digital at their physical locations while a further 26% say they have carried out pilots.
  • Although virtually all companies claim to be doing some kind of personalization, only 30% say they are carrying out multichannel personalization based on digital and offline data.
  • Just under two-thirds (64%) of organizations say that their own data (first-party) is very effective for helping them to drive return on investment from marketing activities.
  • Social media platforms are the technology area where companies are most likely to be prioritizing investment over the next 12 months.

To get this report:

Source: Travel and hospitality companies have made good progress in the journey to digital maturity – new report | Econsultancy

How the travel industry has adapted to content marketing | theEword

The travel and tourism industry has seen a complete digital revolution over the last ten years. Long gone are the days of flicking through mountains of travel brochures to book your summer trip. Most consumers are now online-savvy and are not afraid of hunting for a bargain, which has forced the market to up its digital game.

But it’s not all bad news: to help combat this fundamental change to the way the market operates, the travel industry has changed its focus from aspirational to inspirational, and its content marketing is leading this transformation.

But what does great travel content marketing do and how can your business achieve it? We’ve pulled together some great examples of inspirational digital campaigns to help you see how it can be successful.

Capitalise on your positive reviews

TripAdvisor is seen as a necessary evil by most travel companies: with no control over content on the site, they feel somewhat held at its mercy.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company took a different approach to their TripAdvisor presence and decided to use their five-star reviews to create original videos that relayed exactly what the visitors had written.

Why did it work?

The stunning videos brought to life the words on the screen, turning the reviewers into screenwriters and their written experiences into colours, images and movement. The videos featured on the Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s TripAdvisor page allowed users to witness real-life experiences.

The fact that the reviews were from previous holidaymakers helped to build trust with their audience, both on site and on TripAdvisor itself.

Face your challenges head-on

Norway has one problem when it comes to summer holidays: rain – and lots of it.

Instead of masking the inclement weather, Norwegian airline Widerøe decided to embrace it in a fantastic content marketing campaign – “a summer without rain.

The airline challenged two travel bloggers to explore the country for 20 days without experiencing a single drop of rain. The boys blogged their experiences and uploaded all their activity to the Widerøe social channels.This allowed their audience a real-time view of where the boys were and an up-to-the-minute update of the dreaded weather. These channels also gave followers the chance to directly communicate with the boys and even help them with their challenge.

Why did it work?

Most travel companies attempt to gloss over the less glamorous parts of their holiday experience. Widerøe, on the other hand, decided to go against this rule and tackle their major challenge head-on. The result was a tongue-in-cheek adventure that poked fun at Norway’s flaws whilst simultaneously highlighting the most beautiful parts of the country and all it has to offer – all in brilliant sunshine.

Tap into your audience’s emotions

Matt Harding has become ‘internet famous’ for his wonderful videos in which he dances badly all over the world. The simple five-minute YouTube clips show Matt dance in front of famous monuments, in towns and villages with locals, and even underwater.

The United States Tour Operators Association asked Matt to challenge them, stating they could send him anywhere. The result is one of Matt’s classic videos, but each one highlights different tour operators they work with.

Why did it work?

The last couple of years have seen an increase of travel alerts, deterring people from travelling to exotic destinations and causing damage to the travel industry. USTOA used this video to help the audience tap into the human element of travelling the world and experiencing different cultures without fear.

Matt says his experiences have taught him that “the world is a lot safer and friendlier than it seems on TV”. This short social-friendly video has gained over 500,000 views on YouTube, and has made it into Matt’s top video list on his own YouTube channel.

Understanding your audience’s motivations:  Whether it’s a British break, a two-week holiday, or a backpacking across a different continent, holidays let us break away from our everyday lives and allow ourselves to relax.

Great travel content marketing needs to appeal to that feeling of freedom we experience when we go on holiday – it should tap into our emotions and feed our sense of adventure.

Source: How the travel industry has adapted to content marketing | theEword