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

New Dublin brand looks beyond city centre for ‘must-visit’ appeal –

Dublin is being re-branded as more than just a “party town” in an effort to secure its long-term future as a tourism destination.

The new brand and logo – ‘Dublin – A breath of Fresh Air’ – were unveiled as key elements in a new tourism marketing campaign.  The €1 million campaign described as “a new expression of a rare auld thing”, seeks to change perceptions of Dublin “from a weak and one-dimensional image to that of a city pulsing with life,” according to Fáilte Ireland.

The logo was inspired by “the old, the new, and one Dublin resident in particular,” the tourism development authority said..   ”This is the first Dublin-dedicated tourism campaign in many years,” said Shaun Quinn, Fáilte Ireland CEO.

“It is necessary as Dublin is in danger of allowing its brand to become a bit stale while our competitor cities overseas have actually been reinventing themselves.”Modern tourists enjoy a huge range of city break options across Europe, with destinations like Amsterdam (“I Amsterdam”), Berlin (“visitBerlin”) and Stockholm (“This is Stockholm”) marketing themselves dynamically in recent years.

Visitor numbers to Dublin have grown by 12% in what could be its busiest ever year, but there is a recognition that the city needs to “future-proof” itself as a destination that will continue to appeal even if external markets or currencies fluctuate.

The ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ tag encourages visitors to look beyond the City Centre, positioning Dublin as a coastal city with mountains and sea on its doorstep.“What we have here in Dublin is unique,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sports, Paschal Donohoe TD, who launched the campaign.

“There is no point, however, in being Europe’s best kept secret, and I very much welcome this new campaign to reposition the city and county and ensure that its unique appeal cuts through in the international marketplace.”

The new Dublin brand, unveiled as part of a new tourism marketing campaign by Fáilte Ireland.  Campaigns will also run in Ireland, as well as in France and Germany, with an emphasis on digital and social media marketing.€1 million has been earmarked for the first phases of the public/private initiative – funding provided by Fáilte Ireland, the four Dublin local authorities and a collection of private-sector partners including city hotels, Brown Thomas, the Guinness Storehouse, Irish Ferries, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and daa among others.

The campaign was co-ordinated by the ‘Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance’ (GDTA), a group established by Fáilte Ireland to develop the plans set out in Destination Dublin – A Collective Strategy for Growth to 2020.  It aims to grow visitors numbers to the city to 6.2 million by 2020, and to grow tourism spend from a base of €1.4 billion to €2.5 billion in the same period.

“All of us around the table – tourism businesses, retailers, representative associations and State agencies – feel that this new brand captures the essence of what makes Dublin different,” said Michael Carey, Chairman of the GDTA.

Other differentiating factors include the vibrancy of Dublin’s population, its “ever evolving culture and curiosity” and “a spontaneous openness”, Fáilte Ireland says.“Tourists aren’t aware of what Dublin has to offer and what makes it distinct. Compared to other European cities, Dublin is seen as ‘dusty’ and old-fashioned,” Carey added.”To compete with other cities, we need to reposition Dublin to encapsulate its dynamic and bustling personality,” he said.The GTDA today also published its Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance Progress and Action Plan, which identifies access and transport, accommodation and food and the cruise passenger experience as “core parts” of the Dublin visitor experience for prioritisation.

Source: New Dublin brand looks beyond city centre for ‘must-visit’ appeal –

Social Media and Travel Go Hand in Hand (Infographic) | SocialTimes

Social Media and Travel Go Hand in Hand (Infographic) | SocialTimes.

Social media has provided many opportunities for businesses in all categories. Customer service, marketing, and customer engagement have all emerged as useful tools for achieving your business goals. Social media can also have unintended benefits, as more users share on specific topics. According to an infographic from Internet Marketing Inc, travel companies can benefit a lot from this specific sharing.

Facebook is one of the prime destinations for sharing life events and travel related content. 52 percent of users surveyed said their friend’s photos inspired travel plans, and 76 percent post their vacation photos to social networks.

During vacation research, 55 percent of those surveyed liked pages relating to the trip they were planning. This is a very important touch-point for travel brands, as social media is an important research tool for vacationers. If a brand is able to present itself to a vacationer then it could influence those 33 percent that change hotels, or the 7 percent that change their destination.

Brands can also influence potential customers as they research their potential vacations. Humorous posts nudging readers toward taking vacations, posting breathtaking images, interacting with consumers who reach out, and creating brand advocates are all great ways to engage users and potentially push them toward your brand.

Leveraging the power of the types of content users choose to share on certain networks can give your business model a major leg up. Engaging with those consumers who are excited about the services you provide should always be the aim of your social media activity.


Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Affluent Travelers Tougher For Marketers To Reach

by Tanya Gazdik Irwin


This year will be challenging for travel marketers hoping to appeal to affluent consumers, according to a study from Unity Marketing.

Changes in affluent travellers’ attitudes and behaviour call for marketers to develop new strategies to capture some of the roughly $8,000 they plan to spend on their next vacation.

The demographic will be looking for new luxury travel experiences, all the while scrimping and saving on experiences that don’t mean as much to them (such as how they get to their destination) and splurging once they arrive. They will delay making plans till the last minute and will be less loyal to their travel rewards programs, as they search out promotions that offer more meaningful and motivating rewards, according to the study, “Affluents Will Travel in New Luxury Style in 2015,”

Affluents plan to take an average of three vacations in 2015, but they are waiting until the last minute to book. This works in their favour, as they carefully research all the available options, compare the many promotional offers received, and tap the Internet and social media for reviews and recommendations.

For travel planning, they are more DIY this year, using travel professionals less than in 2013. Furthermore, due to growing global unrest and the Department of State “worldwide caution” warning issued on Jan. 9, it only makes sense to wait until the window of opportunity is right.

The share of affluents who are undecided about their travel plans this year more than doubled from Unity Marketing’s 2013 luxury travel study, says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the new study.

“Further, the projected budgets for their next vacation is lower than we’ve tracked since 2009,” she says. “Consumer uncertainty and lack of confidence is never a good sign for marketers and that is the environment that travel marketers face this year.”

Travel marketers’ mantra this year should be “hope for the best, but plan for the worst,” she adds.

“Given all the factors that can impact people’s willingness to travel, especially overseas, travel marketers need to recognize that their customers will be harder to commit to proposed trips this year,” she says. “Those customers will be more demanding when it comes to getting the most for their investment and may look more aggressively to cut expenditures wherever they can. Further, this may be an especially good year for the travel insurance business.”

Rewards programs are less motivating for affluents in 2015 than two years ago. A growing share of affluents have no plans or are undecided if they will redeem rewards for travel this year. Affluents report being less influenced in their choice of travel provider by the opportunity to collect rewards points.

“Since travel marketers rely heavily on rewards programs to market their services, this is an important call to action,” Danziger says. “It points to the need for travel providers to focus their marketing and rewards programs toward rewards that are more meaningful and motivating to affluent travelers.”

via Affluent Travelers Tougher For Marketers To Reach 01/23/2015.

Press Release: Over 30 travel marketing experts to provide insights at The Travel Marketing Forum, Dubai 24th Sept


Middle East’s Premier Travel Marketing Event to convene in Dubai on 24th September

Insights from over 30 leading travel marketing experts

Dubai Tourism, Expedia, Yahoo, SkyTech and IBEX Global added to the conference content

Travel Marketing leaders to gather in Dubai to discuss a diverse yet interrelated set of topics


Press Release: Dubai – 18th September 2014 

In just under a week the Middle East’s premier Travel Marketing event will take place in Dubai.

Some of the world’s leading travel brands and marketing services providers will gather for a day of knowledge sharing and business development.


Amadeus, a leading travel technology company, will present a report on Middle East booking trends, internet penetration, smart phone usage, booking and  payment patterns, booking channels and social media trends in the travel sector.

Illusions Online, a Dubai based travel business technology provider for the leisure sector, will talk to their new generation cloud based leisure packaging capability and their strategy to create a global online travel exchange.    


Other speakers come from leading brands such as Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, Jumeirah and Emirates.

The programme also includes interviews with the Head of Strategy for dnata travel and the CEO of The Entertainer.  Technology companies such as SkyTECH Solutions and Comarch will share their views on Big Data and Customer Relationship Management in the travel sector.

In a key panel on destination marketing, Dubai Tourism will highlight the power of local advocacy.

Yahoo will present a case study on how they have assisted travel companies with their online exposure and IBEX Global will highlight their recent regional launch of their Customer Experience Management Technology.

Mohamed Al Rais, Deputy CEO of Al Rais Travel, will be joined by representatives from Expedia, and e-Tourism Frontiers on a panel debate on the development of the online travel market.

Porton Group will reveal a revolutionary technology that can be used by the travel sector to screen travellers for potentially contagious diseases without significant disruption to the airline check-in process.

Duncan Alexander, Director at The Travel Marketing Store stated “We have been delighted by the response that we have received from the travel marketing community to the concept of our event. The content is truly exceptional and we look forward to what will be an enlightening day”.

Over 40 companies will be represented at this year’s event which will also hold “The Global Travel Marketing Awards” and “The Market Place for Travel Marketing Services” where buyers and suppliers meet to discuss new services.

via Press Release: Over 30 travel marketing experts to provide insights at The Travel Marketing Forum, Dubai 24th Sept.

Condor Travel keen to cash in on Middle East market | Travel Daily ME

Condor Travel having well-established itself as a leading tour operators for the South America market is now keen to explore the potential of the Middle East. With 36 years of experience of selling South America, Condor Travel has a strong regional and global presence in markets such as Europe, America and Asia Pacific.

Talking to Travel Daily Middle East about the global marketing plans, Sammy Niego, president and chief executive officer of Condor Travel said: “Asia Pacific is a big market for us as around 30% of our business comes from this region. India is growing but we want to expand our services and educating emerging markets on South America. We adopt a very proactive approach in all our markets as we understand that Latin America is a new market.”

Condor Travel in a bid to expand its offerings in the Middle East has tied up with Phoenix International FZC managed by Darshana Manglani. The objective of having a presence in the region was to expand sales into South America. “I have visited several countries in the Middle East to understand which Latin America product will work well. Having tied up with Phoenix International, we are optimistic about enhancing our presence in the region. We do have some business coming out of the region. However, it is a small percentage which has the potential to grow.”



Uae-flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With regional Middle East carriers connecting into South America, the connectivity exists. The next step is to provide a platform for awareness among the travel trade. “We are confident that we have a product line within Condor that oriented to the Middle East clientele. The products on offer range from the standard to infinity which is our luxury brand.”

Elaborating further Manglani said: “The response from the market has been excellent. Most aganets are aware of Condor Travel due to their regular presence at the ATM for the last few years. This partnership gives them an added edge with a local presence, easy information accessibility and competitive rates. The objective going ahead is to be working hand-in-hand with the travel trade, enhancing awareness, educating customer facing staff and above, facilitating the planning and access to all services and products in South America.”

via Condor Travel keen to cash in on Middle East market | Travel Daily ME.

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The New Ad From Apple Is All About Exploring. And Travel – Skift

Rafat Ali, Skift

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

Admittedly it is early for an ad of the year declaration, but when the brand is Apple you have to sit up and notice. And this one is a doozy: the new ad for iPad Air channels Robin Williams and his verse from “Dead Poets Society” and is all about writing your own verse in life, so to speak.The new ad, titled “Your Verse,” positions the new iPad Air as a tool to dream, create, explore, and travel. “We’re humbled and inspired by what people do with iPad. So we set out to capture some of their stories. What will your verse be?” says the description for the ad on YouTube, which we’ve embedded below.

via The New Ad From Apple Is All About Exploring. And Travel – Skift.

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Five Best Travel Ads: India, Peru, Peninsula Hotels, Hilton, Expedia – Skift

There’s only one place where ignoring the organization and logistics involved with travel really pays off. That’s in travel ads where people don’t want to think about renting a car or booking a tour, but want to imagine themselves steeped in culture in front of vistas they’ve only seen in their dreams.

Consequently, this week’s ad roundup looks at the romantic side of travel. It looks past business meetings to see face-to-face human connection, turns arguably irresponsible last-minute trips into a celebration of spontaneity, and highlights how ancient trails can become a modern-day action movie.

via Five Best Travel Ads: India, Peru, Peninsula Hotels, Hilton, Expedia – Skift.

Emirates becomes the first Airline in the Middle East to use Google Now™ | Emirates United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, U.A.E., 6th August 2013: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines today announced that it will start to roll-out Google Now™ cards for their passengers who book via

A feature of the Google Search™ app, Google Now is available and fully integrated for Android™ (devices running Android 4.1 and above) and iOS (iPhones and iPads).

via Emirates becomes the first Airline in the Middle East to use Google Now™ | Emirates United Arab Emirates.

MyCEB appoints Travel Link Marketing as representative office in China

Malaysia Convention Bureau: MyCEB appoints Travel Link Marketing as representative office in China.

In tandem with the rapid growth of Malaysia’s business tourism sector, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has carved another milestone with the opening of its representative offices in China. Travel Link Marketing (TLM) has been appointed as MyCEB’s representative in China with offices in three of the largest cities in China namely, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

TLM, an established and notable marketing company is also planning to open a new office in Chengdu. With a strong local Chinese team who truly understands the goals and objectives of MyCEB, TLM possesses the full capacity and expertise of developing leads and providing extensive contact networks with the country’s business events stakeholders.