Top 5 trends for destination marketers for the rest of 2022

As we emerge from the pandemic, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) have a unique role to play in building back better as travel returns. Despite many additional challenges in the second quarter, including skyrocketing inflation, rising fuel prices and continuing staff shortages, enthusiasm for travel endured, pointing to a strong recovery. Not only was travel demand flat with moderate increases, but travelers also traveled farther this quarter.

With these emerging trends, destinations have a great opportunity to play a central role in the recovery, capturing pent-up demand and providing a sustainable and inclusive experience for travellers. To give DMOs a better view of the trends most relevant to destinations, we’ve pulled together the most important insights for the rest of 2022 from our latest data and research, including the Q2 Traveler Insights report, Inclusive Travel Insights report and the study of sustainable travel.

1. Travel demand holds up, despite rising costs

After a strong first quarter with a 25% quarter-over-quarter increase in searches globally, search volumes were flat in the second quarter, indicating sustained interest in travel despite the headwinds. Lodging bookings also saw moderate growth during the second quarter, with 10 of the top 25 destinations seeing double-digit growth in hotel demand.

While the last quarter showed growth in people booking further afield, in the second quarter, travelers booked for the short and medium term. The largest increase in searches occurred during the 61-90 day period, with a 15% increase. This short- to medium-term search trend was consistent for international travel. Continued relaxation of travel restrictions and testing requirements contributed to a double-digit quarter-over-quarter increase in international searches globally in the 0-90 day window. This indicates that although travelers have returned to short-term planning, they are still considering international travel.

While there is growing concern about inflation and rising fuel prices, travelers are still actively looking to visit destinations and book trips, especially in the short to medium term. This presents a huge opportunity for destination marketers to invest in their advertising strategy to capture pent-up demand.

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions

2. Family travel is on the rise

Families have a huge impact on business when it comes to travel, spending 25% more per booking than other travellers. During the pandemic, the proportion of families traveling internationally decreased compared to other traveler groups. However, data from the second quarter shows that international family travel has recovered to pre-pandemic levels and now represents the same proportion of travelers as in 2019, or about 15%.

Additionally, families are looking to book vacation rentals. According to Vrbo data from the second quarter, families are three times more likely to book a vacation rental than other groups of travelers, while spending more per night than average. Visit Mesa tapped into this trend by running a campaign on Vrbo targeting family travelers. Seeking to encourage road trips to the destination, the campaign focused on Mesa’s unique vacation rental offerings to target Vrbo’s valuable audience. In the end, the campaign helped generate an average stay of 8.5 nights.

As family travel returns, destinations must consider the best ways to reach and target this valuable segment to attract lucrative business. It’s also important to consider the collaborative nature of family travel planning and the role Generation Alpha plays in influencing how and where their family travels.

Source: Expedia Group Media SolutionsSource: Expedia Group Media Solutions

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions

3. Long-haul destinations are making a comeback

Just as families are returning to international travel, there is a broader trend of travelers going further afield. A promising trend is the significant increase in the demand for long-haul flights (flights lasting more than 4 hours). During the second quarter, we saw a 50% year-over-year increase in demand for long-haul flights.

In addition to showing the increase in long-haul flights, the second quarter saw a more than 100% year-over-year increase in demand for flights from the US to Europe. London, Paris and Rome represent the top 3 European destinations for US travelers during the second quarter. London, for its part, is taking advantage of this explosion of interest from American travelers in visiting Europe. London & Partners DMO recently launched the first of four episodes in the “Dawn Till Dusk” campaign, showcasing the unique experiences London has to offer, aimed at American travelers seeking a creative cultural experience.

Looking at the top 10 destinations booked, two European cities, London and Paris, had strong results across all regions in the second quarter. In the world’s list of top 10 destinations booked in the second quarter, London was ranked third and Paris was seventh.

Although travelers have returned to short-term planning, they are moving further away from home and still considering international trips. Destination marketers need to start strategizing to find ways to reach international travelers again, including leveraging the destination’s search window and insights, sophisticated targeting, and ensuring international audiences are part of the mix. of objectives.

Source: Expedia Group Media SolutionsSource: Expedia Group Media Solutions

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions

4. Consumers seek inclusive representation and participation from the local community

Our recently released Inclusive Travel Insights Report shows that consumers are paying attention to how inclusive travel providers are and want to see accessibility and diversity built into travel advertising. In fact, 78% of consumers said they chose a trip based on promotions or advertisements that they felt represented them through messages or images.

One DMO that is successful in inclusive marketing is Visit Panama, which partnered with us to develop a campaign that represents all travelers. Introduces a new video series called “The Next Turn,” connecting inspiration, planning and booking to deliver an affordable travel experience. One episode features Amar, a blind traveler, experiencing Panama through his sense of hearing, smell, taste, and touch, showing how travelers of all abilities can immerse themselves in the amazing experiences Panama has to offer.

Consumers are also looking to engage with local communities and cultures, with 64% saying they are interested in learning more about travel options that support local cultures and communities. Tourism Malaysia knows the importance of promoting its local culture, which is why they worked with us to create a Travel Spotlight landing page. The campaign shows travelers how they can experience Malaysian culture by visiting historic sites such as Georgetown, Penang, observing a different way of life by seeing traditional longhouse communities in Sarawak, or visiting the indigenous communities of Kadazan and Dusuns.

Destinations need to ensure they create inclusive environments for travelers and think about the best ways to highlight accessibility, diversity, and cultural experiences in their marketing efforts. Below are some specific things to keep in mind when it comes to advertising.

Source: Expedia Group Media SolutionsSource: Expedia Group Media Solutions

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions

Download the Inclusive Travel Report.

5. Consumers are looking for sustainable travel options and will pay more for them

As shared in our Sustainable Travel Study, sustainability is another key element consumers pay attention to when making travel decisions, with 90% saying they look for sustainable travel options when traveling, and 7 in 10 saying they have avoided a travel destination or transportation option. due to skepticism that the commitment to sustainable practices was real. This means that it is essential that destinations are authentic and transparent when it comes to their sustainability efforts.

Consumers want sustainable options and are willing to pay more for them. In fact, 74% of consumers would choose a destination, lodging or transportation option committed to supporting the local community and culture, even if it is more expensive. And they are turning to destinations, more than any other resource, for information. Half of consumers want to see information about sustainable travel from visitor resource groups, tourism, or local destinations.

Source: Expedia Group Media SolutionsSource: Expedia Group Media Solutions

Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions

An example of a DMO that has leveraged sustainable travel in its campaigns is Hawaii Tourism Oceania, which has partnered with us to encourage travelers to make trips more satisfying. The message of this campaign was key, focused on rewarding travel and “Malama Hawaii” which means “give back”. The campaign landing page expanded on Malama with a video and how the relationship between people and place is strengthened every time you give back, be it to the land, ocean, wildlife, forest or community.

Download the Sustainable Travel Study.

To learn more about the latest traveler behavior and intent, download our Q2 Traveler Insights Report and subscribe to our blog for updates. If you are interested in learning more about how our team can leverage this knowledge to help develop campaigns for your brand, please contact us.

Download the Report.

About Expedia Group Media Solutions

Expedia Group Media Solutions is a global travel advertising platform that connects marketers with hundreds of millions of travelers through Expedia Group brands. With our exclusive access to over 70 petabytes of Expedia Group traveler search and booking data, we offer advertisers actionable insights, sophisticated targeting, and full funnel results reporting. Our suite of solutions includes display, sponsored listings, audience outreach, cooperative campaigns, and custom creative campaigns, all designed to meet the goals of our advertising partners and add value for travel buyers on our branded sites globally. With a consultative approach and over 20 years of travel and media experience, we help our advertising partners inspire, engage and convert travelers for meaningful results. For more information, visit www.advertising.expedia.com.

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