The travel industry took one of the biggest hits of any business sector during the COVID-19 pandemic as the world was almost completely shut down. To put it into perspective, "in March 2020, U.S. air passenger travel decreased by 90%, and in April 2020, U.S. hotel occupancy was at just 25%" (Deloitte): a shocking fall from grace for an industry that had been steadily growing for a number of years.
Now, after the perspective on traveling has been drastically changed, tourism marketers are faced with the challenge of bouncing back and enticing people to get out and explore the world. While the good news is that people are, mostly, ready to travel again, the hard part is that the marketing environment has changed—probably forever. The expectations of travelers, how they book their trips, and how they physically travel has shifted—meaning travel and tourism marketing campaigns and strategies need to shift as well.
In this post, we share the 4 most important marketing trends to watch for in 2022, as the travel industry makes its long-awaited, substantial comeback.
Top 4 Tourism Marketing Trends in 2022
While there are many emerging marketing trends in this complex, “post-pandemic” world, there are four, in particular, that stand out:
1. Shifted Expectations
One thing that the pandemic drilled into everyone’s minds is that anything can get canceled—anytime. Even your big vacation plans, and with the new “anything can happen” mentality, travelers don’t want to be locked into their purchases. Flexible cancellation policies will be the new norm, and marketers need to be aware of travelers’ hesitancy and even anxiety. In fact, "50% of travelers consider flexible cancellation policies as a top factor in their 2022 travel decisions" (Evolve). Offering low-stress, free cancellation, and excellent customer service in dealing with changes or canceled plans will go a long way in 2022 and beyond.
2. Video Marketing and Live Streaming
Video marketing has blown up in the last few years, and that growth isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. In addition to video production, many brands have tapped into the power of live streaming to show off the visitor experience. Live video costs less to produce, and it offers a more authentic way to show off a hotel, destination, or experience compared to a polished, edited video project. Expect to see both edited video marketing and live streaming more and more, as big brands like Airbnb have already seen success in incorporating it into their marketing campaigns.
3. Mobile is Still Growing, Thanks to the Pandemic
According to a survey by Statista, “70 percent of responding internet users worldwide were using their smartphones or mobile phones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.” Basically, people are more glued to their phones than ever before. And lucky for the travel industry, it’s been reported that nearly half of the smartphone users in the U.S. are completely comfortable researching, planning, and booking their travel plans entirely on a mobile device (Google).
What does this mean for marketers? That the mobile experience for your brand must be stellar. So much of your audience is researching your brand on their smartphone. Invest in the best mobile experience you can offer. Whether that’s improving the direct booking website or developing an app for your brand, it matters—a lot—how travelers can interact with you via their mobile device.
4. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality and tourism marketing make complete sense, and it’s a tool that’s been growing in popularity for a few years. Why not be able to give potential buyers a virtual experience to represent your destination? With VR you can fully immerse them in your experience or destination, helping to entice them to book IRL. VR is going to become a big part of the marketing strategies of many prominent travel and hospitality brands.
These four marketing trends to watch for in 2022 prove that the need to create and distribute digital content is not slowing down. In fact, it’s speeding up. To ensure that your brand is getting ROI on all the digital assets being produced for marketing campaigns, virtual reality tools, app development, and more, you may need help from a professional digital asset management (DAM) partner.
What Exactly is a DAM?
A digital asset management (DAM) system helps tourism marketers manage, organize, share, and distribute digital assets all from within one central library. It improves productivity and increases the ROI of content and creative programs. Additionally, it helps tourism and travel brands improve their creative production process and efficiently manage and launch campaigns.
Investing in a cloud-based DAM can benefit your brand in several significant ways. Some examples include:
- Access for remote teams: With the DAM, your marketing team can work collaboratively and efficiently, from anywhere.
- Less time searching for assets: Kick-start your creative campaigns, stay on track, and launch on time by always knowing where your digital assets are located.
- Tailored library access: Give partners and contractors access to the DAM for only the assets they need, helping projects flow more smoothly.
- Improved brand consistency: Having one single source of truth for all your on-brand digital assets helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page, with only approved assets being used in high-stakes marketing campaigns—and everywhere else.
Ready to Get Started?
Getting a DAM in place is a smart move as you prepare to create more and more digital content. Not only does it help speed up projects and improve workflow, but it also ensures you are getting ROI on the valuable brand assets that are being created. To see more specifically how a DAM works for tourism marketers, check out a DAM demo.
MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.