Clear Skies on the Horizon for Travel Marketers

Mayla Wang
March 24, 2021

Vaccinations across the US are bringing eased restrictions to the travel industry, which experienced its most turbulent year in decades. Coming off a 42% decline in consumer travel spend in 2020 and a subsequent 41% drop in digital ad spend, travelers and brands are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Consumers are Planning their EscapesPeople across the country are formulating plans to visit loved ones, rescheduling missed vacations, and getting back to their bucket lists. VRBO reported that 82% of surveyed families have begun planning trips in 2021 with 65% aiming to travel more than pre-COVID - and Expedia’s Trend Report predicts the average consumer will spend ~40% more on travel compared to 2020.With freedom in sight, travel-related searches are trending upward. adMarketplace has seen a 20% increase in travel queries since December - with hotels and flights gaining steam against the on-the-ground, local travel trends that have dominated the last year.

For marketers, this growing demand brings plans for rebuilding brand loyalty and acquiring new customers that have detached from their once-preferred hotels and airlines.Recovery Begins Now for Travel Marketers The next few months are pivotal for Search Marketers as the inevitable travel surge nears. Lessons from past recessions teach us that advertising during an economic decline drives long-term profit. For example, back in the 1990 Recession, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell took advantage of McDonald’s decision to pause advertising - and it paid off with increased sales of 61% and 40% respectively compared to McDonald’s 28% decline. The same rang true following the 2008 Recession when companies reported high revenue growth following investments in share of voice.

Savvy brands like, Expedia, and Priceline are taking these lessons and upping their marketing efforts to capture the increase in general interest. As many marketers reel from 2020 losses and await a return to normalcy, brands are getting a head start on rebuilding relationships with consumers - with less competition and a growing volume of searches.As the clouds begin to clear and restless consumers prepare to take off, the time is now for Travel Marketers to get back in the game and take back their losses.For more information on how to connect your brand with high-intent travelers, get in touch with us via