Travel Vertical Knowledge Brief - June 2022 - JNS Next

Sharing some info from our DSP research on the travel vertical. Some of the big headlines to keep in mind:

  • Industry:
    • For the first time since the start of the pandemic, travel spending is above 2019 levels. Over half of U.S. adults have plans to travel this summer, and 28% of travelers plan to spend more this summer than they had budgeted for their 2019 travel plans. Even though consumers now feel more comfortable traveling, inflation and rising gas prices will likely slow the recovery of the travel industry some.​
    • Over 70% of consumers expect travel brands to clean customer areas. Additionally, the number of travelers visiting new locations remains down. Consumers are still traveling, but only where they’re comfortable.
    • Most consumers are booking trips online causing the majority of revenue in the travel industry to be generated online. Direct booking has seen continued favorability over online travel agency booking throughout the pandemic due to easier cancellations and rescheduling. Travel loyalty membership increased during the pandemic as members want an easy-to-use online or mobile app approach to booking. ​
    • Due to the stress of the pandemic, people are seeking out more relaxing vacations. 68% of consumers booked a leisure trip in 2021 with the most popular type of trip being a family vacation.  71% of consumers say they are interested in taking a trip just to improve their wellbeing and mental health. As wellness travel can be expensive, rising costs in other areas may deter some from being able to afford a wellness trip
  • Paid Media:
    • The top spending travel and tourism brands are spending heavily in digital channels and TV. Within digital, spend is particularly heavy in search which accounts for nearly half of all ad spend.
    • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the travel industry. Travel ad spend appeared to recover around the time consumer confidence was building due to the release of the vaccination in 2021. Additionally, seasonality plays a large factor in travel ad spend with peaks before spring and summer travel. ​
    • Creative messaging among the top travel brands centralizes around deals and promotions, comfort and relaxation, loyalty and rewards programs, and brand partnerships. Many ads emphasize luxury or relaxing vacations.​
  • Audience:
    • This analysis looks at five major segments within the travel industry: domestic road travelers, domestic air travelers, international travelers, business travelers, and gap year travelers.
    • Overall traveling doesn’t skew towards any particular gender, however those traveling for business are more likely to be male. Though age ranges vary, most travelers fall in the A25-64 range. Given that travel is more of a luxury, these individuals tend to have higher household incomes of at least $75K+. ​
    • The five consumers are moderate-to-heavy digital users and spend 27+ hours online each week. Travel brands should utilize digital channels for advertising as consumers are often seeking out vacation inspiration through search and social and prefer booking their trips online.