How to promote destinations when travel is restricted

Weronika Czekaj

How to promote destinations when travel is restricted

Read the summary of a recent interview with Freddy Friedman, Managing Director of Amadeus travel audience

Thoughts on how the impact of the coronavirus pandemic impacted tourism and the relevancy of destination marketing in these times

Changing regulations and health requirements make the travel experience confusing. Some don’t feel safe to travel. Destinations play an important role by informing consumers of the latest travel regulations.

With potential travelers continuing to search for specific destinations during lockdowns, online advertising can be promotional and informative – helping to grow demand and educating on current restrictions. At Amadeus travel audience we ran a campaign with Marketing Greece in 2020. It began with a #StaySafe tag-line that turned into #SeeYouSoon once borders were opened.

Trends that destination marketers should be aware of to ensure their future viability

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) can help with reactivating tourism in a responsible and sustainable way by encouraging travel outside of peak season.

The Marketing Greece campaign helped to sustain the destination and reduce concerns about overcrowding, by targeting different segments of travelers at different time periods.

What an advertising campaign needs in order to successfully attract tourists to vacation spots

The first step of a successful campaign must be to inspire travelers by showcasing the best a destination has to offer, using visual branding and marketing materials.

During a pandemic, an early necessary step is to build confidence and reassure travelers with relevant information about safety and public health recommendations.

How Amadeus travel audience uses online search data to manage lockdown restrictions

We use data to track the demand for travel and analyze it by customer demographic and region.

In 2020 we ran a campaign with a health authority (rather than a DMO) to direct ads containing quarantine regulation information to those planning travel during the holiday season. By seeing these ads at the right time, travelers could successfully quarantine them in a way that reduced impact on other plans.

How to leverage online search data to help destinations promote their home countries while ensuring that travelers remain mindful of health and travel restrictions

Online search data can be used to direct important information about travel restrictions and health guidelines, as early in the booking process as possible.

And while travel restrictions are in place, destinations can grow demand and position themselves in front of mind with ‘inspiration campaigns’. Once travel bans are lifted, these campaigns can become more conversion-focused to reactivate travel.

How destinations can use online search data to identify competitors and why it’s extremely important

We provide analysis on different destinations that a potential traveler has searched for, which can yield surprising results. In 2020, various Greek islands were unusually competing against each other for a dominant market share, rather than destinations in other countries. This shows that the tourism environment and competitors have changed since the pandemic, so DMOs must have the right insights.

Social media’s importance in a destination’s marketing strategy

With 3.5billion social media users worldwide averaging three hours a day on social networks, so social is an important tool for DMOs. To be successful, an inspiring social media presence should be combined with attractive and impactful advertising.

Advice for destination marketers trying to increase their market share in travel as it becomes more complex

Marketers require data to drive planning and strategy. Close analysis of data enables us to pinpoint demand and identify competitors, which are both crucial when coping with the reduced demand brought about by the pandemic.

How travelers or potential travelers have been helping to promote destinations when travel is hugely restricted

People continue to dream about travel in these times. The ‘Dream Now, Travel Later’ campaign by My Switzerland and the #StaySafe campaign from Marketing Greece were both aimed at encouraging travelers to dream and be inspired.
Visit The Marketing Gazette to read the full interview