With our access to real-time traveler audiences and unmatched visibility into global travel demand, we are in a unique position to share current travel trends at the forefront of marketers’ minds. In this series we take a look at the data in order to aid travel marketers in their assessment of this worldwide event. Marketers can use these trends to inform their strategies during this period and be prepared for the recovery once the situation stabilizes.
As we enter the second month of sheltering in place here in the US, we’ve been keeping an eye out as other countries, and even some US states, begin to navigate the “new normal.” With local travel slowly increasing, our hope is that April truly represented the nadir of hotel occupancy. Over 1M people visited 130 Shanghai tourist attractions for May Day; a statistic that should offer comfort and inspiration to those of us looking forward to getting out of the house.
As markets and borders begin to open, travel will still very much depend on the region and country. While some are looking to recovery, Russia and Afghanistan hit a daily high in reported COVID-19 cases. And LATAM’s response, the region most recently affected, has varied not only by country, but by city. This is no more apparent than in Brazil, whose president continues to ignore the severity of the virus. Neighboring countries have taken it upon themselves to limit travel, with Paraguay going so far as to dig a trench across a main road.
So how does Brazil’s lack of response to containing the virus affect future travel to the country? Flight searches are down 64% compared to last year, and while Brazil does begin seeing more interest in early 2021, it is not nearly as soon as other countries, like Colombia and Ecuador, which see an increase in intent as early as October 2020. Surprising, given that Ecuador is considered the epicenter of the virus for LATAM and the Caribbean, but it may show travelers have more confidence in Ecuador’s actions to mitigate COVID-19.
While you have limited control over how your government is containing the virus, you can stress to local officials that not adhering to the World Health Organizations’ guidelines will mean delayed travel recovery, and consequently fewer dollars invested in the local economy. You can also begin communicating your own safety measures in your ad creatives and messaging, so prospective visitors feel reassured booking your property, experience, or flight.
This week’s webinar focuses on how marketers can adjust their ad creatives to engage with their customers during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery, and shares tips for ad copy, examples of images that perform well, and current ad trends that help drive business.
You can download the slides here. We’ll continue to share more insights as we monitor the situation and provide recommendations in this series. For the rest of the COVID-19 insights series click here.