DMO Travel Advertising Trends in 2019

February 8, 2022

July 29, 2019

What are DMOs focused on? And where are they spending? In Sojern’s 2019 State of the Travel Industry Report over 600 travel marketers weighed in on the biggest marketing and measurement challenges, strategies for determining spend allocation across platforms and channels, which digital media channels and formats are being used, and the future of travel advertising. Here are some of the key trends Sojern found for DMOs:

Trend #1 Digital is Growing Faster Than Ever for DMOs

Digital was only 40% of advertising spend in 2018 (the lowest of all the verticals), but that number will rise, with 73% of DMOs planning to spend more in 2019. And along with increasing digital ad budgets, the number of available advertising channels, platforms, and tools continues to grow—creating both massive opportunity but increased complexity for marketers.


Since DMOs have a lot of catching up to do in the digital space we can expect to see much higher usage over the next few years.

“You must shift your mind from airing your campaigns and waiting for your audiences to chase you. It’s really important to find your audience and then be there, where they’re most interested and engaged.” - Lilian Moschidou Marketing Director, This is Athens and Partners

Trend #2 Video is on the Rise for DMOs

Because videos easily help tell the story of travel, it’s no surprise that Facebook and YouTube are the most utilized ad video platforms globally.One of the key trends we see globally is the use of visual storytelling as travelers increasingly consume information through watching online videos. In 2019, similar to 2018, the top 3 channels marketers plan to invest for video are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Instagram video especially is showing fast growth, rising from 47% in 2018 to 62% this year.

“We are running multi-platform campaigns to increase the relevancy with our audience. And we are investing in digital video campaigns mainly under and integrated communication strategy that conveys powerful, authentic stories and intrigues our audience to find out more about our destination.” - Lilian M0schidiou Marketing Director, This is Athens and Partners


Trend #3 DMOs are Taking Advantage of Social Stories

The product that will see the most growth this year is the Stories format. Over half of DMOs intend to advertise on Facebook (56%) and Instagram (62%) Stories this year. This is up from 41% on Facebook Stories and 53% on Instagram Stories in 2018. The Stories format is proving increasingly popular with consumers, and the travel marketers trying to reach them. Stories offer more information in a visual format at a faster rate, accounting for consumers’ rapidly shrinking attention spans. Roughly half of Instagram’s 1 billion users now use Instagram Stories every day, and over 2 million advertisers are now buying Stories ads across Facebook’s platforms.


Looking for more detail on the key challenges travel marketers face, how they’re allocating advertising budget across channels, where they are finding success, and what technologies may impact the future of marketing?Download our full State of the Industry: The 2019 Report on Travel Advertising today.

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