Expedia’s Quirky Ad Encourages Cooped-Up Consumers to Turn Travel Fantasies Into Reality

A living-room coffee table becomes a convertible car with unlimited miles, and a household broom turns into a diving board for a crystalline swimming pool. That’s what can happen if you let your imagination run wild and daydream about a vacation while sheltering at home. Expedia knows that many people in the country are going…

Marriott Tempts Loyalty Members to Get Outdoors

Key Insight: During the pandemic, travelers have opted for drive-to leisure destinations, such as beaches and parks. For travelers who want to pair visits to Yellowstone, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks with indoor plumbing, Marriott announced this morning it’s teaming up with the National Park Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Park Service….

While Other Airlines Stay Quiet, Southwest Goes Big on Ads

Southwest Airlines is rolling out its second campaign of the pandemic, another sign that the Dallas-based airline is going against the grain of an industry that’s faced pandemic-induced decimation. The “Wanna Get Away” campaign, released today, features two 30-second spots created with agency GSD&M. It’s familiar ground for the brand, which first rolled out “Wanna…

Hotels.com Travels Back to 2019 BC (Before Covid-19) With a Warning of What’s to Come

This time last year, if someone told you that in 2020 you’d live through a global pandemic, borders would close and grocery shoppers would physically fight over basic essentials like toilet paper, you’d think they were mad. But 2020 has, by all measures, been an unpredictable year. Hotels.com makes light of the absurdity that is…

The Fresh Prince’s Bel-Air Mansion Is Now Available on Airbnb

Airbnb knows that all our lives have been flipped and turned upside down. So here’s a remedy: Fans of the sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will have a shot to spend one night in Will Smith’s famed white-pillared mansion thanks to Airbnb. Starting Sept. 29, groups of two lucky Los Angeles County residents will have…

Cabins and RV Rentals Carve Out Their Niche During the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the travel sector, hitting the airline, cruise and hotel categories hard. But travel subcategories such as nature gateways and rentals of recreational vehicles are booming, and seizing the opportunity to grow. With people reluctant to travel long distances or in crowds, companies like Getaway, which connects people…

United Airlines Announces New International Routes With Cryptic Video

In such a dire travel ecosystem, almost any announcement from a travel brand is a big deal–new partnerships with cleaning products, resuming routes and reducing capacity. With advertising budgets slashed, brands have been largely quiet, putting out minimal messaging that it’s safe to fly and encouraging would-be travelers to book a trip. That’s why it…

Tourism Brands Join Forces to Get People Traveling Again

The U.S. Travel Association has a simple message for the country: Let’s go there. Anywhere. Literally, anywhere. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, but please, put something on the calendar. Launched this morning, the new campaign titled “Let’s Go There” is a collaboration between prominent USTA members including Marriott, Disney, Delta and American Airlines, along…

Virgin Invites Locals to Test Out Its New Nashville Hotel by Accomplishing ‘Firsts’

No one’s suggesting that visitors to the new Virgin hotel in Nashville should act like rock stars, circa 1969, tossing TVs off balconies, smashing plate-glass windows and trashing the place. In fact, the hotel would rather you didn’t. But if you want to get up to some mild 2020-style shenanigans–like checking in with a fake…

By Ending Change Fees, U.S. Airlines Gain a New Marketing Tool

The airline industry’s myriad fees have been a bone of contention with travelers for years, and the change fee–which charges fliers as much as $200 to take a different flight after purchasing a ticket–is one of the most hated. But this week, within a few hours of one another led by United Airlines, almost every…

Coors Light Wants to Fly You to the Place in Your Zoom Background, So Choose Wisely

Over these long months of quarantine, we’ve all gotten a little aspirational with our virtual backgrounds thanks to video chat platforms like Zoom. Now, Coors Light and agency DDB are offering to actually send you to the real location in your virtual background–eventually, when things are safe and Americans are allowed into other countries again….

United Permanently Cuts the Dreaded Ticket Change Fee

At the height of the 2008 economic recession, American Airlines became the first major carrier to charge for a checked bag. More than a decade later, travelers now almost expect to be nickel and dimed for everything short of using the lavatory (though Ryanair floated that idea in 2010). But now, in the midst of…

How Hilton Is Marketing Through the Pandemic (Pinterest Has Been Key)

In the travel industry, the customer journey has always been a fickle thing for marketers. There are online travel agencies displaying discounts, thousands of review sites, and a whole Google suite of travel products dedicated to helping travelers get a good deal. As travel demand has plunged during the pandemic, and is just barely beginning…

DTC Luggage Brand Away Is Marketing New Pet Carriers Directly to Furry Travelers

In time for International Dog Day on Wednesday, and after months of lonely homebound humans rushing to bring new pets into their lives during lockdown, direct-to-consumer (DTC) luggage brand Away has added a new, animal-centric item to its repertoire: a pet carrier. To promote the new product, Away’s marketing team worked to get inside the…

Airbnb Wants You to See America’s Still Great, but Lesser-Known, Outdoors

As if anyone needed an excuse to get out into the wilderness this summer, Airbnb has set its sights on the outdoors, launching a campaign alongside the National Park Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Park Service. Exactly 104 years since President Woodrow Wilson signed the act formally creating the National Park Service, Airbnb…

Travelers Still Don’t Trust Hotel Brands

It took a little less than two months into the pandemic for top hospitality brands including Hilton and Marriott to try and reassure travelers that their rooms were squeaky clean, even amid the health crisis. In April, Marriott announced a council featuring prominent doctors to elevate its own cleanliness standards. A week later, Hilton announced…

Faroe Islands, Population 50,000, Lured in 700,000 Virtual Visitors With Gamified Tours

The remote Faroe Islands continue to show the rest of the world how it’s done on the marketing front, attracting 700,000 visitors from 197 countries with its recent gamified, live virtual tours. For context, the sparsely populated Nordic nation–where its 80,000 sheep far outnumber its 50,000 human inhabitants–had about 130,000 real-life visitors in 2019. During…

Cruisers Tell the CDC: Let Us Back on Board

Fans of the cruising industry can now air their grievances about the federal No Sail Order issued in March directly to the government agency that issued it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is responsible for regulating health standards for the industry, has formally requested information from cruise lines on how they plans…

Will the Airline Industry Get Another Bailout?

Before they were given more than $25 billion in March, airline executives warned Congress that if it didn’t act quickly, the industry would see unprecedented layoffs as travel restrictions sent demand plummeting. “Time is running out,” they wrote roughly 10 days after the NBA suspended its season and more than 1,000 Americans tested positive for…

Travel Ad Spend Has (Slightly) Recovered Since the Pandemic Began

Key insights Marketers want to keep brands top of mind during the pandemic, when consumer demand for travel ebbs and flows. Flexible work-from-home policies could extend the leisure travel season. Advertising spend in the travel industry has increased by nearly 22% since early April, when demand cratered at the onset of the pandemic. In April,…