Why is the holiday season so important to travel marketing?

Marketing during the holiday season is a high-stakes time for marketers. There’s an enormous amount of stress on marketers who are trying to capture the attention of the large audience travelling over the holidays.

During this holiday season more than 2 in 5 Americans (44%) plan to spend money on flights or hotel stays, spending $1,582, on average. That’s over 113 million holiday travellers, spending nearly $180 billion on travel expenses.

If you’re a marketer in the travel industry, it’s crucial to take advantage of the holiday season so that your business can benefit from this uptick in consumer spending.

Here are key tips to build your best holiday marketing plan.


How do marketers prepare for holiday travel trends?

Before you start building your holiday marketing plan, find the insights that speak specifically to the travel products you are selling. 

Marketers shouldn’t get caught up in the big global trends, especially if they do not speak to your ideal audience. Consumer spending is obviously grand regardless of whether it’s slightly up or down from one year to the next. So when your researching this year’s travel trends, focus on what only your ideal customers will be affected by.

For example, if the West is expected to have heavy snow this winter (which it is!)- hotels and flights serving ski markets will be able to capitalize on promoting inventory in that area.

Mexico and Caribbean Travel is expected to be strong again this winter – so Air travel rental cars and resorts in those destinations should be able to capitalize.

Identify insights from reputable sources that serve your product best and market to it.

As consumer spending is up, so is marketing. It’s competitive!

In Q4 of last year, we saw a total estimated spend of $38.82 billion ($4.89 bn – Print / $16.15 bn – Digital / $17.78 bn – TV, according to MediaRadar. That’s about 30% of the spend for the year!

Take a deep breath and remember, that you can never go wrong by providing value and engaging your customers.


How to market holidays?


1. Use Data

First-Party data enables you to speak to the consumer you most covet. 92% of marketers find first-party data to be the most valuable for targeting and segmentation purposes. Through our platform, Navigator uses only first-party data to identify and target prospects and audiences for the most qualified marketing.

Data is valuable for all positions along the funnel from Awareness or Introduction to Point of Sale.

40% of all Americans travel in December. 29% will go somewhere for Thanksgiving and 19% will be away from home over New Year’s, according to NerdWallet.

When you use data, you can identify your customers within this large group of travellers at the right place and time.


2. Be smart with your creative

Through the data that we have, we now know exactly what they are searching for and we should speak to that in the creative.

Use creative of your resorts in Riviera Maya to travellers flying into Cancun.

Show Big Ben for travellers looking to cross the Atlantic and land in Heathrow or Gatwick.

If you are looking to sell hotel rooms, flight seats, or cruise packages you want to showcase specific deals with prices highlighted in the creative.

Always have 4 to 5 creatives in rotation with one “soaker” ad as a backup so that you do not go dark. Navigators offers creative insights, consultation and design services as part of our marketing services at no charge.


3. Leverage Social Media

Every media channel has its place and reason for being, but Social Media really stands out during the holidays.

The medium connects you to friends and family, which is what the holidays are all about. Understand the role of social media and use the right unique voice and creative for each specific platform.

Travel Marketing works on social platforms!


Follow the principles of marketing

Follow the right principles of marketing to ensure that you compete and win customers during this holiday season.

When you identify with your customers and inspire them to act with your message and creativity, you will have the best gift a marketer could ask for this holiday. The goal is to cap off a great year and help to build your base for the next.

Happy Holidays and Happy Marketing!



Written by Grant Palmer
from the Commercial Team at Navigator