Travel Marketing Trends for 2023

June 19, 2023

The travel marketing sector is changing along with consumer behavior. TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube continue to see high levels of interaction.

In a saturated market, Airbnb is competing with hotels and resorts. Online travel services have advanced and gotten simpler to use. 

Travel companies must anticipate market trends to find space in such a cutthroat industry. This resource is an excellent starting point. 

Particularly in the last few years, travel marketing has been moving toward something fresh and innovative.

It will be difficult to develop a focused travel marketing plan for 2023, especially given how the market is changing and how it will affect both the messaging and the medium.

Let us look at the landscape from our perspective and highlight the key trends in travel marketing for 2023 and beyond. 

The Travel Industry in 2023: by the Numbers

After the Covid-19 outbreak, several significant changes have occurred in how people wish to travel. People do not want the same experience any longer. They emphasize excursions that offer real, local travel experiences and excellent lodging. 

Additionally, people have started doing more thorough research on chosen travel destinations. Travel videos have become increasingly popular because many customers prefer to travel electronically before planning a vacation. They want immersive marketing before they make their reservation and an engaging experience at their location. 

To compete with other top vacation spots in your neighborhood and around the world, it is important to take the time to identify significant trends in travel marketing for your resort, hotel, or attraction. 

International tourist arrivals could reach 80% to 95% of pre-pandemic levels this year, according to UNWTO's projections for 2023, depending on the severity of the economic slowdown, the pace of travel recovery in Asia and the Pacific, and the progress of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, among other factors.

More than 900 million tourists traveled abroad in 2022, the UNWTO reports, which is double the number seen in 2021 but still 63% below pre-pandemic levels. 

The number of foreign tourists increased significantly across the board. The Middle East experienced the greatest relative growth, with arrivals reaching 83% of pre-pandemic levels. 

With 585 million newcomers arriving in Europe in 2022, pre-pandemic levels were almost 80% restored.

Due to stricter pandemic-related restrictions that have just recently begun to be lifted, Asia and the Pacific only regained around 23% of their pre-pandemic visits, whereas Africa and the Americas both recovered over 65%. 

The first UNWTO World Tourism Barometer for 2023 examines top performers in 2022, including numerous locations that have already attained levels similar to 2019 and performance by region.

Top 15 Travel Marketing Trends in 2023 Travel Companies Should Leverage

Augment Experiences with Augmented Reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality are slightly different. Augmented reality involves using apps and overlays to display objects in a certain location. Travel agencies can use this to improve real-life settings. 

For instance, when a phone is aimed at a building, a review app may provide customer ratings for a restaurant.

Ingeniously utilizing augmented reality, some hotels offer wall maps in the rooms and a companion app that adds further information to the map.

For instance, look at this augmented reality travel guide to Florence, Italy.

Boost Reputation through Review Marketing

Utilizing customer feedback and doing review marketing is one of the best strategies for promoting your destination within the travel industry. 

The travel and tourism industry has embraced word-of-mouth advertising as a crucial marketing strategy to boost bookings and achieve traction. 

However, with the rise of travel and review websites like TripAdvisor and other online travel agencies, using this data is simpler than ever.

Customers look to review marketing for bargains, discounts, and decision-making in the travel and tourist industry. 

Reviews for hotels, airlines, tours, and services can be found on websites and services like TripAdvisor,,, and others. 

Reviews will likely produce excellent benefits for you if they are a component of your trip marketing plan. Look at the top hotel names in this search for accommodations in Michigan; they all have excellent Google reviews.  

As a travel marketer, you must ensure that the information on your profiles on sites like Google, TripAdvisor, Kayak, etc., is up to date and includes accurate photographs, descriptions, and prices.

Additionally, you need enough reviews to counteract any unfavorable ones. 

The key travel marketing advice in this area is to take the time to update the details and images on each review platform and ask customers to post feedback via email. 

These travel websites already have reviews for most destinations because customers are happy to contribute independently. These statistics can be used by travel and tourist businesses to promote their goods. 

Customer testimonials are a very beneficial addition to your website since they present actual client experiences.

But you can also utilize that information to guide your future strategies. What do consumers enjoy? What don't they react to well? 

Deliver Personalized and Targeted Marketing Strategies

One of the biggest trends in the tourism sector is personalized travel experiences, and some brands have already jumped on board. A study found that 69% of tourists would be more devoted to a supplier who tailored their experiences. 

For instance, look at this Hilton Hotels virtual guide, which is a component of the Hilton Honors program. 

During their stays, guests are accompanied by the app. It offers ideas, counsel, exercises, clears up uncertainties, and more. The software directs users to the hotel spa and offers them a special price.

Visitors can use the app as a key, check in, and operate any linked devices in their room. Additionally, app users amass points they may exchange for Amazon gift cards or share with friends.

Personalized or targeted marketing can include remarketing efforts, AI-based suggestions, tailored emails, and SMS messaging. 

Encourage User Generated Content

User-generated social media posts, like pictures, videos, and remarks on blog posts, are all examples of user-generated content. User-generated content can be used in your travel marketing strategy to increase brand recognition and authenticity.

While hotels or attractions can offer a digital photo booth at their location, which automatically adds the business or relevant hashtag to every photo, restaurants can encourage guests to upload photos to their websites. On social media, brands can run competitions to generate user-generated content. 

For instance, Visit Mesa requested entries describing what Mesa (a city in Arizona, USA) meant to participants in their For the Love of Mesa contest. The top images and videos were showcased in the song "For the Love of Mesa" music video. Look at it here:

Hashtag campaigns are another excellent technique to develop user-generated content and covertly market your goods and services. For instance, Cathay Pacific developed the hashtag #lifewelltraveled in 2015 to complement their extensive digital marketing efforts. 

The regular involvement of travel blogger Jessica Stein helped the hashtag take on a life of its own. With 2,978,349 Instagram posts as of today, the hashtag is still being used and is rather well-liked.

Highlight Value with Financially Oriented Messages

Many customers are expected to reduce travel expenses by taking fewer visits overseas as the cost-of-living problem spreads.

This will probably result in fewer people taking overseas vacations, but it will also affect those who go abroad, changing the market's emphasis toward more affordable travel.

The travel industry should anticipate a change toward more affordable vacations due to those who will take a vacation abroad this year. 

TUI's 'Next Summer Sorted' campaign is one excellent illustration of a brand adjusting to this transformation in the travel industry.

With the help of this campaign, the company introduced fixed prices that can be paid in installments, making it possible for travelers on a tight budget to plan their vacations responsibly.

By emphasizing cost in their unique selling propositions, businesses can attempt to incorporate these themes into their tourism marketing campaigns for the upcoming year.

Additionally, it is crucial to make sure payment options are offered so that clients can spread the cost of their vacation over a longer period. 

One significant benefit of this climate is the decline in brand loyalty in favor of more affordable alternatives. It emphasizes the significance of paid advertising to attract new clients and loyalty programs to keep current ones.

Immerse Customers with Virtual Reality Experiences

Though Virtual Reality gear is ideal for the finest virtual experience, 360-degree and panorama videos can also create a similar effect today. Various industry segments use this sort of travel marketing, which is growing in popularity. 

For instance, hotels showcase their rooms with Virtual Reality tours, while travel agencies provide Virtual Reality videos of tourist spots. Take a look at this Virtual Reality tour of the Conrad Koh Samui resort, for instance.

Particularly after the pandemic, virtual reality is starting to take hold. That means that marketers in the travel and tourism sector can use 360-degree and panorama videos to provide potential customers with a realistic experience. It is particularly crucial because travelers are doing more research than ever before prior to booking a trip. 

Videos created in virtual reality can advertise several services, such as hotel rooms, facilities, or other adventures. Using virtual reality to increase consumer engagement can significantly improve the booking process and allow customers to see your location before they travel there.

Leverage the Trust-Building Power of Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers, having a follower count ranging from 10,000 to 100,000, have emerged as an effective marketing strategy in the travel industry. 

They foster an authentic connection, increasing engagement rates and influencing purchase behavior, especially among Gen Z.

British Airways' 'UnGrounded' campaign is an excellent example of micro-influencers potential. 

They flew 100 tech specialists from Silicon Valley to London, promoting innovative ideas to address global social issues and demonstrating the value of the travel experience and the benefits of business travel. This campaign garnered media attention, particularly from tech-sector business travelers.

Collaboration with these micro-influencers offers an opportunity for direct bookings, as many of them don't have agents. Incorporating their user-generated content, such as high-quality video and audio recordings, into marketing campaigns can boost brand loyalty, create buzz, and enhance digital marketing efforts for travel companies. 

By focusing on the right target audience, these influencers can help the travel and tourism sector to navigate the new reality of marketing trends.

Make Facebook Ads Your Go-To Strategy

In 2020, despite the pandemic, a brave few travel agencies took a risk and ventured into Facebook Advertising. 

They achieved impressive results, earning over six figures in revenue from reservations with less than $1,000 spent on advertising. 

This success may have required carefully testing multiple design and audience combinations, but it allowed these travel marketers to uncover exciting new target markets.

For instance, Morgan Cantrell, the creator of the Georgia-based walking tour company History Well Traveled, discovered that older generations were the ones who engaged with their Facebook ads the most! 

Facebook Ads seem to have become among the trendiest trends in senior travel.

Facebook advertisements may provide a real return on investment and offer enormous reach, tapping into their 2 billion monthly active users and exploiting hundreds of targeting and retargeting possibilities.

Modify Strategies to Cater to Blended Travel Trends

Travel marketing should focus not only on distribution and communication but also on the product - the hospitality experience. 

The pandemic has led to new remote and hybrid work trends, which have changed how people travel. 

Businesses are implementing regulations to make working from anywhere more straightforward than ever. 

Travel for both business and pleasure is becoming integrated, and tourists look for specific advantages when making direct reservations. 

Has your product or service adapted to this new reality, and is it effectively communicated on your website?

Optimize for Voice Search

As more people use smart devices like Alexa and Google Home, voice search should be part of your travel marketing strategy. 

Optimize your web content for voice searches and consider adding smart hubs to guest rooms for a better travel experience.

This video, which focuses on the Expedia skill for Amazon Alexa, provides a good illustration of voice search in the travel sector. 

This gives customers a voice-activated way to plan and book their upcoming travel.

Prioritize Personalization for Increased Engagement

Personalization is crucial to brand success in travel by tailoring content and messaging to regional markets. 

Airbnb's success can be attributed to its app and website being available in multiple languages and translating user-generated content. 

Businesses must use behavioral science and customer data insights to appeal to users, with 52% expecting personalized offers.

Google Analytics provides demographic information to tailor content and ads for strategy diversification.

Re-Engage Customers with Remarketing

When planning a trip, many travelers don't immediately book with the first airline or hotel that comes to mind. 

A study by Think with Google found that only 14% of leisure travelers do so for airlines and only 10% for hotels. 

That's why keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds is essential throughout their decision-making process. 

One effective way to do this is through remarketing, which allows you to personalize your content using platforms like Facebook and Google AdWords. 

By tailoring your messaging to each customer, you can increase the chances of conversion and build a loyal customer base.

Utilize Artificial Intelligence for Improved Strategies

AI-powered chatbots are becoming popular in the travel industry to enhance customer service. 

They can provide round-the-clock support and speed up response times when staff is unavailable. 

AI is also used for suggested flights, personalized offers, and dynamic pricing.

For example, uses a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help travelers find accommodations by asking questions about their itinerary and selecting the top 5 hotels that meet their needs.

Advocate for Sustainable Tourism without Resorting to Greenwashing

With an increasing number of people showing concern for the environment, ecotourism is becoming more popular. 

To attract customers, travel agencies must genuinely commit to eco values and avoid greenwashing. 

Collaborating with influencers can be beneficial, but exercising caution when working with other companies is crucial to prevent any harm to the company's reputation. In some cases, crisis management may be necessary. 

Align Your Marketing Efforts with Diversity and Sustainability Goals

The travel industry is receiving backlash regarding its harmful effects on the environment. 

Therefore, companies must prioritize eco-friendly options. Furthermore, showcasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (EDI) in their online output is imperative for travel destinations. 

Tourists are willing to spend more money on choices that align with their personal values.

FAQs: Travel Marketing Trends

What is the travel marketing trend in 2023?

Customers making online reservations with travel companies that offer exceptional customer service will be a key trend in the travel industry in 2023. Many customers are even willing to pay more for it. 

What are emerging trends in tourism?

Advanced technology and sustainable tourism are two of the most pertinent tourism trends 2023. Tourism companies are bringing convenience and sustainability to travelers.

What is the outlook for the travel industry in 2023?

Global leisure travel is still strong, increasing by almost 31% in March 2023 compared to the same month in 2019, a remarkable 25% increase year-over-year.

Conclusion: Travel Marketing Trends

The travel industry will see changes in 2023, with trends like video content and ecotourism continuing. 

Future trends include value-based marketing and personalization. To succeed, travel marketers must craft their messaging and plan content carefully. 

Emotional connection and freedom are key selling points. Companies should establish new connections and cater to price-conscious customers.

Written By
Kim Pañares

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