7 Digital Marketing Trends Reshaping the Travel Industry

Digital marketing has transformed many industries, but none perhaps as dramatically as travel. This month, we’ll be sharing our tips and tricks specifically for travel and hospitality marketers, starting with these trends you’ll want to keep an eye on:

1. The rise of real-time data optimization
“Knowing certain indicators provided by real-time analytics can prompt tailored marketing to influence the buying decisions of guests looking for a place to stay, eat, or play,” writes Angela Stringfellow at NG Data. “Using the number of rooms available or how many people are looking at a certain event can be powerful motivators. Hospitality companies can dynamically optimize pricing packages and deals to put the right offer in front of the right customer at the right time.”

2. The move toward ‘experience platforms’
“It’s become increasingly clear that more travel brands want to expand beyond what they’re known for doing in travel and into new segments of travelers’ experiences,” writes Deanna Ting at “This erosion of traditional silos in travel is transforming travel brands into true experience platforms, or channels through which we, the travelers, can have our vacation and business-trip experiences shaped and guided not by a multitude of companies, but by just a handful — and soon, maybe only one.”

3. The strategic use of user-generated content (UGC)
“Whether it’s photos, video, text, fan art, or just another selfie, UGC can be a powerful and very affordable tool for big brands, small business, and anyone in between,” writes Anastasia Dyakovskaya at NewsCred Insights. “These days, there’s nothing more convincing than a real person’s tried-and-true recommendations. Because traveling is such an emotional experience, globetrotters around the world deliver a constant stream of stunning, visually-driven UGC that brands can – and should – leverage.”

4. The critical role of compelling visual content
“Travel and hospitality have always been especially good verticals for visual content,” writes Michael Del Gigante of MDG Advertising. “Today’s trip planners engage across formats and channels: 49% say they look at travel content sites, 30% look at social media, and 23% watch videos. In other words, it’s now highly likely that audiences will encounter – or will even seek out – images and videos related to your brand before finalizing travel plans.”

5. The importance of ‘next-level’ personalization
“As travel brands across all industry sectors are starting to realize, the process of understanding the customer journey, and what travelers want in the moment, requires a more tailored approach to marketing than what’s currently offered,” writes Kurt Weinsheimer at Sojurn. “It will require a willingness to take personalization to the next level, evolving beyond broad-based target segments and commodity products to offer exactly the right product, to the right customer, at the right time.”

6. Google’s ascent as an online travel agent
“Many industry pundits have predicted that Google would eventually become a full-fledged online travel agency,” writes Frederic Gonzalo on his blog. “From Flight Search to Maps to its Google Trip mobile app and everything in between, the potential is certainly there. Google is presently the number-two site for hotel reviews worldwide. In 2019, we can expect Google to become the number one site for hotel reviews, ahead of Booking and Facebook.”

7. Consumers’ ever-increasing reliance on mobile
“The cell phone has become our tour guide, travel agency, best restaurant locator, map, and more,” writes Belen Vidal at we are marketing. “In fact, according to TripAdvisor, 45% of users use their smartphone for everything having to do with their vacations. This is why there’s a need to adapt corporate services and communications to these devices. KLM, for example, has already created an information service for passengers using Facebook Messenger.”