Online Marketing 2015 vs 2016 Travel – Which Will Be Bigger?

This blog post will analyze the travel industry to determine which marketing channel is more effective in today’s world of digital nomads and digital marketing. Through case study research, we will identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for both Travel 2015 and Travel 2016 to highlight how the future of travel may change as a result of the evolution of technology and the internet.

Global Online Marketing Spending Will Be Over $11.9B In 2016

According to a report from GlobalWebIndex, global online marketing spending will reach $11.9 billion in 2016.

In the UK alone, online marketing spending is forecast to grow by 23% year-on-year, reaching £4.9 billion in 2021.

While this still only represents a small proportion of marketing budgets, it is expected to grow significantly as more and more businesses utilize the power of the internet to reach out to potential customers and build credibility.

Why Should You Look At Trends In The Travel Industry?

It’s well-established that the travel industry is heavily dependent on trend-setting and visionary individuals who are able to predict future market trends. For example, low ticket sales in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic led to the development of Airbnb which completely changed the way we travel. With social distancing becoming the new normal, fewer people are traveling to destinations and more are exploring the world around them.

Similarly, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual reality (VR) technologies have seen increased adoption in the travel industry. Specifically, virtual tours have become incredibly popular as a way for consumers to virtually explore destinations before making a booking. VR technologies also provide an excellent way for travel brands to interact with consumers via avatars (animated characters) in a digital world.

As a digital marketer, if you’re not keeping an eye on the travel industry, you’re missing out on a goldmine of customer insights and marketplace trends.

Travel Trends 2018

In the spirit of exploring future trends in the travel industry, let’s take a quick look at some of the most interesting developments and innovations in 2018.

Airbnb has continued to expand internationally in a big way, opening over 300 new offices and launching in over 100 new countries in 2018. As a result of this growth strategy, Airbnb now operates in 191 countries around the world. In 2018, Airbnb launched its own credit card which can be used for bookings and as a travel cashback bonus.

Traveling to another country has become easier than ever before thanks to smartphone apps and websites which allow tourists to plan itineraries and find the best prices. Apps such as Tourist Eyes allow users to research and compare prices and itineraries for popular destinations, while booking apps ensure that travelers can make bookings with the simple push of a button.

Skype has invested heavily in virtual reality technologies in order to integrate them more effectively into its communications platforms. In August 2018, it acquired VR content creators Luma Pictures for a cool $30 million.

Alongside Airbnb and Skype, other renowned tech companies have also entered the fray, investing heavily in virtual reality technologies as a result of the potential they see in this space. This trend will continue in the coming years, with Gartner predicting that by next year, 75% of all travel will be carried out virtually.

As we’ve established, the travel industry is always on the cutting edge of technology, and these companies are recognizing the value of investing in this area. If your business isn’t digital, you’re already losing out on a huge opportunity.

Travellers’ Tricky Demographics

Since traveling is both fun and beneficial to the human mind, body, and soul, older generations are still going on vacation despite the current health concerns. However, as people age, they become more wary of medical risks associated with travel, leading to less package tour travel and more solo trips abroad.

The desire to explore the world still drives many senior citizens to travel, but due to safety concerns and the ever-increasing cost of medical treatment abroad, they require more care and attention than they’re used to getting back home. For instance, booking a vacation apartment with all the necessary care providers and getting help at every turn could become too expensive, so solo travel would be the preferred option.

The rise of the digital nomad lifestyle has also led to a rise in the number of single travelers who are making the world their oyster. According to Statista, in 2021, about 35.9 million American adults will be single, with the percentage of single adults in the United States increasing from 28% in 2016 to 33% in 2025.

Singles are more likely to seek out solo travel experiences which don’t require as much social interaction, potentially leading to more solitary trips in the future. Since 2021 is a leap year, there will also be an increase in the number of people taking a vacation on their own.

The Ups And Downs Of The Tourist Industry

Like any other industry, the tourist industry has seen fluctuating fortunes since the beginning of this year. While several major destinations saw an increase in visitors as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, several others experienced a decline. While it’s too soon to tell, it seems as though the industry will eventually bounce back as people want to travel and gain some culture as a result of the pandemic.

However, as soon as the world recovers, the desire to travel will be as strong as ever, with business analysts firm, GoConvoys foreseeing a 23% rise in 2022 vacation demand as a result of the pandemic. While the industry remains buoyant, there is certainly a sense of caution amongst merchants and travel agents as they await the future of travel post-pandemic.

The Rise Of Online Travel Agencies

In the past, tourists would either travel independently or as part of a group, but thanks to the pandemic and the resulting fear of spreading the virus, people are searching for alternative travel options. As a result, online travel agencies have emerged as a potential boon to consumers.

Travel agencies can be a great way for people to travel in a group and make the most of their travel budget. Plus, since group travel is not something people want to do, going solo may reduce the risk of the pandemic being passed on.

In 2021 alone, travel agencies will generate $13.7 billion in revenue, representing a 25% increase from the $11.2 billion in revenue they generated in 2020. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), clients are also seeking out agenciesto ensure all their travel-related needs are met, including booking accommodations, arranging transport, and dealing with any emergencies.

In addition to saving travelers time and money, online travel agencies allow those who wanted to travel but were afraid to leave the house due to the pandemic to do so. In fact, in 2021 solo travel will be just as popular as group travel once the world recovers from the pandemic.

Which Will Be Bigger?

It’s clear that the future of the travel industry will be significantly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s very early to say which direction it will take. The world may never be the same again, and while it will be fun to speculate on what the future of travel may hold, the only person who truly knows is you.