Commentary

Who Likes Surveys? At Least One Travel Insurance Company Does

Who likes surveys? Raise your hands.

Clearly consumers love travel surveys: Top 10 Destinations for 2023;  Favorite Beaches; Best Cities for Single Travelers; and on and on.

So why is a company that sells travel insurance conducting some of the most high-profile surveys in travel?

“Surveys give us a platform to more media,” Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at Allianz Partners USA, said.

Some surveys are based on the company’s own customer data, while others are consumer surveys. One -- the Vacation Confidence Index survey --  has been going strong for 14 years and provides Allianz with extensive coverage.

That research measures the intent of Americans to go on vacation and how much they are planning to spend. It is conducted by the respected polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs. 

When it distributes its survey results, Allianz includes news about its insurance products, which otherwise might not be of interest to media. For instance, when the company added COVID-19 coverage to its policies, that became part of the many survey stories.  

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The latest vacation confidence survey insights have appeared in widely seen media from, Forbes to USA Today to NBC’s “The Today Show.” This year the campaign netted 1.8 billion impressions from 1,750 clips, amounting to $48 million in advertising equivalency.

The company has become so well-known for its surveys that when it coined the term “micro-cations,” that phrase become common parlance in travel circles. (A micro-cation is defined as a leisure trip at least 100 miles from home that’s four nights or fewer in duration.)

The most recent survey was published just this month and was called the Allianz Partners 2022 European Holiday Destination Index. Allianz reviewed more than 608,000 travel itineraries across the peak holiday travel period to highlight the season’s most popular European destinations for 2022. Round-trip flights departing from United States airports between Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, and Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, were considered. (For the curious, the top five were London, Paris, Madrid, Rome and Amsterdam).

In a press release about the survey, Durazo is quoted talking about inflation, the strong dollar and other issues -- and then gets in a pitch for “making a travel insurance policy the best gift to add to your holiday shopping list.” The quote includes the point that insurance can provide peace of mind by safeguarding prepaid travel investments from covered unexpected events like trip cancellations or interruptions, travel delays, baggage issues or even medical emergencies. The press release went on to herald recent policy enhancements from the company.

Allianz is certainly not the only company that uses surveys and similar eyeball-grabbing news to promote its own products. However, the company does it consistently, professionally and in a way that provides it with credibility. There are a lot of silly or not believable “polls” out there that probably do more harm than good  to a marketer’s message, but doing it right can be really effective.

How many of you agree?

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