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Why Streaming TV Advertising is Primed for the Travel Resurgence

Author: Keith Norman, Head of Enterprise Sales at Premion

The U.S. travel rebound is in full swing as vaccinated Americans are ready and eager to travel. Summer travel searches and bookings are surging and more than three-quarters of Americans (77%) plan to take a trip this summer and two-thirds already have a summer trip either planned out (36%) or booked (30%), according to a May 2021 Harris Poll survey. The study also revealed that of the Americans who have either planned or booked summer travel plans, more than half (53%) will be traveling for the very first time since the start of the pandemic.

As such, a travel and tourism marketing blitz is underway to win over travel enthusiasts — from New York City’s $30 million ad campaign to states like Connecticut and Georgia that have each rolled out their respective campaigns to boost local tourism. Furthermore, worldwide travel and transport advertising spend is soaring and expected to grow by nearly 30% this year — the highest of all industries tracked, according to Dentsu Aegis Network.

As travel and leisure brands ramp up their marketing campaigns in a major way, many are turning their attention to the significant opportunity to reach the spiraling and highly engaged streaming TV audience with Connected TV (CTV) and OTT (over-the-top) advertising. This year, eMarketer projects 83% of U.S. households to be CTV households. CTV has become the fastest growing advertising channel, outpacing other formats and shows no signs of slowing down, according to IAB's "Video Ad Spend 2020 and Outlook for 2021" report, which finds that nearly three quarters (73%) of CTV buyers report shifting budget from broadcast and cable to CTV in 2021. Advertisers, on average, spent $20 million on CTV in 2020, and more than a third (35%) of buyers expect to increase CTV video ad spending in 2021.

CTV and OTT provide travel and tourism brands with an ideal blend of digital marketing capabilities with the quality viewing experience of television. Specifically, the addressability in CTV and OTT allows advertisers to tailor messages and target viewers by location, such as zip codes, dayparts, and even by consumer behaviors and interests. Moreover, consumers have embraced ad-supported OTT and 91% of CTV users watch some form of ad-supported streaming video content, according to IAS.

Travel Enthusiasts are OTT Viewers

Today’s travel enthusiasts make up a large majority of OTT viewers. According to MRI Simmons April 2021 Cord Evolution study, 87% of travel enthusiasts are OTT viewers and 76% have watched ad-supported OTT in the past 12 months. Among the report’s notable findings:

  • 77% of those likely to travel in the U.S. in the next 12 months watch ad-supported OTT.
  • 78% of those likely to travel abroad in the next 12 months watch ad-supported OTT.
  • 79% of ad-supported OTT viewers prefer to book a trip online than with a travel agent; 81% say they love doing their own research on a location before going on vacation.
  • 94% of those who stay at a home rental, such as via Airbnb or VRBO, are OTT viewers.
  • 93% of those who travel by plane are OTT viewers; 93% of those who are likely to rent a car to take a trip are also OTT viewers.
  • Ad-supported OTT viewers are three times more likely to book a trip one week or less before traveling.

New Attribution Capabilities Entice Travel Marketers

The ability to target audiences by location and interests combined with new attribution capabilities, makes streaming TV advertising even more compelling for travel marketers. For instance, with CTV/OTT attribution, a travel brand can measure how many viewers visited a website or even made a booking after viewing an ad, which is incredibly powerful for proving the efficacy of campaign spending.

Now, through our latest partnership with Arrivalist, we’re combining the power of CTV with advanced destination attribution to drive measurable outcomes for travel and tourism advertisers. For your streaming TV ad campaigns, you can now understand where your visitors are coming from, how far they’ve traveled, how long they stay, how often they repeat their visit and more. You get access to timely attribution insights that provide actionable, measurable visitor metrics that allow you to analyze media effectiveness and make smarter marketing decisions for your destination, travel or tourism business.

Travel marketers need a trusted streaming TV advertising partner that can execute locally in reaching the right consumers at the household-level, track conversions, and reduce wasted impressions. Premion is a proven partner in driving measurable outcomes for many travel brands and we’ve successfully executed a multitude of campaigns for hundreds of travel and tourism brands.

To learn more, let’s have a conversation.

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