Road to Recovery: What the Travel Industry Needs to Know to Earn Considerations With Travelers

| July 30, 2020

As consumers hit the road for summer stay-cations, what does the travel industry need to know? We’ve highlighted the best ways to rebound amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has hit the travel industry hard, but many CEOs of travel companies remain optimistic about its return. As travelers look for safer options for travel and travel to less crowded places with immediate families, travel and tourism providers have a unique opportunity to bring these new options to light. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Travel Behaviors are Changing Amid the Pandemic

The pandemic isn’t stopping travel, it’s just changing the way people travel, and where they visit. ​ TEGNA insights have found that 65% of travelers want​ to be in and around nature​, and continue to feel safest when avoiding crowds (93%), traveling by personal vehicle (68%), and when visiting outdoor destinations such as parks (34%) and the beach (26%).

Meanwhile, 43% of U.S. travelers say they are more likely to travel to destinations close to home in the post-pandemic world. Conversely, 32% say they are willing to drive at least 300 miles (one-way) to reach their vacation destinations.​ Only 36%​ of U.S. travelers plan to stay in a hotel or resort, 23% plan to stay in a vacation home/condo.

Because of these sentiments, customers are looking for lodging alternatives. At TEGNA, we’ve seen RV share bookings skyrocket 650% ahead of summer travel season, and ​boating clubs experienced record-high sales in March and April amid the pandemic. We’ve also seen car dealerships with opportunities to target consumers looking for vehicles ideal for road trips or needing auto service for current vehicles.

2. A Media Strategy is a Must-Have 

TV Broadcast with TEGNA to Be Seen 

As summer vacations are underway in the US, tourism & travel companies can communicate with several new and highly qualified potential customers through advertising with their local TEGNA news station. With so many Americans consuming the news and streaming media every single day, ratings are high and costs are more affordable, leading to incredible efficiencies (CPM), and higher SOV.

These broadcast opportunities will allow you to use creative messaging options to target ​younger travelers ready to leave their apartments​, and/or middle-aged travelers (aged 50-64) ready to take a domestic trip, stay astay at a hotel or resort, visit a local, state or national park or go to the beach​. Better yet, broadcast allows for Lifestyle Show integration, or taped long-form segments to showcase, for example, the nuances of safe travel during COVID-19.

A Pew Research Center study released in April shows that 89% of US adults said they are following news about the outbreak of coronavirus closely. Ensuring your media strategy is alive and well inside news and information-based environments will increase the ears and eyeballs.  

Local Broadcast Websites & Apps to Extend Reach

Many travel and tourism companies can also reach consumers engaging with TEGNA’s website, station apps, weather, and traffic-related content for their travel​. Local TEGNA stations reach an average of 35 million digitally each month, and ads placed here come in a variety of forms including display ads, pre-roll digital video, and act as the perfect digital complement to TV ad campaigns.  Click here to learn more. 

Premion (OTT) to Drive Awareness 

Advertising via Over-the-Top streaming with TEGNA’s Premion OTT service also presents a significant opportunity to extend the reach of a broadcast campaign and target those interested in travel, the outdoors, RV intenders, boat intenders, and other specific audiences. 

Targeted Email to Drive Leads

With mobile-friendly creative development, effective audience targeting methods, and strategic deployment tactics, Targeted Emails are custom-developed and designed to increase brand awareness, generate website traffic, or promote a specific offer or sales event.

Targeted Email also lets advertisers reach consumers based on precision targeting capabilities, including what type of travel a consumer is planning online; if they a travel-related credit card; have an interest in hiking, camping or RVs, specific psychographics, and what type of travel they engage in (business, cruises).  

Social Media to Engage with Consumers & Generate Potential Leads 

Through Social Media, advertisers can capture attention and drive well-targeted prospects to conversion through clear calls-to-action, creative copy, and beautiful visuals. Social Media also presents an opportunity to reach audiences that:

  • – Have expressed interest in travel​
  • – Have made purchases that would indicate upcoming travel ​
  • – Participate or have interest in certain activities such as camping, hiking, swimming​
  • – Live within specific geographical locations​
  • – Currently visiting or have visited a specific location in the past ​
  • – Have specific household psychographics (income, children present)​

3. Best Practices for Adapting to the New Climate

At TEGNA, we’ve seen a few trends in the Travel & Tourism industry. Here are a few thought-starters for your travel campaign amid COVID-19. 

Social Distancing & Contactless Options. Be sure to adhere to CDC Guidelines and promote no-contact services, such as no-contact “FaceTime” meetings during the sales process, curbside pickup and/or delivery options, virtual tours, and video. Don’t forget to also highlight your sanitizing process in creative, online, and on location. ​

Cancellation Policies. There is a steady trend in last-minute bookings. Be sure to showcase your flexible cancellation policies to appeal to uncertainties generated by COVID-19​. 

Financing Options Need to be Available. With so much uncertainty, consumers will need flexible financing options if they purchase. Don’t forget to include these details in your messaging, if applicable. 


At TEGNA, we’re committed to serving the greater good of our communities. TEGNA Marketing Solutions is a one-stop-shop that helps businesses thrive through an unmatched suite of services and solutions that reach consumers across television, email, social, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. Click here to learn more.

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