Most travel firms and tourism organisations have modified their marketing strategies in the wake of the pandemic – with only one in seven increasing their budgets, according to research.
In a poll of industry professionals, carried out for World Travel Market London, almost three-quarters (71.3%) said they had changed their approach to marketing following the Covid crisis.
When asked what this meant for their marketing budgets, two out of three (59.9%) said they were “more cautious on spending now than before”.
Just under a fifth (18.7%) said they had “cut back in some areas”, while a small proportion of respondents (3.7%) said they had stopped marketing all together.
However, one in seven (14.4%) revealed that they were now spending more on marketing.
The results also varied widely by region, with a quarter of respondents (24%) in the Middle East saying they were ramping up their marketing budgets, and one in five (20.5%) in Asia allocating more money to marketing campaigns.
One destination investing heavily in tourism is Saudi Arabia, which is spending $1 trillion on developing its travel and tourism sector during the 2020s.
The kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan will see the creation of thousands of new hotel rooms, eco-friendly wellness and luxury resorts, and port developments to attract cruise ships to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
To get the message across to the trade and consumers, the Saudi Tourism Authority has been setting up tourist offices in key markets around the world.
And during August and September, it has amplified that message at roadshows in the Gulf, India, the UK and the US.
Also, Visit Saudi is the Premier Partner for WTM London 2022, building on the success it saw as Premier Partner of WTM London 2021.
Juliette Losardo, Exhibition Director at World Travel Market London, said:
“The pandemic has battered the balance sheets of travel companies and tourist boards around the world, so inevitably many marketing budgets were cut.
“But we’re hearing positive feedback from exhibitors who are boldly increasing their marketing expenditure to capitalise on the growth in demand from holidaymakers.
“Our Premier Partner, Visit Saudi, has ambitious visitor targets and is working to achieve those goals with investment in resorts, training and marketing.
“To help our delegates with their promotional and PR plans in 2023, we are holding several sessions dedicated to marketing, with expert marketeers such as Marcus Murphy and Steven Bartlett among our speakers.
“As the world returns to normal and more travellers plan their holidays, advertisers will want to know the best ways to spend their marketing budget – so our must-attend sessions will offer them key insights and top tips.”
The WTM London trade survey quizzed 210 travel industry professionals from around the world.
- It’s all about Communication – Marrying Data with Messaging, Communication & Technology
Insight Stage, Monday, 7 November
12:00 – 12:45
- Destination Marketing: How Can We Get The Industry Back On Track
Insight Stage, Monday, 7 November
- An Audience With… Marcus Murphy,
Future Stage, Tuesday, 8 November
- The Future of Travel Marketing
Insight Stage, Wednesday, 9 November
- The World Travel Market PR and Digital Communications Summit
International Media Centre, Wednesday, 9 November
- Future travellers and how to win their business
Future Stage, Wednesday, 9 November