Why partnerships are essential for the return of travel marketing

The return of international travel is getting closer every day. In this article, Sarah Kelly, APAC Marketing Director at Partnerize, shares her tips on how travel marketers can balance their short and long term goals.

After more than a year of global shutdowns, it looks like Australian travel is on the road to recovery. Granted, it will take longer for international travel to return to pre-pandemic levels, but domestic travel is booming.

There is an exciting demand to travel, but consumers are being cautious and not necessarily being loyal to the brands they used to be.

As travel marketers, now is the time to take action to ensure your brand is front and center when consumers book. How do you deal with this, being mindful of short and long term goals, and really putting the consumer at the center of your strategy? Partnership.

Show up in front of the right customers

Partnerships are a very effective tool for today’s travel CMOs. The channel offers greater flexibility and value, and with the right partners, brands have opportunities to up-sell, increase profitability, and align with brands that customers are already spending.

And the fact remains, just because consumers spend on travel doesn’t mean they’re spending with you. Being able to work with partners who provide you with a strong following means that your brand can come to the fore when someone is ready to make a travel purchase. Aligning this brand image with incentives that help you achieve your goals, whether it’s overall revenue, margin or even shifting routes or destinations in difficulty, make partnerships the tool the most effective of your marketing mix.

A good example of this is with the recently opened travel bubble in Australia and New Zealand. Consumers are delighted to have the opportunity to travel within the country again, but are very cautious about changing border statuses. You can work with your partners here to specifically promote New Zealand, but also ensure that your message of trust and flexibility for change is conveyed to consumers.

Support inventory in distress

Another interesting area for domestic travel is that some areas are booming while others are struggling to get back on their feet, especially city centers. This provides a great opportunity to work with partners who can offer stronger incentives to both the consumer and the partner, to help people book in these areas and effectively help you move “distressed inventory”.

The resurgence of travel in Australia is a welcome and much needed boost for industry and regional economies, but it’s only the beginning. International travel is expected to pick up sometime in 2022 and brands need to think about their strategy and approach now. Brands today must forge partnerships to be in front of a global audience when restrictions on international travel are lifted.

The benefits of partnerships within the travel industry are essential not only for leveraging today’s rich environment, but also for positioning brands for long-term success.

About Deborah Wilson

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