Fastest growth in travel advertising to come from India: Zenith report

Travel brands to increase digital ad spend from 63% of budgets in 2020 to 70% in 2023.

Mumbai: Travel advertising is poised for rapid growth as brands reset their relationships with consumers after the great rupture of 2020, according to Zenith’s Business Intelligence – Travel report. The report, published on Monday, forecasts that travel advertising in 13 key markets, including India, will expand by 24 per cent in 2021, twice as fast as the advertising market as a whole, before 36 per cent growth in 2022. 

Significantly, Zenith expects the fastest growth in travel advertising to come from India, where travel ad spend will be 31 per cent above the 2019 baseline by 2023. Here, rising disposable incomes mean more people are travelling, and existing travellers are travelling more frequently.

Zenith forecasts digital ad spend by travel brands to grow by six per cent a year between 2019 and 2023. By 2023 travel brands will be spending 70 per cent of their budgets on digital advertising, an increase from 63 per cent in 2020.

Travel advertisers spend more on digital advertising than the average brand – 63 per cent in 2020, compared to 58 per cent on average, as per the report. This is not surprising for a category that has been well ahead of the market in digital transformation, conducting 32 per cent of sales by e-commerce in 2021 compared to 20 per cent for retail as a whole.   

“Travel was one of the earliest sectors to embrace digital as booking went online,” said Zenith global chief strategy officer Ben Lukawski. “Post-Covid, the best-performing brands will complete this transformation by making the total experience digital, from reducing form-filling to contactless entry, removing nearly all possible friction from the experience.”

Digital travel advertising aims to capture consumers in the early stage of research, through search advertising and display and video ads within relevant content. As travel becomes ever more digital, digital advertising will become even more important for both brand building and conversion. Integrating travel apps with vaccine passports, using them to help consumers navigate local Covid-related rules and bureaucracy, and offering digital concierge services will accelerate the transition of travel towards a seamless digital experience, from initial research to enjoying the destination.

Furthermore, travel advertisers spend substantially more of their budgets on newspapers, magazines and out-of-home than average (20 per cent in 2020, compared to 13 per cent for the average brand), and substantially less on television (13 per cent compared to an average of 24 per cent), the report observed. Consumers are looking for choice and value, so media that allow brands to display a range of options and some details of pricing are particularly effective. Travel ad spend in print is falling as circulations continue to shrink, but out-of-home is forecast to recover from its slump in 2020 and grow at an average rate of six per cent a year between 2019 and 2023.

Pent-up demand for travel will drive rapid growth in travel ad spend over the next few years, but it will be a long road back to pre-pandemic spending. Travel ad spend will be still 33 per cent below its 2019 level this year, while the ad market as a whole will be seven per cent ahead, notes the report. It will take until 2023 for travel to exceed 2019 levels of spending when it will reach $19.6 billion.

Travel advertising was one of the categories hardest hit by Covid-19. The travel ad market lost nearly half its value in 2020 (46 per cent), while the ad market as a whole shrank by just four per cent. Zenith estimates that travel ad spend fell from $18.0 billion in 2019 to $9.7 billion in 2020.  

As global travel starts to recover, travel brands must rebuild their relationships with consumers as they adapt to the realities of post-Covid travel. Brands will have to refocus their communications on different audiences as they adapt to the decline of business travel as companies coordinate more international business with remote meetings, and address consumers’ concerns about the sustainability of travel, and adapt to the growing demand for low-carbon journeys.

“As travel begins to recover from the unprecedented drop in demand in 2020, brands are rebuilding their relationships with consumers, using digital technology to guide them at every stage,” said Zenith head of Forecasting Jonathan Barnard. “Online video, in particular, will play a key role in creating emotional connections with consumers, inviting them to take their first step on their digital journey."

The robust US ad market is pushing up media prices, which is the main reason why travel adspend will be 13 per cent higher there in 2023 and in 2019. Other mature markets will range from +9 per cent to -9 per cent growth over this period, depending on consumer demand, media inflation, adoption of digital technology, and a myriad of other reasons. In all markets, though, the recovery of travel advertising from the slump in 2020 will be well behind the growth of the market as a whole.

The thirteen markets included in this report apart from India are Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and the USA, which between them account for 74 per cent of total global ad spend. The report covers domestic and foreign travel for business and leisure.

Latest Reads
PepsiCo Foundation & Pandit Jagat Ram Memorial FORCE Trust partners to expand safe water access program

Mumbai: With a focus on three priority campaigns of Government of India - the Jal Jeevan Mission, Jal Shakti Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission – the PepsiCo Foundation announced that it will invest $ 400,000 in partnership with Pandit Jagat Ram Memorial FORCE Trust to expand its safe water access...

MAM Marketing MAM
Art-E appoints Vibhor Gulati for their Mumbai office

Mumbai: Art-E Mediatech Pvt. Ltd., a prominent integrated marketing and technology agency headquartered in Delhi, has announced a new office in Mumbai which will be headed by Vibhor Gulati. This step has been taken to strengthen its presence in the region and capitalize on the increasing demand for...

MAM Marketing MAM
Seagram’s Royal Stag Boombox debuts in Manipal, Karnataka with musicians Amit Trivedi, SlowCheeta, Nikhita Gandhi and DJ Suketu

Mumbai: Celebrating the spirit of ‘Living it Large’, Seagram’s Royal Stag presents Royal Stag Boombox, a first-of-its-kind musical experience. It is the sound of a young generation, a tribe that tends to make rather than follow trends, a tribe that is in constant search of soul-stirring experiences...

MAM Marketing MAM
Britannia Winkin’ Cow releases new TVC

Mumbai: Britannia's beverage brand Winkin' Cow, has released a new television commercial for its Thick Shakes line. The TVC, conceptualised by McCann Worldgroup Bangalore, emphasises the range's multisensory adventure, describing it as a "party in a bottle" for your senses.

MAM Marketing MAM
The day we stop talking about 'women' empowerment, in a gendered way, we would be truly empowered: Ritika Amit Kumar, Co-founder & CEO, STEM Metaverse

Mumbai: Today, women are breaking the glass ceiling in every sector. Beyond all this, there still exists a patriarchal mindset. Not many women are in the C-suite taking important decisions. And, of course, there still exists pay parity. This Women’s Day, we, at, are...

MAM Marketing MAM
Pearson India launches two new digital Ad campaigns to amplify digital presence

Mumbai: Pearson India, a learning company, has announced the launch of two digital campaigns - Hoga Kaise Nahi and PTE Kar, Befikar - in partnership with actor Vicky Kaushal to promote its digital offerings in India. These include the Pearson test of English, Pearson e-library, MePro (a...

MAM Marketing MAM
The WPL brand saga: Why women-centric brands only?

Mumbai: Since time immemorial, cricket has been called the gentleman’s game. But not anymore. The flagging off of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) is proof of that. But there are questions galore.

MAM Marketing Brands
Value 360 Group has created a platform that will allow independent writers and build a community of followers with their writing: Kunal Kishore Sinha

Mumbai: The PR industry is fast-paced, competitive and developing, and the landscape is ever-evolving with social media and digital becoming a large part of campaigns and communication nowadays. Value 360 Communications founder & director Kunal Kishore Sinha recently completed two decades in...

MAM Marketing MAM
Godrej Vikhroli Cucina and Chef Varun Inamdar partner to launch ‘Vibe with Varun’

Godrej Vikhroli Cucina, a brand agnostic platform by Godrej Industries for food brands, writers, chefs, influencers, bloggers, and food lovers to engage, network and collaborate, launched ‘Vibe with Varun’, a first-of-its-kind chat show web-series featuring conversations beyond food.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns