December 7, 2023
In 2023, we saw travelers ditch conventional travel and seek new experiences, from bustling culture capitals and wellness-centered getaways to vacation rentals that boasted cowboy-centered western charm and hidden gem destinations.
As we look at 2024 travel trends, we wanted to know what leisure travel trends are on the horizon. Expedia Group’s Unpack ’24 research, which combines first-party data from Expedia, Hotels.com, Vrbo, and Wotif, along with findings from a global consumer survey of 20,000 travelers across 14 different countries, explores the trends that will define how people travel in 2024.
Let’s look at the key trends from the report and learn which solutions and tactics you can implement in your advertising strategy to help you connect with and convert travelers.
A trend that we saw emerge last year was the influence of film and television on people’s travel plans, which Expedia Group called “set-jetting.” This trend shows no signs of slowing in 2024 as travelers continue to be influenced to travel to destinations depicted in popular TV shows and films. Findings from Unpack ’24 indicate that more than half (53%) of travelers said they’ve researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it on TV or in a movie. And the influence of film and television continues to grow: One in four (26%) travelers said that TV shows and films are more influential on their travel plans than they were previously, and 34% of travelers said that TV shows are more influential than Instagram, TikTok, and podcasts.
Hotels can lean into the set-jetting trend by leveraging our TravelAds Sponsored Listings to incorporate messaging and images that capture what travelers see on TV shows and movies. TravelAds is also a cost-effective solution that allows you to scale your ads up and down or pause at any time and is also powered by our precise targeting capabilities to ensure you’re connecting with your target audience.
If you’re looking to create bespoke, high-impact content, partnering with Media Studio, our in-house, award-winning creative agency, lets you create high-quality, experiential content and immersive video for viewers to experience your destination like a local — or their favorite TV or film character — to appeal to potential travelers and drive engagement.
TikTok has everyone on the search for the next best “dupe,” and now this trend has entered the world of travel. “Destination dupes” are less crowded and less obvious alternatives to popular vacation spots. These dupes are a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable, but just as enjoyable as the tried-and-true destinations. Destination dupes are becoming increasingly popular, with one in three travelers having booked a dupe destination in the past. The top reasons travelers choose to visit dupe destinations are affordability (45%), deeper interactions with local culture (36%), and supporting sustainable tourism (24%), which highlights that travelers are not only incentivized by price but are also seeking out meaningful travel experiences.
One way to leverage this trend in your advertising efforts is through display advertising. With this solution, you can reach travelers with ad placements backed by our powerful targeting capabilities to encourage them to consider your destination or hotel, even if they are initially interested in another location.
Our display ads deliver a full-funnel experience across multiple channels, including mobile, branded emails, sponsorships, and more, enabling you to inspire, influence, and convert travelers. You can also promote your destination alongside other travel brands in the area with a co-op campaign to extend your reach and drive maximum impact for your spend. By focusing on the lesser-known experiences your destination has to offer, including any unique activities and attractions, you and your co-op partners can reach and engage travelers in a cost-effective way.
We saw the impact of tourism around music events, or “tour tourism,” play out in 2023 with record-breaking tours from popular artists, taking event tourism to new heights. The findings from the survey indicate that tour tourism will continue in 2024: 40% of travelers said they’re more likely to take a trip to watch a concert than they were last year, and they’re willing to go the distance to see their favorite artists. Nearly 70% said they’re more likely to travel to a concert outside their own town, and 40% would travel for a concert as an excuse to visit a new destination.
To prepare for and take advantage of tour stops near your property and increase bookings, hotel marketers can promote their property in the context of the event, such as your proximity to the venue, pre-concert events, or available transportation options. Destinations can also promote activities around the event to entice travelers. With native advertising, hotel and destination marketers can use relevant imagery to promote their proximity to the venue or activities around the event to help boost visibility and show up to travelers in a non-disruptive way.
Hotel marketers can use more than one of our solutions at a time. For example, Accelerator, when paired with TravelAds, can further boost your property’s visibility. When these solutions are used together, marketers see nearly 25% higher gross booking value and nearly 30% higher net room nights than properties that only run TravelAds.
According to Hotels.com, 2024 is poised to be all about the vibes, including a solid hotel vibe. Hotel guests are looking for certain star ratings and specific amenities but also consider a hotel’s overall vibe when choosing a hotel. In fact, guest reviews mentioning the word “vibe” have increased an average of 1,090% year over year on Hotels.com. According to the survey, more than 90% of travelers say the vibe of a hotel is important when booking, and three in four (67%) travelers would pay more to stay at a hotel that is aligned with their preferred vibe, indicating the importance of defining and curating a strong ambiance that stands out. So, what makes a good vibe? Travelers say the top element that contributes to a hotel’s vibe is customer service, which surpasses the music, interior, and lighting of a hotel.
To highlight your hotel’s vibe, leveraging social media advertising can help you connect with travelers looking for their next getaway on social media platforms. Lead with strong visuals, including photos and videos, to bring your hotel’s unique vibe to life. And if you use TravelAds, you have the ability to craft custom copy and select the images you want to highlight for your property.