We’ve all heard of a post breakup glow up or achieving that “revenge body”, but have you heard of revenge travel? Revenge travel is the term used to describe the pent-up demand to explore the world again post lockdown. For two years, many people have missed out on the chance to explore new destinations and cultures or spend time with family and friends. There is an overwhelming feeling of robbed time among the public (ourselves included!). Starting in spring of 2022, majority of the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted as rates of infection decreased. As a result, the travel industry is seeing a huge surge in demand for flights, hotels, and international adventures.
According to the United States Travel Association, a whopping 6 out of 10 Americans are planning at least one summer trip. In addition to the loosened Covid-19 mandates in most countries, work culture has made a dramatic shift to either a work from home or hybrid model for many companies. Because of this flexibility, people are taking the “work from anywhere” mindset to a whole new level. Who wouldn’t want to WFP (work from paradise)?
With the growing desire to break free of the same four walls coupled with the freedom to work almost anywhere, the travel app industry is seeing dramatic growth in 2022. Travel apps are particularly taking off as they allow users to compare flight prices, have contactless check-ins and are overall a more convenient and friendly user experience. As summer slowly approaches, heading directly into what would normally be considered travel season, now is the perfect time for marketer’s to take advantage of travel apps’ growing popularity and grab the attention of these travelers.
Travel App Industry Trends
Travel is very much booming as we head into the second half of the year. Since this industry has been suffering immensely over the last couple of years as the pandemic took a devastating toll on the entire tourism sector, this shift is dramatically seen in comparison. According to The New York Times, international arrivals were estimated to have dropped to 381 million in 2020, down from 1.461 billion in 2019 – a 74 percent decline. Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for one out of every 10 jobs around the world. The loss of travel-related jobs caused the United States unemployment rate to double from 3.5% in February to 7.1% in March. Needless to say, many people suffered during the decline of this booming industry in 2020. But with the surge of travelers ready to explore the world, we are seeing the tourism sector come back to life.
Rise of Tourism in 2022
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel and tourism in the United States is projected to reach pre pandemic levels in 2022, contributing nearly $2 trillion to the U.S. economy. Kayak, a travel search engine designed to find the best deals on hotels, flights and experiences, reported a 108% increase in searches in March of this year. In a report done by Tripadvisor, 71% of Americans stated that they are planning to travel for leisure in 2022, which is up 8% compared to 2019. Those surveyed also reported that they are planning to spend 29% more on their trips this year compared to 2019.
Source: The Washington Post
Data aside, it is apparent that travel is top of mind for many of us. Not only is this spike boosting the economy and providing jobs, but the increased demand for travel is opening the doors for tech innovation. More specifically, this surge is creating an environment for the travel app industry to thrive.
What This Means for Travel Apps
The travel app industry has taken off within the last few years due to the surge in travel as well as the need for contactless bookings, check-ins and room service. In addition to check-ins and booking, 9 in 10 travelers use apps to find where they are going when they are traveling to foreign countries. And with rising prices for flights and hotels, consumers want to ensure they are getting the best rates through the use of apps such as Hopper and Trivago.
In the first half of 2021, travel app installs hit approximately 124.7 million from across the U.S. app stores, up 35 percent from 92.6 million in the same period the previous year. The growth of travel app downloads has continued into 2022 as more people are feeling comfortable venturing out of their homes again. While the demand for these apps is extremely high, so is the competition. It is integral that app marketers focus on retargeting techniques specifically for travel apps so that they can take advantage of this busy summer season and the growing engagement we are seeing with these apps.
Travel App Industry: Retargeting Tips
Limited Time Offers
There is a sense of urgency these days when it comes to travel. People seem to be highly concerned these days, expecting the next wave of the pandemic or another variant to cross our paths, blocking our way when it comes to exploring the world. People want to act quickly and book their trip before it’s too late yet again.
If you are a marketer in the travel app industry, here’s what you can do. Offering limited time deals to users is a great way to get users to purchase immediately, incentivizing an immediate purchase rather than waiting for them to possibly change their mind or wait for the next best deal. With user behavior and interest in mind, using a traveler’s specified vacation destination to offer something like a 20% hotel coupon that expires by the end of the day or a price cut coupon to book in the next 3 hours might be the push they need to make their purchase. Offering a fourth night free on a trip, or retargeting them to extend their stay at discount can bring a user back to your app to make a purchase.
Today’s users are all about receiving a one of a kind experience, including the travel app industry. Exclusivity is a highly sought out feature, especially when it comes to traveling. After the stress of the last few years, travelers are looking for vacations where they can be doted on. This is where offers such as all inclusives, exclusive sunset sails, or private wine tastings come into play. Targeting travelers who have just booked a flight to an international destination is the perfect opportunity to offer exclusive add ons that they may not know about yet.
For example, if a user has been looking for flights to Rome, target the ad with messaging to suggest an early access purchase of unique tours of the Colosseum that they otherwise might not know about. These exclusive offers are a great way to keep your app top of mind, to allow users to feel like you are providing a pseudo “Concierge type” of app “service”
Utilize Deep Linking
Deep linking can be quite useful in the travel and tourism app industry. Deep links are types of links that send users directly to an app, or desired location inside an app, instead of a general location, like a website or homepage. These links can be used to guide users straight to specific locations within the app, depending on the link need and use case, which saves users time and is more efficient than having them search for a particular page themselves.
Marketers can take advantage of deep linking in their travel app campaigns. For example, rather than sending a user to the homescreen of a booking app, lead them to a hotel in the city relevant to their travel plans. Utilize push notifications with these links embedded in order to drive the user quickly to the page you are trying to send them to. This way, when a consumer clicks on the ad, they are brought directly to the page that is most relevant to them, rather than them searching for it on their own.
Location Specific Targeting
Location specific targeting allows marketers to target consumers at a granular level based on their physical location. Using location data allows app marketers to create personalized and relevant ads for your target audience. Utilizing location tracking in campaigns is crucial to increasing conversions. The more relevant the content is, the more likely a user will follow through in the purchase funnel.
For example, if a user is in New York, a good retargeting strategy would include running ads with messaging to remind them that it’s a “quick flight” (only a seven hour flight) to get to Paris. This information is relevant to that user because they are most likely going to be flying in and out of New York airports. Similarly, you wouldn’t use that same messaging for a user in California.
Takeaways on Revenge Travel & its Impact on the Travel App Industry
With the majority of pandemic restrictions lifted, we are entering a phase of revenge travel – the pent-up demand to explore the world again post lockdown. There has been a massive spike in travel this year, with travel and tourism in the United States projected to reach pre pandemic levels in 2022, contributing nearly $2 trillion to the U.S. economy. It is integral that app marketers focus on retargeting techniques specifically for travel apps so that they can take advantage of this busy summer season and the growing engagement we are seeing with travel apps.
- Limited Time Offers: Play into the sense of urgency! There is a fear that the world could close again due to another spike in Covid or the introduction of a new variant. Therefore, offering limited time deals may be the secret to pushing users to make that final purchase.
- Exclusivity: After the stress of the last few years, travelers are looking for vacations where they can be doted on. This is where offers such as all inclusives, exclusive sunset sails, or private wine tastings come into play. Who doesn’t want to feel like they have a one-of-a-kind vacation?
- Utilize Deep Linking: Take your user straight to the finish line! Deep linking allows marketers to guide users straight to specific locations within the app, instead of having to navigate the pages themselves. Send travelers to the hotel booking page of the city that they just bought flights to.
- Location Specific Targeting: Using location data allows app marketers to create personalized and relevant ads for your target audience. Serve your users personalized messaging based on their location in order to reduce churn and increase conversions within your app.
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