Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Wed November 30 2016

Travel Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

Travel Agent Janeen Christoff November 30, 2016

Travel Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

Photo courtesy Thinkstock.

A new report shows that retail travel sales around the world will top $22 trillion which is more than an increase of 6 percent, says Smart Insights. This means that digital marketing is critical to those operating and selling within the travel space. 

Smart Insights has identified three areas of this digital world that are trends travel marketers should know about. 

First is virtual reality, which offers travelers the ability to “try before they buy.”

“From taking a virtual romantic honeymoon walk along a sun-kissed beach to walking through a hotel conference suite, technology brings the mountain to the would-be trekker in ways which only a few years ago would have seemed impossible,” notes Jonathan Gabay. 

Big data is another key strategy. 

“Big data involves very large data sets which are analysed usually by computers to reveal patterns and trends usually relating to trying to understand human behaviour and interactions,” says Gabay. 

The use of big data and its analysis is becoming more and more commonplace within the travel industry. 

“Robust data capabilities help identify visitors across different channels and devices, driving personalized marketing and customer journeys,” says Gabay. 

Multi-channel marketing will remain key. 

READ MORE: Where Do Travel Agents Go When They Travel?

Driven by digitization, and consumer reliance on mobile devices OTA’s continue to remain buoyant. For example, Expedia’s second-quarter gross bookings for 2016 grew by 25% YoY (year-over-year) to $18.8 billion. Its main OTA grew by 25% to $17.1 billion. However, in regions such as the US and Europe the online travel market appears to be maturing.

For a more detailed analysis of these trends and how to use them, read on here.