How to speak to the international traveler

By Michelle Tannebaum

Art of Travel Marketing Magazine

These are interesting and challenging times in America, to say the least. A strong dollar and controversial immigration and travel policies have led to a decline in U.S. tourism. According to the UNWorldTourism Organization, the number of trips made by global travelers surged 7% in 2017. But they’re just not coming here. Travel to the U.S. fell by 4% in 2017, following a 2% drop the year before…bumping the U.S. to third place among the world’s most visited nations, trailing France and Spain. Now, more than ever, marketers need to put out the welcome mat and send an inviting message to international travelers around the globe.

Notable Global Traveler Insights
In a world drawn closer by the internet, and more informed by 24-hour news cycles, we need to be sensitive to world events. Political unrest and terrorist attacks haven’t affected the overall number of international trips, but they’ve had a significant impact on where travelers choose to go. Destinations with a positive safety message are reaping the rewards.

The cruise industry continues to see explosive growth. Visits to cruise websites have almost doubled in the last three years, with 32% year-over-year growth in 2017 alone, according to Adobe Digital Insights Europe Travel Trends Report 2017. Interest in cruises rises an average of 20% in January- March of each year, with most consumers booking summer cruises in January.

Car rentals, however, are experiencing a decline due to ride-sharing apps like Uber & Lyft and the increased popularity of one-stop destinations such as cruises and all-inclusive resorts.

European Travelers
A strong U.S. dollar makes this a great time for Americans to travel the world, but more expensive for Europeans to come here. They’re still coming, though, thanks to plummeting long-haul air travel prices caused by increased competition from budget airlines. And they’re typically staying two weeks or longer. Germany recorded the highest level of spending in international travel, followed by the UK and France. Data from ODIGEO, Europe’s largest online travel company, is predicting that San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles will likely receive a boost in tourism in 2018 driven by low cost flights, key sporting events, and clever investment by local governments.

Brazilian Travelers
Despite a deep recession that began in early 2014, and a severe depreciation of the Brazilian Real versus the U.S. dollar that has made travel to the U.S. considerably less affordable, the United States remains the number one destination for Brazilian travelers, and they continue to spend heavily here. In fact, the U.S. attracts more Brazilian travelers than any other country, including their own Latin American neighbors.

Chinese Travelers
Chinese travelers are perhaps the biggest segment to keep an eye on now, and in the future. According to China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market Analysis 2012 – 2017 and Forecast 2018 – 2024, Chinese visitors spend more in the U.S. than visitors from any other country, and Chinese travelers mostly travel for pleasure. By 2030, tourists from Asia will lead all regions of the world in total departures and travel expenditures. And of all Asian countries, China will play the biggest part in this growth thanks to rising incomes that are driving exceptional growth in spending and travel.

Some noteworthy insights about the Chinese market come from a study done by TripAdvisor China and The Boston Consulting Group. Chinese travelers prefer to travel in February, May and October, which is typically a slower period for many Western destinations. On average, they spend 40% of their travel budgets on shopping, especially on luxury goods and bargains on premium brands. They tend to be spontaneous, and have shorter travel planning timelines. And most significantly, they’re willing to pay a premium for lodging, dining and shopping.

What does it all mean?
If we’re seeing one consistent pattern, it’s that despite all the politics and global economic turmoil, people from around the world still want to come to the United States. The key is to make them feel welcome when they do.

For more insights on travel marketing, click here for a free download of Tinsley Advertising's "Art of Travel" Magazine


By Dorn Martell

Did you ever dream you were a cowboy or a princess? Your childhood dreams become reality in our new campaign for The Rustic Inn Creekside Resort and Spa at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In this series of five videos, we covered everything from accommodations and amenities to locally sourced cuisine and mountain adventures.

Each video was created to entice a different sub-set of our target audience. In “Wake up” and “Go with the Flow” we highlight the Zen side of the mountain experience where everything revolves around the trout stream that flows through the property. The video “In the Heart” highlights western adventures from rock climbing and horseback riding to white water rafting and mountain biking, in and around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. We explore the depth of resort accommodations in “Spread your Wings”, including the indulgent Spa Suites. In “Magical Adventures” we reconnect with our inner cowboy and show travelers how Rustic Inn creates lifelong memories for families.

Tinsley also created a long-form film that covers everything, including local game and the extensive wine cellar. Proving that you can go into the wild without giving up creature comforts.

Discover Your Appetite for Adventure

Discover Your Appetite for Adventure
By Rick Blitman

Art of Travel Marketing Magazine

There was a time when dining on vacation revolved around stopping for a pecan log at Stuckey’s, or jumping off the interstate for a quick bite at Howard Johnson’s on the way to somewhere better. Today, food is the destination.

Whether it’s traveling to Sonoma for a week of organic wining and dining among the vineyards, or grabbing a roadside roti from an oil drum grill in Montego Bay, more people than ever are getting a taste of the world, one bite at a time. And it’s not about gourmet dining. Food travelers are craving authentic experiences. Real food from the places locals eat. Foodies with a gourmet preference are very much in the minority. So much so, in fact, that the food travel industry refrained from using the term “Culinary Tourism” in 2012 after research showed that the vast majority of English speakers interviewed found the word “culinary” to be elitist.

The shifting trend towards authenticity goes hand-in-hand with the explosion in popularity of TV shows like Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” and Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”, and the proliferation of food selfies on social media. More than 60% of today’s leisure travelers admit to posting photos of their food online. We used to share french fries. Now, we share everything.

And when it comes to sharing, most food travelers are motivated to visit a destination, restaurant or bar based on the recommendation of a friend. Once they get there, they typically spend 48% more on their trips than typical leisure travelers.

In today’s world, experiences are the new souvenirs, and adventurous food travelers have learned that the best way to truly understand local culture is through food and drinks. So encourage your guests to step away from the buffet, break free from the guard gates, and turn a meal into a memory somewhere off the beaten path.

For more insights on travel marketing, click here for a free download of Tinsley Advertising's "Art of Travel" Magazine


Evolution of Adventure Travel
By Mark Slatko

Art of Travel Marketing Magazine

While climbing Kilimanjaro or trekking the Himalayas might not be your cup of Tibetan tea, for a growing number of young and intrepid travelers, experiences like these are just the tip of the iceberg (the floating monoliths off the coast of Newfoundland are a must-see). Then again, the definition of adventure travel has evolved, no longer indicating a millennial mindset nor the need to risk life and limb. Today, adventure seeking baby boomers are leaving their comfort zone and packing their bags for new, adrenaline pumping experiences. Scuba diving, kayaking, cycling expeditions, wildlife treks and cultural tours have all become part of the new adventure travel vernacular. More recent travel trends include “set jetting” to real-life movie locations, and girls-only tours inspired and empowered by the #metoo movement.

Age and gender aside, today’s adventure travelers are all after the same prize: off- the-beaten-path locations that offer a combination of authentic cultural experiences, sustainability, local interactions and just the right amount of physical oomph. In other words, you don’t have be Lewis or Clark to experience the adventure of a lifetime, but you will have to get off the couch.

Of course, all of this globetrotting and trekking doesn’t come without a price. Adventure travel in particular and tourism in general are taking their toll on sensitive natural areas. In fact, did you know that buying a plane ticket is the single most costly carbon decision a person can make? Enter ecotourism. While there’s no widely accepted definition of green or low-impact travel, the International Ecotourism Society defines it as responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people. This could mean opting to travel by boat, train or car, or booking rooms in LEED-certified hotels and supporting local conservation efforts. In the end, ecotourism is about personal and social responsibility. It’s about leaving a location better than you found it, and taking away nothing more than photographs and memories.

For more insights on travel marketing, click here for a free download of Tinsley Advertising's "Art of Travel" Magazine