Key Travel Trends 2019 (and how airport advertising can help brands capitalise on them)

Key Travel Trends 2019 (and how airport advertising can help brands capitalise on them)

Claire Scannell – Associate Director, Outlook Media


As the leaves start to turn and the central heating judders back to life, it’s clear that our very long, very hot summer has finally come to a close. The clocks may well have gone back, but we’re making sure that we’re only looking forward into 2019 and working out what the new year will bring in terms of trends, developments and exciting insights that we can pass along to our clients in the form of innovative advertising.

The World Travel Market is imminently arriving in London and we’re excited to discover what will be on the menu for discussion. So excited in fact that we started digging around ahead of the event to try and discover what topics will be highlighted as potential top trends for 2019. Global travel giant Booking.com conducted some research and gleaned insight from the 163 million guest reviews left by 21,500 travellers across 29 countries on their site to pinpoint what will be important next year. We have rounded up what we most agree with from the list and offered up some insight of our own in the form of tactical recommendations to advertisers looking to ‘jump on-board’ with the trend and get the most out of being in-the-know.


So, what’s the Outlook?

The Appren-trip  

“Be it learning a new language or taking a cooking class while abroad, travelers are seeking out experiences that will give them not only lifelong memories but new skill sets.”

Jump on-board – As people are less interested in ‘switching off’ as they embark on their holidays and more concerned with switching on to new skills and experiences, they will potentially be seeking out/receptive to advertising that offers this whilst on their journey. Both departures and arrivals advertising can be cleverly utilised to offer language courses, relevant apps that may be useful whilst they’re away and with the combination of an active mind-set and airport Wi-Fi, they can download instantly and get started on the learning straight away! 

Personalised itineraries  

“The demise of the generic travel guide and the rise of customised travel content via social media feeds. Around two-fifths (41%) of travellers said they want brands to use AI to offer personalised travel recommendations.”

Jump on-board – There’s a natural synergy between the extended dwell-time within the departure lounge, digital advertising screens, and mobile devices. Smart brands can forge strong connections with potential customers by adopting the technological capabilities of the airport advertising opportunities. Why not set up an immersive VR experiential zone within the airport to allow passengers to experience some of the best tourist spots where they’re going and entice them into booking an excursion before they board? 

Conscious travel  

“More than half (58%) of respondents, for instance, said they will bypass a destination if they feel it negatively impacts the people who live there, the environment or culture, or supports an authoritarian regime that violates human rights.”

Jump on-board – Advertising in the departures lounge is a powerful way to reach travellers with a relevant, reassuring message and provide them with food for thought during their flight. By utlilising day-part tailored to specific flight times, brands can generate an intimate conversation with a targeted message that will resonate with travellers. 

Plastic pollution 

“A majority of respondents (86%) said they would be willing to offset their environmental impact by cleaning up local beaches, for instance, or crowded tourist attractions.”

Jump on-board - Despite being labelled as the ‘me me me’ generation, millennials are actually incredibly socially conscious, and demand more from brands than previous generations, with whether or not the brand’s values align with their own being favoured over blind loyalty. Tactical and strategic advertising can be employed within the airport to best reach this consumer group with messaging that will reinforce core brand messaging, going far beyond a simple sales message. 

Micro trips  

“The proliferation of bargain basement airfares, the expansion of flight routes and increased mobility will spur more travellers to take more weekend "bite-sized" trips in 2019”

Jump on-board – As people are favouring multiple trips throughout the year rather than one big blow out, the airport is a great place to set people’s minds racing about their next adventure. Whilst they’re in the right mind-set and excited about their holiday, travel companies can promote new short-haul destinations or bespoke deals which tempt travellers into booking there and then as they wait to board.

So there you have it. Five ways in which brands can capitalise on the key trends for 2019 and reach their desired audiences in new and creative ways that will really make an impact. We’re excited to see how these predictions play out. In the meantime, if you’re heading to the World Travel Market, we’d love to meet you! Get in touch and let us know if you have any other trend ideas you’d like to discuss, or if you’ve been inspired and want to jump on-board we can make it happen! 

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