As the world slowly but surely emerges from the pandemic, the travel industry has experienced promising gains in recent weeks and months.
Expedia Media Group Solutions—the advertising organization of Expedia Group—is playing a big role in the ongoing surge, and recently, they released details about three effective campaigns they’re running in the Caribbean. From their article:
“We’ve been working with various travel stakeholders in The Bahamas to drive demand in the market, after analyzing data that showed American travel shoppers are ready to escape winter and head to beach destinations where they can enjoy the outdoors while still adhering to pandemic protocols.”
So what does that mean for you?
Even though these campaigns are built for hotels in another part of the world, short-term rental property managers in the U.S. and abroad can take note and follow their lead—especially considering the Caribbean’s major uptick in travel, which is proof positive of the messaging’s efficacy.
Here is a quick breakdown of those Expedia campaigns and what you can learn from them.
The Campaign: Bahamas Tourism Board: Ready to Welcome You
The Nuts & Bolts: This campaign launched in late 2020. Its messaging is simple: the islands are open and ready for business. It includes recommendations for socially distanced activities, which are supported by striking images and videos of the islands’ beautiful outdoors. Beyond that, this campaign has targeted very specific traveler demographics, especially families shopping on Vrbo.
The Takeaway: Before travelers can book your property, they have to see your property on OTAs—that visibility is like your own gigantic “We’re Open!” sign. You can grab their attention by not only listing your properties on multiple travel sites (and utilizing channel promotions), but also by buttressing each listing with engaging visuals, suggestions for safe activities in your area, and other content curated for your target demographic.
The Campaign: Atlantis Paradise Island: Reassuring Travelers
The Nuts & Bolts: The famous Atlantis Paradise Island resort has established an “Atlantis Clean & Safe Promise” that meets both local and international guidelines for pandemic-related safety procedures. This campaign showcases that commitment to traveler safety, including with creative display ads, and the resort is also marketing its flexible cancellation policy.
The Takeaway: Last year, research showed that 9 in 10 travelers made booking decisions based on health and hygiene protocols. Cleanliness became a legitimate selling point, and the recent success at Atlantis Paradise Island proves that is still the case. It’s not only important to keep your cleaning procedures up-to-date, but it’s also critical that you advertise those safety measures to potential guests in your messaging.
The Campaign: Reopening the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
The Nuts & Bolts: As one of Nassau’s flagship properties, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar re-opened in December 2020 after a nine-month hiatus. This campaign leans into the property’s legendary status, but it also incorporates elements from the two campaigns above, including reassuring messaging and a flexible cancellation policy. In fact, nearly 75% of bookings have been for stays within the next 30 days, which Expedia attributes to the hotel’s pandemic-adjusted cancellation policy.
The Takeaway: Even as the world returns to some semblance of normal in 2021, travelers are still going to prioritize flexibility. That’s especially true in regards to cancellation policies, which were identified early in the pandemic as a major sticking point for shoppers who simply couldn’t predict the near-future. Based on the reopening of the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and its notably guest-friendly cancellation tenets, travelers are still seeking out that flexibility today.