Tourism

Here’s why travel brands should think twice before cutting their marketing spend

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

With all the doom and gloom engulfing the travel industry right now, some brands may think it is wise to pull their advertising until things die down.

However, such a knee-jerk reaction may actually be more harmful than helpful to a company’s recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.

A recent Facebook presentation seen by Travel Weekly titled ‘Fighting against COVID-19’ notes that while the travel sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers are still willing to spend if the industry encourages it through promotions and deals.

The presentation warned against removing all ads, and recommended reprioritising marketing channels during the outbreak, as well as planning a “bounce-back consumer consumption” campaign in advance to quickly pick up ad spending post-outbreak.

Furthermore, two studies from Cornell University found it wasn’t a good idea for hotels to cut their marketing budget during times of economic crisis.

The author of the first study, conducted by Sherri Kimes in 2009, looked at tactics for hotels to survive an economic downturn, and surveyed 900 respondents from around the world.

Writing on her blog in February about how hotels can survive the COVID-19 outbreak, Kimes said her research provided “some very insightful comments that are as true today as they were 10 years ago”.

Kimes noted one of the key lessons for hotels from the study was to avoid cutting their marketing budget.

“Respondents discussed the need to keep current guests and to develop packages and promotions that both attracted current and potential guests,” she wrote.

“If you cut your marketing budget, this won’t be possible.”

The other study from Cornell, published in 2015, looked at the positive impact of marketing expenditure on the performance of hotels during the Great Recession.

In particular, the research findings highlighted the importance of personal sales efforts, including promotions, familiarisation trips, trade shows, and the training of sales personnel, personal sales visits to clients, and use of outside sales representatives to help hotels thrive in a recession.

This data led to the conclusion that hotel companies that invest in marketing, especially in tough times, “can achieve a payoff via various revenue drivers” and “will realise gains beyond just the short term”.

So, before you go scrapping all of your advertising, consider the above and remind yourself that the way brands deal with the COVID-19 crisis now will likely influence future customer habits.

Featured image: iStock/VTT Studio

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

WATCH: Intrepid releases heartfelt video to remind the world why we travel

Travel Weekly’s deputy editor cried her eyes out while watching this video. Partly because it’s so beautiful, but mostly because she just really wants to be on the next plane out of here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Australia’s first Mövenpick hotel opens its doors

Among the offerings at this new Accor hotel is a daily ‘Chocolate Hour’, which we can only assume involves bathing in Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourist slammed for daring Instagram video on the edge of 500m waterfall

A 25-year-old influencer has been heavily criticized for taking photos of herself on the edge of a very threatening looking waterfall and, you know, fair enough.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA names new global chairman

There’s been a major change in CLIA’s boardroom, and we’re not talking about the new fiddle-leaf fig.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

DFAT accidentally advises visa applicants to travel overseas despite COVID-19 pandemic

Looks like someone at the Department of Home Affairs is getting fired after accidentally telling visa applicants to get overseas immediately during a global pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Savvy agent scores loads of cruise bookings during Victoria’s lockdown

Meanwhile, the only thing Travel Weekly’s achieved in lockdown was to eat his weight in potato chips while cramming as many Netflix series into one day as possible.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Northern Beaches COVID-19 outbreak led to $7 billion loss for tourism industry: TTF

Avalon residents have reportedly gone back into quarantine to escape the blame for this huge loss to the tourism industry.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Federal government urged to introduce HECS-style loan scheme for small businesses

Could this turn out to be another much-needed funding opportunity for travel agents? Let’s bloody hope so.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand updates international flight schedule to end of June

Keen to know the Kiwi carrier’s international movements over the next few months? All is revealed here.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: “Naughty” tourists forced to do push-ups for not wearing masks in Bali

Travel Weekly staff would do anything to avoid doing push-ups. Hell, we’ll wear six masks if we have to.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Airbnb appoints new regional boss

APAC hoteliers are looking over their shoulder after the home-sharing giant named its new bossman for the region.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

WTTC releases mental health guidelines for travel and tourism sectors

At a time when mental health could not be more important, the world’s leading tourism organisation has released some new guidelines to help businesses of all sizes in the industry support their employees.

Share

CommentComments