Digital Travel Trends And Takeaways – February 2018

From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM Digital®


TRENDMore than 90% of 2018 mobile travel researchers (110.5 million) will use a smartphone.  63.3% of mobile travel researchers (78.1 million) will use a tablet.  eMarketer

TRENDAARP 2018 Travel Trends survey discovered that some attitudes toward vacation varied by age.  Baby Boomers expect to take four or five leisure trips this year, spending almost $6,400 on travel expenses―the same or more than they spent in 2017.  Millennials estimate they will shell out about $6,800 for vacations and Gen Xers will spend $5,400.  Seventy-four percent (74%) of Millennials expect to bring work along on a trip; 65% of Gen Xers plan to do the same; but just 56% of Boomers are likely to work on vacation and limit it to just 10% of their leisure time.

TRENDSocial media – in particular, Instagram – is growing as a strong marketing channel for travel and tourism because it allows people the ability to share the pictures and videos of their travel experiences with a wide audience.  A new survey of social influencers worldwide from influencer platform Zine found that nearly 80% of respondents considered Instagram to be their primary way of collaborating with brands.  While Twitter or Facebook might create a more passive user experience, an increasing number of people are using Instagram to search for inspiration.  More and more destinations, hotels and attractions are hosting social contests and campaigns that encourage their guests to take photos, tag them with a branded hashtag, and ultimately create user-generated content for the brand that is authentic, free, and can be repurposed across other marketing channels.  REAL visitor user content has shown to be even more effective than celebrity postings.  – Zine and USDM Digital® Engagement Team

TRENDSpending on digital ads in the travel industry will grow by double-digit percentages through 2020. Mobile formats will push travel ad spend above $10 billion by 2021 -eMarketer

USDM Take-Away: Mobile, Social, and Demographic Trends are influencing how savvy marketers engage their target audiences, through content strategy, distribution, and marketing.   

Budget: Many content marketers are increasing their budget in 2018 to 10-20 percent of their total marketing budget.  They are also investing in systems and technology to streamline management and performance.

Mobile / Social: While mobile content is essential, having a content distribution strategy is key.  Mobile travel researchers are drawn to multiple social media platforms by strong images, videos, and headlines that link to short, relevant content they can consume quickly and easily on their mobile platforms.

Demographics: Millennials, now 14-36 years old (born 1982 to 2004); Generation X, now 36-53 years old (born 1965 to 1982); and Baby Boomers, now 54 to 72 years old (born 1946 to 1964) are each valuable customer groups, but with distinct traits, desires, and behaviors for researching travel.  Content strategy and social media channel distribution must all be personalized for each group to be effective.

Technology:  Adds efficiency to the repeatable processes necessary to eliminate the intensive labor needed to customize every piece of content.

Cost-Effective Content Strategy and Technology Solution:  The XELLERANT™ Content Marketing & Distribution System by USDM Digital® delivers to your team the strategies, structures, tactics, and technology solutions to cost-efficiently drive your content marketing program.  To learn more, contact us at


Public and private sector brands trust USDM Digital® to provide current and future insights, develop digital strategy for business, execute digital marketing and advertising, improve customer engagement, and deliver performance that measurably IMPACTS their business.  Visit us at 

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