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Mediatel News Staff 

Travel ad market won’t return to pre-pandemic level until 2023

Travel ad market won’t return to pre-pandemic level until 2023

Global adspend by travel companies will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023, a new forecast by Publicis Groupe media agency Zenith has reported.

Zenith's Business Intelligence – Travel report said the global travel market lost nearly half (46%) its value in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic halted most transport operations around the world – from $18bn to $9.7bn.

This is compared to a 4% retraction in the overall ad market.

The agency has estimated that travel adspend will still be 33% below its 2019 level this year, while the ad market will be 7% ahead of 2019.

It will then take until 2023 for travel to exceed 2019 levels of spending, which it will do by 9%, the report said. At this point, the wider ad market will be up by 21% compared to 2019.

Travel advertisers spent more on average on digital advertising (63%) than the average brand (58%) in 2020, and also sell more through ecommerce (32% in 2021 compared to 20% for retail as a whole).

Digital adspend is forecast to rise to 70% of all spend in 2023 for travel advertisers, while the agency also predicted that digital transformation would gather greater pace due to travel apps being integrated with vaccine passports.

Brands now have the opportunity to create a "seamless digital experience" for consumers, "from initial research to enjoying the destination", the report adds.

It said: "This offers brands the potential to turn travel back into a curated experience, which consumers used to expect from travel agents, instead of the current pick-and-mix approach. This may lead to new partnerships between airlines and hotel groups, and an extended role for travel intermediaries. As travel becomes ever more digital, digital advertising will become even more important for both brand building and conversion."

The report is based on an analysis of 13 key advertising markets: the UK, US, India, Russia, China, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Canada, Spain and France.

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