2020 Marketing Trends (ITB Now)

At ITB Now, we hosted a webinar where we shared insights from our Covid-19 traveler surveys to help hoteliers understand what they might expect when travelers feel safe enough to leave their homes and begin traveling again. At the time that we polled global travelers, we didn’t have the clarity that we have today. We didn’t know when the vaccine would be rolling out or whether new virus strains would wreak havoc on the already weary nerves of travelers. We also didn’t know exactly when borders would be reopening. 

But, our data gave hope to hoteliers because it revealed that people desperately miss travel and can’t wait to return to their favorite hotels. They were overwhelmingly optimistic about travel and were ready to bounce back much faster than many expected, given the toll the pandemic was taking. Watch this short video clip to see what the survey data revealed.

It’s fun to rewatch the video today and see where travelers were right in their predictions and hopes around travel. 73% of travelers expected to travel within the year. Within EMEA, travelers from Germany were the most optimistic about resuming travel and Brits were the most hesitant. 49% said that they would most likely resume travel within their country and 21% expected to travel within their home state or province. 

The staycation prediction not only became reality for many travelers, but it sustained the industry, with drive-to travel returning first within all regions, mostly due to strict travel guidelines and the closure of borders. The pandemic birthed new travel personas around local travel, including the brief weekend getaway traveler, food fanatics and the local looking for a workation

Because of these new traveler personas, Revinate Marketing customers stayed busy creating new segments and targeting them with personalized promotions that spoke to their needs. For example, Brasada Ranch sent promotional emails to families featuring new experiences for students and professionals, including after-school camps and expanded space for getting work done.

During the same ITB presentation, we also shared trends around how hotels used email in 2020. While you might think that hotel closures, furloughs and border closures would negatively impact hotels’ ability to send emails, the opposite happened: In 2020, hoteliers’ email usage increased by 40%.  Hoteliers turned to email during the pandemic to stay engaged with past guests, keep them up-to-date on closures and reopenings, and stay top of mind. 

Revinate Marketing customers did a great job engaging their customers. We saw newsletters that aimed to delight and inform, seasonal promotions that offered great incentives to past guests to come back, and empathy that made guests feel like friends. 

The email volumes varied by month, as you can see from this graphic. In many cases, the peaks reflect Covid-19 surges where hotels were forced to close or pare back on services. But, what’s amazing is that they didn’t let the service interruptions get in the way of keeping guests up to date. Email proved to be a lifeline for hoteliers during this period of uncertainty. It helped them stay agile, react quickly and ensure guests were taken care of.

Hotel marketing trends: 2020 increase in email volume

Some regions leaned into email more than others during the pandemic. Which regions saw the largest growth in email from 2019 to 2020? Australia, DACH and the Middle East and Africa all grew their email volumes more than 59%. 

Email marketing proved to be a great use of resources for hoteliers. It’s incredibly cost-effective and requires few resources, especially with a solution, like Revinate Marketing, that’s easy to use and made specifically for hospitality. In fact, hotels that sent email campaigns in 2020 captured 93.1% of the room nights, compared to 2019.  

To learn more about the trends Revinate uncovered in this 2019 vs. 2020 lookback, watch the entire webinar that originally aired at ITB Now.