What We Heard @eTourism Summit 2024

The annual eTourism Summit 2024 was in Las Vegas recently, and I was fortunate to attend along with hundreds of travel and tourism professionals including DMOs, state and regional travel associations, attractions, cruise lines, airlines and hotels, tour operators and marketers and advertising agencies.

This was an opportunity to network and gain a deeper understanding of the forces at play as the travel and tourism industry continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bright spot is travel is predicted to reach 98% of pre-pandemic levels in 2024 with a full recovery expected in 2025. Most of the DMOs at the summit are looking for more ways to boost visits.

Interestingly, about 20% in attendance are dealing with the phenomenon of “over tourism,” the situation when too many people visit a place all at one time, and the locale is spoiled, making it difficult for tourists and those who live there.

Travel is sexy again” was a common theme along with lots of talk about shoulder season – the low points on either side of seasonal peaks. Think about the days or weeks before and after Spring Break and holidays. The general sentiment is destinations need to try and segment their audience in new ways and push them to come in the right before or after peak season.

There was significant discussion around cookie deprecation and the methods for acquiring or using first-party data to counteract the gap. The main ideas for acquiring first-party data were giveaways, in-person activations (including welcome centers and travel kiosks that capture travelers) and paid digital lead-generation. The key was to not sit on the data that DMOs and others in the industry already collect.

CTV/OTT and YouTube are becoming havens for both broad reach and niche content, and perfect for an industry where video and sound demonstrate attractions and events.

These are a just a few of the many topics that also included conversion metrics, TikTok and other social media platforms, the most-prolific travelers (Millennials, and how to reach them and keep them engaged), and the challenges of performance measures with legacy media.

If you’re a travel and tourism professional, DMO, marketer or agency and would like to have a more in-depth conversation with us at Brkthru about these trends and opportunities in the travel industry, reach out to info@brkthru.com. We’d like to start a conversation and share some of our significant experience reaching leisure and business-to-business travelers.

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