Recession offers travel efforts chance to stress value, perks

With the economy in turmoil and no clear answer of when it will bounce back, many travel brands and destinations have focused on offering perks and deals that stress value, in addition to crafting creative PR campaigns in an attempt to keep consumers traveling.

In the news
With the economy in turmoil and no clear answer of when it will bounce back, many travel brands and destinations have focused on offering perks and deals that stress value, in addition to crafting creative PR campaigns in an attempt to keep consumers traveling.

R&R Partners recently worked on a campaign for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that involved sending about 100 people from a small Texas town on vacation to Las Vegas. The agency then displayed videos of the vacationers and their experiences on visitlasvegas.com (pictured), as a way to profile the amenities Las Vegas has to offer to people from a variety of demographics. One of the main message points of “Vegas Bound” was to encourage Americans to take a break and escape all the bad news.

Why does it matter?
Aurrice Duke, PR group account director at R&R Partners, says the campaign was designed to highlight an exciting escape that would appeal to cash-strapped and stressed out consumers by allowing them to leave their troubles at home.

“It's important to create a communications platform that's dynamic and that your consumers can both relate to and that's going to pique their curiosity,” she says.

Travel PR efforts that emphasize perks and added value are expected in times of economic distress, explains Joan Brower, principal at the Dilenschneider Group. But emphasizing that vacations could remedy all the anxiety might be another way, she suggests.

“More than ever, consumers are responding to the emotional components of a vacation and the intrinsic enhancements that will justify the expenditures of travel,” Brower says.

Five facts:
1 After four years of growth, global tourism might decrease by up to 2% in 2009, according to the UN's World Tourism Organization.

2 A number of US airlines are reporting traffic declines: Continental Airlines said its January traffic was down almost 15% from the year before.

3 In a poll of about 1,000 Americans, 40% said they'd likely skip the typical flight and drive on at least one trip in '09, according to Maritz Research Hospitality Group.

4 In the same Maritz survey, 17% of participants said they plan to downgrade the type of hotel at which they normally stay during the beginning of 2009.

5 According to a Los Angeles Times article, the State Department plans to issue 12 million passports this fiscal year, which is 25% less than last year.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in