Maximize your travel and tourism campaign with billboard and out-of-home advertising

April 9, 2024Kayla Caticchio

Spring is here – which means summer travel is on the horizon for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere. For advertisers, it’s time to gear up campaigns aimed at targeting crowds set to depart on fun-filled travel adventures.

According to the first UNWTO World Tourism Barometer of the year, by the end of 2023, the number of people travelling internationally rose to 88% compared to pre-pandemic rates, with an estimated 1.3 billion international arrivals. The travel industry expects a full recovery by the end of 2024.

Despite the pressure of inflation, a recent study by Hilton reveals that consumers plan to spend more on travel in 2024. Kevin Jacobs, Chief Financial Officer and President of Global Development at Hilton, says, “Even with ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, travel demand has remained strong as consumers continue to prioritize the value of experiences and connections over things.”

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) and billboard advertising enable travel and tourism brands to elevate their advertising campaigns, targeting key demographics and initiating contextually relevant dynamic campaigns that adapt to audiences on the move. Here are some effective ways advertisers can leverage the medium in their upcoming summer campaigns. 

Think outside the airport

Airports present many opportunities to engage audiences in a high-dwell time environment that ranks high for perceived brand value compared to other media channels. While they’re a great way to reach travellers in a purchasing mindset, they shouldn’t be the only location you consider when planning your campaign. 

With OOH, advertisers have the unique opportunity to capture the attention of audiences dreaming of being elsewhere. This can mean activating OOH ads in subway and train stations, roadside billboards and bus shelters during commuting hours. These ad placements are sure to catch the attention of workers on their way to the office who are already considering where to spend their time off. 

Billboards and OOH advertising around university and college campuses are a great way to market to summer break-bound students where they live, study, work, and play. The advertising opportunities on campus are endless, from DOOH screens in high-traffic areas to campus transit and street furniture, allowing brands to create impactful campaigns that promote summer travel, enticing students with exciting destinations, special offers, and memorable experiences.

A new survey from Nationwide Travel Insurance reveals that 91% of Americans plan to travel domestically this year, with 60% saying they will likely make the trip by car. With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to consider roadside advertising, like billboards, to boost brand awareness and inspire travellers. For example, local attractions like amusement parks, restaurants, or entertainment venues can use billboards strategically placed near highways to capture the attention of passing motorists and promote unique experiences available in their vicinity.

Visit Gainesville places roadside displays along I-75 to encourage drivers to Stay, Dine, and Explore Gainesville, Florida

Drive audiences online

The insights from Hilton’s global traveller survey underscore the importance of online booking convenience, with 80% of respondents emphasizing the need for seamless digital booking experiences. Real-world OOH ads can capture consumers’ attention and guide them toward taking action online, like visiting a company’s website or social media pages, reaching out to a travel advisor, or making reservations through a third-party platform.

For example, a hotel chain looking to promote its loyalty program could activate OOH ads strategically placed in key tourist locations or near business districts, featuring benefits like discounted room rates, complimentary amenities, and personalized offers. By prompting consumers with compelling visuals and clear calls to action, these OOH ads can drive traffic to the hotel’s website or mobile app, encouraging travellers to explore and book accommodations online.

Through mobile retargeting strategies, advertisers can target individuals exposed to out-of-home ads by geofencing relevant locations, effectively reconnecting with these audiences through mobile devices or other online platforms later. 

Expedia promotes its travel booking platform during commuter rush hours

Leverage programmatic DOOH for greater, more contextual impact

Programmatic digital out-of-home (pDOOH) allows advertisers to connect with audiences in real-time with contextually relevant content, helping drive brand awareness and purchasing decisions through engaging displays.

Through pDOOH capabilities like data triggers, advertisers can engage with audiences based on location, weather, time of day, current events, financial data, and more. Using weather-based triggers, for example, a tourism board can promote indoor attractions like museums, art galleries, or shopping centers to tourists during a rainy day. Alternatively, they can highlight outdoor activities like beach outings or boat tours on sunny days. 

An airline advertising international flights can customize promotions using financial triggers based on currency exchange rates. Suppose the exchange rate of the destination’s currency is particularly favourable against major currencies like the US Dollar (USD) or Euro (EUR). In that case, the airline can run promotional campaigns targeting travellers from countries where their currency has a stronger purchasing power, highlighting discounted fares or special offers on flights to these destinations.

Aruba Tourism Authority leverages real-time weather triggers to promote its sunny destination across Chicago, Philadelphia and NYC

By leveraging platforms like digital billboards and transit advertising, advertisers can engage with audiences in high-traffic areas, capitalize on seasonal travel trends, and create memorable brand experiences that resonate with travellers. The ability to deliver contextually relevant messages, adapt campaigns based on real-time data triggers, and target key demographics makes OOH a valuable tool for advertisers looking to maximize their reach and influence during the summer travel season.

Interested in getting started with programmatic DOOH this travel season?

Explore curated audiences in our Travel & Tourism package here!

Kayla Caticchio
Kayla Caticchio

Content Marketing Manager

Kayla has been a part of Broadsign’s marketing team since 2021, where she specializes in creating content on all things OOH, DOOH, and pDOOH. She spends her free time reading and trying new restaurants.