8 must-know consumer trends that’ll shape your next travel promotion

From confectionary companies to car manufacturers, travel promotions are a big deal to brands. With inspirational experiences on offer, they take consumer engagement to the next level – and of course, help motivate shoppers who are looking to grab themselves a free getaway!

With UK residents making 65.7 million visits abroad in 2015 alone (ONS), there’s no denying that Brits crave fresh experiences and big adventures!

The time is ripe for brands to boost both sales and awareness with outstanding marketing promotions, with a strong experiential theme, that turn heads and drives enviable engagement.

So buckle up as we explore 8 massive consumer travel trends and their influence on the promotional marketing space!


1. 75% of UK consumers find travel prizes appealing! (Savvy Cynics)

For those brands and agencies umming and ahhing over which direction to take their next promotional consumer campaign – this is a stand out figure to say the least.

When developing any form of shopper marketing promotion, the chief concern will usually be whether it’s going to resonate with the intended audience. But with the almost universal appeal of travel growing year on year, holidays and experiences have become an efficient, go-to consumer incentive for brands to fuel engagement.

For a promotion to be successful it needs to be able to create an immediate buzz. So launching a campaign, safe in the knowledge that three-quarters of consumers coming into contact with it are going to sit up and take notice, is a massive boost!

2. 69% of consumers ‘plan to try something new in 2016’ (TripBarometer)

Driven largely by the millennial generation, consumer wanderlust is taking the ordinary person further than they’ve ever been before.

We live in a digital era when you can share your experience, in real time, with the rest of the world, and thus, there’s major scope to design inspiring promotions that not only build an affinity with the brand, but also drive consumers to share their experience on social media.  

Inspiration goes a long way. Maximising the value of your promotion in this way will put your brand in the spotlight. Seeing others discovering and exploring extraordinary places – thanks to you – will motivate others to develop a positive perception of your brand.

Making sure your travel promotion incorporates exclusive destinations and experiences that fit the bill, will broaden the appeal of your prize.

3. 43% of consumers planned a city break in 2015 (ABTA 2015)

Combine economic concerns and our increasingly time-poor modern lifestyles, and it’s no surprise that short-stay city breaks are booming in popularity.


Consumers love to get away from it all. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that every holiday needs to be a 7, or even 14-night stay. Some of the most vibrant, culturally rich destinations in the world are actually right on our door-step.

Whether it’s Paris or Prague, Budapest or Barcelona – European city breaks are in high demand and offer a simpler planning process for marketers when compared to a trip to Rio, for example.   

4. Almost one in five people say they will travel to a new country in 2016 (ABTA 2016)

Again, there’s an obvious thirst for new experience. New sights, new sounds, new tastes. Many consumers are looking to go boldly where they’ve never been before. You can be the brand to make that happen.

Look past the generic tourist hotspots and identify a destination and/or experience that ignites imagination and stirs consumers into taking action. Aligning the travel prize with your brand will demonstrate authenticity. But why not take it one stage further?

For example, one tea brand organised a trip to their tea plantation in Sri Lanka. Winners were able to experience first hand where their morning brew comes from – touring the plantation and picking tea leaves of their own.

Three guesses who they think of now, every time it comes to making a cuppa! Build real relationships with real travel experiences to encourage brand loyalty.     

5. The last ten years has seen an 800% increase in long haul family holidays (ABTA 2016)

For children’s brands in particular, this is a welcoming trend. An invigorated desire from families to travel far and wide opens up a wealth of potential for your travel prize.

How about a family adventure that puts a spin on the traditional tour of New York by incorporating an exciting treasure hunt around the city? The possibilities are virtually endless when long haul is on the cards.

Obviously budget may play a defining factor in your final decision, but this is not a statistic to be sniffed at. The demand is real, so why not make the most of it?

6. Nearly 20% of consumers cite a luxury city trip in Europe as the most appealing travel prize (Savvy Cynics)

We already know that a city break is sat firmly atop many consumer to-do-lists. But for those with a bigger budget, the experience can quickly be turned into something really special.

Including excursions and activities as part and parcel of your travel prize will add substance to your promotion. Couple a weekend stay in a five-star hotel with an ultimate dining experience and you may just be onto a winner.


The mission is to make consumers feel special with a memorable experience. But as always, be sure the prize aligns with your brand. Take time to consider your target audience and manufacture a prize that has a definite synergy with the demographic you want to attract with your promotion.

7. 15% of consumers will try adventure travel for the first time in 2016 (TripBarometer)

It could be snowboarding, safari or scuba diving, consumers go mad for activities that take them out of their comfort zone and bring about raw, exhilarating experiences.

Brands whose demographic already falls under the ‘adrenaline-junkie’ bracket can really take advantage of this. Even if it’s not immediately apparent that this type of getaway would appeal to your audience – there’s every chance you’ve missed a trick.

Even the invigorated older generation are getting in on the act. With increasingly active lifestyles, golden oldies are the wildcard when it comes to adventure holidays. Those with a more mature audience will need to be sure to keep it within reason, but this type of prize can stand out to wannabe explorers of all ages.

8. 86% of millennials aged 18-24 state experiencing a new culture as a top motivator to engage in travel (Top Deck Travel)

86% is a massive number. There’s no doubt that this new breed of traveller is more willing to immerse themselves in unfamiliar cultures than any that went before them.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘living like a local’ over the past couple of years. So there’s no better time for brands to create an authentic experience for prize winners that’ll live long in the memory.

Consumer stories are a great source of publicity. By giving them the chance to discover the unknown, you’ll help to create some incredible stories that will be forever affiliated with your brand.

Keep an open mind

…and that’s it!  

A brief look at some of the biggest consumer statistics shaping travel promotions in 2016 and beyond! The biggest lesson? To keep an open mind. Don’t stereotype your audience.

Staying relevant to your audience’s needs is paramount. But new trends, demands and a growing urge to travel are seeing consumers make vastly different decisions when it comes to desirable destinations.

Make it compelling. Make it remarkable!
If you want to discover more about what consumers REALLY want from travel promotions, download our FREE guide Exploring Travel today!

Download your free eBook

<< Back to all posts