Anyone fill up their vehicle this week? Nothing like rising tensions in the Middle East to make you feel like telecommuting, but one group watching the pump prices even closer is the travel industry. The Association of Travel Marketing Executives met earlier this month, and certainly summer petroleum prices landed among other gut-check conversations. While overall, marketers feel cautiously optimistic, the top heads in the business searched for creative solutions on their tray of assorted challenges. Among the takeaways:

Destination Digital
Representatives of Tourism Ireland in the U.S. noted the group placed more than 40 percent of their marketing budget in digital this year, and they’re not alone. Like everyone else in the marketing world, Pinterest found itself in multiple conversations. As more and more flock to the digital pinboards — especially the huge female millennial audience — marketers determined how to best utilize those fantasy vacation pinnings. Dennis Corrigan, vice president for sales of Jet Blue also shared what seems to be an industry-wide strategy, noting they now scan Facebook and Twitter 24/7.

While Not Run Ashore, The Cruise Industry May Need A Tugboat
With the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia still weighing on everyone’s minds and lips, experts didn’t take long to predict a few rocky seas ahead. This accident occurred after a healthy growth period for the segment, so now is the time to secure a rapid rebound. Look for lots of brand work to accompany any sort of value messaging. Passengers may need lots of safety assurances and brand trust before securing any price.

Fingers Crossed for No More Tsunamis or Revolutions, 2012 Could Be Better
While industry players themselves still recover from the economic and global turmoil of the past few years, a cautious spring appears on the horizon. Value remains the differentiating factor for most consumers, and many look to the now tech-savvy retirees as a key market. Carson Wagonlit previously predicted this year’s rebound across all sectors of the industry, even predicting an increased emphasis in Latin America.

It’s certainly time for rebuilding industry-wide and there’s never been a better time to schedule a bit of creativity into that itinerary. How many will book remains to be seen.

Tagged with: