Travel brands aim to inspire on social media

b>From sound clips of waves lapping the shores of a Maldivian island to messages of hope for the future, countless travel firms are sharing emotive video content on social media. 


From airlines and hotels to operators and OTAs, brands are aiming to keep Britons ‘travelling’ from the comfort of their armchairs in the hope that when restrictions are lifted, bookings will ramp up. 


Operators Carrier and Kuoni are appealing to the ears with sound clips such as lions on game drives and reeds blowing in the wind in Italy.


Kuoni’s marketing director, Dean Harvey, said the aim was to “allow [people] to escape virtually, if only for a few seconds”, while also preparing for “when the world opens up again”. 


Kuoni also released a film before the Easter weekend urging consumers to stay at home but continue to reflect on their previous travel experiences.

Harvey said: “Our marketing focus is not about selling right now, people don’t want that so we’ve moved to a softer, more conversational editorial tone to keep people informed and entertained.   People are naturally turning to social media and any sort of content that allows people to escape is welcomed, which is why we launched Kuoni Moments this week.


“Each moment is a peaceful escape to one of our destinations, no voiceover, no soundtrack just the sounds of nature alongside beautiful places.   It’s our own footage from film shoots we’ve done over the past few years, so we’ve got more to come.  We’ve released Italy and Africa so far and engagement has been really positive.  


“People still want to think, talk and plan holidays so the films are about short, peaceful moments that remind us all why we love to travel and allows us to escape virtually, if only for a few seconds. We want to be ready for when the world opens up again.


“When it comes to social media, we always ask ourselves, is it informative, entertaining or topical - ideally it will be all three. These films hit the spot on all of those points.”

Carrier's marketing boss Natasha Towey said content shared during this time period still needed to be "true to the brand", adding that the luxury tour operator's new Stay Curious campaign was build on "emotional storytelling".

Social media expert Amy Podrasky of agency Melt Digital praised VisitBritain’s approach. “They’re very aware people aren’t visiting us here, but they are using their brand values of what it is to be British and sharing Spotify playlists of British brands, film locations for shows we are binge‐watching and recipes for things like scones,” she said. 


Colleague Beki Hayler praised travel brands that are highlighting the current circumstances and connecting with people’s emotions. 


She cited Skyscanner’s #WeWill campaign which features a video about travelling again. 


“Consumers are also being asked to use the hashtag and tag what they plan to do when quarantine is lifted – it’s a nice way to bring people together and give hope.” 

Similarly, Visit Portugal has adapted its Can’t Skip Portugal campaign into Can’t Skip Hope, using the original footage with new emotive voiceovers, while Emirates looks to the future and highlights the memories we will have from being in lockdown. 

Other tourist boards are also encouraging travellers to delay there travel

South African Tourism has created two videos with the message “don’t travel now, so you can travel later,” which are hosted on its YouTube channel. Over sweeping footage of the country’s landscapes, beaches and local people, the narrator says: “We will travel again and we will gather again. For us all to travel tomorrow, we have to stay home today. Here’s one thing I can promise you. We will make it through this.”