Ads for travel business: what’s new in the APAC region and how to reach its travelers

Researches & Insights
March 24, 2023 / Author: Lizaveta Zhuk

Busy airports, full flights, buzzing hotels, and other hospitality businesses try to grab users’ attention on their travel purchase journey and stay ahead of competitors. It means that the ever-rocky travel industry rollercoaster rumbles on into 2023. Travel is back, but not like we’ve known it before. While some customers are getting back to old ways, others are adopting new travel habits entirely, making it more difficult for brands to plan their next step. 

Source: GWI

As the pandemic restrictions in the Asia-Pacific region continue to relax, cost of living and consumer confidence is rising, travelers from APAC no longer research their trips and accommodation like they did before the Covid-19. And this is a game-changer for travel businesses. So it’s crucial for brands to know their customers by sight to succeed.

Let’s learn about the modern APAC travelers to improve ad strategies in time with our new article.

International Travel On the Rise

With travel back on the cards, users try to divert their focus from tiresome daily routines with abroad and domestic trips. The reality of that figure is with the following numbers: 32% of Chinese, 43% of Australians, and 82% of Singaporean travelers who plan to go abroad this year. However, it depends on the country. 

Source: GWI

Anyone who has booked an international trip for any time does that with a clear goal. Some users look for relaxation and opportunity to spend their time in new places, some of them choose international travel because of the opportunity to learn more about different cultures and to get new experiences, some travelers want to see their family or relatives abroad and so on. There are no exceptions for Asia-Pacific consumers:

  • 36% of Chinese travelers and 39% of Indian prefer nature-based vacations;
  • 41% of travelers in Singapore and 34% in Japan keep in mind sightseeing.

Meanwhile the second motivation for traveling, 25% of Chinese choose a trip for a special occasion, 29% travelers in India want to visit family and friends abroad.

Source: GWI

Top destination for international traveling:

  • Consumers in China plan to visit Singapore, Japan, and Australia.
  • Consumers in India plan to visit Singapore, the United States, and Australia.
  • Consumers in Singapore plan to visit Malaysia, Japan, and Thailand.
  • Consumers in Japan plan to visit the United States, Australia, and South Korea.

Domestic Traveling Is Popular As Well

While other users are booking trips abroad, some of them are looking to travel around sightseeing in their countries. So 94% of travelers in India and 93% of Chinese intend to spend weekends in their own country, relaxing and enjoying leisure activities there. There is no exception for Singapore and Japan where 72% and 59% of users respectively want to travel within their countries. 

Source: GWI

As we see above, many users across age generations mention travel as a top priority for the next 12 months. Motivation is changed as users get older but in general the top reason for choosing domestic trips:

Source: GWI

Millennials and Generation Z boost traveling

For the longest time, millennials and zoomers shape the digital world. Nowadays, they also shape the traveling world with many of them entering new phases of their lives with desires to know more about different cultures and to get new experiences. With 42% of millennials thinking that traveling and vacations are incredibly important for them, they are also more likely to pay more for that — from buying luxury goods, booking hotels, spa and more expensive tickets for planes or trains.

According to GWI research, 1 in 5 millennials look for top range options when booking vacations, and around 3 in 10 millennials travelers tend to purchase the premium products.

If your business focuses on domestic tourism, then you should pay attention to Generation Z. They are the more likely of all generations to purchase journeys around their own countries. Meanwhile, three-quarters of Millennials prefer international traveling. 

Social media influence on making decision about traveling

It’s not surprising that social networks play a huge role in our lives. An average internet user spends more than 2 hours per day scrolling feeds of his or her social network, liking and commenting posts and sharing fun videos of cats with friends. Moreover, they become a new search engine for the younger generation as they more often open Facebook or Instagram instead of Google to look for activities for evenings.

Places for traveling and trips are not an exception especially when we speak about Gen Z. 60% of them make decisions about where to go because of social media impact. They start their travel journey from researching places, hotels and restaurants on social networks on the booking stage. They look for inspiration, and find that on social media posts and stories and decide where to send money. So it’s essential for travel businesses to develop their profiles on social media to provide necessary information for users and win their attention. Also, you can reach travelers with advertising on social networks. It is more likely to strike a cord with younger users from generation Z.

Source: GWI

Asia-Pacific Customers Require Stress-free Traveling

Anyone who has faced the COVID-19 crisis and rising cost of living understands how profoundly these have changed users behavior as consumers. So it’s not surprising that revailing stress goes a long way to become one of the most important factors to choose where to go: 20% increased in travelers who tell that ease of traveling (ability to book direct journeys and travel without visa or vaccination requirements) is the top booking factor for many in Asia-Pacific region.

Other top factors that have an impact on travelers’ decisions are value for money and relaxing experience. It’s even more than average consumers. Another essential thing for business to know — influenced by growth of cost-living, APAC travelers are 51% less likely than the average consumers to be impacted by advertising when deciding where to travel. It makes travel brands be more attentive to offering wellness trips for consumers with limited budgets. This is what will help increase travel demand.

Source: GWI

How to interact with APAC travelers to increase revenue and achieve success?

Considering they’re such strict consumers, marketing for them may seem tricky. Still, everything impossible is possible, impossible just takes a bit more time along with the changing of approaches and strategies. We’ve developed this guide to win APAC travelers business — arguably the trickiest segment to successfully advertise to. So what could help brands to triumph?

1. Keep a comprehensive approach focusing on increasing awareness

Intense tries to find wellness and cheap staycation. What truly distinguishes today’s travelers is that they are researching a lot more online. The key is that they aren’t limited by search engines — they research using different channels and are influenced by different ones, from social media, search engines, articles to consumer reviews and videos on YouTube. This means that a sharper digital advertising strategy which meets users at every stage of their travel research and purchase journey can help travel businesses to grow their revenues.

It’s highly important to start from the first stage of the sales funnel and, step by step, carry travelers through that to the last stage — purchase. Although APAC consumers could be less influenced by advertising due to the high cost of living, they tend to choose a place for their vacations by brand trust and familiarity. For instance, it’s an important factor for Chinese travelers that are more likely to choose hotels where they have already been or known it from different sources. So brand ad campaigns aimed to increase awareness and users’ interest make a point for travel business in this region.

You can use display advertising to attract users attention, video ads to tell a story about your business and amplify users interest and engagement and native advertising to maintain interest in your hospitality service through the entire customer journey. Also, don’t forget to divide the target audience into segments as each user has different necessities and preferences. It’ll help you reach your audience with relevant offers and triggers that ultimately lead to increased conversions. And with different ad formats for each stage of the sales funnel, you can empower ads and achieve goals efficiently.

2. It’s time to be on social media

With the development of technologies and proliferation of the internet, there are a lot of social media users in the region. And there is no chance to see a decrease in popularity of these platforms. Opportunity to keep in touch with friends and relatives, watch fun videos and relax, share thoughts with other people, research products and services and so on makes social media an indispensable companion of daily life. And what’s more important, social media opens great opportunities for brands — from attracting users’ attention on the booking stage to purchase.

Your business can interact with users through its blog as well as with advertising. All you need to do is choose a social media platform that is popular among your target audience and ad formats — promo posts, carousel ads, stories, lead generation forms or something else depending on social network and your goals.

3. Be next to with Gen Z: use social ads, video and CTV

Long time marketers keep Zoomers in their minds but advertising to the tech-savvy generation can be difficult. As the younger generation grew up with Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, and can’t imagine their lives without the internet, it needs to be considered in an advertising strategy.

It’s of vital importance that social ads be included in a mix of ad channels. This is due to the fact that they are the core of social media. 81% of Zoomers choose Instagram and YouTube among a whole cohort of social platforms. And 56% of them want to see brands use more Instagram as well as 38% — YouTube. 

Social media drives another important behavior trend among young audiences for marketers — appetite for video content. Considering that videos help them make decisions, it could be a turning point for your ad strategy that would lead travelers to conversions.

Source: The Bazaar Voice

Surprisingly, although many marketers think that young users are constantly scrolling their mobile feeds and apps, they aren’t mobile-only: according to Marketing Dive data, Gen Z spend 54$ of their time with short-form, non-TV content versus 46% long-form. And 92% of them watch at least some TV content, spending more than four hours a day watching TV.

Source: Marketing Dive

Advertising on Connected TV devices can help you reach these young users as well as millennials — they are leading among other consumers in engaging with CTV. One in three have activated QR code on a TV ad with their phone, while 38% have used a connected voice device to make purchases.

4. Use programmatic advertising to boost your ad performance

The real power of programmatic advertising is that it knows where a brand’s target audience is. Advertisers no longer need to display ads for a broad audience and hope the right people see it. Artificial Intelligence analyzes large amounts of data to show the right ads to the right user at the right moment.

Building for the open internet, programmatic is the best choice for omnichannel advertising. With unparalleled targeting, affordability of a wide range of ad formats and advanced optimizations, you can advertise through entire travel customer journeys with different ad formats step by step growing awareness, users’ interest and engaging  and ultimately conversions. Ads will follow a target audience around the internet: on Facebook, on YouTube, on Google and any sites that they will visit.

If you promote your travel business, you may face problems when other booking sites grab a large amount of users’ clicks and the higher positions in search results, including ads. And you can try to increase your bids to appear higher and  at the same time spending an ad budget faster. Programmatic can help to solve it and grab high-intent users’ attention on search results with optimal price due to setting bids and showing ads depending on data. Also, as programmatic works well at all stages of the sales funnel, including the upper-funnel part, it can decrease a price due to growth of awareness — if users know you then they are more likely to click on a search ad and do conversion. 

With programmatic, marketers can create hyper-targeted and efficient ad campaigns, reach APAC travelers and drive revenue of their business. Programmatic gives you a superpower to always be on the rise with:

  • Precise targeting that allows brands to reach their customers wherever they are.
  • Improved targeting options that help reach even specific audiences or target custom audience segments.
  • Huge reach of high-intent users that connected with not only better targeting options but, also, opportunity of platform to study by using data to find more relevant users due to the machine learning algorithms it’s based on. 
  • Opportunity to make adjustments to campaigns at any point, in real-time to increase their efficiency.

In general, programmatic is one of the efficient tools to reach Asia-Pacific customers and travelers. But how does it work in practice? Let’s make sure in the case of our client — a hotel in Mumbai.

How to outperform conversion expectations and increase conversions in 3.2 times

Our client was hit hard by the pandemic with difficulties in selling their services and booking apartments among their target audiences. So the goal for the ad campaign was increasing awareness, engagement, and raise conversions — booking rooms, ordering additional hotel services, etc.

As our team needed to work in several directions for several months, we created a full sales funnel strategy aimed at achieving the client’s goals. We used different ad formats and channels throughout the customer journey. So banners, posts and carousel ads on social networks facilitated increasing awareness, and engagement, and attracting quality traffic to the client’s site. The AI algorithm was analyzing a large amount of data in real-time to show ads to the right users at the right moments. As cross-device synchronization was set up, we were moving across devices seamlessly to deliver ad messages to the target audience on the right devices.

The down-funnel ad campaign included search advertising. Our team set up retargeting to improve and increase performance. The special ad creatives were shown for users with special offers for the rooms or services the user was interested in on the client’s site.

As a result we 3.2 times increased the reservation of apartments and 2.8 times increased sales of additional hotel services (parking, conference halls, restaurant, etc.).

Are you looking for an efficient solution for your travel business?

NT can power your success with unique data for precise targeting, a wide range of advertising formats, cross-device synchronization and fraud detection solutions. Through our years of experience and advertising technologies powered by deep learning algorithms, we help advertisers achieve their goals across all channels to attract the right audience, with the right message at the right time.

See for yourself how it can take your ad campaign to the next level — leave a request and we’ll create a media plan for you. Need more information? Contact us here or send email on