This week, we’re talking about airports.

If you travel, you are guaranteed at some point to get stuck for several hours or more in one of these massive labyrinths of impersonal transit infrastructure. And more often than not, unless you’re inside a premium lounge, your time there is going to be boring, uncomfortable and expensive.

However, all hope is not lost. As more airports seem to realize, airport branding is big business. From rethinking the on-site food vendors, to adding more human-friendly creature comforts like kid play areas and power-plugs, to building in full-fledged tourist attractions, executives in charge of these critical transit hubs seem to be finally listening to the anguished cries of travelers. As many frequent travelers will attest, the changes can’t come soon enough.

Seattle’s “Sea-Tac” Airport Rebrands the Customer Experience
It’s perhaps an inevitable outgrowth of the way we live now. As travelers spend a more time than ever taking flights, waiting in security lines and dealing with delays, airports are coming to be seen less as places to pass through and more as destinations to hang out, shop, eat and relax. Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport is just the latest to embrace such a concept, with the airport adding new children’s play areas, entertainment systems for long lines and upgraded Wi-Fi and power outlets. Read more

China’s Domestic Airlines, Airports, Prepare for Massive Growth
Just last week, Skift noted the massive growth of the Asia-Pacific travel market and the opportunities it might provide for marketers. If you need further proof, just look at China’s domestic aviation industry. Recent estimates suggest the country is on track to open more than 500 new airports in the next few years. The dramatic growth is contributing to plenty of new low-cost carriers and new efforts aimed at modernization. Read more

How Local Businesses Can Maximize Search Traffic from Travelers
Summer travel season is in full swing, and that means many Americans are on the road, passing through unfamiliar cities where they are searching for places to eat, drink and sleep. Here are a few tips on how local businesses can increase their visibility with these out of town visitors, including focusing on mobile searches and the importance of “geotargeting” non-locals before they arrive. Read more

How the Hospitality Industry Can Make Use of the Pokemon Go Phenomenon
Love it or hate it, Pokemon Go has seemingly taken over many players’ attention spans for much of the past few weeks. As more travel marketers are realizing, this location-based game also has the potential to create new customer engagements with real-life travel businesses. Here’s a few tips on how the hospitality industry might take advantage. Read more

More Travelers Look to Unplug from Digital Devices on Vacation
On vacation? Put down that smartphone and stop what you’re doing (OK, maybe finish this article first). According to new research, more than 50 percent of U.S. internet users say they plan to be offline or “unplugged” during their next leisure trip. While this can present unexpected challenges for digital marketers, it also offers opportunities as well. Read more

Travel Agents Struggle to Adapt to Facebook Algorithm Changes
As many publishers already know, Facebook recently announced a key change to the software it uses to organize users’ newsfeeds. Moving forward content shared by friends and family will receive priority over posts shared by brands and media organizations. That’s already ruffling feathers for many travel agents, who use the social media platform as a key tool to engage potential customers. Read more

 

Photo Credit: Some airports are rebranding themselves less as transit points and more as full-feature destinations where travelers willingly want to spend time. mrhayata / Flickr