Known by marketers and consumers as the online equivalent of the popular post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” sale offered by retail stores, this annual e-commerce sales bonanza is now gaining traction from marketers in the travel industry.

This year, in fact, even high-priced luxury travel providers like Cunard Cruise Lines and Peninsula Hotels & Resorts offered Cyber Monday deals to try and entice affluent consumers.

The benefit of offering such Cyber Monday deals is twofold for travel brands. In addition to gaining a PR boost from offering an incredible deal, the online-only nature of Cyber Monday is also a perfect fit for many travel companies, which often do not have physical locations to offer deals during the traditional Black Friday sale period. With so much marketing opportunity at stake, expect to see Cyber Monday become an even bigger “deal” for travel marketers in the years to come.

Luxury Travel Companies Jump on Cyber Monday Bandwagon
While Black Friday has traditionally be the main draw for deal-hunting holiday consumers, more travel brands are embracing the appeal of Cyber Monday, Black Friday’s online sale equivalent. “Cyber Monday…is almost entirely discount driven and not limited to gifts,” said Taylor Rains, managing partner for Flugel Consulting, an online retail consultancy. “This widens the audience significantly and promotes more traction in the market.” Read more

Google’s Travel Head Shares Tips for Search Marketing Campaigns
Search marketing is a key area of focus for travel brands looking to persuade consumers at the time of purchase. But given the increasing competition for keywords, what makes for a good travel search marketing strategy these days? According to Terri Scriven, Google’s current Head of Travel, tactics like audience segmentation and the company’s Dynamic Search Ads will be important tools moving forward. Read more

Why Hotels Need to Take a Closer Look at Guests’ Social Media Posts
More hotels are focusing their attention on managing online reputation, using platforms like TripAdvisor to monitor and respond to guest feedback. But according to a new study, TripAdvisor isn’t enough. In fact, hotels might be missing out on a significant portion of what their guests are saying about them on social media. Finding such postings using available “geolocation” data may offer valuable insights to help the properties improve service in the future. Read more

Are Chat Bots Good Business for the Travel Industry?
Chat bots,” tools that let consumers communicate with businesses using a familiar text-message style interface, are seeing a growing embrace in the travel industry (see the British Airways story below). But as the interface gains more attention from travel marketers, more are asking if the tool actually makes good business sense. In fact a range of challenges, like understanding the context and intent of consumer requests, will be critical to chat bots’ success. Read more

British Airways Tests Chatbot With Personalized Travel Offers
Following the lead of carriers like KLM and Icelandair, British Airways is launching a new Facebook-based chatbot that will offer London-bound travelers a range of city itinerary suggestions and exclusive deals. Read more

New Report Highlights the Importance Image Strategies for Hospitality
The consumer dominance of image-focused social networks like Instagram point to the growing importance of compelling images for travel brands in the hospitality sector. But as a new study points out, finding “pretty pictures” is no longer enough to stay competitive. Instead, hospitality marketers need to think proactively about strategies for sourcing, managing and measuring ROI on the use of such images. Read more

Photo Credit: More luxury travel brands like Starwood, Peninsula Hotels, and Cunard are offering consumers post-Thanksgiving Cyber Monday deals. Mike McCune / Flickr