Skift Take

As other video platforms have grown their audiences during the past year, YouTube's audience remains one of the largest and the ease of sharing a YouTube video is what draws millions of travelers and brands to click, watch and share. YouTube is still the host platform for many marketing campaigns and brands see it as a place to expand on their storytelling rather than quicker clips for other social platforms.

Aside from its upcoming IPO, Trivago has stolen the spotlight with its TV commercials and videos during the past year that have garnered millions of views both on and offline and are some of the most viewed travel videos on the web.

Trivago is also one of the travel industry’s highest spenders for TV advertising, and three of its ads are among the most viewed travel videos on YouTube for 2016.

With 17.2 million views, a Trivago ad in Arabic is the most viewed travel video on YouTube this year. The ad expounds the benefits of booking with Trivago and the convenience of getting rates from 100+ booking sites in one place, much like the third most viewed video (10.3 million views) which is essentially the English version of the Arabic ad (watch all ten videos below).

Of the 10 most viewed travel YouTube videos this year which collectively saw about 85 million views, three are from booking sites, three are from airlines, one is from an airport and one is from a hotel — Hilton HHonor’s “Stop Clicking Around” ad with 5.1 million views.

Though 2016 has been difficult for Turkey which suffered a coup and terrorist attack earlier in the year, Turkish Airlines managed to capture the eyes and ears of online viewers with storytelling that focuses on people. The airline has two videos in the top 10 list which both tell stories of locals in various destinations of the airline, including the story of a blind surfer from Rio de Janeiro and vignettes of four Balkans cities the airline flies to.

Emirates’ latest ad in its Jennifer Aniston campaign garnered 4.5 million views and features Aniston on board an A380 spending time with a boy who aspires to become a pilot some day while his parents indulge in Aniston’s suite.

Some other videos that didn’t make the top 10 but still received millions of YouTube views include Sandals Resorts’ Saint Lucia ad, Explore Canada’s video which highlights travelers’ Instagram photos and Google Maps’ Explore Mount Blanc video.

Airbnb also had a large YouTube audience for a series that profiled hosts in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the city’s Summer Olympics.

Skift compiled this list and we based the top travel videos only on their YouTube views and didn’t consider the number of TV views they got as several are also commercials. Videos native to social platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat, for example, also aren’t included though many travel brands’ have received millions of views from videos on those platforms.

Some of these videos were both TV ads and YouTube ads, or videos that played before videos travelers watched which likely increased travelers’ awareness of the content. Most of these videos were also part of marketing campaigns promoted across a variety of channels.

Largely absent from the list is any long-form storytelling or short films such as Marriott Hotels’ “French Kiss” film from last year. Any short films that brands produced this year didn’t make enough of an impact to attract droves of viewers.

Watch all 10 videos below:

1. Trivago, “Find the Best Price on Trivago (Arabic),” 17.2 million views


2. Trivago, “Happy Dance (Japanese),” 11.5 million views


3. Disney Parks, “Star Wars Awakens Walt Disney World,” 10.4 million views


4. Trivago, “Find your ideal hotel at the best price,” 10.3 million views


5. Turkish Airlines, “Inspiring Story of Blind Surfer, Derek Rabelo,” 9.1 million views


6. Turkish Airlines, “4 Mevsim Balkanlar,” 7.2 million views


7. Hilton HHonors, “Stop Clicking Around,” 5.1 million views


8. Heathrow Airport, “Coming Home For Christmas,” 4.8 million views


9. Boeing, Amazing! The Beauty of Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner on Display,” 4.7 million views


10. Emirates Airline, “Jennifer Aniston TV commercial | A380 | Emirates Airline,” 4.5 million views


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

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Tags: travel videos, video, youtube

Photo credit: Travel ads are often more interesting on YouTube than on television. Pictured is a Disney ad, the third viewed travel video this year. Walt Disney World Resorts

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