Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at hotel marketing to over 50s, the UAE’s tourism rebound, and a U.S. assist for Tunisian tourism.
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, September 14. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Major hotel brands have largely shied away from showcasing older guests in marketing promotions throughout the years. But Contributor Carley Thornell highlights three brands that are taking the opposite approach by featuring travelers over 50 in their ads, clearly seeing opportunities from Boomers hitting retirement age.
Thornell cites Extended Stay America, Charlestowne Hotels, and Best Western Hotels & Resorts as companies explicitly marketing to the large and lucrative market. Sixty-seven percent of Americans age 50 or older said they had made travel plans for 2022. Extended Stay and Charlestowne have unveiled marketing campaigns with videos showcasing older travelers, which both companies said have resonated with their targeted audiences.
Meanwhile, Best Western has partnered with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson as part of its efforts to market to motorcyclists, a group that tends to skew over 50. The hotel chain has featured bikers in blog entries and TV ads.
Next, the United Arab Emirates has experienced a significant tourism boom this year. Its tourism revenue surpassed $5 billion in the first half of 2022, compared to $3 billion the same period last year, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.
Bhutia adds the country’s hotels welcomed 12 million guests in the first half of this year, a 42 percent year-over-year jump. The United Arab Emirates is poised for another tourism surge soon, with soccer fans unable to find accommodation in nearby Qatar for this year’s World Cup expected to stay in neighboring countries.
We wrap up today in Tunisia. The North African nation is overhauling its tourism branding strategies with significant help from the United States, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
The U.S. government injected $50 million into Tunisia’s tourism sector in February under a project called Visit Tunisia. The five-year project aims to help Tunisia diversify its tourism offerings and shed its longtime tag as a beach destination. One Tunisia-based tourism executive believes that 90 percent of international tourists visiting the country this year are coming for its beach destinations.
The United States Agency for International Development, the body responsible for the investment, is targeting six communities for more focused destination development, Habtemariam writes. The agency is planning to invest in infrastructure improvements at Tunisia’s cultural and archaeological sites.
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