Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

Sri Lanka Launches First Global Tourism Campaign in 16 Years

8 months ago

Sri Lanka has finally announced its plans to roll out its global tourism marketing campaign urging tourists “You’ll Come Back For More,” marking the first such campaign since 2007.  

Skift had earlier highlighted the country’s 16-year gap in robust tourism promotion. The country had developed a comprehensive consumer campaign in 2021, which had then been shelved.

The new campaign is set to unfold in phases, initially focusing on communicating the restoration of stability in the country and its readiness to welcome tourists, this will run through February. Subsequent stages will elaborate on the central theme of “You’ll come back for more,” targeting key source markets of Sri Lanka Tourism.

Ogilvy, the creative agency behind the campaign, based its strategy on insights revealing that over 30% of tourists visiting Sri Lanka are repeat travelers.

The government has also urged the private sector to play a pivotal role in attracting tourists, with Tourism Minister Harin Fernando emphasizing that the government’s responsibility was restricted to ensure an enabling environment.

Tourism Targets

This year’s target for tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka is 1.5 million, a goal viewed by some as modest given the destination’s capacity and potential.

According to the latest tourism data, Sri Lanka had welcomed 1.3 million tourists by November, with India leading as the largest contributor with almost 260,000 arrivals, followed by Russia with 168,000 tourists.

The country plans to welcome 2.5 million tourists next year.

Free Tourist Visas

As part of a broader strategy to rejuvenate the tourism sector and achieve a target of 5 million arrivals by 2026, Sri Lanka announced issuing free tourist visas until March for visitors from seven countries — India, China, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The backdrop to these efforts includes last year’s wave of anti-government protests, beginning in April, triggered by severe shortages of food, fuel, and medicines. The country declared a state of emergency, facing what is considered its most significant economic crisis.

Airlines

IDEAS: Air New Zealand Debuts Hollywood Inspired Christmas Campaign

8 months ago

Air New Zealand has taken inspiration from Hollywood with the launch of ‘The Great Christmas Chase’, a new stunt-filled campaign video designed to celebrate the upcoming busy festive season.

The 90 second advert sees Air New Zealand flight attendant Shanti Tucker battle through an airport and a host of obstacles – including rogue candy canes and a tongue in cheek experience with a mobility buggy – whilst trying to reunite a family with a lost gift.

In a press release to accompany the launch of the campaign, Air New Zealand’s Chief Customer and Sales Manager Leanne Geraghty says the action-packed film ‘demonstrates Air New Zealand’s commitment to creating unforgettable moments for its customers – especially during the busy Christmas season.’


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Hotels

IDEAS: JW Marriott Encourages Guests to ‘Stay in the Moment’ with New Asia-Pacific Campaign

8 months ago

JW Marriott has launched a new Asia-Pacific campaign, taking inspiration from the K-drama genre and starring South Korean actor, Lee Min-ho. 

The three-minute video titled ‘Stay in the Moment’, tells the story of a headstrong son and his family, who face their issues and overcome barriers by embracing the life moments provided through the shared experiences of travel.

You can view the video below:

The campaign has been created to ‘underscore the beauty of human connections’, by emphasizing the strong familial bonds that are forged in unforgettable moments, said JW Marriot in a press release. 

“The ‘Stay in the Moment’ campaign focuses on the discerning luxury traveler who seeks well-being, mindfulness and profound connections-all the elements that speak to the spirit of the JW Marriott brand,” said John Toomey, chief sales & marketing officer Asia Pacific, Marriott International. 

“Lee Min-ho’s starring performance in the campaign video beautifully captures the JW Marriott experience, embodying the holistic and inspirational moments that shape our journeys and enrich our lives.”


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Travel Technology

Global Brands Gravitate to Sphere’s Exosphere for Las Vegas Grand Prix

8 months ago

This weekend, F1 fans can expect a visually enthralling experience, as custom real-time content tracks across the world’s largest LED screen of the Sphere, as part of the official broadcast for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Global brands off the mark with Sphere advertising campaigns during the major sporting event include GoogleAmerican ExpressAston MartonPuma, and Mercedes Benz.

In the lead-up to the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, a highlight of the 2023 Formula One World Championship, Race Week commenced on Wednesday with The Netflix Cup, marking the first live-cued content on the Exosphere, the 1.2 million LED lights on the exterior of the Sphere. This Saturday’s race will continue to see exclusive Sphere Studios content for the race.

Located along the race track, Sphere’s Exosphere will offer unique viewing angles, including an aerial perspective, ensuring an immersive experience for millions of F1 enthusiasts worldwide.

However, as a precautionary measure for drivers, race organizers have reportedly banned red, yellow, and blue from appearing across the Sphere’s exterior. These colors have been identified as distracting for drivers. It is not ideal for Google, whose logo features those exact colors, but the ban applies explicitly while the race is in action.

The integration of technology, sports, and marketing on such a grand scale is set to redefine the Grand Prix experience, according to Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President of Marquee Events and Operations for MSG Entertainment.

Beyond the color block across the 1.2 million LED lights on the exterior of the Sphere, all 20 drivers and their cars will be showcased, along with F1 helmets, creating a backdrop for fan photos. Fans can also look forward to seeing themselves featured on this gigantic screen, according to the organizers.

“This is the inaugural year for both Sphere and the Grand Prix in Las Vegas. We are ready to showcase Sphere to our global audience via F1 – both in person in Las Vegas and watching around the world – demonstrating the unparalleled technological and creative capabilities of the Exosphere,” said Fisher.

Tourism

Europe’s Upcoming Ban on ‘Climate Neutral’ Marketing to Affect Travel Brand Greenwashing

10 months ago

The European Union is on track to ban marketing claims such as “climate neutral” by 2026 that scientifically based certification can’t validate.

Claims such as “carbon neutral,” “environmentally friendly,” and “eco” will require companies to verify their products’ merits through third-party certification schemes. 

Travel companies are among the industries that may be affected by the looming ban. For example, airlines may need to change booking interfaces that offer “climate-neutral” flights in exchange for buying carbon offsets supporting projects that lack credibility.

The rules okayed on Wednesday still need formal approval from the European Union parliament and its member states — expected in November. But it would be procedurally rare for the rules to be denied.

The move came on the same day United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “humanity has opened the gates to hell” in its failure to stop rising carbon emissions and a forecasted increase in extreme weather.

EU press release on its climate claims rules

Hotels

IDEAS: Graduate Hotels Launches “Generation G” Campaign

11 months ago

Nashville based Graduate Hotels has unveiled its latest brand campaign, “Generation G,” which aims to ‘celebrate the common threads of the lifelong student experience: curiosity, adventure, and enthusiasm for life.’ 

Credit: Graduate Hotels

Designed to shine a spotlight on ‘Generation G’ members, the campaign introduces us to a number of individuals through vignettes that offer a glimpse into their experiences and community connections.

You can take a look at the campaign video below:

“Graduate’s motto is ‘We Are All Students,’ a concept Generation G fully embodies. It’s the idea that no matter how young or old you are, or when you graduated college, there’s always more to discover. There’s always a new skill to learn, place to explore or dish to try. This campaign captures that spirit of undying curiosity, adventure and wonder that runs so deeply in college towns,” said Michaella Solar-March, chief marketing officer at Graduate Hotels. 

“Whether you’re about to start your freshman year, a parent dropping your kid off at school for the first time, a foodie, or an adventurer, young or old, you have a place at Graduate.” 

The campaign was produced by Known Studios, with the film directed by Daniel Iglesias Jr. The wider campaign also includes a bespoke playlist curated by DJ White Shadow, storytelling slams across the country with The Moth, a limited collectors’ edition Generation G zine available at each hotel, branded merchandise, and more.

The campaign is Graduate’s most ambitious and extensive campaign to date, as the brand looks ahead to its 10th anniversary in 2024. 


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Historic Art Figures Embark on Travel Adventures in New easyJet Campaign

12 months ago

easyJet has launched a new campaign in collaboration with creative agency VCCP London that features some of the world’s most renowned faces in art brought to life.

The ‘Get Out There’ campaign sees Mona Lisa, David, The Thinker, Girl with the Pearl Earring, and even a pair of cherubs as they embark on journeys through Europe – with the much loved tourist attractions becoming the tourists themselves. 

@easyjet

Some of the world’s best beaches are at your doorstep – stay tuned to see where Pearl is jetting off to for some hidden gems to add to your bucket list ✈️ #GetOutThere

♬ original sound – easyJet

As more and more creative agencies continue to utilize the power of AI-generated content for their marketing campaigns, easyJet and VCCP London chose to find and cast real people to star in the campaign in order to ‘capture the humanity and unbounded spirit of these historic icons experiencing travel for the first time.’

“We are so excited about our new brand platform. With this campaign we have redefined the role of advertising at easyJet and taken it back to fundamental marketing principles. We know travel is a category where distinctiveness is a challenge, and we think this work makes easyJet more emotional and memorable than we’ve ever been before,” said Gabriella Neudecker, customer and marketing director at easyJet.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Online Travel

Airbnb and Other Brands Awash With Barbie Hype

1 year ago

The marketing team behind Barbie have made the doll a household name. The upcoming summer release of the official Warner Bros. movie ‘Barbie‘ on July 21, and the subsequent marketing push behind it, in part, illustrates how an 11.5-inch doll has managed brand success for over 60 years. 

Barbie Dreamhouse listing on Airbnb. Source: Airbnb

Airbnb has unveiled a listing, Welcome to Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse – Ken’s Way, which opens to the public for a free stay, on a first come first serve basis. Booking is from July 17, and is for two individual one-night stays, for up to two guests each, on July 21 and July 22, 2023 only. Airbnb said it will make a one-time donation to Save the Children, to honor girls’ empowerment, in the announcement of the listing that coincides with the movie’s release.

In Los Angeles there is a full activation called “World of Barbie”, bringing her DreamHouse and DreamCamper to life for an immersive experience. It also features an adults-only cocktail bar. From a Barbie hotel, and a Barbie Fan Girl Cruise, these are just some of brands that appear to have joined the pink Barbie brigade.  

Named one of America’s most trusted brands in 2022, despite remaining controversially polarizing, the gross sales of Mattel’s Barbie brand amounted to about $1.49 billion worldwide in 2022. Interestingly, this figure is down, compared to 2021, when gross sales reportedly reached $1.68 billion.

Ideas

IDEAS: Evoking Nostaglia With Samsonite’s Latest Campaign

1 year ago

Samsonite are aiming to reignite the spirit of adventure and celebrate the golden age of travel with their latest campaign

Created in partnership with global advertising agency Iris, ‘Travel Like Your Parents’ evokes a sense of nostalgia inspired by the genuine escapades undertaken by those who came before us.

Credit: Samsonite/Iris

Set against the sunny backdrop of Southern California, the wanderlust-inducing campaign urges today’s travelers to disconnect from our fast-paced digital world and ‘discover the magic of travel as our parents once did’. 

You can take a look at the newly released campaign video on the Samsonite YouTube channel.

“Traveling has always been a transformative experience, and we believe that the journeys our parents took were filled with a sense of wonder and discovery,” said Nicole Adriance, senior director of brand marketing at Samsonite. 

Credit: Samsonite/Iris

“Through our summer campaign, we aim to inspire travelers to tap into that same spirit and create their own remarkable memories. As a brand with over 100 years of history, we understand what made travel so special in the past and we can help our audiences understand it, too. That’s what “Travel Like Your Parents” is all about: the idea that travel is better when you take time to connect with the places you visit and the people you visit them with.”


At the 2023 Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking to highlight advertising campaigns that have been created with the intent to drive action. 

If you have an exciting marketing initiative that deserves to be celebrated, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards and start your application today.

Airlines

IDEAS: Penelope Cruz is Spoilt For Choice in Latest Emirates Campaign

1 year ago

Academy Award winning actor Penelope Cruz is set to take to the skies in the latest global ad campaign for Emirates, having been announced as the airlines newest brand ambassador.

Scheduled to launch in the Summer of 2023, the Fly Better campaign will be showcased in both English and Penelope’s native language of Spanish, having been brought to life by double Oscar-winning director Robert Stromberg.

Focussing in on the campaigns key message that travel is not just about the end destination; ​it’s also about how you get there, Cruz was quoted to be ‘thrilled to partner with Emirates after years of traveling with them on some of the most special trips in my life.

Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Aniston, the campaign sees Cruz taking advantage of all that flying with Emirates has to offer, from taking a shower in the clouds to staying up to date with her favourite football team.

Credit: Emirates

“Emirates is all about Flying Better, where the journey to your destination matters as much as the place itself,” said Richard Billington, Emirates’ senior vice president of brand and advertising.

“We take care of every detail in the Emirates experience and wanted a brand ambassador who reflects the Emirates brand – it needed to be someone classy, stylish, and having modern global appeal. Penelope was the perfect fit.”


At the 2023 Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking to highlight advertising campaigns that have been created with the intent to drive action. 

If you have an exciting marketing initiative that deserves to be celebrated, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards and start your application today.