Travelers are making holiday plans and embracing DOOH

Published: August 17, 2021

Travel surged this summer as Americans looked to escape their staycations for sunshine and much-needed relaxation. As more and more of the nation received their COVID-19 vaccines, people have looked forward to getting out and exploring this summer. Before the warmer months began, The Harris Poll published a study on consumer insights and intent for summer travel. The research found that more than half of US consumers were planning to travel as much or more than they did before the pandemic caused nationwide stay-at-home orders. And continuing on this optimistic ready-to-travel trend, 24.4% report having travel plans in September, and 23.4% report having a trip scheduled in October, according to Destination Analysts. As we witness the steady rise in travel and economic resurgence, OOH is presented with the unique opportunity to captivate audiences on the go, more importantly as holiday travel commences. 

For the travel industry, the coronavirus pandemic had devastating impacts, and with Delta on the rise, it is hard to predict the trajectory of the pandemic. Not only did state-issue lockdowns halt tourism, but travel brands also had to fight to remain relevant in the minds of consumers while the industry was on pause. But there is hope in sight, with November and December reservation volumes higher than it was in both 2020 and 2019. In the ongoing economic recovery of COVID-19, DOOH has proved to be a viable solution, enabling travel brands to reach their target audience in pivotal moments. 

GroupM’s Mindshare conducted a study earlier in the summer showing 34% of Americans prepared to spend more time outside, while 21% spent less online. Throughout the pandemic and in its wake, consumers have tuned out online digital advertisements due to screen fatigue. This phenomenon left many advertisers unsure how to break through to their audience during influential moments. In the previously cited study by The Harris Poll, 41% of Americans said they notice OOH ads more than they did pre-covid. Unlike in-home media, OOH advertising has been a driver for online engagement, seemingly unaffected by screen fatigue in consumers. And nearly half of the viewers said they had looked up information about an advertiser online, and one-third had taken actions on their mobile device such as accessing discounts. 

Before the pandemic hit, travel and tourism brands were already utilizing DOOH to engage with consumers creatively. An example of the travel industry’s excellent use of programmatic DOOH to connect with their audience is the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan campaign. The campaign began as an initiative by MEDC to promote winter travel in 2019. Billboards would either display a countdown to celebrate the start of winter or current weather conditions through the reflection of a skier’s goggles - encouraging viewers to participate in winter activities and lodging.

A benefit of DOOH to travel brands, beyond driving brand awareness, is the ability to measure website traffic and ticket sales with attribution reports. By having access to the quantified results of their DOOH campaign performance, travel brands can pivot accordingly and fully take advantage of DOOH’s programmatic flexibility, such as the ability to launch and pause campaigns in minutes or instantaneously change creative direction. 

According to a consumer airfare index report from the travel booking app Hopper, travel-industry pricing trends look a lot like they did pre-pandemic. Despite concerns about the Delta, holiday travel is making a comeback. This creates an opportunity for travel and tourism companies to utilize digital out-of-home advertising now more than ever. If you’re ready to extend your reach and drive results with DOOH, our team is prepared to help plan your DOOH campaign today, at no charge to you. Contact us at


Written By: Julia Cramer

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