Overall, most sectors were able to recover their pre-Covid advertising investments this year, while 2022 is expected to record higher ad spend than was reported in 2019, marking a full recovery for the industry. Travel and tourism is the most significant exception to this rule, having continued to struggle with restrictions, quarantine and testing regulations and hesitation from consumers throughout most of the year.
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One sector that has been continually affected by the ongoing Covid crisis is travel and tourism which, while seeing steady growth since restrictions were lifted earlier this year, has not yet seen a full recovery in ad investment versus pre-pandemic levels. However, Zenith’s latest Business Intelligence – Travel insights suggests there is reason for optimism as we enter 2022.
The sector’s nevertheless impressive double-digit growth throughout 2021 – 24% – is predicted to rocket even further in 2022 to 36% according to Zenith’s analysis. If this lofty expectation is reached, it could mean that the travel advertising sector could grow at six times the rate of the overall ad market between 2021 and 2023. Despite this, the travel industry will not meet or succeed pre-pandemic spending until the latter year.
It is expected that much of this increased advertising investment will remain dedicated to digital channels, with travel marketers having spent 63% of budgets on these formats in 2021 alone. This could rise to an even more substantial 70% by 2023, as more consumers grow accustomed to using travel apps and digital concierges. However, that’s not to say they are neglecting traditional mediums. In fact, 20% of budgets are spent on newspapers, magazines and OOH – well above the 13% budget ringfenced for these formats by the average brand.