Zero-Party Data Takes Flight: How to Upgrade Your Travel Advertising to First Class

As the travel industry continues to grow and evolve, brands must keep pace with the evolving landscape. In the past, advertisers have relied on various forms of data, with nearly 80 percent of travel advertisers relying on third-party data to target potential travelers with advertising and marketing messages. However, with increasing privacy and data regulations, these data practices are coming into focus and the use of third-party data is becoming increasingly challenging – giving zero-party data an opportunity to fill some much needed gaps.

Zero-party data is a valuable resource for travel advertisers, as it provides insights into customers’ direct preferences and interests. By leveraging this data, advertisers can build out in-market segments and begin forming traveler personas with the right messaging at the right time. 

From solo jetsetters to family road trippers, here are some emerging travel audiences and tactics travel brands need to know and could be building themselves through zero-party data within their next campaign.

Digital Nomads

Digital Nomads have dominated the travel space in recent years and will only continue to trend up as more companies adopt a ‘Work from Anywhere’ workplace policy. Becoming a Digital Nomad has even evolved over the past year with the emergence of Bleisure travel, which blends leisure travel with work – allowing the traveler more time away from their home base. Travel brands, like AirBnb for example, could tap into this audience by using a branded Multiple Choice Survey to qualify the audience with a Yes/No question, like the example shown below. AirBnb could also make the survey dynamic with a follow-up question asking “Yes” responders what their typical duration is for each stay to then re-message with ad creative that includes relevant stay options. 

Solo Travelers

Solo travel has been on the rise in recent years, making it even more popular during the pandemic. Skyscanner found that 54% of Americans are considering solo travel within the next year – with 71% of travelers noting that solo travel was important for their mental health and wellness. A brand like American Express could utilize our Multiple Choice Survey within digital ads to further qualify consumers by asking if they would consider traveling solo within the next 6 months. Using a dynamic ad unit, like the example below, Amex could also ask a follow-up question on why they’re considering solo travel – further personalizing the ad experience later based on their response while providing valuable consumer insights to the brand.

Wellness Warriors

Wellness tourism is continuing to make a comeback after suffering a devastating blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic – resulting in wellness trips dipping by nearly 36% from 2019 to 2020, globally. American Express notes in their 2023 global trends report – that 57% of respondents plan to take extended vacations to focus on wellness. As a way to attract wellness travelers, major hotel groups are working with luxury spas and health-focused brands to bring amenities to their customers that are aligned with their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Hotel brands, like Marriott, could use a display image survey (as shown below) to ask health-inclined travelers what they value most in a wellness destination. Those image options could then direct the consumer to the areas of the Marriott website that provide more detail on each of these wellness-related services. Marriott could also segment these audiences by region or household income to glean further trends and insights across all target segments.


No – that’s not a typo. A new travel trend has TV super fans and travelers alike flocking to destinations featured on some of our favorite binge-worthy shows like Yellowstone, The White Lotus or Game of Thrones. American Express noted in their 2023 global travel trends that 64% of respondents agree that they have been inspired to travel to a destination after seeing it featured on a TV show, online, or in a movie. A travel brand like Delta could target these audiences using TV viewership data and ask a relevant question like the example below. Then Delta could segment these audiences and retarget them with region-specific creative that highlights their Delta Amex card benefits.

Zero-party data can provide travel advertisers with valuable insights into their customers’ preferences, interests, and behaviors. By using this data to build out audience segments, create interactive ad content, and personalize messages, travel advertisers can reach key target audiences before, during, or even after peak travel season. With a little help from zero-party data, advertisers can build stronger relationships with their prospective travelers and ultimately drive more bookings.

Want to see this strategy in action? Check out how this travel brand used these zero-party data tactics to increase booking intent by 10%.

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