In an industry where the destination is only part of a travel plan, global leaders have found a powerful friend in local tourism boards. With summer just around the corner, Americans are starting to dream of their next getaway. Thanks in part to younger, experience-driven consumers, the US travel market is estimated to reach $381 billion by the end of 2017, according to Deloitte.
Airbnb recently teamed up with the entire country of Sweden to promote travel to the region. By law, the the land is free and accessible to all, so the country laid out a welcome mat to the world using the popular online marketplace.
“This partnership is a first of its kind collaboration between a tourism board and Airbnb,” James McClure, Airbnb’s general manager for Northern Europe told The Drum. “It is designed to promote Sweden as a destination through the power of the Airbnb community. We see Visit Sweden as our long term partner and are happy to join forces in promoting Sweden as a destination.”
While Sweden’s partnership was a first for Airbnb, the practice is anything but new to traditional travel brands. Expedia, for example, has made many such partnerships including Hawaii Tourism Authority and the San Antonio Tourist Board.
“In today’s continuously evolving digital landscape, finding ways to reach and meaningfully engage with potential travelers is becoming more complex,” Wendy Olson Killion, global senior director at Expedia Media Solutions told AListDaily. “Travel is a considered a time-consuming purchase, and with the wide range of travel information and tools available online, consumers are increasingly spending more time with travel content. To help break through the complex landscape, tourism bureaus are looking for fresh and innovative digital tactics that will reach consumers and drive meaningful engagement, and often times, that includes collaborative partnerships with travel and hospitality brands.”
Hilton, too, partners with destinations to create a unique experience for consumers who visit any of its 5,000 locations worldwide.
“Relationships with tourism bureaus are symbiotic,” Bruce Gudenberg, executive director of industry relations at Hilton told AlistDaily. “By working together we can help each other provide group, business and leisure clients a great experience. We align with select destination marketing organizations at all levels from the individual property level to global sales. This allows us both to gain a deeper understanding of what guests are looking for when traveling to that location and cater to those needs.”
Hilton’s 5,000 hotels are found across the globe in 103 countries, so the company works hand-in-hand with local tourism authorities to ensure an authentic representation.
“It wouldn’t be possible for us to have the same amount of in-depth knowledge about each destination that tourism boards do,” Gudenberg added. “We deeply value these partnerships and actively work with them to leverage their deep destination expertise.”
Expedia agrees that the relationship between hospitality and tourism is a natural and fulfilling one.
“Our partnerships are mutually beneficial for both us and the tourism bureaus, and we look forward to continuing to develop these partnerships around the world,” said Olson Killian.