As Travel Makes a Comeback, Here Are 5 Audiences You Can’t Ignore in 2022

Been on a plane lately? They’re packed. Which means travel is coming back stronger than ever before. And after a year and a half of sitting inside, it’s easy to understand why people are excited to get back on the road.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve attended travel marketing conferences like Destinations International Annual Convention in Baltimore, U.S. Travel Association ESTO in Los Angeles, and most recently IGLTA in Atlanta. The overall theme of the travel industry is to adapt and keep moving forward while making sure marketing efforts are targeting the right audiences.   

As an expert in travel marketing and consultant to brands on how to reach their most valuable audiences, I always recommend an audience-first approach to campaign strategy. And, as travel brands ramp up their marketing, here are five key audiences you don’t want to miss out on in 2022 and how to reach them.

The business traveler 

The road warriors are starting to come back. While they aren’t traveling as much as they did pre-pandemic, the industry is predicting a steady growth into 2022. They’re most likely not going into a ton of in-office meetings, but they are going to conferences in destinations like Las Vegas and Orlando, who are booking as far out as 2030.

Marketers should consider adding business podcasts like Freakonomics Radio or CNBC’s Your Money Minute to reach these professionals when they are on-the-go. You can also extend your reach among business professionals by category-targeting the business genre on SXM Podcasts. Business enthusiasts who listen to podcasts are also traveling; according to Podsurvey listener data, 62% taking three more or trips a year.

The multicultural traveler 

Multicultural travelers account for 44% of all travel spend, and they can’t be ignored by travel marketers, pointed out MMGY Travel Intelligence. And it’s important to keep in mind that the multicultural traveler is more likely to spend with brands where they see themselves reflected.

To effectively connect with a multicultural audience, both targeting and creative are critical. It’s critical that marketers really understand the types of messages these audiences want to hear and see. For example, Black travelers may want to hear an audio ad in a relatable tone via a voice of authenticity, empathy and clarity. And Hispanic travelers who are Spanish language-preferred want to hear the message in their language fluently. SXM Media has a full service audio consultancy called Studio Resonate that travel brands can work with to really understand the audio best practices to communicate authentically with multicultural travelers.   

The LGBTQ+ traveler

According to industry experts at IGLTA, the LGBTQ+ traveler communities are likely to be at the forefront of travel’s return, with over 73% of LGBTQ+ consumers planning on taking a trip by the end of 2021. This percentage is expected to grow into 2022 as global restrictions hopefully begin to lift and vaccinations continue to roll out.

The overall theme of the travel industry is to adapt and keep moving forward while making sure marketing efforts are targeting the right audiences. 

LGBTQ+ Pandora listeners spend more time streaming music than with any other media, at 2.7 hours a day. Consider adding digital streaming to truly connect with this community via the passion point of music. And you can target the LGBTQ+ community via Pandora’s proprietary audience solutions based upon listening behaviors: Pandora Pride Enthusiasts, Hispanic LGBTQ+ Pride Music Enthusiasts and African American LGBTQ+ Pride Music Enthusiasts.

The conscious traveler

These travelers care deeply about sustainability. According to a recent study by travel company Virtuoso, four in five people (82%) said the pandemic has made them want to travel more responsibly in the future. These travelers want to hear what your brand is doing to be more sustainable.

Consider collaborating with an eco-friendly influencer to curate their own station on Pandora or SoundCloud. The influencer can showcase your brand’s sustainability efforts combining an influencer strategy with your digital streaming plan by having an influencer curate an eco-friendly playlist to showcase what your brand is doing regarding sustainability in an authentic way.   

The wellness traveler 

The wellness traveler wants a digital detox. Given the high levels of stress and anxiety experienced during the pandemic, these travelers are seeking out experiences that can help them reset their emotions and recalibrate their mental wellbeing.

Wellness fanatics lean on music and podcasts to give them a well-deserved visual vacation. Consider adding a health and fitness transcription to your next podcast campaign to reach these health-focused travelers. Transcription targeting is brand new at SXM Media, where content is transcribed at the episode level and goes beyond standard keyword classification to understand the overall sentiment and context of the show.

At SXM Media, we reach over 150 million ad supported listeners, the largest addressable audience in audio in North America. Combine this reach with listening behaviors and billions of data signals daily throughout our multi-publisher offering—Pandora, SiriusXM, SoundCloud, Stitcher— and travel marketers can reach any of these 2022 travelers at scale on SXM Media.