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How print is helping travel brands in 2022

Andrew Gasper - Head of New Business, Ovato

The drought has broken, and for many of us, it’s been a very long time since the dream of an overseas holiday was anything other than just that – a dream.

But with international travel returning to many parts of Australia along with Tourism Australia’s first tourism campaign in two years, now’s the time for travellers stuck at home to get off the couch and on the road, sea or skies.

Travel agent’s and tourism providers who’ve been quiet for so long now find themselves having to get their marketing collateral ready at short notice to catch those precious tourist dollars.

So, is your print marketing ready for the rush?

One step ahead

Before the pandemic this time of year kept agents and travel providers busy printing and distributing their marketing collateral for a range of audiences, from overseas travellers in their winter, to Australians staring down the barrel of long summer holidays. But with the uncertainty of when, or even if overseas travel would resume, there is a general reluctance to pull the trigger.

But with fully vaccinated international travellers allowed into the country from February 21 and vaccination rates up around most of the country, now’s the time to catch up or risk losing out to forward-thinking businesses with an eye on the future.

Catalogues and brochures

Catalogues are an effective way of reaching a large swathe of the Australian population, so it’s hardly surprising that travel brands like Royal Caribbean are keen to get their brand in front of people through their letterboxes.

But the most common place to see a travel catalogue is in a travel agency. In the before-times, Flight Centre’s and independents operators offered a wall of premium catalogues, all resplendent with incredible photography from all over the world.

With some travel agents already open and many re-opening, well-known travel brands such as ATP, Top Deck and Trafalgar are getting back into the brochure business, enticing prospective travellers with gorgeous full colour imagery of far off places they haven’t seen for years.

Getting your product into Australian letter boxes, newspapers and travel agencies will keep you front of mind and influence travellers with money to spend eager to travel outside their own suburb.

Travel magazines and in-flight magazines

Even as we stayed at home or within our home states over the last two years, travel magazines continued to publish – with the focus moving to showing us the places we hoped to travel too again.

But with international travel back on the cards, magazines can evolve once again and go back to doing what they did pre-COVID – showing people in newsagents and supermarkets aspirational images of the places they can now reach. Who isn’t inclined to want to visit Vietnam, Europe or Fiji after spending so much time at home?

Along similar lines, in-flight magazines are returning to seat backs as airlines slowly bring flights back to normal. In some cases, they never even went away. As COVID-19 bit, Qantas Magazine transitioned to a subscriber mailout model but has since returned to aircraft with the November 2021 issue.

Investing in advertising within existing magazines or printing your own using superior paper stock and aspirational imagery will help prospective travellers make their minds up about where they want to go in 2022 and beyond.

Eyes forward

Travel was a rarity for too long, and travel providers and tourism operators have been reluctant to fully commit to their pre-COVID advertising channels with good reason.

But as Australia opens its international borders again and most of the states commit to unrestricted movement, travel businesses need to make sure they’re doing everything they can to remind lapsed customers that they’re active.

Print material, either catalogues in letterboxes or travel agents, or magazines in newsagents and aircraft, is an effective and proven way of selling your brand and business to customers eager to listen.