- Orbitz is celebrating the 15th anniversary of LGBTQ History month with a virtual tour of queer-friendly businesses, landmarks and cities as the COVID-19 pandemic limits travel. The travel-booking site enlisted social influencers to provide the tours, which are featured at its website and @Orbitz account on Instagram, per an announcement.
- Former 'NSYNC member Lance Bass, singer and choreographer Todrick Hall, lifestyle influencers Matt & Beau and LGBTQ travel influencers Gabi & Shanna are participating in the campaign with recommendations of places to visit in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and Austin, Texas. Orbitz also set up a microsite that provides travel itineraries based on those recommendations.
- To expand the reach of the campaign, the influencers will post stories to Instagram with additional recommendations throughout the month, marking them with the #HappyPlace hashtag. Orbitz is urging people to share their recommendations with the hashtag for a chance to be featured on its Instagram account. The company also is donating $5,000 to The Trevor Project, the suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth.
Orbitz's influencer campaign for LGBTQ History month aims to reach audiences on Instagram who may be homebound during the coronavirus pandemic, but are looking at future travel plans. By enlisting influencers in the #HappyPlace campaign, Orbitz can extend its reach among young adults who before the outbreak had been known to seek travel ideas from social media, and who shared their experiences in apps like Instagram. Amid the surge in social media usage during the pandemic, Orbitz can still connect with those audiences as they consider booking trips for the future.
Younger consumers have shown a greater willingness than older demographic groups to travel. About 39% of millennials said they're comfortable with the idea of going on vacation, compared with only 30% of baby boomers, according to a weekly tracking survey by researcher Morning Consult. Airline travel has gradually increased, but is still a fraction of what it was before the pandemic. About 483,000 travelers a day went through airport screenings in June, a number that climbed by 48% to an average of about 716,000 in September, according to Transportation Security Administration data. As travelers consider booking trips for next year, Orbitz wants to be top-of-mind among consumers with its campaigns.
Orbitz's campaign marks an extension of campaigns typically seen during Pride month in June, which also were disrupted by the health crisis. With many in-person Pride events canceled, brands turned to social media to engage consumers and express their support for LGBTQ causes. Those brands included NYX Professional Makeup, which hosted a virtual Pride march on Instagram, and Chipotle Mexican Grill, which celebrated Pride month with a livestreamed event on social video app TikTok. These cause-driven campaigns are likely to appeal to younger consumers who are heavy users of social media and who are especially conscious of gender issues, according to a study by Pew Research Center.