- Tripadvisor this week released its updated mobile app for iOS and Android users, aiming to help people plan for their next getaway, per an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive. Refreshed app features include COVID-19 safety information, a trip-planning tool, search and mapping capabilities, reviews and Tripadvisor Plus, a membership program to unlock discounts on hotels, flights, rental cars and experiences.
- The upgraded app coincides with a new digital campaign to inspire U.S. consumers to travel again. Thirty- and 15-second video ads in the "Vacations Miss You" campaign depict luggage looking lonely and forgotten after more than a year of going mostly unused. "It only takes the slightest and most particular tweaks to a piece of luggage, like the position of the zipper, and suddenly you can't look at it without seeing a forlorn face," said Jack Foster, senior art director at agency Stink Studios, which developed the campaign.
- Tripadvisor's new app and creative campaign out this week attempt to ease planning and instill wanderlust in U.S. consumers, who are showing higher rates of travel confidence as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out across the country. Tripadvisor and Accenture found in a March study that of people who did not travel in 2020, 61% said they are comfortable doing so this year.
Tripadvisor's refreshed app arrives as the U.S. pandemic recovery continues and warm weather opens the floodgates for pent-up demand around travel. The timing for the updated app — in addition to the brand's new digital marketing campaign — could energize consumers and remind them of Tripadvisor's offerings related to planning a trip.
"We took this past year to refresh our native app to better surface timely and relevant guidance and tips from travelers who have been there before. Providing more personalized inspiration for consumers, whether they're already at their destination looking for a hidden gem nearby or planning ahead, is exactly how we're helping everyone become better travelers," Lindsay Nelson, Tripadvisor's chief experience and brand officer, said in the announcement.
By making mobile app upgrades early in the busy summer months, Tripadvisor can tap into smartphone usage that accelerated during the pandemic and capture consumer attention as restrictions ease and people prepare vacations for later this year. Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) of vaccinated people said they plan to travel more or about the same as they did pre-pandemic, per a survey by Redpoint Global.
Tripadvisor has worked for months to help restore confidence in a travel rebound as the pandemic recovery continues. In March, the platform teamed with Lysol to offer guidelines, advice and disinfecting kits for the 8 million tourism and hospitality businesses on its site. The move followed an unsurprising drop in Tripadvisor's revenue during the height of the pandemic: Fourth-quarter revenue fell 65% year over year, while total 2020 revenue declined 61% to $604 million.
Meanwhile, a deluge of travel-related brands and booking platforms have ramped up marketing efforts this spring and early summer to capture pent-up consumer demand. Expedia in April centered its rebrand around the company's mobile app and website to simplify its rewards program and position itself for a post-COVID future when travel is expected to ramp up. Impressions across travel advertisers rose 280% between January and May 2021, compared with the same period in 2020, when the industry collapsed due to lockdown measures, per data from attribution platform TVSquared.