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EDO TeamMarch 19, 20243 min read

Top Travel TV Performers: Emirates Airlines Soars Above the Competition, and Salt Lake Steaming Viewers Are Thirsting for a Trip

As the temperature dips in the fall and winter, consumers across the U.S. start dreaming of a vacation — at least in the cold parts of the country. 

Fortunately, travel advertisers are more than happy to turn this inspiration into action with relevant, engaging ads that move consumers from the fantasy of a great trip to the reality of searching for the right destination, airline, resort, or cruise line.

At EDO, we measure the effectiveness of linear and streaming TV advertising by tracking how frequently consumers engage with the ads they see by searching for the brand online or visiting its website. This measurement gives us a window into exactly what happened during the recent holiday travel season — from the metro areas where consumers were most likely to engage with travel ads to the brands and creatives that were most effective at inspiring them. 

To do so we analyzed travel advertising performance from Q4 2023, using streaming TV ad effectiveness data from our Ad EnGage Convergent platform.

Whether you’re a travel marketer, ad seller, or just someone interested in where people are traveling from, we’ve got some fascinating insights for you.

Consumers in Salt Lake City were most excited to get away

Using our Ad EnGage Convergent TV measurement solution, we were able to measure the response of consumers to streaming TV ads, broken out by each of the country’s major metro areas.

What we learned is that consumers in Salt Lake City, Utah were the most likely to engage with streaming TV ads for travel brands and destinations. In Q4 2023, viewers in the Beehive State’s capital were 68% more likely than average to engage with streaming travel ads on a per-person, per-second basis. 

Here’s the rest of the top five cities where consumers were most engaged with streaming travel ads during Q4 2023, out of the country’s top 40 metro areas:

Where weren’t consumers engaging with travel ads at the end of last year? 

Viewers in Detroit, Michigan were least likely to search for travel brands or visit their websites after seeing an ad on streaming TV. In fact, consumer engagement among Detroiters was 43% less than average.

Here are the bottom five cities, where consumers were least engaged with streaming travel ads during Q4 2023, out of the countries top 40 metro areas:
  1. San Antonio, Texas: -22%
  2. Baltimore, Maryland: -23%
  3. Chicago, Illinois: -24%
  4. Nashville, Tennessee: -27%
  5. Detroit, Michigan: -43%

Emirates Airlines soars above the rest of the pack

Emirates Airlines was easily the most effective advertiser of the holiday travel season. 

The brand ranked first in ad effectiveness among travel advertisers with 100 or more airings on national linear TV during the quarter, generating 1,638% more engagement than the average travel brand on a per-second, per-second basis. 

Emirates also clocked the three most effective ads among creatives that aired at least 20 times, driving huge engagement with a trio of spots featuring celebrity actress Penélope Cruz luxuriating in the airline’s opulent accommodations


Emirates was followed on the list of top advertisers by MGM Resorts, which drove huge engagement with an ad promoting the Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula 1 race. Other big winners include the river cruise company American Cruise Lines, the Christian theme park Ark Encounter and the water park chain Great Wolf Resorts.

Here’s the top 10:

  1. Emirates Airlines, 133 airings, +1,638% more likely to generate engagement on a per-person, per-second basis
  2. MGM Resorts International, 208 airings, +762%
  3. American Cruise Lines, 140 airings, +572%
  4. Ark Encounter, 315 airings, +546%
  5. Great Wolf Resorts, 2,862 airings, +426%
  6. Viking Cruises, 462 airings, +286%
  7. Virgin Voyages, 2,635 airings, +271%
  8. Sixt, 212 airings, +253%
  9. Southwest Airlines, 1,527 airings, +202%
  10. Dreams Resorts & Spas, 447 airings, +177%


EDO’s predictive outcomes data: A first-class ticket to the top of your industry

As we begin 2024, travel marketers are already planning ahead for a crucial Q3, the period in which the industry typically runs the most TV ads. 

If you’re one of those marketers, EDO’s predictive outcomes data is the perfect copilot for identifying the regions, networks, programs, dayparts, and creatives that will make your travel campaigns soar. And with unique competitive intelligence and a team of on-demand media experts, we’ve got all the support you need to make smooth sailing out of the treacherous seas of TV advertising.

That’s enough travel metaphors for now — sign up for our newsletter for more TV insights.