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EDO TeamApril 3, 20243 min read

Rising Tides Lift All Boats for Q1 2024 Travel Brands

With holiday travel in the rearview mirror, consumers are looking ahead toward spring and summer getaways. Turning these daydreamers into jet setters is a calculated art, and brands across the travel industry turned to TV advertising to make their pitch throughout Q1 2024. 

In order to help advertisers understand which brands moved the needle effectively, we analyzed the consumer engagement generated by all national TV ads in the Air Travel, Hotels & Resorts, and Websites & Travel Services categories from the beginning of 2024 through March 21. Since online brand engagement in the minutes after an ad airs has been proven by research to be highly predictive of future market share growth, the most effective advertisers in this category are the ones most likely to take off in the weeks and months to come.

What we found in our analysis is that travel advertisers have hit the ground running in 2024, with ad effectiveness and airings up significantly from Q4 2023 across the industry. Here, we’ll take a deeper dive into the data to illuminate key trends, highlight the industry’s most effective advertisers, and spotlight the most effective creatives.


It’s a successful Q1 take-off for Air Travel brands, especially Southwest

Air Travel advertisers saw a 71% boost in ad effectiveness from Q4 2023 to Q1 2024, meaning that brands in this category were 71% more likely to drive consumers to interact with the brand online in the crucial minutes after an ad aired. 

Southwest Airlines was both the most prolific and most effective advertiser in the category, accounting for 80% of airline airings and generating 12% more per-person, per-second engagement than the average brand in the category. 

The airline also notched the top five highest-performing ad spots over the measured timespan, topped by an ad that speaks to viewers who “Wanna Get Away.” The ad, which performed 65% better than the average Air Travel creative, shows the story of a couple who could use a pair of one-way tickets after getting caught in an awkward regifting situation—we’d want to get away, too.

Here are the top five Air Travel advertisers by effectiveness:

  1. Southwest Airlines (12% more effective than the category average)
  2. United Airlines
  3. Turkish Airlines
  4. Fiji Airways
  5. Delta Air Lines


Hotels & Resorts check in with strong results to start the year

Hotels & Resorts advertisers saw a 41% quarter-over-quarter jump in ad effectiveness during the first quarter of 2024. The most effective brand was Great Wolf Lodge, whose ads outperformed the category by a massive 427%. 

Great Wolf Lodge is also responsible for the top four creatives from this period. Its best performer, an ad that highlights the magic and majesty of wolves with a hint of humor, was 479% more effective than the average Hotel ad.

Hilton was the category’s most prolific advertiser with 8,951 airings — representing 26% of all category airings.

Top Hotels & Resorts advertisers by effectiveness included:

  1. Great Wolf Resorts (427% more effective than the category average)
  2. Dreams Resorts & Spas
  3. Sandals Resorts International
  4. Luxury Escapes
  5. IHG Hotels & Resorts
  6. Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts
  7. Best Western
  8. Hilton
  9. Holiday Inn
  10. Hard Rock Hotels & Casino


Travel Websites & Services book big gains

The Travel Websites & Services category saw ad effectiveness rise 27% from Q4 2023 to Q1 2024. 

Vrbo was the standout performer, generating engagement rates 204% higher than the category norm. The booking service fueled their success with creative that highlighted the peace and privacy of its whole-home rental offerings, specifically with this TV spot generating 463% more per-person, per-second engagement than the typical category ad.

Trivago, which checked in as the fifth-most effective advertiser, was the category’s most frequent advertiser with 9,428 airings — or 32% of all category airings.

Top Travel Websites & Services advertisers by effectiveness included:

  1. Vrbo (204% more effective than the category average)
  2. Get Your Guide
  3. Airbnb
  4. Priceline
  5. Trivago


Travel advertisers: Fly high by leveraging EDO’s engagement data

The travel rebound is in full force as advertisers across the industry have seen marked improvement in their TV ad performance to start 2024.

As travel brands look to keep this strong start going, understanding which TV strategies truly move the needle will be crucial. With EDO's unique visibility into real-time engagement metrics, marketers can optimize their TV ad spending with confidence.

For travel advertisers aiming to steer their 2024 TV investment in the right direction, having EDO's authoritative engagement analytics is a flight plan for maximum impact. Reach out to learn how we can guide your TV buy toward elevated awareness and engagement — and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest insights.