July 13, 20233 min read

EDO TV Performance Report Reveals Most Effective Travel Advertisers, Including Southwest Airlines, Great Wolf Resorts and Turo

Travel TV ads have driven a 47% year-over-year increase in total online engagement in the last year, affirming the continued return of leisure travel

EDO has released the inaugural Travel TV Performance Report revealing consumer engagement and ad effectiveness trends from July 2022 to June 2023. The report underscores the resurgence of the travel industry, with total incremental online engagement for travel TV ads up 47% year-over-year (YoY) – mainly driven by increased investment from the Hotels & Resorts and Car Rental & Sharing categories.

EDO’s report highlights TV advertising performance across five categories – Hotels & Resorts, Air Travel, Cruises, Car Rental & Sharing, and Travel Websites & Services. EDO measured online consumer engagement – an investment-grade signal that is highly predictive of in-market business performance – to uncover the $1.2 trillion travel industry’s most effective advertisers, creatives, and media environments from the past year.

The travel industry has slowly recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. By Q4 2022, ad investment in the category surged past pre-pandemic levels, up 44% compared to the previous year. This TV ads resurgence coincided with consumer travel reaching highs in the fall of 2022, signaling a strong return of travel activity after years of depressed or slowly recovering demand – and consumer engagement is following suit. 

“Generally, the travel industry has overcome its pandemic-induced challenges in the last two years, as global restrictions lessen and travelers take back the seas, skies, and roads,” said Laura Grover, SVP, Head of Client Solutions, EDO. “We’re seeing the bounceback reflected in TV ad performance across most travel categories, from cruises to hotels and travel sites. Advertisers have taken notice of the increased demand and are optimizing TV campaigns accordingly.”

Key highlights from the Travel TV Performance Report include:

  • Air Travel ads continue to face turbulence, likely linked to ongoing staffing shortages, ticket increases, and sporadic flight cancellations. Luckily, the category is still seeing strong pockets of ad engagement throughout the year when travelers are most likely to be looking for deals. Southwest Airlines cemented its leadership position in the Air Travel category as its ads were 40% more effective than the average category advertiser.

  • Affordable travel stays top of mind for consumers. In spite of seasonal declines for TV-driven ad engagement for the Travel Services & Websites category from July to October in 2021 and 2022, engagement increased in December, when travelers are looking for winter getaways and planning spring trips. Top performing brands in this category include VRBO, Trivago, and Priceline.

  • Cruises are making a pandemic comeback for the ages when it comes to total online engagement, which increased 5x in January 2023 YoY, during the category’s busiest time of year for advertising. Ads from American Cruise Lines, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line were the most effective in driving ad engagement. 

  • Hotels & Resorts rebound with brands including Hilton, Choice Hotels and Beaches Resorts driving the Hotels & Resorts category to a 100% increase in YoY engagement driven by TV ads. Ads from Great Wolf Resorts outperformed the category average by 8x. 

  • Car Rental & Sharing sees spike in December. TV-driven ad engagement for the Car Rental & Sharing category remained fairly stable from July 2021 to June 2022, peaking only slightly in December 2021 and June 2022. However, EV increased nearly 5x month-over-month in December 2022, mainly thanks to a new brand awareness campaign from car rental company Sixt. Turo took top honors, outperforming the average brand in the category by 3x. 

  • BBC America (co-owned by AMC Networks and BBC Studios) and The Food That Built America (History Channel) were the most effective network and program in driving ad engagement for Travel advertisers since last July.

Download EDO’s Travel TV Performance Report to know what’s working for travel advertisers.


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