Expedia: Leading the industry’s ‘Return to Travel’ conversation

Travel Case Study
Expedia: Leading the industry’s ‘Return to Travel’ conversation
The Challenge

In summer 2020, long-term client Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS), the B2B partnership brand of Expedia Group, tasked 8020 with communicating a new narrative in response to the coronavirus pandemic through global trade media relations outreach.

Our client’s ‘Return to Travel’ narrative promoted EPS as the ideal partner for travel agents, online travel agencies (OTAs) and loyalty brands to support their post-COVID-19 recovery. The strategy focused on reigniting a desire to travel safely, while providing financial support to partners via targeted incentives.

As the impact of COVID-19 eased, EPS sought to capitalise on the most immediate area of industry improvement – an appetite for in-country travel. EPS helped partners meet this pent-up demand by unlocking access to Expedia Group’s vast accommodation network through its API and travel agent tools.

The Approach

We set out to explain complex stories simply, allowing us to bring clarity and consistency to all the campaign messages, across print and online media, marketing collateral and digital content.

Through drafting EPS marketing and digital content, we ensured consistency in the ‘Return to Travel’ messaging across all communications.

From June-September 2020, we deployed a series of announcements to secure press coverage in travel trade publications across Europe, North America and Asia.

As well as written editorial successes, we secured high-impact video interviews for EPS’ senior management with top trade news outlets, including TravelMole and Insider Travel Report. By briefing executives on the key talking points for the ‘Return to Travel’ narrative, we positioned EPS as an experienced and stable business partner.

The Results

With our extensive B2B experience, we helped calibrate our client’s messages to reassure and encourage travel agents during this extremely stressful time for the industry.

We were able to demonstrate our client’s continued strategic relevance to travel partners.

Among our many notable achievements, we were delighted when, following tailored pitching to priority journalists, the launch of the Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Programme (TAAP) incentive scheme was covered by Tier 1 media internationally.

And in July 2020, our coordinated approach with new EPS partner Travala, an OTA specialising in blockchain, led to 29 pieces of coverage across travel trade and bitcoin media, raising awareness of EPS among new trade audiences.