Leading online travel businesses invested heavily in marketing in 2021, as travel restrictions started to ease. Understandably, the amounts spent on different types of advertising activity are not at the same levels as in 2019 but tried and proven tactics are back in demand.
Booking Holdings, which operates the Booking.com, Kayak, Agoda, and Priceline brands, spent $3.8 billion on marketing in 2021, up from $2.2 billion in the pandemic-hit year of 2020. In 2019, the firm disclosed that it spent a record $4.98 billion on its marketing campaign.
Booking Holdings spent $974 million on marketing, a significant increase from the $386 million spent in the same period in 2020.
Another travel agency, ‘Expedia Group,’ increased marketing spending in 2021 as well. It outspent Booking Holdings by about $300 million over the year, spending $4.1 billion, a 66 percent increase from the previous year ($2.5 billion in 2020).
The firm, which owns the brands Vrbo, Expedia, Trivago, and Travelocity, also set a corporate record of $6 billion in marketing spending in 2019.
Airbnb spent a record amount on marketing in 2021 to catch the early phases of the recovery era. Over 12 months, the lodging and activities brand earned $1.9 billion, up from £1.2 billion in 2020 and $1.6 billion in 2019.
Trip.com Group, which operates the Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Trip.com brands, increased its marketing spend by 12% year on year to $772 million in 2021.