Senior lodging and destination marketing executives often make vendor and marketing channel decisions without sufficient time to investigate the ROI of alternative strategies or emerging media choices. An internet-based survey of 426 marketing executives, drawn from the TravelCom 2011 conference and Cornell Center for Hospitality Research database, with support from Vantage Strategy and iPerceptions, found a wide range of expenditures on online marketing, as well as considerable diversity in organizational structures. Two-thirds of the sample comprised accommodation marketers, with the remainder being destination marketers or those responsible for other types of marketing. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents reported spending less than $10,000 on mobile media in 2010, about two thirds spent less than $10,000 on all social media marketing. About 80 percent of the marketers said that they produced Twitter campaigns and social promotions in-house, but such functions as search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising are largely outsourced. Accommodation firms are more likely to outsource all social media functions, including pay-per-call, Twitter campaigns, and pay-per-click management. Destination marketers, on the other hand, generally handle more functions in-house. Two-thirds of the entire sample said the 2010 e-commerce budgets had increased with respect to 2009. Sixty percent of accommodation marketers anticipated a further increase in 2011, and 71 percent of the destination marketers said their 2011 budgets would increase.
Verma, R., & McGill, K. (2011). 2011 travel industry benchmarking: Marketing ROI, opportunities, and challenges in online and social media channels for destination and marketing firms [Electronic article]. Cornell Hospitality Report, 11(9), 6-15.