10 best slogans from the travel and tourism industry

best slogans from the travel industry

An estimated 975 million tourists traveled internationally between January and September 2023. Needless to say, demand in the travel and tourism industry is high. So is competition.

As travel companies and tourism boards vie for consumers’ attention, a really great slogan can be the difference between “fully booked” and “canceled”. You can use it for ads, posters, or travel brochures – whatever suits your marketing efforts.

To celebrate the arrival of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), I’m unpacking 10 of my all-time favorite slogans and taglines from the travel and tourism industry. Plus, my two cents on why the best slogans work and why others get lost in translation.

So, stow your tray tables, fasten your seatbelt, and get ready for a First-Class trip down memory lane. 

1. Airbnb – “Belong anywhere”

Airbnb
Source: AllGoodTales

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Airbnb has disrupted the industry. The online marketplace for travel lodgings and experiences has positioned itself as one of the best ways to live like a local when you travel.

Its original tagline, “Travel like a human”, emphasized the platform’s focus on building an authentic human traveling experience. But in 2014, it realized that it was more than just a travel tool.

Airbnb adopted a new slogan, “belong anywhere.” And I think it was a smart move. As the brand establishes itself as a major storyteller and advocate for real human experiences, this slogan taps into the audience’s emotions.

It also reflects the post-pandemic shift towards remote work, where many of us can now live and work from anywhere.

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2. Sixt – “Rent-THE-Car”

Sixt
Source: BusinessWire

SIXT is one of the world’s leading mobility providers, offering travelers a first-class car rental experience. It’s also known for its on-point advertising. 

In 2022, it launched a new integrated marketing campaign in the US to promote its top-tier customer experiences and quality fleets. 

The campaign slogan “Rent-THE-Car” is a stroke of genius, tapping into the premium rental experience consumers have come to expect from the brand. After all, it’s not your typical rent-a-car service. 

One might even say it’s … wheely wheely good (sorry). 🛞

Speaking about the slogan and campaign, Tom Kennedy, President of SIXT in the US, had this to say,

“The general rent-a-car experience in the U.S. is quite ordinary and not very exciting to the customer. The campaign is a great opportunity for SIXT to showcase how we are different, and it starts with renting THE car.”
Source

3. British Airways – “The world’s favourite airline”

British Airways (BA) has been a leader in the aviation industry for years and has weathered its fair share of turbulence.

Back in the late eighties and following a period of growth, BA rolled out the business slogan “The world’s favourite airline.” 

And it was a hit. 

Such a hit, in fact, that it continued to use the slogan until 2001. 

In my humble opinion, this goes down as one of the industry’s best slogans. Why? Because it reflected BA’s popularity in the market during that time, creating a familiar bond with its audience. It also played up the idea of being a safe and trusted brand that travelers can rely on during their vacations.

Nowadays, British Airways is trying out new tactics like its most recent campaign. Getting back to its roots as a premium airline, this billboard campaign strips things right down. 

There’s no slogan, no copy, not even a logo. Instead, we just see the look of excitement and awe on its customers’ faces. ✈️

British Airways
Source: X

4. Expedia – “Nothing beats being there”

Expedia is a leading travel technology company with a history of great travel ads and even better taglines.

For instance, during the 2023–2024 UEFA Champions League, Expedia launched its European travel hub. To promote it, the travel tech brand created a short film featuring footie legend Cesc Fàbregas and the brilliant “Nothing beats being there” tagline.

Another all-time favorite of mine is Expedia’s current “Made to Travel” slogan.

In its 2024 “Northern Lights” ad campaign, Expedia tells the story of a little girl who’s obsessed with a toy that recreates the aurora borealis. Her mum notices and uses the Expedia app to book a trip to the Arctic Circle in Norway so they can experience the real thing.

The slogan, the story, the Ewan McGregor voiceover … they all work together to paint a picture of the magic of traveling with Expedia. 

5. Hilton – “For The Stay”

Hilton
Source: Hilton

Hilton is a name many know and few can afford. The hotel chain has also given us some stellar slogans and taglines over the years, like this one from 2022.

As Hilton prepared to launch its new global brand platform, it discovered a hole in hotel marketing – the hotel stay. While its competitors were focusing on the destination, Hilton decided to tap into consumers’ desire to be cared for during their stay. Smart. 💡

To promote it, Hilton ran an advertising campaign called “It Matters Where You Stay” with the catchy slogan, “For The Stay”. It featured fun ads poking fun at all the things that can go wrong when you travel. We also saw appearances from Paris Hilton and actress Catherine O’Hara.

The campaign successfully differentiated the hotel giant from its competitors.

Here’s what Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s Chief Marketing Officer, had to say,

“With ‘Hilton. For the Stay,’ we are more fully connecting our external customer marketing to our purpose – staking our rightful claim that Hilton owns the Stay.”
Source

6. Icelandair – “We are slower but we are lower”

If you haven’t heard of Icelandair, this is your sign to put them on your radar. Trust me, it’s worth it for the laughs alone.

The airline has given us some corkers over the years, proving that it’s a brand with a sense of humor. One of the best slogans (in my humble opinion) was back in 1969.

Known then as Loftleidir Icelandic, the airline’s low-fare permit from the American Government only covered slow-flying aircraft. That meant it couldn’t switch to faster jet planes for its flights to the Bahamas.

Rather than trying to hide this from the public or play it down, the airline decided to lean in. Enter the ad slogan “We are slower but we are lower”.

Since then, Icelandair has continued to grace us with some ingenious ad campaigns and slogans. Like this one from 2024.

Its latest online and social media campaign, “The Polite Tourist Bouncer”, showcases the benefits of its stopover service when flying between Europe and the US. 

In typical tongue-in-cheek style, the campaign centers around a mockumentary-style movie featuring Icelandair’s “Polite Bouncer” Hugi. His job is simple. Stop tourists from overstaying on their stopovers. Unfortunately for poor Hugi, this is easier said than done, as the tourists fall in love with the country and don’t want to leave.

It’s part of Icelandair’s global marketing campaign, “Easy to stop, hard to leave.”

7. The State of New York – “I love New York”

The State of New York
Source: Benny Rotlevy on Unsplash

Who hasn’t seen the iconic slogan “I Love New York” (stylized I NY)? It’s on every kind of merch under the sun, from t-shirts to mugs. And for me, it’s one of the most iconic slogans in the world.

Simple, visual, and instantly recognizable, it has been the official state slogan of New York since 1977 to promote tourism. 

And as proof that inspiration can strike anywhere, let’s get into how this famous slogan was born.

Crime rates were high in New York in the mid-seventies, and many people considered the city dangerous. It was also on the verge of bankruptcy, which didn’t exactly entice visitors. In a bid to repair its public image, the State of New York hired an ad agency to design a logo that would boost tourism.

Flashforward to 1976, a graphic designer by the name of Milton Glaser drew the slogan and logo with a red crayon in the back of a taxi. The rest is history. 

The logo (and pop culture icon) reportedly earns New York state $30 million every year. And, you can find the original drawing in Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art.

8. Virgin Atlantic – “More experience than our name suggests”

Virgin Atlantic
Source: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is a bold brand that pulls no punches. And this is made obvious from its company slogans and taglines over the years.

Some of my top contenders include:

  • “You never forget your first time” (used when it launched a direct service from Toronto to London)
  • “Flying in the face of ordinary” (alluding to its staff member’s super-human powers)
  • “Extra inches where it counts” (because of the extra legroom, of course)

But my absolute favorite was their cheeky “More experience than our name suggests” tagline that was popular in the late nineties and early 2000s. It’s a clever play on the brand name and just on the right side of disruptive.

Virgin Atlantic may have left the shock-tactics in the past these days, but its latest ad campaigns still break the mold.

This 2024 ad uses the clever slogan, “See the world differently”, to champion individuality and highlight the brand’s commitment to inclusivity. In its own words, the ad speaks to “those who are their own captains”. Nice.

9. Delta Airlines – “Delta gets you there” (1984)

Delta Airlines has been giving us excellent slogans since 1929. There are too many great ones to mention, so I’ve picked out my top three.

In first place is the 1984 slogan, “Delta gets you there.” Why? It just works. It’s not trying too hard and it conjures up feelings of trust and safety. Always a good thing for airlines.

I’m also a fan of its “Delta is ready when you are” – also from 1984 – and “We love to fly and it shows” from 1987. The eighties were a good time for Delta (not so much for hairstyles.) 💇‍♀️

I will admit that Delta’s current “Keep climbing” slogan leaves me a little underwhelmed when I compare it to past efforts. 

10. Four Seasons – “Luxury is our love language”

Four Seasons
Source: hospitalitynet

Rebrands aren’t easy. A lot can go wrong, and even the best businesses struggle with change. Happily, 2022 saw the iconic hotel chain Four Seasons successfully rebrand itself.

The rebrand aimed to celebrate the company’s commitment to luxury and the elevated experiences the Four Seasons offers.

Enter the tagline, “Luxury is our love language” .

The campaign featured a series of videos that showcase just how much luxury customers enjoy in the brand’s hotels and resorts. For me, this tagline is a hit because it speaks to the right audience. 

In just five words, Four Seasons shows us what we can expect when we choose to stay in one of its hotels: luxury and loving care.

Four lessons from the best (and worst) travel slogans

So, what can we learn from the most famous company slogans in the travel and tourism industry? And what should you avoid when picking your next brand tagline?

I’ve taken some of the biggest lessons from the “hots” and the “nots” on this list and distilled them down for you below.

1. Don’t offend your audience 

There’s a fine line between catching your audience’s attention with a provocative slogan and just straight-up offending them. And when you cross that line, it can be tricky to recover (especially in heavily-regulated industries).

That’s a lesson Tourism Australia learned in 2006.

The tourism board released an ad campaign to promote the country and attract new tourists. Unfortunately, it was far from a success. 

Despite pretty much nailing the laid-back Aussie attitude and showing off the best of the country, the choice of wording left some audience members less than impressed. To be more specific, people objected to the use of the word “hell.”

As a result, the campaign was banned in several countries. And while it did a great job of gaining exposure and inspiring some hilarious parodies, it failed to bring in more visitors. 🤦

2. Tell a story

If we’ve learned anything from the best copywriting ads, it’s that people love stories. Now, I’ll admit that can be tricky with a slogan or timeline. I mean, you have just a few words to make an impact.

Penning winning slogans is an art and a science, but your chances of success are much higher if your words and artwork tell a cohesive story. Bonus points if you include your audience in it.

A great example is the online travel agency lastminute.com.

Known for its bright pink and nostalgic brand identity, the holiday company won hearts with its flamingo ad campaign and tagline back in 2018.

The campaign starred a CGI flamingo walking along a pristine white beach. As he walks, he tells us the story of how flamingos become pink. The voiceover says, “Did you know flamingoes aren’t born pink? Nope! They turn pink doing what they love – eating shrimp.” 🦩

That’s right! Flamingos actually start out gray and turn pink from munching on shrimp.

The integrated campaign used the slogan “whatever makes you pink” to perfectly encapsulate this story. It also finishes by suggesting that we all do more of what we love and find what makes us pink. 

The company’s head of branding, Elena Galli, said,

“We wanted to take a strong position on a cultural attitude, that modern living is full of endless distractions, meaning we waste time on things that don’t really matter. Travel frees people from this cycle and enables you to reconnect with the best of you.” – Source 

3. Choose your message carefully

A truly memorable slogan is clear and to the point, finding a way to evoke emotions without confusing the audience.

That means avoiding misleading or easily misinterpreted messages.

Take El Salvador. 

The country’s tourism slogan is currently “El Salvador: Impressive”. It’s a little underwhelming, but it’s certainly clearer than its old one.

El Salvador’s tourism slogan used to be “The 45-minute Country”, which was supposed to reference the short distance between popular landmarks. But unfortunately, many travelers thought it meant you only needed to spend 45 minutes in the country. 

Needless to say, it was a little confusing.

Confusing travel slogans – honorable mentions

I couldn’t help but mention these baffling slogans from airline companies.

  • Air Cote d’Ivoire’s – “Our best trip is you” 
  • Malindo Air – “Smarter way to stay high”
  • Continental – “We really move our tails for you”
  • Air Europe – “You still have a choice” (terrifying)
  • Cathay Pacific – “Arrive in better shape”  
  • Hawaiian Airlines – “Follow me home” 

Yikes. 😱

Check out the map below for the good, the bad, and the ugly of tourism slogans (courtesy of Family Break Finder).

Family Break Finder
Source: Family Break Finder

4. Watch out for costly blunders

An error in a social media post is bad. But errors in packaging designs and print ads are terrible, especially in the heavily regulated travel and tourism industry.

Case in point: Banner Travel agency. Let me tell you the story of a $10 million typo.

The year is 1988. Banner Travel agency bought an ad in the Yellow Pages (for the Gen Zers, it’s a big telephone directory).

The ad was to promote the travel company’s range of exotic travel options, with a prominent tagline that was supposed to say “International and Exotic Travel” in bold red font.

Unfortunately, there was a typo by US telco Pacific Bell and the ad read, “International and Erotic Travel.” 🤦

This teeny typo ended up costing the owner of the travel agency 80% of her business and she later sued for $10 million. It also left her 20-year reputation in tatters.

The moral of this story? Get yourself an online proofing platform to make sure million-dollar typos don’t slip through the net. 

Check out this quick video to learn how our creative review tool, Filestage, works.

Final thoughts

I hope this roundup of the best slogans and taglines in the travel industry has inspired you and maybe even got you planning your next big campaign. In regulated industries like this one, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd while staying compliant.

These 10 examples show us how it’s done. 

We’ve also seen the consequences of mistakes in your brand slogans or ad campaigns. That’s why a watertight creative review and approval process is essential in this industry (just ask Banner Travel Agency.)

So if you’re looking for a tool to optimize your creative review and approval process, start a free seven-day Filestage trial today.