10 best travel ads that will make you book your next vacation in seconds

Header_ Best travel ads article (2)

As the world recovers from the pandemic, travelers are keener than ever to find their next vacation spot. And the companies’ and countries’ tourist offices are wasting no time trying to attract as many visitors as possible to their destinations. 

To show you some of the true gems in travel advertising, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best travel marketing campaigns that will make you want to book your next holiday ASAP. Plus, a little background on tourism marketing.

So let’s dig in!

What is tourism marketing?

Tourism marketing refers to strategically promoting travel destinations, attractions, and services to potential visitors. As part of tourism marketing, companies from the various aspects of the tourism industry develop targeted marketing campaigns on various channels to spread compelling messages to attract tourists.

Each tourism campaign aims to increase awareness, generate interest, and ultimately drive visits from local and international visitors.

10 best tourism marketing campaigns

Here are the ten best tourism campaigns and ads:

1. Switzerland – Yodel Ay Hee Hoo

Is there a better way to promote the countryside than by inviting various people from a train station to spontaneously take a day off from work and enjoy the beautiful and peaceful Alps?

That’s exactly what the Switzerland tourist office did in one of their endearing tourism campaigns and sent the important message of how often we forget to take a step back to relax from our busy daily schedules. 

The creators made the travel ad even more authentic by live streaming from the Alps, with an elderly man inviting everyone from the Zurich train station to come join him. 

Intending to inspire travelers, this innovative approach caught daily commuters off guard and made them question whether to take a free daily ticket to the Alps or to continue their regular trip to work. 

2. Travel Oregon – Only Slightly Exaggerated 

Whether you’re watching an ad for the latest toothpaste or a fantastic new trip destination, they all have one thing in common – they exaggerate how great they are. 

Travel Oregon used this common motive in their “Only Slightly Exaggerated” tourism campaign to paint Oregon as a unique, dreamy, cartoon-like destination. 

The ad shows that Oregon mountains are more magical than anywhere else, rivers hide secrets never seen, and the streets offer entertainment like nowhere else. Just like in your childhood dreams! 

3. Iceland – OutHorse Your Emails

Being able to disconnect from work when on vacation is something that many of us struggle with these days. Luckily, Iceland found a perfect solution for the problem – outsourcing your emails to Icelandic horses. All you have to do for that is come to Iceland, and the rest will be taken care of.

This quirky ad is an amazing example of how creative and funny countries can get in attracting new tourists. 

4. Sweden – Spellbound

Have you heard of Dark Tourism? If you’re a fan of horror stories and mystic movies, then you certainly did! And you’ll absolutely love what Visit Sweden released this year as an attempt to attract a specific target audience with their unique tourist marketing campaign.

Their Spellbound campaign invites mystique lovers to Sweden to explore beautiful nature while enjoying the unique experience of listening to a chilling audio story. The campaign was set up so that a Spotify playlist would only become available to visitors once they came to a specific location. 

This way, they had to visit the location to get the unforgettable and scary experience. Who would’ve thought that horror stories could be such a great way to advertise a country?

5. Tourism Ireland – What Fills Your Heart?

You can never go wrong with a heartwarming tourist marketing campaign that celebrates good spirits, brings nostalgia, and connects people to the nature and the culture of one place. Tourism Ireland managed to do all that in one of their recent campaigns titled “What Fills Your Heart?”

In a series of ads with famous Irish actresses in the main roles, including Derry Girls and Sharon Horgan, the Irish tourist board told the story of Irish history, culture, and customs. 

Source: youtube.com

6. Vienna – What Does A Belly Do In Vienna?

There is no better place for a hungry and heartbroken belly to indulge in life’s beauties than Vienna. That’s the story Vienna’s tourist board told in their highly creative and surrealistic short film. 

As the belly walks through the streets of Vienna, trying to forget his dear human who didn’t treat him well, we get a glimpse of what tourists can see and enjoy during their next visit to the city. 

The creator’s unique approach to promoting Austria’s capital wins the creativity award and is an excellent magnet for new tourists. 

7. Only in Scotland – Why Scotland Needs You

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries struggled to attract tourists. People were concerned about their safety and if the location could provide memorable experiences despite numerous restrictions. 

At that time, Scotland released a beautiful ad showing why Scotland needs people while showing tourists why they’re the ones who actually need a holiday in this astonishing place. The ad is in the spirit of hope, serenity, and relaxation – everything people needed during the pandemic. 

8. KLM – Live Hologram Bar

Imagine spending hours at the airport talking to almost anyone in the world. You could learn about different cultures, what to visit in your next destination, or chat to make the time go by faster. 

In their 2019 marketing campaign, KLM placed hologram bars in airports around the world and allowed travelers from different parts of the world to connect and exchange their stories. Not a bad way to spend your time waiting for your next plane. 

9. Croatia Full of Life – Ode To Joy

What is a summer vacation in Croatia other than your own yearly ode to joy? 

This famous symbolic motif is what Croatian Tourist Board chose for the promotional campaign in 2012, and earned a prestigious travel industry ‘Oscars’ award, ‘Das Goldene Stadttor,’ at the International Tourism Film Festival. 

Beethoven’s inspiring music narrative, led by cellist Ana Rucner carries the video highlighting the rich cultural, historical, and natural heritage of Croatia as well as many Croatian beauties. 

10. Chicago Not in Chicago

In 2022, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the launch of the “Chicago Not in Chicago” campaign to show how Chicago has inspired many other iconic cities worldwide. 

This creative campaign featured city tour buses across major US cities where people got a tour of Chicago instead of the city they were visiting. And by first confusing and then entertaining the visitors, the campaign sent a powerful message that every city has a story – a Chicago story. 

Final thoughts

When it comes to travel marketing campaigns, the sky’s the limit. Countries and companies can use many different sources of inspiration to tell unique stories about a location or a travel service. 

And these travel marketing campaigns are a great example of how creativity combined with emotional appeal is a recipe for success. The only question remains: “In which of these locations did you book your next vacation?”