How travel brands are using Pinterest to inspire travel again

Man hiking in a forest

New opportunities to connect with travelers

As travelers look to ease back into exploring, brands are finding new opportunities to connect with travelers in meaningful ways. We’re seeing a shift away from the usual mix of TV and digital ads touting the latest deals. Instead, brands are promoting trips more attuned to current health and safety recommendations. Some are looking beyond the virus, sharing content around dream vacations—so they’ll be top of mind when things go back to normal. Others are keeping people engaged with virtual travel experiences. 

For travelers, Pinterest is often the first place they go when starting to plan their next adventure. As a result, travel brands are studying the latest search trends on our platform to determine how to engage consumers—and how to boost demand.

Some of the trends we’re seeing? With COVID-19 still a concern, car-centered vacations are gaining ground. Searches for “cross country road trip” are up 89% while those for “road trips routes” have zoomed ahead 248%.3 

Searches for outdoor-focused destinations are also spiking, with “lake weekend” up 41% and “national parks” up 60%. And “RV camping tips” searches have gained 1257%.4

Still, air travel isn’t off the table. Searches for “airplane essentials” have soared up 173%.5 And “vacation spots” searches have increased 260%.6 (Use our trends tool to learn about all the destinations Pinners are searching for). 

Many travel brands are using Pinterest to help inspire people to travel again.

Here are some recent examples—along with tips your brand can use to connect with travelers:

1. Help travelers imagine the future

Think about ways you can bring what’s unique about your brand—your food, your culture, your experience—into people’s homes so they’ll want to plan a trip with your brand when the time is right.  

When Disney closed all of its parks and retail stores, they wanted to bring some Disney “magic” into people's homes. Disney Parks used Pinterest to share recipes Pinners could make at home, as well as rides that Pinners could take in a virtual way.

2. Reassure travelers by sharing your plans for safety and trust

Consider ways to reassure travelers that they can hit the road with confidence and that bookings are flexible if plans have to change. 

France-based hospitality brand Accor’s Ibis Hotels has offered increased flexibility with bookings to give travelers peace of mind.

3. Keep travel within reach

If it fits for your brand, find ways to help people ease back into the travel habit without having to make substantial time, distance, or financial commitments.

Mindful that people need to ease back into things, Hilton has featured inspirational travel ideas closer to home including Staycations, Getaways, and day trips.

Hilton Pin examples

4. Stay on top of the trends

Use trends on Pinterest to remain relevant with travelers, sharing content and ads that reflect where they’re planning to travel next.

Acting on the insight that searches for “national parks” had increased 60% year over year (YoY) on Pinterest, Southwest Airlines built customized creative to help travelers visualize their trip. They included a Pinterest trend badge on their Pin series, lending further credibility to the moment as it was unfolding.

SWA Pin examples

5. Personalize your message based on peoples’ passions

Now’s the time to learn what your audience is really passionate about. Make sure your creative highlights how traveling with your brand will bring people closer to what they love. 

Visit California studied Pinterest Travel Personas  to make sure they were appealing to people’s passions for travel that included wellness, spa, family, adventure and foodie experiences.

Visit California Pin examples

While it’s going to take time, the travel recovery is real. We’ve seen the trends in our data—Pinners are itching to get back out there. For more tips on how to anticipate demand, check out 5 ways travel marketers should prepare for the recovery.

Now’s the time to make sure you have the right strategies in place for when demand starts to really take off once again. 

—Ashish Arya, currently saving to Keep Calm and Travel On.



3-6Internal Pinterest data, US normalized searches, June 2019 compared to June 2020