Winner of the Global Youth Travel Award for Best Responsible Tourism Campaign
Innovation: Travel Better
Guest: Jon Whitby, GM Marketing and Brands, World Nomads
World Nomads is a fast-growing online travel company that provides inspiration, advice, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for independent and adventure travellers exploring almost anywhere in the world. World Nomads’ online global travel insurance covers travellers from more than 100 countries and allows them to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.
The Travel Better campaign was designed to inspire people to travel responsibly at a time when acting responsibly was crucial. World Nomads’ goals were to raise brand awareness, educate and inspire their audience about responsible travel, grow and engage a community of like-minded travellers, and strengthen relationships with travel organisations and non-profits that share their brand values.
Why such a campaign?
Since World Nomads’ inception, responsible travel has been one of our brand pillars. We’ve always aimed to support sustainability and leave a positive footprint on the places we visit. The pandemic took that to another level. As travel was put on pause, we took the time to reflect. As the world started to re-open, we wanted our nomads to re-imagine travel as a force for good and empower them with the tools to make responsible choices. That’s how Travel Better was born.
How did the Travel Better campaign evolve?
Led by our marketing team, with the help of the design, web and partnerships teams, the Travel Better campaign featured an enter-and-win storytelling contest to amplify our message and encourage travellers to participate in the conversation around responsible travel. We also created an engaging landing page, which featured our Responsible Travel Manifesto and responsible travel articles aimed at educating our audience.
Throughout the campaign, we tested our messaging and creatives – including subject lines and imagery—and measured success through open rates for our emails and click-through-rates for web pages to see what would resonate with our audiences. We made adjustments to optimise our channels, focusing the campaign on the top relevant messages.
During the month-long campaign, we achieved 5 million campaign impressions through multi-channel sources; 55,000 sessions on the Travel Better campaign landing page; 10,000 campaign entries from travellers in 100 countries; 25,000 sessions on responsible travel articles and established partnerships with responsible brands, such as OneSeed Expeditions, Hostelworld, Light My Fire, and Tomorrow’s Air.
What are some of the unique challenges for the Travel Better campaign?
Timing for the campaign was a challenge; this was the first global campaign since the pandemic started. While travel sentiments had improved at that time, most of the world was still trying to handle high COVID-19 case counts, low vaccination rates and travel or border restrictions. While the campaign’s intent was to inspire travellers to start thinking about travel mindfulness, the idea of travel still seemed far away for some travellers.
How do you see responsible tourism campaigns changing in the future? What needs to change on the business and consumer sides to make a significant shift towards sustainable tourism?
As the COVID-19 pandemic created a global pause in travel, we have all seen the benefits this pause has brought to the world in terms of environmental impact, reduction in pollution, and more. It seems inevitable that as travel returns, travellers will be looking to encourage those improvements and seek experiences that continue in this direction. Travel campaigns will focus on sustainability, responsibility and respect for people and the planet.
Tourism businesses need to recognise there is an appetite for small tour group numbers, cities offering green credentials and improvements, sustainable accommodation and transport options and to encourage their growth. Consumers need to insist on those choices being available and to choose them over more traditional forms of travel that only benefit the traveller not and the places and people they visited.
How has World Nomads benefited from WYSE Travel Confederation and its community?
WYSE Travel Confederation has been a constant source of insight, when international travel has been so difficult, the sharing of experiences and commentary from our peers in other countries has been invaluable. It goes without saying, we have never once come away from an event empty handed when it comes to leads and opportunities to follow up.
The Global Youth Travel Awards recognise the tremendous achievements our peers in the travel sector have made, particularly during such a challenging period. So, to us, these awards represent an opportunity to celebrate the resiliency and fortitude of the youth travel sector and also to showcase some projects we completed that we are particularly proud of.