Inspire travellers through news media brands

Australians love to travel, accounting for 93.7 million domestic overnight trips and 9.1 million domestic outbound trips in 2016-2017, contributing significantly to a tourism industry that is worth $51 billion overall.

News media is an influential medium to gain potential customers and convince them to travel to a particular destination, or with a particular travel or tour company. The medium has significant power to reach them too – hitting 91 per cent of Australians who plan on enjoying a break away in the next 12 months.

News media reaches a total of 16.8 million Australians. Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (emma) data shows that readers are 10 per cent more likely to be holidaying and 9 per cent more likely to be an air passenger than non-readers.

The biggest opportunity lies with cruise advertisers, with the news media audience 19 per cent more likely to be taking a cruise.

Travelling to the checkout: path to purchase

When a potential customer decides it is time to get away, newspapers have the second-highest rate of recall among paid media at 38 per cent. This places the medium only two percentage points behind top rated free-to-air television.

The finding presents the perfect opportunity to inspire readers – many of whom (62 per cent) are open to persuasion on destination at this first stage of planning.


Key considerations for consumers are price, inspiration and inclusions, with 59 per cent, 55 per cent and 47 per cent of readers seeking out this information when researching their options. In each of these areas, news media was the most influential form of paid media.

NewsMediaWorks’ Path to Purchase research demonstrates that news media holistically is a key driver of travel sales. But, if that is the case, why does only a 21 per cent of total travel ad spend go toward newspapers?

The travel industry spent $209 million in offline advertising (excluding outdoor) in 2016. Only $44 million of that money was directed to newspapers.


Airlines committed the most significant portion of its spend to newspapers at 38 per cent, equivalent to $18 million. Online travel services dedicate 20 per cent, or $12 million, to newspapers while travel companies spend $14 million, or 14 per cent, on the medium. The majority of spend in each of the sections goes to free-to-air television.

It may not come as a surprise that the travel section is the most efficient way to reach the sector’s intended audience, with the section indexing highly across the board with potential holiday makers.

Travel section readers are 11 per cent more likely to intend to holiday and 28 per cent more likely to be heading overseas when compared to non-readers of news media.

Domestic travel is popular. While news media readers index 10 per cent more likely to be considering travel within the country, travel section readers are 15 per cent more likely to do so.

Air travel is the most popular mode of travel for news media readers, with travel section readers being 32 per cent more likely than non-readers to catch a flight overseas.

However, this does not discount the popularity of cruising, which indexed highest at 52 per cent more likely for overseas travel among travel section readers when compared to non-news media readers.


What works best?

There is a huge opportunity in news media travel advertising, whether you are appealing to consumers with a striking brand-building campaign or a service led call-to-action campaign.

Both types of ads succeed in the news media, effective in their own ways.

NewsMediaWorks’ Creative Benchmarking series showcases the pros and cons of different creative approaches within the same marketing sector.

The two case studies below highlight the effectiveness of newspapers for travel advertising, with all four ads demonstrating average to above average scores in most metrics.

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Greater detail on the Qantas vs Jetstar study can be found here, while the Cunard study can be found here.




  • Australian Government, Tourism Research Australia research titled “State of the Industry 2016- 2017” (February 2018)
  • emma™ 12 months to Nov17. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, people 14+ ; Nielsen DRM Nov17 People 14+ only.
    • Intend to holiday in Australia or Overseas in the next 12 months.
    • Stayed at a 4 or 5 star hotel/resort in the last 12 months.
    • Intend to holiday in the next 12 months, taking a flight.
    • Intend to holiday in the next 12 months, taking a boat cruise.
  • Path to purchase : NewsMediaWorks commissioned Research Now to explore what media influences the purchase decisions of 610 holidaymakers (July 2016).
  • Ebiquity Advertisers report 2016