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Although the pandemic ground tourism to a virtual halt, we never stopped dreaming about travel. Now, as more and more of us are vaccinated, we’re beginning to book trips again. Since last April, domestic travel searches on Expedia have far outpaced international searches. But by early November, with positive news about forthcoming vaccines, international searches picked up. Even in Europe, despite vaccine delays, travelers are optimistic about a new Covid-19 “green travel certificate” that allows them to take flights and cross borders within the EU. The overall message coming from tourism marketers? Escape, but safely. 

Hotels as Venues for New Leisure Experiences

In the tourism recovery trenches for the past year, many hospitality brands have reimagined their core offerings to appeal to current traveler sentiment and capitalize on pent-up demand. With a more prolonged downturn forecast for business travel, many corporate hotels are pivoting to appeal to the leisure market by becoming more experience- and destination-focused. 

“I’m optimistic in the ability of our general managers to transform their business hotels from corporate and standardized into something more lively, more family-driven, with a more complete leisure, spa, and F&B experience,” said Patrick Mendes, newly appointed Group Chief Commercial Officer at Accor, in a recent interview with Skift. “In the near term, the boost in domestic travel may compensate for the lack of international travel.” 

spa visual content

The Rise of the “Workcation”

At the same time, with the global shift to remote working seemingly here to stay, many leisure-minded hotels and resorts are now touting their rooms as remote office spaces, where travelers can combine obligatory daily Zoom meetings with a round of golf, a walk on the beach, or a museum visit. 

For example, the newly opened Conrad Punta de Mita is offering a Stay Longer & Work From Paradise package that includes a third free week (if you pay for two), flexible cancellation if plans change, and even a certified tutor for your kids. Enterprise-wide programs like WorkSpaces by Hilton, where guest rooms can be booked for eight hours a day, are making this “workcation” trend even more accessible, especially for domestic travelers who want to get away in their own backyard. 

workcation

The OCUS Solution 

In order to effectively communicate these new offerings to target customers and drive recovery as travel reemerges, smart hospitality marketing teams are activating robust image-driven campaigns. Visual content is strategic in increasing engagement, offering choice and assortment, and ultimately leading to higher satisfaction, brand loyalty, and sales. 

The need for images is an exponential function of internet growth. To succeed in today’s digital marketplace, hospitality brands need to produce high-quality, customized images at scale and then optimize them for performance. 

For large hotel groups that include multiple brands, this challenge is amplified by the need to maintain visual consistency across a variety of distinctive global experiences. Partnering with Radisson Hotels, OCUS standardized visual content and quality across photoshoots for nine hotel brands, even in remote locations. 

OCUS’ enterprise-class platform, powered by a world-class photographer community, produces powerful visuals at scale, and optimizes visuals to ensure the highest conversion rates for travel and tourism clients. No longer are images themselves sufficient, business intelligence and analytics are required to deliver results in online markets. 

OCUS has developed a robust API-first platform augmented with machine learning and image recognition to deliver optimized images which automate and streamline operations for their clients. The result delivers intelligent images within hours or days. Combined with the OCUS Community of 30,000 global Image Creators in photography, videography, and drone, OCUS can service its clients in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Contact marketing@ocus.com today, to learn how the OCUS solution can drive results specific to your business needs.

Written by: Darren Frei – Content Strategist