Vertical Special: Commerce Advertising in the Travel Sector

Why do travel and Commerce Advertising go so well together, and what opportunities does this present for advertisers and publishers? Read on to get all the info on Commerce Advertising in the travel sector
Ante Letica • mrge
24. Oktober 2022
6 min read

Long before Commerce Advertising became a trend, travel bloggers were among the first to successfully monetize their content. But why do travel and Commerce Advertising go so well together, and what opportunities does this present for advertisers and publishers?

Key Take Aways

Executive summary: 5 key take-aways for quick readers

  1. Travel is a topic requiring a high level of advice and research, making it ideally suited for Commerce Advertising.
  2. Lucrative affiliate programs are offered, for example, by Expedia,,, Tripadvisor, and Skyscanner.
  3. Publishers can earn up to 50% commission, depending on the affiliate program.
  4. Commerce Advertising has great potential in the travel sector: By 2026, 73% of the market’s revenue will be generated online.
  5. Location-independent working and “workation” make travel an all-season topic, thus offering year-round opportunities for success with Commerce Advertising.

Travel and Commerce Advertising: opportunities for publishers and advertisers 

Hardly anyone books a trip in just a few clicks without first comparing accommodations and researching the best flights. Vacationers often explore possible activities, culinary offerings, and rental car services ahead of time. Planning a trip therefore involves a high demand for information, which advertisers and publishers can tap into. Advertisers who work with many different publishers have the opportunity to reach users at multiple stages of the customer journey. 

Travel is an incredibly diverse topic with a very broad target audience. Publishers have the opportunity to address many different sub-topics, such as hotel recommendations, activities and experiences at various destinations, flight comparisons, and travel insurance offers. What’s more, travel is an emotional topic. People searching online for their next vacation destination are inspired by exciting stories, expressive photos, and thrilling videos. So publishers can use many different content formats to reach their target group, and everyone can find their niche. For advertisers in the travel sector, Commerce Advertising is the ideal way to reach their target group at an early point in the customer journey at comparatively low cost, namely when they are looking for possible travel destinations and researching all the important vacation aspects. Voucher and cashback sites are also ideal for covering topics in the travel environment. After all, smart shoppers are also smart travelers.

Top 5 affiliate programs for the travel sector

If you are active as a content creator on travel topics and want to monetize your content, you can choose from a variety of possible affiliate programs. Among the best known are the following:

Covid-19 and the travel sector: How publishers and advertisers should respond

Travel was one of the sectors hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. From one day to the next, global tourism came to a standstill. Now, with most restrictions lifted, the desire to travel is on the rise again. Many people feel they have two years to catch up on. So it’s hardly surprising that estimates predict annual growth of over 8% through 2026, with up to 73% travel market revenue generated online by then. For advertisers and publishers, this is an important opportunity to make up for the lean pandemic period. However, they should keep in mind that the global pandemic has caused three profound changes in the travel sector:

Higher demand for advice

Anyone planning a trip today is not only looking for inexpensive accommodations and flights, but is also confronted with different rules and regulations regarding vaccination certificates, mask requirements, tests, and possible quarantine periods. The amount of research required has thus increased significantly. Content creators have the opportunity to stand out by serving this need for information.

Higher need for security

Even after the lifting of most restrictions, many travelers have concerns about whether their booked trip can actually take place. Advertisers should thus focus on offers that provide their target group with security, such as flexible rebooking or extended cancellation periods. A survey by eMarketer also shows that, in future, travelers will attach more importance to cleaning and disinfection, contactless payment, and spacious lounges. Advertisers should place relevant information at the forefront of their communications – and also pass this on to publishers – in order to address users’ concerns at the earliest possible point in the customer journey.

Vacationing closer to home

Since travel across national borders was almost impossible at the start of the pandemic, many vacationers focused on local tourism. In addition, many people have become aware of how much the travel sector suffered from the lockdown, and now want to support the local economy. Vacationing locally (or domestically) is a trend that advertisers and content creators should continue to focus on.

Workation: a growing trend in the travel sector

Thanks to advancing digitization, location-independent working has become a real trend in many industries. Not only the self-employed, but also many employees whose employers make it possible are discovering “workation”: a mode combining work and vacation. As a result, the classic travel seasons of summer vacations and winter sports are no longer the only communication occasions for advertisers and publishers in the travel market. Many content creators are now explicitly targeting digital nomads, i.e. people who work independently of location and thus combine work and travel. Travel providers are also increasingly discovering this target group for themselves. However, digital nomads and other people interested in “workation” have different information needs than private travelers. For example, factors such as Internet speed and co-working spaces are very relevant. Publishers and advertisers who want to attract digital nomads as a target group must meet this need for information.

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