Passport to innovation

These travel campaigns are shattering the frontiers of tourism clichés

par Mark Tungate , Adforum

It’s often said that the time you most need a vacation is when you’ve just returned from one. Which is why for this edition of the column, just after the summer holidays, we decided to share some interesting campaigns from the tourism sector.
We were initially inspired by the following campaign from Ogilvy for the Hotel Honduras Maya. Airbnb was a disaster for the hotel industry, as it convinced a whole generation that they preferred to stay in quirky apartments rather than chain hotels. But hotels have their advantages – room service, anyone? – and when these are combined with rooms that feel more individual, the results can be remarkable.
Here’s what happened when guests thought they’d booked an Airbnb apartment and ended up at a hotel instead.

We hope you were happy with your travels this summer. Did you fly? Or take the train? Did you really need to travel at all? In one of the most daring airline campaigns to date, Dutch carrier KLM and its agency DDB Unlimited are encouraging travellers to “Fly Responsibly”.

Clean travel is a hot topic: you may have read that none other than Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, recently launched a sustainable travel initiative called Travalyst (he and the Duchess have been criticised for using private jets despite their Green politics). Notably, he will work with travel giants such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor.

Read more about it here 

Meanwhile, Havas Paris and the WFF were behind a French campaign called I Protect Nature. Launched in July, it encouraged Instagram users to refrain from geo-tagging sites of natural beauty, in order to combat over-tourism.

Many companies have been bitten by the responsibility bug, as consumers – particularly those at the younger end of the spectrum – demand that brands give something back to our ailing world. Which explains this campaign from Hilton Hotels, based on the idea that founder Conrad Hilton was a visionary who – among other things – let John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage one of their famous “bed ins” for peace at his hotel in Amsterdam. Now the chain is rewarding members of staff who make a difference.

The operation brought to mind Ramada’s “blind faith upgrade”, which resulted in a simple template that can make hotels more accessible to the visually impaired.

Let’s take a look at the lighter side of travel, as Russia’s S7 and Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam attempt to see the wonders of our Earth from the perspective of aliens, with a TV station dedicated to extra-terrestrial tourists.

You don’t have to come from outer space to find other cultures exotic. Here we meet a whole bunch of travellers who’ve brought something unexpected back from their latest trip. The spot from Leo Burnett in Taiwan is beautifully shot, edited and acted.

Finally, Rosapark in France take us nowhere at all to deliver a gentle message of encouragement to youngsters who may not realise that they can travel on a budget.

The spot reminds us that the past is , indeed, another country.