Visualising Travel

Trends / Wellness
Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry
Davina Ajana
May 28, 2024
Travel consumer priorities are evolving and with that, the kinds of visuals consumers most want to see in travel advertising. Getty Images’ VisualGPS unlocks data‑backed insights that can help travel brands drive visual strategies that get results!
Read on to find out more about why video continues to rise in importance for today's travellers and how depicting moments around sustainable journeys and authentic travel experiences are key.
Video on the rise
Getty Images' VisualGPS research shows that video has emerged as the top choice for consumers in travel advertising. 67% of consumers prefer short‑format videos on social media and travel brands are listening with a majority intending to invest more in video content. Popular video trends with travel customers in the past 12 months show a preference for picture‑perfect destination stories with extreme wide shots. However, travellers also want to see interactions with local communities. Through video storytelling, travel brands can show visitors learning to cook traditional dishes with local chefs, learning more about historical landmarks on tours or seeing local artisans at work.

Here are some interesting video techniques to explore for more engaging travel stories:

Handheld camera
Handheld camera movements add an authentic and immersive feel to travel videos, as they mimic the natural movements of travellers exploring the destination. This approach draws audiences in, making them feel like they are part of the journey and creating a more engaging viewing experience.

Zoom in
Using a gentle, gradual zoom into a dish being prepared by a local chef or an architectural detail creates a sense of intimacy and immersion. This helps bring viewers closer, revealing details which adds an element of visual discovery.

Tracking shot
A tracking shot is a great way to take people on a crafted and seamless journey. Tracking shots synchronise the camera's movement with the subject, drawing viewers into continuous journeys through, for example, lively local markets, natural landscapes and wonderful trails. 
Climate anxiety is impacting travel visuals
Climate uncertainty is a growing concern for European travellers and shoulder and off season are becoming redefined as travel destinations lean in to showing all‑year experiences. Amidst a period of "global boiling”,2 traditional summer travel destinations are seen as riskier with growing shifts to cooler Northern European destinations, like Scandinavia or the Baltic region. Getty Images' VisualGPS research shows top sustainable travel considerations for today's consumers are easy‑to‑get‑to locations.  

What does this mean for travel visuals? Taking opportunities to show sustainable moments along traveller's journeys is key such as showing people visiting places that are not over‑travelled. Consider visuals that also show responsible tourism practices like low‑impact transportation options such as walking, cycling or using public transportation to explore destinations.
Wellbeing is the new authenticity
Visually, there is an opportunity to highlight travel moments that capture genuine emotions and meaningful connections. Why? Increasingly, VisualGPS research shows the top reason why people turn to travel today is to look after their mental health. And considering how these travel visuals show meaningful connections is important to drive deeper engagement.

Authenticity in travel visuals is pivotal when it comes to building brand trust. VisualGPS research reveals that 75% of consumers prefer to see relatable visuals of people that look like them, including friends or family members enjoying the destination. Showing the emotional wellbeing of solo travellers, friends or family exploring together, swimming in a lake or on 'silent trips' are great visual examples that lean into travel's ability to connect with consumers' wellbeing needs. 
[1] Forbes
[2] The Guardian

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