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6 Changes in Travel That Affect Your Affiliate Strategy: Report From TBEX

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TBEX is a conference for travel creators from all around the world. In June, TBEX Europe 2022 was held in Marbella, Spain. It was the first TBEX conference in Europe since the COVID-19 pandemic. Travelpayouts were excited for the opportunity to meet with travel content creators and hear from them about their monetization strategies and the travel trends they are watching.

In this post, we’ll share the observations of experts. Furthermore, we’ll share tips on how you can use this information to increase income from your travel projects.

Affiliate Marketing Is Still an Important Way to Monetize Travel Content

One of the many topics we discussed at TBEX was content creation and content monetization. 

There are many ways to earn on your travel blog, from direct collaboration with brands to contextual advertising and affiliate marketing. Each content creator builds their own monetization strategy based on the features of the travel project. However, thanks to the development of social media, there are changes to keep in mind.

Rick Calvert, CEO TBEX: “Pay-per-click marketing is much more challenging now. Paid social is much more challenging now, so creators are looking for those ways that are reliable, quality sources of income. But as far as monetization goes, there are a lot of ways to monetize your content. Affiliate marketing is definitely a very very important one.”

Based on this information, it’s very important to think about a monetization strategy for your project. Affiliate marketing is a good way to make money on your travel content by promoting brands’ services. You can do this quickly and easily with the Travelpayouts partnership platform. By working with over 100 well-known, trusted brands, such as Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Kiwi.com, and more, you can help people around the world save on travel, which will allow them to travel more while spending less. Most importantly, you get rewarded for your work. Try it now and join Travelpayouts for free.

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To boost your income from affiliate marketing, you need to keep track of changes in the travel niche, including the moods and needs of travelers, and adjust your content strategy as needed.

People Want to Travel

The first thing that partners who work in affiliate marketing need to understand is that, despite unpleasant changes in the travel niche, people still want to travel.

Rick Calvert, CEO TBEX: “Well, the biggest things in travel. Number one is feeling safe…Travelers are resilient. People want to travel… But travel is much more difficult now than it was before the pandemic. Lots of flights are getting cancelled and getting delayed. Lots of people are having problems, you know, clearing COVID-19 protocols from country to country. So, it’s more difficult for travelers. It’s more expensive for travelers. But travelers don’t care. They still want to go places, and connect with other humans, get away from their homes, and be in a new, relaxing, comfortable, and safe place.”

Indeed, according to CBC, with a FlightAware.com link, the number of cancelled flights around the world could exceed 2,000, while the number of delayed flights could exceed 6,000. That’s just one day off on Christmas Eve. The main reasons are bad weather and surging COVID-19 infections, which prevent pilots and other crew members from going to work. 

However, even after a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, travelers may encounter cancelled or delayed flights. For example, only Lufthansa canceled 900 German and European flights in July. The fact is that the airline industry hasn’t yet fully recovered from the pandemic and isn’t ready to jump at the demand for travel.

Tip: So, it’s important to consider both the increased demand for summer travel and the unstable situation with flights. Few travelers want to return from trips with an empty wallet because of the expense of additional tickets. Tell them about services that help them receive travel compensation, such as AirHelp or Compensair. By using these services, travelers can receive cash compensation if their flight was delayed, cancelled, or overbooked. 


Everyone Hurting With Money

Any trip includes the cost of transportation, hotel, excursions, and other travel services. The unstable global situation associated with COVID-19 certainly has had a huge impact on everyone’s budget.

Dani, misfitwanders.com: “Since we had COVID-19, everyone has been hurting for money. So, thinking of what is best for that family or for that specific person, ‘Oh, is it worth traveling that distance because it’s going to be more costly or not?’”

Tip: Make it easier and cheaper for people to travel, while focusing on local destinations. This is how Dani started doing it. To reach their desired locations, frugal travelers can take a bus or train. With the corresponding categories of programs, you can earn up to 6% of the ticket price.

Travelers Can’t Relax on Their Trips

COVID-19 makes travelers feel different while travelling. The main reason is that people want their journey to be perfect, and nothing prevents them from simply coming home.

Molly, piccavey.com: “What I’m seeing now is a big explosion in travel again, but things are kind of different. I see people are more demanding. Their travel is even more important to them than before, so when they go they want everything to be perfect and they are not very relaxed.”

Rachel, rachelsruminations.com: “I don’t think people are as so afraid of catching COVID anymore in travel. I think they are afraid to get stuck and not being able to go home again. Because this happen with people during the pandemic. They are somewhere and they couldn’t go home.”

Tip: To get a new experience like a trip, it’s not necessary to go outside of the country or even city. Anyone can look at any location in a different way, learn something new, and relax without worrying about being unable to return home. For example, it’s possible with the activities around the world offered by Viator, GetYourGuide, or Tiqets

People Go to Nature’s Call

Because of the pandemic, travelers have changed their priorities and opted to go on other types of trips.

Dani, misfitwanders.com: “I would say a lot more people are actually considering nature and ecologically when they are traveling. They have that a little bit more on their mind.”

In June 2021, Booking.com released a sustainable travel report, which marks a turning point for both the industry and individual travelers. According to the report, 73% of Booking.com’s users stated that, during their travels, they want to get a genuine experience that reflects the local culture. However, 69% avoid popular destinations and attractions to ensure that they don’t exacerbate overcrowding problems. In addition, 61% said that the pandemic made them want to travel in a more environmentally friendly manner in the future.

Tip: Consider the needs of people to travel ecologically and enjoy nature. They may enjoy extreme rock climbing with Mapo Tapo, relaxing on a yacht with Searadar, or taking an unusual tour of their home or nearby city with GetYourGuide

Don’t forget to tell your audience about brands that care about nature and perform charity work. For example, Searadar donates €5 from each booking to the Sea Cleaners Ocean Protection Fund.


Travelers Prefer to Travel by Car

According to the observations of experts and travelers, in recent years, people have changed their preferences when it comes to their choice of transportation for travel, as well as their attitude regarding crowded places.

Jovana, jovaninzivotukoferu.com: “Some destinations become less crowded, some destinations become more crowded. People became oriented to traveling to closer destinations. They don’t need to use buses, trains, and planes. I think that people now prefer to travel by car with their family, partners, and friends. They don’t like to go to that many crowded places.”

According to a Census survey, the majority of UK residents (64%) and non-British residents (68%) arriving in the UK in July 2021 said they felt safe during their journey due to social distancing.

As for the car rental market, it’s expected that, in 2022, the revenue will reach $81.32 billion, and, by 2026, 71% of the revenue in this niche will be accounted for by online sales.

Tip: So, car rentals are a good category for partners who earn through affiliate marketing and help travelers organize a trip according to their needs, including safety and time with family and friends.


What are the main changes in the travel niche in 2022 that you have noticed? Share in the comments, explain how they affected your work, and how you adapted to them?