The Hot List: 6 Things To Watch, and 4 To Look Out For in 2022

And here we are, facing 2022.

Armed with a passion for experiences, a few lingering COVID lbs, and a tough upper lip, the typical tourism professional now stands ready for anything, positioned in a playing field with a goal-line that just won’t stay put.

Yes, there are grants. And tons of collective learning!

But what does one actually do?

Clearly, as long as it’s something, you’re off to a great start. Absolutely zero is accomplished from the sidelines.

But we get it, marketing something like travel in an extremely prolonged, hyper-sensitive time like this is enough to wear out any team’s star player.

And while these days things turn faster than Carol Baskin’s dancing career, there’s definitely a few items we recommend leaning into for the new year. It just takes a bit of can-do mindset to stay on the ball.

Take charge with tips from #TeamVonMack’s playbook.


We’ve seen some wonderful wins this year in the experiences sector.. and to be honest, the great move to social media has been a huge triumph. Why? Because we now have a much tighter-knit, much larger “tourism fam network.”

If you’re reading this, consider yourself a part of it.

But we’ve also seen a swift run to digital development, to phygital, and a resiliency positioned for the history books.

Our “hot” predictions for 2022 are no different.

  1. Short Form Video:  Per Hubspot, this will “become even more crucial for marketers next year.” We couldn’t agree more. Scroll to the bottom of our Reels blog for an entire toolkit to get started.
  2. Advanced Tracking: “The latest developments in privacy see a standoff between the bigger players in digital platforms.” (Smart Insights) Be ready with your attribution settings. This is not going away.
  3. Google My Business: “While most of the digital marketing trends will benefit businesses with an online presence, local businesses now have a better chance at getting even more competitive with Google My Business Listings.” (FreeUp) At the absolute very least, make 100% sure that you are verified!
  4. Local Marketing: “At Skift Global Forum, leaders of California and Florida tourism indicated that the shift was here to stay, and that they would continue to market to their insiders as local marketing campaigns had been well received with pent up desire from locals to explore their backyard and support their homegrown businesses.” (Skift)
  5. Email Campaigns: “…with travel brands pushing more direct reservations and increasing efforts for retention and loyalty, having an email strategy in place is fundamental to fostering that relationship.” (eHotelier)
  6. Diversity, Empowerment, Community Cultivation: Conscious, sustainable travel is becoming more and more popular. “…travelers are becoming more conscious about their visitor footprint. They’ll book trips that align with their values, and seek out destinations, hotels and travel companies that make efforts to minimize their impact on the planet.” (Destinations International)

If you don’t want to end up on the losing team, you need to keep your goals and your tactics clear.

But you know what’s worse than betting on something “up and coming”? Resting on your laurels. Or ignoring change altogether.

Let’s cover how to make sure your tourism marketing doesn’t fall flat next year.


  1. Print-Heavy Campaigns: Go digital, yall. “Ben Lukawski, global chief strategy officer at Zenith, said: ‘Travel was one of the earliest sectors to embrace digital as booking went online. Post-Covid, the best-performing brands will complete this transformation by making the total experience digital, from reducing form filling to contactless entry, removing nearly all possible friction from the experience.'” (The Drum)
  2. Traditional Seasonality: This is something we’ve personally experienced with our clients, and will continue to for quite some time. Traditional seasonality is on its head. Think beyond seasons!
  3. Non-Instant Booking Windows: “Travellers might intend to visit but will wait until the last minute to book flights or hotels just in case something doesn’t feel right.” (DestinationThink)
  4. “Set It and Forget It” Media Buys: Show up ready and in top form, then hone in on staying there. “Those taking a “set it and forget it” approach to their AI tools will soon suffer from diminishing returns. A practical, AI-backed marketing campaign is like a chef’s knife.” (Forbes)

LOOKING AHEAD. (ie, things to cheer on)

We recommend never underestimating Crypto Payments or the return of In-Person Events and Tradeshows, like Arival. In fact, our home-base city of New Orleans recently hosted Travel South International, and the sheer amount of positivity and people in attendance warmed our hearts.

And at the end of the day, “attendance” is what it’s all about. “Planning” is what we do.

So here’s to staying on-trend, to being “in the know,” and to using our shared knowledge to make 2022 outweigh each and every year before.