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The rise of the conscious traveler

June 16, 2021

After months of cabin fever, a strong desire for meaningful and sustainable travel has emerged. And while the impacts of COVID-19 to the industry are still unfolding, travelers have started expressing the desire for more meaningful and sustainable travel experiences.

More meaningful travel

We recently surveyed Microsoft Bing users and discovered that above everything else, vacationers are looking for meaningful reconnection.1

  • 45% are looking to visit places that they know and love.
  • 39% want access to outdoor activities like hiking and camping.
  • 26% are interested in museums, art galleries, and other cultural attractions.

More sustainable options

In addition, “Leave no trace” which has long been the mantra of backpackers, is now a growing expectation of travelers worldwide.2

  • 69% of global travelers expect more sustainable options.
  • 67% want their travel choices to support the recovery of the destinations they visit.
  • 55% want to see how their spending will go back into supporting local communities.

Introducing Tours and Activities Ads

So how can you reach this new conscious traveler? At Microsoft Advertising, we’ve recently developed a new ad format, unique to our platform, called Tours and Activities Ads. These intent-driven, feed-based ad types, are visually engaging premium placements, which are triggered when people are looking for activities of a particular type in a certain location. Due to their contextual relevancy, they've proven to be highly effective in increasing awareness for advertisers and driving bookings.

Tours and Activities Ads are now available to advertisers in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). Check out some specific examples below.

Search page

Tours and Activities ad example showing search page results. Engaging visuals, pricing info and reviews are prominently displayed.

Bing Maps

Tours and Activities ad example showing Bing maps results. Tour and Activities ads are prominently displayed next to a map of the area when users search on a destination.
Tours and Activities ad example showing Bing maps results. Tour and Activities ads are triggered by hovering over Maps landmark pins.

Bing Travel Guide

Tours and Activities ad example showing Bing Travel Guide results. The ads appear as a carousel under the header image and description.

What results are advertisers seeing with Tours and Activities Ads?

Initial results from the pilot are impressive:

  • A major online travel agency reported a dramatic decrease in their cost per acquisition. In fact, they exceeded their CPA target by 24%.1
  • An activity booking platform, told us that Tours and Activities Ads outperform the ROAS they’re getting with text ads by more than 16%.1
  • And when a major tour provider added Tours and Activities Ads to their search strategy, their cost per click (CPC) decreased by 36%.1

In fact, all pilot participants are seeing great results. That’s why we’re so excited to invite you to join in the success!

[1] Microsoft Survey: Vacationers 2021.
[2], Impact awakening: the rise of responsible travel, published research, July 2020.


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