The pandemic has given most travel brands the opportunity to reconsider how they operate - from product distribution and technology to loyalty programs and partnerships.
For most, marketing activities were wound down during the height of the lockdowns and spend has not returned to 2019 levels.
The traditional efforts to capture new and retain existing customers have gone under microscope, with companies evaluating if their previous strategies will be the best methods during the recovery period during the remaining months of 2021 and beyond.
As a result, a reliance on Google - at the top of the marketing funnel - is an obvious area that is now ripe for change, as a number of brands have demonstrated.
The adoption of a subscription-based marketing initiative is a model that has come to the fore in a big way in 2021, with Tripadvisor the standout contender.
The industry is also seeing the reemergence of flash sales as an opportunity to drive more growth and offer an alternative to existing customer acquisition strategies.
It's not exactly "game on" just yet, in the battle by brands to wean themselves off the Google machine, but there is change afoot that could last beyond the pandemic recovery period.
To discuss these trends, PhocusWire spoke with Robert Cole, founder at RockCheetah and Phocuswright analyst, during the latest PhocusWire Pulse event - Travel Marketing Tactics - devoted to digital marketing.
The full interview with Cole and Phocuswire's Kevin May is included below...