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Daring To Dream of Travel Again

Before COVID-19, the highlight experiences for many travellers would have been exploring crowded cities, bustling antique and food markets, famous art galleries, and enjoying the nightlife of bistros and clubs.

Sadly, travel and tourism industry professionals predict that those memorable pre COVID-19 experiences are unlikely to return before 2025. They dare to dream however, that with the possible assurance of vaccine passports, tourism will incrementally pick up again by the end of the year.

Many travellers will inevitably have lingering pandemic fears that will be challenging for tour operators. The desire for remote destinations that make it easy to maintain social distancing practices, and avoid public transport as much as possible, will need to be catered for in new travel experience offerings and opportunities.

1. AlUla, The World’s Masterpiece

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett KSA, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Even though AlUla, a city of the Medina Region in north-western Saudi Arabia, is one of the largest cultural heritage sites in the world, not many people would have heard about it before now.

The Royal commission for AlUla (RCU) hopes to change that with the launch of a tourism campaign aimed at attracting 90,000 visitors in 2021 and 130,000 in 2022.

Filmmaker Bruno Aveillan’s entrancing, cinematic journey, across this ancient landscape with a human history stretching back more than 200,000 years, includes scenes of UNESCO World Heritage Site Hegra, Dadan, Jabal Ikmah, AlUla Old Town and Jabal AlFil (Elephant Rock), that beckon with their haunting beauty.

2. Tajawal Travel, Caged

Advertising Agency: Omar Hilal Creative, United Arab Emirates

‘Caged’ is an insightfully conceived, metaphoric scenario, about escapism from the stresses and strains of daily life and work pressures.

On LBBOnline, filmmaker Omar Hilal, revealed the following about his powerful and filmic direction of the Tajawal Travel commercial:

The client’s target was the workforce of Dubai, composed entirely of expats who work endlessly to make ends meet. They long to get home, and never take a proper break”.

I wanted to show these people’s plight, but without actually seeing them. The metaphor of ‘working like an animal’ came to mind when I saw the cover of Walton Ford’s book on my coffee table, featuring a depressed looking ape sitting on a couch”.

(CNN travel: As of April 19, residents of the European Union, the United States, the UK, Israel, Serbia and the UAE who have been inoculated or present a negative PCR test up to 72 hours prior to arrival are free to enter Greece and must abide by domestic restrictions on movement.
The country has promised to open to all other countries on the same terms, as of May 15, 2021.)

3. Switzerland Tourism, Preparation

Advertising Agency: Spillmann/Felser/Leo Burnett, Zurich, Switzerland

Directed by filmmaker Michael Fueter, this ‘Clocks’ episode of Switzerland Tourism’s advertising campaign features their famous Sebi and Paul ’preparation duo’ characters.

Although created a few years ago, the amusing commercial serves as a topical analogy of the extra lengths the tourism industry will be required to go to for a viable recovery in a vastly changed global and domestic travel environment.

4. Airbnb, Visit Sweden

Advertising Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg Sweden

Back in travel focus again and eminently relevant is the ‘The Right of Public Access’ that is enshrined in Sweden’s Constitution. With the exception of private and military owned property, this freedom to roam across the country at will is available to everyone, locals and visitors.

To highlight this advantage of open access travel in outdoor exploration, the ‘Visit Sweden’ Tourist Board took the bold step of listing the entire country on Airbnb.

This inspired agency and client initiative of co-branding collaboration with Airbnb, is the first of its kind in the world, and a laudable tourism innovation.

5. Iceland Tourism, Let It Out

Advertising Agency: M&C Saatchi, London, UK

M&C Saatchi’s ‘Let It Out’ Primal Scream Therapy campaign for ‘Promote Iceland’ was conceived by senior copywriter Camila Gurgel, and senior art director Ieva Paulina.

Directed by filmmaking duo Samuel Bjarki Petursson and Gunnar Páll Ólafsson, the commercial invited the Covid-weary to record they frustrations for broadcast via outdoor speakers in Icelands most scenic and remote regions, and receive a commemorative video of their screams being played.

On Muse by Clio, Camila Gurgel revealed the ‘Let It Out’ campaign’s motivational insight:

The freeing feeling that the country’s unbelievable landscapes give you is something out of this world. We were looking for something that would help people experience that feeling, even when they are not able to travel. And in such difficult times when anxiety levels are incredibly high, and people are literally trapped in their homes, we thought this was especially relevant”.