Travel marketers the worst hit as sector buckles amid Covid-19 pandemic

As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, marketers in the travel and hospitality sector take the biggest hit when it comes to delaying campaigns and plummeting demand for services.

Travel imageThe travel and hospitality sector is the worst hit by the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Exclusive analysis carried out by Marketing Week and its sister title Econsultancy (prior to the implementation of UK lockdown measures) reveals that 98% of marketers in the travel and hospitality industry expect consumers to delay major spending decisions.

Some 84% of marketers in the travel sector (from a sample of 103 respondents) have seen demand for their services decrease, followed by the media and entertainment industry (62%) and agencies (45%). The sector to see the smallest decrease in demand for its services is consumer goods, which by contrast has only experienced a drop of 27%.

When it comes to delaying marketing campaigns, 83% of travel and hospitality marketers have shelved creative, while 85% have postponed budget commitments and 77% have paused product or service launches.

Majority of marketers delaying campaigns as coronavirus fears escalate

The next worst hit sector is media and entertainment (104 respondents), where 69% of marketers have stalled campaigns and 67% have paused an upcoming product or service launch. Elsewhere, among agencies (539 respondents), 73% of those surveyed say their budgets are under review.

By comparison, just 43% of consumer goods marketers (from a sample of 127 respondents) have delayed marketing campaigns, 57% have put budgets under review and half (50%) have paused their new product development pipeline.

Pressing pause

Marketers in the travel and hospitality sector are also most likely of the nine sectors surveyed to have delayed tech and infrastructure projects (71%) and hit the brakes on new hires (75%).

By contrast, just 39% of marketers working in the manufacturing and engineering sectors (from a sample of 133 respondents) have delayed tech or infrastructure spending and only 43% of professional services marketers (a sample of 224 respondents) have paused the recruitment of new talent.

Travel and hospitality also appears to be the sector least set up for remote working. Just 17% of marketers in the sector say their organisation is very proficient at enabling remote work, compared to 62% of marketers working in tech (a sample of 139 respondents).

While 31% of marketers in the manufacturing and engineering sectors say they would definitely be compromised by remote working, just 10% of agency marketers say their business would be similarly compromised by recent changes to the world of work.