US Travel Digital Ad Spending 2019

A Search-Heavy Vertical Grows Its Overall Ad Budgets

Executive Summary

US travel advertisers will increase their digital ad spending by 21.4% to $10.86 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, total US digital ad spend will grow by 19.1% this year. Travel advertising growth is slightly outpacing the growth found in other verticals because increased competition and a strong economy is leading travel companies to boost their ad budgets in order to increase market share.

What is travel’s share of total US digital ad spend?

Travel will account for 8.4% of total US digital ad spend in 2019. Its share will rise slightly to 8.6% in 2020.

How much money do travel advertisers spend relative to other industry verticals?

Travel will be the sixth-largest industry vertical in terms of overall ad spend this year. Increased competition and a strong economy is causing travel companies to increase their marketing budgets in order to capture more market share.

Which digital ad formats are popular with travel advertisers?

Travel will continue to lean heavily on search. We expect search to account for 53.7% of total travel digital ad spend in 2019. That portion is well above the ad industry average of 41.5%. Compared with all other verticals we track, spending on search by travel advertisers accounts for a higher percentage of total digital ad spending. This makes travel the most search-driven vertical we cover.

How much money will travel advertisers spend on mobile?

US travel advertisers will increase their mobile spending by 25.1% to $7.62 billion in 2019. Mobile will account for 70.1% of travel ad spend this year and 72.1% in 2020.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our annual breakdown of US travel industry digital ad spending. It includes a comprehensive overview of total digital ad spending, as well as estimates by channel, device and format.

KEY STAT: The US travel industry will increase its digital ad spending by 21.4% to $10.86 billion in 2019.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Travel Digital Ad Spending Outlook
  3. Digital Ad Spending by Device
  1. Digital Ad Spending by Format
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Joe Barbagallo
Jaguar Land Rover North America
Department Manager, Digital, Social and CRM
Interviewed April 10, 2019
Jonathan Barnard
Head of Forecasting
Interviewed April 3, 2019
Jim D’Antoni
Dish Media
Director, Ad Sales
Interviewed April 24, 2019
Mike Fisher
Vice President, Advanced TV and Video
Interviewed April 9, 2019
Richard Gagnon
Head of Havas Healthmedia
Interviewed April 8, 2019
Doug Grumet
AMP Agency
Senior Vice President, Media
Interviewed April 11, 2019
Cheryl Huckabay
The Richards Group
Media Group Head
Interviewed April 9, 2019
Sarah Kramer
Spark Foundry
Chief Client and Operating Officer
Interviewed April 8, 2019
Jon Morgenstern
Senior Vice President, Head of Investment
Interviewed April 2, 2019
Ali Plonchak
Managing Director, Digital Strategy and Integration
Interviewed April 2, 2019
Krish Sailam
Senior Vice President, Global Programmatic Solutions
Interviewed April 5, 2019
Sarah Scherer
Goodway Group
Product Marketing Manager
Interviewed April 8, 2019
Jon Schulz
Interviewed April 11, 2019
Mike Seiler
Director, Search and Shopper Marketing
Interviewed April 1, 2019
Jeremy Tate
Senior Vice President, General Manager
Interviewed April 3, 2019
Vanessa Vignon
Vice President, Media and Audience Management
Interviewed April 18, 2019
Matthew Waghorn
Vice President, Strategy
Interviewed April 12, 2019
April Weeks
Executive Vice President, Media Services and Operations
Interviewed April 8, 2019
Chris Wexler
Senior Vice President, Director, Media and Analytics
Interviewed April 3, 2019
Brian Wieser
Global President, Business Intelligence
Interviewed April 3, 2019
Sarah Wilson
Media Director
Interviewed April 3, 2019
Michael Zacharski
EMX Digital
Interviewed April 11, 2019


Ross Benes


Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Victoria Petrock
Principal Analyst
Peter Vahle
Forecasting Analyst

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast