We operate as a boutique within the walls of Ketchum
As a communications consultancy, we offer deep industry expertise across travel, hospitality and leisure, paired with specialty experience that understands how important these industries are in driving economic growth. We are not your typical publicists—we are brand marketers and communications specialists first, some of us with MBAs in marketing and finance or graduate degrees in communications. We are the most creatively awarded consultancy in our industry, and our sector is responsible for Ketchum’s most awarded PR-led campaign. From representing destinations, airlines, attractions, recreational activities, entertainment offerings and everything in between, clients rely on us to break through the sea of sameness and shift perspectives to attract and retain the right audiences.
Our most popular tool. If you’re a destination or travel brand, where are you on our Rebound Roadmap? Responsible, strategic communications is a powerful vehicle that you should not be afraid to activate. The stops within the road are areas we’ve seen trend amid the pandemic. You can turn off paid, and many have, but earned media and social chatter do not turn off, which is why communications is more relevant than ever. It’s a cost-effective way to inform, educate, and entertain your important audiences during this time. Check out how we can help along the way here.
The Transforming Travelers Study
Professionals in Travel and Tourism understand the obsession with breaking down how crisis culture is redefining traveler behavior, loyalty and values. And, for this reason, Ketchum Travel recently surveyed close to 4,000 Americans to understand the patterns in how travelers are reacting, reengaging with the world and redefining their values when it comes to traveling during the nonstop disruption that comes with the COVID-19 crisis. Truth is, and we have heard it many times, travel will never be the same. So, in the Transforming Travelers study, part of Ketchum’s Brand Reckoning 2020 study, we dug deeper and asked some uncomfortable questions to gauge what travelers are truly feeling, thinking and planning. More here.
Survey: Travel Reporters Prepare for a Strong Comeback
Many tourism and hospitality leaders are wondering whether pushing travel right now is the right thing to do, and they’re unsure how it’ll resonate with media. Trust us, it’s a thought that runs through our heads constantly as communications consultants. Journalists are under extreme pressure to deliver quality reporting in an already oversaturated market, too. We surveyed top journalists (some who write for travel-specific publications and some who don’t) to learn about the appetite for reporting on all things tourism. Check out the findings here.
Report: How Travel Influencers are Shifting Gears Amid COVID-19
Among the many professionals stuck at home during COVID-19 have been travel influencers, whose livelihoods depend on the ability to visit new places and share their experiences with their communities. As the pandemic continues to shape the future of how we travel—and who we depend on to inspire that travel—these influencers have been recalibrating their brands, content and business models to keep bringing the relatability, creativity, and authenticity that only they can deliver. But you don’t have to take our word for it. In Ketchum’s latest “Ask an Influencer” Report, travel influencers open up about the impact of COVID-19, how it’s changed them, and how they expect the world to look on the other side of stay-at-home measures.
Ketchum Compass is our new digestible Q&A series featuring insights from travel/hospitality/leisure and country brand/investment promotion experts across the globe to help guide others within the industry in the right direction or spark ideas. Featuring five rapid-fire questions, each Q&A offers an industry leader perspective to help you get to know a little about the experts who are driving their rebound.
• A Conversation with Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education and Investments at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
• A Conversation with Chris Heywood, EVP/Global Communications at NYC & Company
• A Conversation with Diana Plazas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer – Marriott International, Caribbean and Latin America
• A Conversation with Leah Chandler, CMO of Discover Puerto Rico
• A Conversation with Flavia Santoro Trujillo, President of ProColombia
• A Conversation with Kristin Fitzgerald, Marketing & Public Relations Manager, Six Flags Great Adventure
• A Conversation with Jaime Miller, Executive Director, Uruguay XXI
• A Conversation with Carla James, Director, Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA)
• A Conversation with Ms. Rachel Loh, Regional Director, Americas, Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
Insights from our Travel, Hospitality & Leisure Experts
Check out our collection of POVs and recommendations from our travel experts for destinations and travel brands on how to navigate COVID-19:
• Why Customer Loyalty is More Important than Ever as the Delta Variant Threatens the Big Travel Rebound (August 17, 2021)
• Green Re-do: How Destinations and Travel Companies Can Highlight Sustainability and Ecotourism (July 1, 2021)
• Remote Work is Here to Stay: Here’s How Companies Can Reach Digital Nomads (June 22, 2021)
• The Three Questions You Need to Ask Yourself When Traveling Post-COVID (June 11, 2021)
• From weekend to weeklong trips (June 9, 2021)
• Multi-Gen and Skip-Gen Travel Is Picking Up: Why It’s Important and How to Leverage the Trend (May 14, 2021)
• In Honor of NTTW, 5 Tips to Consider in Travel & Hospitality Recovery Plans (May 5, 2021)
• Beyond Black History Month: It Matters All Year Long (March 10, 2021)
• COVID-19 Vaccines Are Here: What This Means for Travel (February 11, 2021)
• Four Top Tips for Mitigating the Risks in Your Communication Strategy as You Plan for Recovery (December 2, 2020)
• The Role of Responsible Marketing as Business Travel Begins to Revive (November 12, 2020)
• Holiday Travel Will Look Different This Year – Here’s How Travel Brands and Destinations Can Meet Travelers Where They Are (November 2, 2020)
• Show Me the Money: What Destinations Can Do to Attract Business Investment (October 20, 2020)
• Lack of Travel Got You Down? Here’s How to Reconnect (September 17, 2020)
• The Resurgence of Roadtrippers and How Your Drive-By Destination Can Leverage These Nomadic Wanderlusters (September 2, 2020)
• The New Type of “Business” Travel is a White Space for Destinations and Hotels (August 18, 2020)
Ketchum Travel, Hospitality & Leisure in the News
• The Washington Post: This Is How Traveler Loyalty Has Changed During The Pandemic
• The Travel Vertical: Busy Week: 21 People, 75 Jobs, 3 RFPs, 2 #eTS21 Webinars
• The Boston Globe: Travel Destinations Start Strategizing How to Get Consumers to Come Back
• New York Times: Shhh! We’re Heading Off on Vacation (also featured in the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and Sun Sentinel)
• PR Daily: Microsoft Eyes TikTok Purchase, Men’s Wearhouse to Declare Bankruptcy, and Nordstrom Partners with Influencers on COVID-19 Message
• Media Post: Americans Follow Other Travelers, Not Companies, Given COVID Concerns
• Hotels.com: COVID-19: Sternlicht Talks Future Demand | The Transformation of Loyalty
• Luxury Daily: Focus on Hospitality Element Vs. Simply Sanitation Measures for Travel to Rebound
• Travel Agent Central: Stats: 80 Percent Of Americans Would Pay More For Privacy During Travel
• PR News: United Abolishes Change Fees in Airline PR Grab
Diversity and Inclusion within Travel, Hospitality & Leisure
We’re proud and humbled to donate communications expertise to our chosen pro bono partner, Black Travel Alliance, in support of our joint mission of ensuring equal representation of POC within the global tourism industry. Together, we can help destinations and travel brands achieve inclusivity goals while strengthening external and internal diversity efforts. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
Get in Touch
If interested in sitting down (virtually!) to discuss how our team can be of service to you – we’re here to help!
Bettina Garibaldi is an SVP and the Managing Director of Ketchum’s Travel, Hospitality & Leisure sector. She brings years of experience leading integrated marketing communications campaigns and is an expert at building and elevating travel, hospitality and leisure brands through corporate communications, media relations, consumer engagement, and strategic partnerships and events. She has a Masters from NYU in corporate communications and has received numerous best-in-class awards for campaigns she’s spearheaded — including Ketchum’s most awarded PR-led campaign for one of her destination clients. She’s originally from Argentina and fluent in Spanish. Bettina is a PRWeek 40 Under 40 2020 recipient and a 2021 HSMAI Top 25 most extraordinary marketing leader recipient. Her motto is: Collect special moments, not things.