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Expedia’s Rory Paterson on the value of destination marketing

HBO’s hit show White Lotus, which respectively features the Four Seasons in Maui and the San Domenico Palace in Sicily in its first and second seasons, kicked viewers’ wanderlust into overdrive, with both properties seeing huge boosts in traffic after the show aired.

According to Expedia’s global VP of media Rory Paterson, this emerging trend is known as destination marketing, and it has led more than two-thirds of people to say they’ve been inspired to travel somewhere because of a streaming show. For a travel brand like Expedia, this offers an opportunity to get ahead of trending destinations.

“It’s a trend that we love to lean into and work with innovative brands and brands with great content where destinations are front and center,” Paterson says on The Current Podcast. “We also extensively work with destination marketing organizations, taking shows and programming and starting to think about how we can maximize opportunity with what we call set-jetting.”

Elsewhere on the podcast, Paterson goes into staying authentic with local marketing campaigns, and how Expedia’s marketing plan has shifted after consumers returned to travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.