This year, our agency had the pleasure to attend the PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference in Philadelphia. The event provided MMGY NJF with the opportunity to connect with various members of the media to gauge their thoughts on how we, as publicists, can better support them in the year to come. Here’s the advice we received on what they’re looking for in the new year:
When it comes to 2020 travel trends, journalists will remain keen on stories regarding sustainability. Writers are eager to hear how companies are accommodating these travelers through creative and responsible sustainability practices. As MMGY Global’s 2019–2020 Portrait of American Travelers® survey revealed, eco-consciousness continues to be a driver of travel decisions. For example, a traveler may opt to travel by train versus plane to save on emissions or, when given the option between two similarly priced tour operators, will choose the more sustainable one.
Culinary-focused travel will also remain a prevalent motivator for travel. In 2020, we’re likely to see stories that focus more on plant-based and vegan-friendly destinations and restaurants, as well as fermented food and beverages.
In regard to destinations, media are interested in covering second- and third-tier cities. Today’s travelers want to go to places that aren’t overrun with visitors. With the prevalent problem of overtourism, editors feel a responsibility to showcase more under-the-radar locations.
What trends will be dead in 2020? Well, according to journalists at the conference, they’re tired of hearing about farm-to-table offerings. At this point, they feel it is standard practice for restaurants to serve fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.
Diversity Is Key
It’s important that destinations highlight diverse offerings that appeal to travelers of different ethnicities, races, genders and sexual orientations as editors want to publish stories that reach a wide range of readers. These editors also want to ensure they’re hiring journalists who can tell stories from distinct points of view. For example, solo-travel among women is one of the biggest travel stories right now. However, the majority of stories related to adventure travel are predominantly written by men. Editors from outlets such as The New York Times expressed a desire to assign more women to tell these types of stories.
One of the most consistent pieces of feedback we received from journalists, is that to land a placement you need to think of yourself as a storyteller. The more niche the story, the more compelling it will be to writers. Hone in on something specific and include a time peg to make it relevant. A story idea should ALWAYS include a news angle to answer, “why now?”.