There is a tremendous appetite for revenge travel in Asia

Carolyn Corda, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of ADARA, discusses the travel trends in Asia and how brands and marketers are navigating a cookieless future in this interview with MartechAsia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made most of us homebodies, with travel restrictions between countries and the race to vaccinate large populations. However, consumer intelligence shows that there is a huge pent up demand for leisure travel in most parts of the world, including Asia.

“There is a tremendous appetite for revenge travel in Asia,” Carolyn Corda, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of ADARA, told MartechAsia in an interview. “Whenever there is a talk about travel bubbles between countries, we see a bump in interest level among the audiences,” she added.

Carolyn Corda, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Commercial Officer, ADARA

ADARA, a US-headquartered company in predictive consumer intelligence, enables consumer brands to grow market share by leveraging their 1 billion high-fidelity identities, ethically sourced through their data alliance. The company drives optimal customer decisions using advanced data science and real-time deterministic data, leveraging their data alliance of more than 270 globally recognized brands.

Based on the company’s consumer intelligence, Corda said that the demand for leisure travel is tremendous, more than the demand for business travel. “As far as business travel goes,  the expectation is that it is going to go slow,” she said.

Citing the examples of North America, Israel, and the UK, she said that business travel picked up in these countries as vaccination rates increased. Globally, the expectation is that business travel will bounce back by 2022 only. However, Corda believes that business travel will see an uptick a bit faster before 2022.

According to her, there is still no clarity as far as large conferences go, because the data shows that for now, everybody is booking short-term for both hotels and airlines. Conferences work on a relatively long-term timescale and that visibility is not currently there on the horizon, she said.

In terms of destinations, she sees a  lot of interest in outdoor locations such as Alaska and Wyoming among the US travelers. In Asia, she offered the example of Maldives, which drew in a lot of tourists during the pandemic on the strength of advertising.

Leisure travel is picking up in countries that are making it easier for people to travel, she said. A good example is Spain where they eliminated the COVID-19 test for tourists if they were vaccinated.

Brands in a Cookieless world

With privacy taking centre stage for brands everywhere as they seek to navigate the collection, usage and implications of consumer data, Corda also touched on what ADARA has done with the launch of its Privacy Token.

Commenting on the depreciation of third party cookies by most browsers, she said that this was a good development. “Cookies were never a good solution. Even though we used them for 20 years, they were never the right solution,” she said.

At the same time, she agreed that it was a tectonic shift for brands and publishers to live away from cookies. “It is causing a lot of critical thinking about the approach to privacy,” she said. “This is forcing the platforms to try to come up with solutions that are privacy-safe.”

In this context, she said that ADARA is batting for augmenting the first party data, adopting a privacy-safe and sensible way of understanding consumer behaviour.

In December 2020, ADARA launched Privacy token. This token enables ADARA’s solutions to connect and resolve data between clients and ADARA’s platform in a decentralised manner, so client data never leaves their firewall.

Corda explained that her company’s Privacy Token unifies and masks siloed data, securely replacing sensitive data elements with obscured values using best-in-class security protocols. She highlighted how this token includes multi-source data rights management for anonymisation, to enforce privacy and protect sourcing for differential privacy.

At the heart of ADARA’s model is Cortex Solutions that offers its customers an omni-channel programmatic marketing presence, without relying on third party cookies.   Cortex offers 6,000 permissioned, platform-agnostic targeted communities (say family travelers to Thailand in the next 3 months) for brands to understand their behaviour and to reach out to them.

Corda also said that ADARA has been active in Asia, focused on the travel segment. Most of its customers in APAC are travel and credit card companies.

According to her, 25 percent of ADARA’s staff is in Asia and there are plans to strengthen the team here. “We see great promise in APAC and we want to reboot our growth in the region,” she said.