Travel companies are putting significant investment into offline promotion but failing to translate it to the digital world.
A Facebook marketing exec says there's little distinction between brands in online marketing for travel.
Neasa Costin, travel vertical lead in EMEA for global marketing solutions for Facebook, points to the investment in trade shows such as World Travel Market, compared with money devoted to online marketing (we're not talking about the marketing billions of the large OTAs here).
Speaking during a session, organised by Travel Perspective, she says that lack of differentiation is a challenge for many travel companies
"Travel has very positive headspace for the end user, so marketers don't have to try very hard.
"An image of a beautiful beach will do the job for you but if you take away the logo you would not be able to distinguish one brand from another."
Costin went on to highlight Creative Shop, a part of Facebook which is trying to help companies differentiate, through emotional resonance.
On the one hand, it sounds a bit self-serving for someone from Facebook marketing to tell companies to do their marketing through the platform.
On the other hand, however, Costin has a point. Take a quick look at the online marketing efforts for a few travel companies, remove the logo and you'll see what she means.
She went on to talk about the 63 million hashtags about holidays that appeared on Facebook up to June portraying "real excitement and high emotion" around travel.
"Travel marketers are not trying to be distinctive or original.
"It's very transactional in approach. At WTM you can see companies investing massively in promotion but when you translate that to digital, there is zero investment."
She pointed to Airbnb and its "Live There'" campaign, as a company that is doing the right things in terms of brand-building and changing consumer behviour.
"It had to come at it from a different angle. It could not be transactional, it had to build awareness. They have created emotive scenarios around living like a local."
Costin was also questioned on whether travel booking would take place directly on Facebook going forward given developments such as Facebook Messenger.
She says not in the sense of Google and its travel search products but that the platform can understand user behaviour quicker than other companies and spot user trends.
Costin adds that companies working with Messenger can see that it's about meeting people where they are instead of trying to divert them to their brand.com websites.
"People want simplicity, they want single use apps on their phone."