Travel and Hospitality

EOL & Radisson. Experience travel


Erretres Open Lab is delighted to present the Travel and Hospitality Insights issue, a paper gathering what was learned during the EOL Travel and Hospitality Sprint. This event took place on the 6th of April 2018 at Erretres’ headquarters in Madrid. We’d like to personally thank the experts and assistants in attendance for sharing their expertise and perspective on the sector’s future.

Erretres Open Lab takes place in unique formats, and audiences are carefully selected to achieve the best collaborative flow. A Sprint is a 3 hour professional event which focuses on a future changing topic within a specific sector, and which takes place in a creative capital city.

In the EOL Travel and Hospitality Sprint, branding and design were considered as strategic assets to transform and improve brands, businesses, and projects. Branding was discussed based on its capacity to identify, position, and differentiate services and products. Taking the travel and hospitality sector as a paradigmatic example, the session aimed to explore the latest trends and keys to success from leading and disruptive projects, and offer inspiration on how to exploit them.

The Travel and Hospitality sector is the most productive within the Spanish economy, bringing in a revenue of more than 75M€, a 9% growth compared to the previous period. Regarding international tourism, Spain is also a key player, sitting amongst the top three destinations along with China and the USA. It is expected that these numbers are forecast to growing in owe constant mobile society.

According to the English definition of the word, Hospitality is “the act of being friendly, generous and welcoming to guests and visitors”. This definition highlights emotions as an essential issue, so all the effort, knowledge and paths for final execution are designed towards the origins of this.

Connecting this idea with that of branding, design and execution, we searched for a keynote speaker who could share expertise in making real things happen, a global brand leader who could explain how to align the brand with the client experience: because the Travel and Hospitality sector is all about the experience.

Erretres Open Lab invited Cristina Serra to share her insights because of her balance of youth and career progress within both the Travel and Hospitality sectors. Cristina has been a critical piece of brand construction and development for companies such as Vueling, Spainair, Palladium Hotel Group, and NH Hotel Group. Currently Cristina is working on the relaunch of eight global hospitality brands which operate in 114 countries with more than 1400 hotels, as VP of Brand and Strategy at Radisson Hotel Group.

Cristina’s career in the Travel and Hospitality sector started as Project Engineer at Vueling. Although her later professional path may suggest a marketing or advertising background, actually her education was in Aeronautical and Electronic Engineering. In fact, it was her knowledge of what and how things are done on an aeroplane that lead Vueling to entrust her as Brand Director. This demonstrates how collision between disciplines and a science-humanity mix can design the way forward.

Party in the Air
The brief: Vueling Airlines was launched in 2004. The Spanish carrier wanted to present the brand internationally as doing things different.
The challenge: Vueling was a newborn brand with a low budget for the international launch campaign.
The idea: Party in the Air
How: Vueling invited David Guetta to hold the world’s first club session in the air during their first Paris – Ibiza flight. The goal was achieved, as it generated a significant press coverage in France.

Vueling by MTV
The brief: Vueling Airlines is a low-cost carrier with a young target audience.
The challenge: To increase brand awareness among the core target audience.
The idea: to align with other brands which shared Vueling’s values.
How: Vueling signed a partnership with MTV to run a series of music events on their planes and to decorate the planes with illustrations by young artists selected annually, such as Custo Barcelona.

Searching Vueling Clouds
The brief: Vueling Airlines needed to increase their brand awareness
The challenge: A low budget
The idea: Involve the audience
How: Instead of doing plain advertising in the press, Vueling presented the readers with stickers representing the eyes and mouth of their iconic clouds. They proposed that the readers find clouds and customize them as Vueling clouds, then photograph and upload them to the website, where they could find an international cloud map.

Buenafuente from the Air
The brief: Vueling Airlines is a low-cost carrier with a young target audience.
The challenge: To increase brand awareness among the core target audience.
The idea: To align with a media personality which shared Vueling’s values.
How: Vueling partnered with TV Channel La Sexta channel to broadcast the first live TV program from the air with Buenafuente.

Barcelona. La de tots
The brief: Spainair had a bad reputation due to a plane crash some years before, and some political issues concerning the acquisition of Vueling in Barcelona.
The challenge: To improve the brand image within the mind of customers
The idea: To transform a weakness into an opportunity
How: Spainair changed their visual image and tagline to “Spainair. La de tots” (meaning “Spainair. The one for everyone”). They also ran a local campaign named “Barcelona. La de tots”. Both the visual image and strategy were developed to highlight the relevant nodes for locale people in Barcelona. For each node there was a video explaining why it was important for this nodes to have more people visiting Barcelona, and thus flying with Spainair. The campaign goal was reached as Spainair became one of the favorite brands for the people of Barcelona. The creative campaign was also internationally awarded.

An unexpected suitcase
The brief: Christmas campaign
The challenge: To differentiate from the competition
The idea: To present people flying on Christmas Eve
How: Spainair presented all their clients flying the night of Christmas Eve. When they arrived to pick up their luggage, they were presented with a special and personalized gift. Spainair team had been searching their social media profiles for their passions in order to reach a memorable moment. The goal was achieved as the video went viral, reaching more than two million views in one week.

Spainair. Co-creation Website
The brief: Spainair wanted to create a communication channel to get inspiration from their clients
The challenge: To create a solid community and maintain engagement
The idea: to create a co-creation website
How: Spainair created a co-creation website where clients could ask the brand whatever they want related to their travel experience. The platform was a success, and they built a community of more than 1 million people bringing in new ideas. The maintenance of the co-creation website was possible due to the involvement of all the department’s directors.

Relaunch for eight global hotel brands. Radisson Hotel Group
The brief: To position Radisson Hotel Group as the third hotel group worldwide and redefine the experience of eight global brands
The challenge: To manage eight global brands with more than 1150 hotels present in 114 countries.
How: Radisson Hotel Group is developing a manual which contemplates all the experience contact points, for every brand, and for every target audience. These brand experiences are based on four pillars: ‘The brilliant basics’, ‘Feel at Ease’, ‘Experience the Locale’ and ‘Enjoy memorable moments’. This represent a huge challenge, as a project that will position Radisson Hotel Group as the third largest hospitality group globally.

Future Trends & Insights 

Erretres Open Lab aims to create a network of professionals that continue to share their insights and knowledge on each of the sectors addressed in the EOL Sprint sessions. Here we gather some of the experts’ and attendees’ learnings from the EOL Sprint on Travel and Hospitality.

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. 

Always innovate thinking about the guest experience.

The company’s size doesn’t matter, so always run brand engagement sessions with your team. 

Always divide your audiences into segments and personalize the messages.

Learn from your previous experiences and apply creativity to find new solutions.

Always remember that a brand is constructed by being true and coherent to its promise and values. 



Barcelona de Serveis Municipals




Fuera de Serie (Expansión) and Forbes (Spainmedia)

Hammam Al Ándalus Madrid

Hotel Urban

IHP International Hospitality Projects



Lonely Planet (Grupo Planeta)

Pacha Group

Palladium Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group

Room Mate Hotels



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