Defending Travel: Battling Cyber Criminals & Ad Fraud

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As the travel industry gears up for a busy year in 2023, it is also bracing for increased cyberattacks and ad fraud. In 2022, the global travel advertising expenditure grew 36 percent, but the industry now faces a $127 billion global ad fraud problem. This is causing significant concerns for businesses of all sizes in the travel industry, from two-person start-ups to multinational corporations.

According to research from TrafficGuard, bots account for up to 80 percent of all invalid traffic for travel advertisers. This starkly contrasts the 15-30 percent affecting other industries. Mathew Ratty, the co-founder and CEO of TrafficGuard, notes that the travel industry is particularly vulnerable due to the proliferation of unauthorized online travel agencies (OTAs) and the sheer number of app and mobile experiences used to target key customers.

Additionally, up to one-fifth of clicks on ads/campaigns can be fake, resulting in a false sense of success for marketers. Travel businesses often spend big on pay-per-install performance networks, which are paid a fee for every installation they drive. However, these networks deliver over 50 percent invalid traffic on average, resulting in fraudulent installs and misattribution of post-install events such as flight and hotel bookings.

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