Clearly 2009 is going to be a tough time for tourism, particularly international tourism, so in this issue, we provide the views of leading lights in the travel and tourism industry about the impact and implications of the economic downturn; and we examine the importance of tourism as a key factor in the fight against the current economic challenges. Risk specialist, David Beirman, offers a ten point plan for overcoming the current economic downturn and Peter Tarlow provides some guidance on post-crisis marketing.
Many DMOs regard Vancouver Tourism and its CEO, Rick Antonsen as exemplars of best practice amongst DMOs. Rick is remarkable not only for running one of the best DMOs around, but also for creating the time to enjoy outstanding travel adventures himself and to write about them. Newly published is his story of his epic journey to Timbuktu and of the little known, vulnerable treasures of the West African country of Mali that he sought out. We don’t normally carry book reviews, but this is an opportunity to celebrate a superb achievement. We do so by reproducing, with thanks, the excellent foreword to the book by Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary General of the UNWTO.
||BOOK REVIEW: To Timbuktu for a Haircut Rick Antonson, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver, sets out on an unforgettable journey through Senegal and Mali. Don’t miss this review by Professor Geoffrey Lipman, UNWTO Assistant Secretary-General.
||Post Crisis Marketing While there is little doubt that the best crisis recovery plan is to do everything possible to avoid the crisis, at times they occur despite our best efforts. Peter Tarlow offers some suggestions for developing a strategic plan for minimising their impact.
||A Strategic Approach for Tourism: There is no doubt that the global economic situation is now starting to impact on travel and tourism. Dr David Beirman shares some thoughts on how the industry can work together to confront, and overcome, this crisis.
Research and Reports - What's New?
The first comprehensive e-marketing handbook for tourism destinations has been published by the European Travel Commission (ETC
) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO
The new 300 page Handbook on e-Marketing for Tourism Destinations
is a practical ‘how to’ manual for tourism destination staff at national, regional and city level, designed to help hone e-marketing skills and manage new projects. The book was produced by TEAM Tourism Consulting
with contributions from over 50 experts from around the world. It is on sale from both the UNWTO
and the ETC
Another recent publication is the Handbook on Tourism Forecasting Methodologies
which provides a simple guide to the complex world of tourism forecasting, and outlines some of the basic forecasting techniques and methodologies used. It is also available from the UNWTO website
and also from the ETC website
Both publications form part of a number of joint ETC / UNWTO ‘best practice’ publications. The other titles in the series are: Evaluating NTO Marketing Activities (2003), Tourism Market Segmentation (2007) and Handbook on Branding for Tourism Destinations (under preparation).
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undertaken by ICCA
, the International Congress & Convention Association
, examines industry confidence in the light of the current global financial situation.
Almost 80% expect a negative impact on their business in 2009, however almost 70 percent of ICCA members were not planning to make cuts in their marketing budgets and almost 78 percent were not expecting to make any staff cuts. A copy of the survey results can be downloaded from the ICCA website
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While travel agents are comfortable using traditional forms of web marketing, they are still slow to embrace the opportunities offered by Web 2.0, according to a new report by ASTA
, the American Society of Travel Agents.
The ASTA 2008 Technology and Web Usage Report
free to ASTA premium members, USD 250 for member suppliers or USD 350 for non-members.
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The US Online Travel Overview Eighth Edition
, by PhoCusWright
, takes an in-depth look at the US online travel market, offering comparisons of individual travel supplier segments, identification of major online players and market forecasts through to 2010. The report can be bought online
at a cost of USD 2,495.
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Can you remember when the jumbo jet was a novelty and set to transform travel across the Atlantic? The European Travel Commission (ETC) can. It held a tourism industry conference on the likely impact of the new aircraft in Amsterdam in 1969. That all seems a long time ago now, but last year ETC celebrated its diamond jubilee.
A new brochure has been published - 60 Years of Joint Action: 1948-2008
– which tells ETC's story and celebrates its achievements in working to promote Europe to international tourism markets.
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The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE
) and KDS
are to collaborate again on the business travel industry-wide 4th ACTE / KDS Survey
which will measure the impact of the global economic crisis, travel spend trends and the effect on companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. The results of the survey will be announced at a press conference during the Business Travel Show in London from the 10th to 12th February.
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, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, is seeking examples of industry best practice in corporate social responsibility (CSR) for a new guide to be published in 2009.
The Association has teamed up with sustainable development experts SNV
to identify, research and then promote CSR best practice across the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry.
’We're looking for case studies from the accommodation and tour operator sectors of travel and tourism as well as key recommendations on CSR business practices based on proven success stories,’ says Oliver Martin, Associate Director at PATA's Strategic Intelligence Centre in Bangkok. For more information, contact PATA
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Did you know that the international bednight volumes in European cities grew by 37 percent between 2002 and 2007 and that Spain was the fastest growing source market for city tourism in Europe?
If you didn’t, then you need to get hold of the European Cities’ Visitors Report 2008/9 which has recently been published by European Cities Marketing
. The report shows the bednight developments of 100 top European cities and includes an analysis of strategic groups, plus a CD of PowerPoint slides and Excel databases. The report can be ordered online
Some recent interviews on TravelMole.tv
, Exhibition Director for World Travel Market
discusses the show in London, the need for expansion by 2010, and some of the criticisms of the market.
, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC
) discusses the importance of travel and tourism in regards to the media and the government. Specifically he speaks to the growing issues surrounding area travel and airport expansion.
Destination Brand Watch
Frommers' Guide to Top World Destinations
Cartagena in Columbia, Saggara in Egypt, and Belfast in Northern Ireland are just three of the destinations that made it onto the Frommers
Top World Destinations List for 2009. The list
, published annually, includes cities that are sprucing up for big events, smart alternatives to over-popular spots nearby, best-value choices, and destinations that are justifiably hyped.
Australia is Top Country Brand for 2008
Australia has taken the coveted spot as the world’s top country brand for the third consecutive year, according to the 2008 Country Brand Index
This is the fourth year that FutureBrand
, a global brand consultancy, has issued the index which now includes rankings and trends as well as country brand analytics, travel motivations and insights into the challenges and opportunities within the world of travel, tourism and country branding.
Rising from sixth place ranking last year, Canada now takes second place with the United States coming in third. Other countries making the top ten include Italy, Switzerland and France.
Dates for Your Diary
Some key events for tourism destination professionals taking place over the next few weeks:
is one of the world’s leading travel trade shows and takes place in Berlin, Germany, from the 11th to 15th March. The combination of trade exhibition, public exhibition and professional convention attracts tens of thousands of visitors, exhibitors and media each year.
will once again hold a conference-in-a-conference in conjunction with ITB Berlin. This year’s event, held on the 11th and 12th March, will focus on Expanding e-Travel Across Europe.
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, the 17th Asia-Pacific incentives and meetings expo, is a must for anyone involved in organising meetings, incentives, conferences, special events or exhibitions. It takes place in Melbourne, Australia, from the 17th to 18th February.
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The Tourism Development Projects and Investment Market (TDIM 2009
) aims to highlight development and investment projects in the leisure, hospitality and entertainment industry, as well as offering a platform for discussions and networking. The event takes place from the 8th to the 10th February in Dubai.
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An UNWTO event, the 5th International Conference on Tourism Statistics – Tourism: An Engine for Employment Creation will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from the 30th March to the 2nd April. For more information, contact UNWTO
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The 21st Joint Meeting of the Commissions for East Asia and the Pacific and for South Asia, the 48th Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, 52nd Meeting of the Commission for South Asia are due to take place in Tehran, Iran, from the 2nd to 4th March. For more information contact UNWTO
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The International Symposium on Sustainable Tourism Development
will take place in Quebec, Canada, from the 17th to 19th March. The event is aimed at both public and private sectors and will offer workshops and presentations on major issues related to the sustainable development of tourism.
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London is the venue for this year’s Independent Adventure Travel Show
which is scheduled for the 20th – 22nd March.
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If you’re interested in how CRM can boost sales, build long term customer loyalty and deliver improved bottom line results for your organisation, then visit the EyeForTravel CRM and Loyalty Strategies for Travel
event, taking place from the 4th and 5th March in Atlanta, USA.
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Online innovation to combat challenging times is the underlying theme to the EyeForTravel 2009 Travel Distribution Summit Asia
which takes place on the 1st and 2nd April in Singapore.
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, the 15th International Mediterranean Tourism Market will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on February 11th and 12th. ITIM is the largest annual professional tourism fair of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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The 5th Moscow International MICE Forum
will be held on the 17th March and aims to provide a cost-effective platform for international suppliers to meet key players in this rapidly expanding sector of the Russian tourism industry.
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A European Symposium on Gay and Lesbian Tourism
will be held in London on the 13th February. The aim is to present a comprehensive research, advertising, marketing and communications forum that will help the industry better understand this sector.
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If you have an interest in aviation management then don’t miss the Aviation Crisis Management 2009
event which is scheduled for the 3rd and 4th February in Abu Dhabi.
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This year’s Business Travel Show
takes place in London, UK, from the 10th to 12th February and is a key event for anyone who buys or manages company travel or sources meeting venues.
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The East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition
will take place from the 12th to 15th February in Istanbul, Turkey.
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Don’t miss Routes Americas
, the airline / airport marketing event which will take place next month in Cancun, Mexico, from the 15th to 17th February.
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The 23rd Annual Educational Travel Conference
will be held from the 18th to 21st February in New Orleans, USA.
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The Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM
) 2009 will be held on the 13th and 14th April and, this year, has a theme of ‘how Saudi can compete as a business tourism destination’.
Among the objectives of this event are to promote the awareness of business tourism as a viable market and to present the Saudi MICE strategy and action plan.
Tourism a Key Factor in the Fight Against Recession
Tourism will be a key factor in the global drive out of recession and a strong contributor to a long term green economic new deal, according to more than one hundred experts from twenty-five countries who met recently in Guilin, China, for the 2nd UNWTO
Conference on Tourism Trends and Outlook.
Tourism is facing increasingly difficult conditions as the global economy deteriorates and Asia and the Pacific, one of fastest growing tourism regions in the world, is also strongly feeling the impact of the global slowdown. But, tourism can be one of the key sectors contributing to overcome the current economic difficulties and can play a vital part in a long term green economic new deal.
Growth in arrivals rapidly slowing
International tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific are estimated to have increased by around 3 percent between January and October last year as compared to a 10.5 percent growth for all of 2007. The slowdown was particularly strong since August following the spike in oil prices and the consequent cuts in airline capacity and increasing transport costs. In fact, all world regions have followed broadly similar slowdown patterns and Asia and the Pacific has been no exception with extreme weather, security and political shifts in major markets compounding the situation. The impact in receipts is expected to be even more significant as travellers trim down their length of stay and their consumption in terms of type of accommodation and other activities.
In the shorter term, overall prospects – against continuing downward revisions in macro-economic expectations and primary generating markets in recession – look quite gloomy. But tourism is emerging more and more as a strong potential contributor to economic recovery. An excellent example is China’s current plan to stimulate its 1.6 billion domestic travel market as one of the government’s measures to stimulate economic growth.
‘Tourism can deliver more than most sectors for the economy as a whole. Mobility is hardwired into the human gene. Tourism – for business and leisure underpins trade, communication and modern lifestyles. It is one of the biggest export sectors and a vital increasingly important part of the development agenda.’ stressed Mr. Geoffrey Lipman, UNWTO Assistant Secretary General.
Looking beyond the turmoil
Another fundamental issue arising from the two day debate was the imperative of looking at the longer term and positioning tourism against the global challenges like the poverty and climate imperatives. Only businesses and destinations which take the right decisions now will survive in the outcome of the crisis. In a moment of such significant uncertainty and volatility, participants to the conference reinforced that it is crucial to adopt long-term strategic views and measures and to reinforce international cooperation at all levels to effectively deal with the challenges of a more sustainable tourism development.
‘It is becoming increasingly clear that global leaders are looking to a green new deal to help respond to the challenges of the macroeconomic crisis and the climate and development agenda. New jobs, new technology, new finance to stimulate our economies and at the same time to reduce our carbon footprint’, said Mr. Lipman. ‘There is no better sector for this green economy approach than tourism.
UNWTO’s response to the global economic downturn
- ‘Tourism can deliver for the economy as a whole. It is a catalytic industry and should be part of stimulus packages for infrastructure, jobs and investment
- We must make sure that tourism is aligned closely to evolving norms on climate and development. We don’t need to be ahead....but we can’t afford to be left behind.
- We must build quadruple bottom line sustainability into every facet of our supply and demand chain - economic, social, environment and climate balance’, he added.
UNWTO is taking proactive steps to tackle the effect of the ongoing worldwide economic instability on tourism. In October, UNWTO constituted a Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC) to help its members going through this difficult time.
The TRC will serve as a platform for UNWTO members to consider the volatile economic situation and
- receive and share market information
- identify best practise response, and
- help focus broader sectoral approaches.
The impact of the global economic downturn on tourism was assessed at the 2008 Ministers’ Summit in London in November. These findings were also discussed at the first full meeting of UNWTO’s Resilience Committee, held on the 28th January at the Spanish Tourism Fair, FITUR
Long term vision to 2030
, the World Tourism Organization, has launched a new long-term research programme to forecast international tourism growth through to 2030 and identify key actual and future trends and their impact on tourism development.
UNWTO Future Vision: Tourism Towards 2030 will combine industry data with the views of UNWTO members, tourism practitioners, trends experts and academics around the world.
The study will also provide a comprehensive view on the global and regional future tourism scenarios which will help UNWTO members and other stakeholders in the creation of their tourism development and marketing strategies. The study will be officially presented at the UNWTO General Assembly in October 2009.
'Tourism Towards 2030 is a cornerstone of our view of the future. It is a body of work that will be used and relied upon by thousands of private and public sector operators within the tourism sector over the next decade', said UNWTO Assistant Secretary-General Geoffrey Lipman.
For more details, contact UNWTO
or The Trajectory Partnership
Global Financial Crisis:
PATA is optimistic
Figures reported by PATA
, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, for the third quarter of 2008 reflect the growing impact of the global economic downturn on travel and tourism across the Asia Pacific region but give some cause for optimism in certain destinations.
The research analyses international arrivals figures in 35 destinations and show that there was a decrease of just one percent compared to the same three month period in 2007 whilst figures for the first nine months of 2008 show an increase of three percent over the same period last year.
’Earlier this year we were predicting year-on-year growth for the region at between seven and eight percent. Our report shows that, despite the gloomy global economic outlook, some individual source markets were growing to a number of specific destinations,’ says PATA Strategic Intelligence Director, John Koldowski. ‘These include travellers from Iran to Malaysia (up 162 percent), Thailand to Macau SAR (up 132 percent) and Russia to the Maldives (up 55 percent).
A new tool for measuring excellence in destinations (SMED
) has been developed by CED
, the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations, which is endorsed by the World Tourism Organization.
The system allows partner destinations to build upon their strengths, identify the key issues that need to be addressed and achieve an important competitive edge. Destinations using the SMED receive recommendations for strategic interventions and continuous improvement.
Fastest growing specialist segments
Culinary travel is one of the fastest growing segments in travel, according to the Speciality Travel Agents Association (STAA
) along with ecotourism, sustainable tourism and green tourism. These findings have been published by STAA as part of their list
of Top 10 Speciality Travel Trends and Destinations for 2009.
Global forecast for 2009
, the International Air Transport Association, has predicted that the aviation industry will suffer the worst revenue environment for 50 years with a USD 2.5 billion loss this year.
Passenger traffic is expected to decline by 3 percent, its first drop since 2001, following growth of 2 percent in 2008, and industry revenues overall are expected to be USD 35 billion lower than the 2008 forecast.
Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: ‘Airlines have done a remarkable job of restructuring themselves since 2001. Non-fuel unit costs are down 13 percent. Fuel efficiency has improved by 19 percent. And sales and marketing unit costs have come down by 13 percent. But the ferocity of the economic crisis has overshadowed these gains and airlines are struggling to match capacity with the expected 3 percent drop in passenger demand for 2009. The industry remains sick.’
UNWTO challenges tourism leaders
According to UNWTO Assistant Secretary-General, Geoffrey Lipman, tourism has only scratched the surface of our clean, green potential - now is the time to mainstream it. He called upon tourism leaders to join the green economy; to account properly for our impacts, to promote our commitment with key audience; and to replace talk and lofty statements with action.
He was speaking at the recent European Travel Commission's Transatlantic Conference in Spain and referred to the new climate deal that is expected to be reached at the UN Climate Change
in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the end of this year. The aim is to drop green house gas emissions to levels where global warming is tolerable, with clean energy focused consumption and production patterns, and with responsibility and benefits shared equitably by all member states.
Achieving this will require a range of credible policy decisions, ranging from country and company carbon targets, cap and trade auctions to intelligent bio-fuel and renewables support, efficient building, smart grid and hybrid vehicle investment, as well as green
technology funds, taxes and fiscal incentives.
UNWTO's response efforts are being increased in order to provide members and the tourism sector with the necessary tools to be in the position to influence decision makers and to highlight tourism's undisputed potential to help to overcome the current situation.
Top industry executives offer predictions
More online media spending, increasing use of social media and increasing demand for destination differentiation are among the top trend predictions
for 2009. The list is compiled by online travel specialists, Travolution
and includes contributions from a number of senior executives in the travel and tourism industry, including Alan Josephs of Ebookers, Guy Parsons of Travelodge, Steve Evans of lastminute.com and Graham Donoghue of Travelsupermarket.
Double-digit growth in online travel
At the close of 2008, online leisure / unmanaged business travel bookings represented 29 percent of the Euro 246 billion European travel industry, the world's largest regional travel market, according to analysts at PhoCusWright
Online travel bookings will grow significantly faster than total gross bookings, which are projected to increase by 3 percent. Unlike the United States, Europe will continue to see double digit growth in online travel, however, that rate is expected to slow as online travel reaches maturity in certain European markets.
The European Online Travel Overview Fourth Edition
details the overall European online travel market as well as six key markets. Individual country reports (France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain and the United Kingdom) are also available
Blogs have a bigger impact on purchase decisions than social networks, according to research sponsored by BuzzLogic
and carried out by JupiterResearch
The study, Harnessing the Power of Blogs
, looks at the evolving influence from the reader's perspective. ‘What we wanted to do was look at the reader’s side of the coin, look at reader patterns and how people are reading blogs... and drill down into the content impacting other media platforms,’ said Valerie Combs, of BuzzLogic.
JupiterResearch noted a 300 percent growth in monthly blog readership in the past four years, with a quarter of blog readers saying they trust ads on a blog, compared to 19 percent who trust ads on social networking sites. In addition, 40 percent of all blog readers (increasing to 50 percent of frequent readers) say they have taken action as a result of viewing an ad on a blog.
NY and London link up
There’s now a new way for visitors to find the sorts of venues they like in their own town when they’re visiting another. Metrotwin
is a new site, launched by British Airways
that links New York and London into one online community. Contributors from both destinations can upload, share and read reviews on the best places to eat out or visit, creating a new way to promote the two cities and provide an authentic experience for visitors.
Online Market Intelligence Source Relaunched
The European Travel Commission's online marketing intelligence service has been relaunched.
New Media Trend Watch
, formerly the New Media Review, is aimed at destination and travel trade professionals who are marketing tourism into and within Europe. The service brings together, on one website, high-quality intelligence from over 70 sources on trends in internet usage by tourists all over the world.
The site offers a regularly updated news service, a library of research reports and white papers, and a unique graph service allowing marketers the chance to compare data from individual tourism markets. It is maintained and updated by TEAM Tourism Consulting
on behalf of ETC and is available entirely free of charge to all users.
New Media Trend Watch is the brainchild of ETC's Marketing and Technology Network (MTN). This network brings together online marketers and information technology specialists from national tourism organisations (NTOs) all over Europe. MTN members play a leading role in the continuing development of ETC's European tourism portal
and are responsible for the NTOs' national tourism websites and online marketing campaigns.
Rob Franklin, ETC Executive Director, said: ‘I am delighted with the New Media Trend Watch and am sure that it will not only impress its existing users but also win many more. It is a vital part of our work in supporting the marketing of Destination Europe.’