Tourism destinations around the world face major challenges as a result of the economic recession that has hit the world's major markets almost simultaneously. Some sectors of tourism will be affected more than others; some destinations will be affected more than others, depending essentially on the composition of their markets.
Two trends that are widely evident are that leisure tourism markets are more likely to travel domestically than in recent years; and that there has been a major reduction in corporate business travel. The second of these two factors is impacting on the major hotel groups, many of whom are discounting heavily; this in turn is affecting other sectors of accommodation. The prosperity of many of our destinations will suffer in the short term, but we can take action, individually and collectively to mitigate the impacts.
Consequently, this issue looks at the latest available travel and tourism forecasts, the World Tourism Organization's planned Roadmap for Recovery, and best practice on building, and maintaining, customer loyalty. It also contains a wealth of interesting news and vital intelligence that will help you to think and act smarter. Even in times of recession, innovative businesses can do well. The same applies to innovative destinations, where the different sectors of the tourism community work together to realise opportunities.
Further good news is that the desire of people to travel has not diminished. One tour operator commented recently that his customers are sitting on their packed suitcases ready to go, as soon as they have the financial confidence to do so.
||Building Customer Loyalty in a Global Economy: In the current economic situation developing and keeping customer loyalty is essential. Regular Destination World contributor, Peter Tarlow, offers a range of ideas for keeping your customers loyal.
Research and Reports - What's New?
The ITB World Travel Trends Report
, presented earlier this month at ITB Berlin, predicts the economic downturn will create both winners and losers in the travel industry. Internet bookings will surge. Demand for online virtual meetings will gather pace. Domestic travel will stay stable or grow, as will demand for low cost flights. Destinations adjacent to big travel markets will do reasonably well. Long haul travel will fall sharply. And the most pain will be felt in the business travel and MICE sectors.
The report will be available as a free download on the ITB website
from 30th March. Click on 'Media Centre', then 'Publications'.
* * *
The recently published Portrait of Affluent Travelers
offers an insight into the habits of the top 8 percent of all US households as defined by income and net worth of annual income greater than USD 150,000. The report
can be ordered online for USD 3,250.
* * *
Some new reports available online from PhoCusWright
As new mobile applications are launched on mobile platforms like the iPhone and BlackBerry, the travel industry is becoming a prime landscape for the use of mobile functionality from information distribution and alerts to mobile booking capabilities. A new report reviews mobile technologies, explores travellers' attitudes toward mobile functionality, and quantifies the growth and business value of mobile as a communications and booking channel. Mobile: The Next Platform for Travel
costs USD 695.
Going Green: The Business Impact of Environmental Awareness on Travel
seeks to examine the business impact of green thinking and decision making among consumers and travel companies alike. The report is available as a PDF only at a cost of USD 750.
PhoCusWright's European Consumer Travel Trends Survey
highlights consumer preferences and how they affect the purchase of travel online. The report, which costs USD 1,195 and is available only as a PDF, shares data points by region, type of travel, length of stay and other criteria. Four key markets are covered: France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
Early in the year is an important time to both look back and think ahead and so, each year, PhoCusWright analysts brainstorm the major trends that will shape travel distribution and marketing over the next 12 months. Their findings are published in Ten Things to Expect (Including the Unexpected) in Online Travel in 2009
. The report costs USD 250.
* * *
2009 will be another tumultuous year for the US travel industry, according to the recently updated Forrester Research US Online Travel Forecast, 2008 to 2013
. However Forrester analysts expect sales to grow 5 percent this year, despite weaker overall industry revenues, and travel spending to rebound in 2010. The report costs USD 749 and is available from the Forrester
* * *
The TravelMole 2009 Sustainable Tourism Report
, published on 31st March, aims to provide the tools to help the industry identify, understand, implement and benefit from sustainable opportunities in a time of economic crisis and environmental, cultural, humanitarian and security challenges in the tourism industry. For more information on the report, which costs USD 300, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
Two new reports from the European Travel Commission (ETC
) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO
The Russian Outbound Travel Market and the Chinese Outbound Travel Market
offer special insight into the image of Europe as a destination. The Russian Federation and China are two of the world's fastest growing outbound travel markets and these reports provide invaluable data, including interviews with the travel trade in Russia and Europe and consumer research. The reports can be ordered online
at a cost of Euro 75 each.
* * *
The new 2009-2011 Asia Pacific Tourism Forecasts, published by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA
), are an essential planning tool for researchers, planners, marketers and strategists alike.
The PATA Asia Pacific Tourism Forecasts cover 41 countries in the region and have an aggregate accuracy record of within 5 percent each year. They can be bought from the PATA website
for USD 750 (members) and USD 1,500 non-members.
World Tourism Organization:
Calls on tourism stakeholders to join Roadmap for Recovery
The tourism industry can play a key role in confronting the world’s economic downturn and helping to kick start global economies, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO
In opening the 2009 ITB Berlin earlier this month, Taleb Rifai, interim Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization said: ‘Tourism means trade, jobs, development, cultural sustainability, peace and the fulfilment of human aspirations. If ever there was a time to get this message out loud and clear, it is now, as we meet at a time of overriding global uncertainty, but also of immense possibilities.’ He continued by urging the G20 leaders to take note of this message and to include tourism as a key component of their economic stimulus programmes and the Green New Deal.
One of the conclusions of the UNWTO Tourism Resilience Committee (TRC
) is that this is not the first time that tourism has suffered a setback and, if the situation is handled correctly, the industry may bounce back stronger than before.
The TRC is a forum which has been set up to bring together public and private sector stakeholders to discuss concrete measures and policy responses to the volatile economic situation. It met for the second time during ITB Berlin where Taleb Rifai outlined the key way markers for the UNWTO Roadmap for Recovery. Here is an excerpt from his speech:
First - Approach the situation with realism. While UNWTO figures show international arrivals hit a record 924 million last year and annual growth of 2 percent, the second half of the year tracked the monthly decline in macroeconomic results and forecasts. Arrivals experienced negative growth of -1 percent during last six months of 2008. The same is true of international receipts: record highs till mid-2008 but rapidly declining second-half growth. This is an indication of the trend forecasted for the current year. This is the reality.
Second - Take every action to shore up our own defences, so that we can weather the storm and emerge intact on the other side when the good times return - as they surely will. We must maintain and preserve, in as much as we can, our valuable structures and trained workforce.
Third - We must also recognise that the measures we need to take now - urgently but precisely - will require unusual action. The complex, interconnected and dynamically unfolding nature of this crisis makes it unpredictable. The future operating patterns for global economies will be vastly different from the past: the very nature of consumerism will change and so will our markets and our prospects. It is the time to revisit our existing structures, policies and practices. It is time for innovations and bold action.
Fourth - In taking these measures we must make use of every advantage. We must harness the immense power of technology and modern communications including the internet to reduce costs, operate with new efficiencies and manage risk in an environment of uncertainty and constant change.
Fifth - We can benefit by putting the tried and tested model of public-private partnership on the front burner to navigate through the turbulence and beyond. We need to identify best-practice economic and operational models and help embed them in markets around the world. And we need to fight the worst practices like excessive taxes and complex regulation that increase our costs and reduce the value of our products. It is time for solidarity.
Sixth - The UNWTO will provide both leadership and support:
- as a vehicle for industry collaboration and public-private exchange,
- as a source of trusted data, analysis and research,
- as a policy mechanism, and
- as the central voice for tourism within the UN family, which is increasingly the mechanism of choice for responding to global challenges.
A video summary of the first TRC meeting in January is now available on the UNWTO website. For more information about the TRC, visit the UNWTO website.
Destination Brand Watch
New Zealand Campaign to Lure US Tourists
A new Tourism New Zealand campaign that hit US television earlier this month is promising travellers that a New Zealand holiday will give them back their life.
Research carried out by Tourism New Zealand showed that many visitors from the United States considered their New Zealand vacation to be a life-changing experience. The research also found that, despite its importance to New Zealand tourism, awareness of New Zealand in the US remains low.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says the cheeky 'New Zealand LifeBack Promise' campaign is intended to raise awareness and help prop up declining visitor numbers from this market. He said: 'This campaign has been designed to raise awareness and convert that awareness into action.'
The 30-second television commercial will be followed by two 90-second 'mini-documentaries', which showcase the experiences travellers can expect.
* * *
PATA Survey Names Top Travel Destinations in Asia Pacific
Australia, Japan and Hong Kong have been listed as the top three destinations for travellers between now and 2010, according to the Visa and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA
) Asia Pacific Travel Intentions Survey - Determining Travel Preferences in 2009 and Beyond
Of the 5,554 people surveyed from 11 tourism source marketplaces around the world, 60 percent said they would travel to Asia Pacific. North America and Western Europe trailed Asia Pacific at 35 percent. The top three Asia Pacific destinations were Australia (43 percent), Japan (37 percent) and Hong Kong (35 percent).
Meranda Chan, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, and PATA Board Director, said: 'That Asia Pacific was named the leading global leisure travel region by respondents in the latest travel survey reinforces the vital role this industry fills in the regional economy. PATA figures show that international arrivals to Asia Pacific destinations grew year on year by some 2.6 percent in 2008 - despite the economic slowdown which created a serious impact on inbound traffic in the second half of the year.'
* * *
Movie Drives Publicity Boom for Australia as a Travel Destination
As the international travel market contracts, Baz Luhrmann's Australia is keeping the country's profile high around the world, according to Tourism Australia Managing Director Geoff Buckley.
'Our international offices are reporting very significant interest in the country from media and travel companies as the film is watched around the world and Tourism Australia's 'Come Walkabout' campaign rolls out,' he said.
He continued: 'Whilst we are realistic that the global financial crisis will result in a decline in international visitors to Australia in 2009, we believe that by keeping Australia front of mind amongst consumers we can minimise the impact of the crisis this year and lay a foundation for a return to growth in 2010. We recognised early on that we could leverage the film for destinational coverage and that is exactly what has happened.'
Dates for Your Diary
Some key events for tourism destination professionals taking place over the next few weeks:
Tourism: an Engine for Employment Creation
is the theme of the 5th International Conference on Tourism Statistics
which will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from the 30th March to the 2nd April.
* * *
The EyeForTravel Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2009
offers delegates a chance to examine low cost, high reward distribution and sales strategies. The conference will take place on the 1st and 2nd April in Singapore.
* * *
Traditions and Transformations: Tourism, Heritage and Cultural Change in the Middle East and North Africa Region
is the subject of a new conference organised by the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change
at Leeds Metropolitan University. The conference will take place in Jordan from the 4th to 7th April.
* * *
The 48th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa
will be holding a seminar
in Cameroon from the 15th to 18th April on the topic of: How can African destinations make the most out of 2010? (In 2010, the FIFA World Cup takes place in South Africa.)
* * *
The 8th Azerbaijan International Travel and Tourism Fair
) will take place from the 16th to 18th April. The event will also host the 49th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe on Tourism
* * *
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA
) Annual Meeting will take place in Macau SAR from the 18th to 21st April.
* * *
The Future of Online Travel
is the focus of the next Travolution Summit
, organised in association with PhoCusWright, which will be held in London on the 21st April.
* * *
The European Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) will hold its annual conference on Transport and Tourism: Challenges, Issues and Conflicts
in the Netherlands from April 22nd to 24th.
* * *
Don't miss the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market
) which takes place in Beijing, 22nd to 24th April.
* * *
The biennial World Tourism Forum Lucerne
offers tourism decision-makers worldwide the chance to informally debate global tourism developments, opportunities and visions. The forum takes place from the 22nd to 24th April in Switzerland.
* * *
The Arabian Travel Market
is a leading exhibition dedicated to unlocking business potential within the Middle East region. The event will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from the 5th to 8th May.
* * *
The China Travel Innovation Summit
, organised by Travel Daily in association with PhoCusWright, is scheduled for the 12th and 13th May in Beijing, China.
* * *
A key event for travel marketing, pricing and technology executives is the EyeForTravel Travel Distribution Summit Europe 2009
which will take place in London on the 19th and 20th May.
* * *
More than 3,500 exhibitors from 150 countries will attend IMEX 2009
. The exhibition will take place in Germany from the 26th to 28th May.
* * *
Organisers of the Online Marketing Strategies for Travel USA 2009
are promising delegates practical advice on how to spend marketing budget wisely, effectively and profitably. The event is scheduled for June 3rd and 4th in Miami, USA.
* * *
Tourism Australia, Tourism Queensland and Gold Coast Tourism are staging the seventh National Conference on Tourism Futures
from the 17th to 19th August. The conference takes a forward perspective on the industry, looking out over a ten year timeframe and examining opportunities and issues for the future.
Some recent interviews on TravelMole.tv
, new President and CEO of PATA
, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, examines the current marketplace and questions whether we are more focussed on the short-term or long-term.
The PATA Travel Mart
will be returning to its home in China for 2009. Learn more about this expanding forum with Kate Chang and Sheila Leong
of PATA in this TravelMole.tv interview.
Discover where the visitors will be coming from, how the economic crisis will affect them, and the forum's new programmes and workshops.
Grow in popularity
The popularity of City Cards, which provide visitors with free public transport and discounts or free entry to key local attractions around Europe, is growing fast according to recent research.
According to European Cities Marketing, City Cards are available across 21 countries and provide users with the ability to research and plan trips across Europe.
A recent survey of users in Nuremberg reveals that two thirds had already enjoyed City Cards elsewhere and knew exactly how to use them to their full potential.
New travel association launches
The Travel Industry Association has merged with the Travel Business Roundtable to form the US Travel Association (USTA
'Travel supports nearly 18 million US jobs that cannot be outsourced and contributes more than USD 100 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue,' said Roger Dow, TIA's President and CEO, who will serve in the same capacity for the US Travel Association.
He continued: 'America's travel community has created an organisation that matches the power and scope of America's travel economy.'
The US Travel Association will represent leaders from nearly all major travel-related companies, state travel and tourism offices, many of the top US convention and visitor bureaux and nearly all of the major travel associations.
The new organisation will serve as a leading advocate for increasing travel to and within the United States and provide its members with valuable research, events and marketing.
The new USTA is also working collaboratively with the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI
The two organisations have contributed resources to set up the Destination and Travel Foundation, which aims to bolster the destination marketing profession and travel industry by supporting activities through research, education, visioning and the formation of travel industry partnerships.
'The Destination and Travel Foundation will be the leading travel and tourism foundation for generations to come,' said DMAI President and CEO Michael Gehrisch.
'By joining the interests of destination marketing organisations and the greater travel industry, we will be better able to illustrate the importance of our industry on the world stage.'
Online carbon calculator available for tourists
A new online carbon calculator for holidaymakers in Australia has been launched by EC3
Global in association with the Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre (STCRC
provides a simple four-step process covering topics such as transport, accommodation and holiday recreation, and provides users with a breakdown of their carbon footprint as well as details of the source of their emissions.
It also gives tips on how to reduce the impact of a holiday and provides links to carbon offset providers.
The European Travel Commission's online marketing intelligence service, formerly known as the New Media Review, has been recently relaunched as the New Media Trend Watch
with a major upgrade of the site.
The service 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, drawn from over 70 sources, on trends in internet usage 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.
Montréal’s budget goes 100 percent digital
Tourisme Montréal will be spending its entire marketing budget online this year.
The decision was announced at January’s Canada-e-Connect conference by Carmen Ciotola, Vice President, Communication and Marketing of Tourisme Montréal. Much of the budget will be spent on paid search marketing with around 20 percent allocated to social media.
Many of the conference presentations from Canadae-Connect are available for free download - see the Conference Highlights section in this issue for more information.
First Twisitor Centre opens
Portland, Oregon, has become the first US city to launch an official Twisitor Centre
This cyber-style cousin to the more traditional walk-in visitor information centre relies on Twitter technology to connect travellers with those who can answer their questions and help plan their trips.
Twitter is a free social networking service that allows subscribers to send and receive short, real-time updates, messages and questions.
‘With Twitter we can be more conversational and responsive,’ said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of Travel Portland
. ‘And this is how a lot of people make travel and entertainment decisions these days. Twitter lets us talk to travellers who prefer social networking and who wouldn’t normally visit an official travel website.’
In addition to responding to questions from visitors, Travel Portland’s Twitter stream will include several proactive tweets per day, covering such pre-defined topics as dining, green travel, special deals and recreation.
Because Twitter is relatively new to many travellers, Travel Portland’s website features a Twitter
page that explains the service and connects to Twitter and a video that covers the basics.
VisitBritain TV portal launches
VisitBritain has launched a brand new video portal, VisitBritain TV
, showcasing video footage of key destinations.
The site will be a central point of call for all of the country’s travel and tourism related footage and will help VisitBritain to meet increasing demand from consumers for online video content.
The videos will include a range of VisitBritain’s brand films, destination and city guides, England TV, Britain’s Best Breaks and videos from regional tourist boards and visitor attractions.
Global audience hits 1 billion
The number of people online has now surpassed 1 billion, according to the comScore World Metrix
The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest share of internet users at 41 percent, followed by Europe (at 28 percent), North America (18 percent), Latin-America (7 percent), and the Middle East and Africa (5 percent).
China has the largest online audience in the world with 180 million internet users, representing nearly 18 percent of the total worldwide audience, followed by the US (16.2 percent share), Japan (6.0 percent share), Germany (3.7 percent share) and the U.K. (3.6 percent share).
‘This is a significant landmark in the history of the internet,’ said Magid Abraham, President and CEO, comScore. ‘It is a monument to the increasingly unified global community in which we live and reminds us that the world truly is becoming more flat.
'The second billion will be online before we know it, and the third billion will arrive even faster than that, until we have a truly global network of interconnected people and ideas that transcend borders and cultural boundaries.’
For the first time, the opening press conference
of the International Tourism Exchange (ITB Berlin
) has been made available online.
ITB Berlin, held earlier this month, is the world's largest tourism trade fair attracting over 11,000 exhibitors representing every sector of the tourism industry.
The Canada-e-Connect Conference
Many of Canada's eminent digital marketers gathered in Toronto in January for the second Canada-e-Connect Conference
, hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC
). This year's event focussed on digital marketing, an integral component of the CTC's 2009 marketing campaign strategy.
More than 200 people attended from every sector of the tourism industry and most of the 35 presentations from the conference are now available online. Here are links to just a few of the highlights:
CTC e-Marketing Presentation
(PowerPoint, 14 MB)
, Vice President, Marketing, CTC.
DMOs' View of e-Tourism Strategy
(PowerPoint, 18.5 MB)
, Director, Communication and Publicity, Tourisme Montréal.
Social Media Marketing
(PowerPoint, 4.5 MB)
, Vice President, Distribution Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group.
Brand Management in the Era of Travel 2.0
(PowerPoint, 1.25 MB)
, Chairman & CEO, McAnerin Networks Inc.