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With Expedia, Orbitz, and other online travel stocks hovering just above the basement, news of Facebook and Google dancing around the travel niche cannot be thrilling. Online travel, in case you’ve been trapped in a dungeon somewhere, is about to take off like a rocket. For some that is.

Google’s announcement of the acquisition of ITA signaled the cocking of the proverbial hammer, if you are in the business of 21st Century online booking that is. Now enter Facebook, a very interesting interjection into travel dollars indeed. Facebook announced the buyout of the social network  NextStop, or rather the expertise and data therein. What can they be up to? Well, a piece of  $120 billion dollar online travel pie.

The Current State of Travel

According to Forrester Research, last year, online travel bookings represent nearly 40 percent of all booking bucks. Expedia, Orbitz, and a very few others have (so far) pocketed the lion’s share. But, in all honesty, just how long did they foresee such a virtual monopoly going forward? Their problem, from my perspective, is not much different from any other huge and profitable company – complacency – even greed. Why? Let me explain a little.

Expedia has proliferated the web with what you might call “satellites of success” – TripAdvisor being the biggest. The original innovation there, was significant – taking advantage of “the crowd” in as far a travel ratings and the vast network of affiliations – of course. But, like so many traditional thinking companies, Expedia only paid lip service to the social element. And then, for the most part they rested on their laurels – opps. What burns me about companies like Expedia? Their almost unlimited resources to create something far better – for you – and for them.

Orbitz? Well, maybe they just don’t have the cash? Despite positive earnings, Obritz seems content to offer Gulf Coast guarantees and traditional price incentives – for the most part any way. I covered their integration with iSeatz, but was honestly overly optimistic. The iSeatz move seemed to signal movement in the space, but like many such associations – there was no prime mover behind the deal. Many online companies fail to understand the need for traction and ongoing news – Orbitz is not alone. Without tipping any hands, I know Orbitz execs are rather closed minded or at best preoccupied with other matters. What burns me about them? The market is wide open for them to move – they won’t or can’t.

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My friend Greg Berry at nuance intelligence asked that I comment on his recent post:  Ethical Travel I’m not sure I offered anything towards the solution of our massive travel footprint but it allowed me a venue to post some thoughts. Thanks Greg.

Meeting new friends in Jordan

Meeting new friends in Jordan

Across the globe there are countless initiatives being discussed to address travel, air travel specifically, and climate change. Recent numbers I have read are that tourism trade accounts for 5% of the World’s CO2 Emissions.  If you allow for a second lens, tourism employees 10% of the worlds economy. Tourism infuses money into poor economies. Travel encourages protection of natural environments and finally, travel leads to understanding.

The reality is most travelers fall into two distinct categories. Those traveling for “vacation”-pleasure, education, adventure, experiences etc (we will include travelers taking part in National Geographic Tours private Jet Tours (!?) and those traveling for work.  Both groups are less likely to be focused on this discussion that we “conscious” readers are.

Challenges:
Consumers traveling for vacation purposes are not interested in feeling guilty about their travels. They’re on holiday! They want to enjoy their experience which includes using plush towels and wonderful bath products. It is a luxury they often don’t have at home.  Many argue correctly that the “towel” issues is much more about how the the hotels wash their linens than about how guests use them.  That’s followed by airline and hotel recycling programs etc etc. Good overview of what is all really means here.

Business Travelers are far more interested in convenience. For all of us who travel for a living I think it is safe to say that airline travel has lost any mystery and excitement it may once have had. The very thought of an airport is now worse than the fear of visiting the dentist.  Anything that makes this journey to our destination easier and less unpleasant will be used. Business travelers are focused on getting in and out with as little personal headaches as possible. Public transportation to/from airports is neither convenient nor well communicated.  Trying to negotiate rail and bus options is complicated enough for the budget traveler and even cities such as NY and Chicago have done a poor job.

Positive Steps:
Vacations: Tour Providers/Companies who have taken the initiatives (offsetting the carbon footprint of the ground portion of the tour) take the first step in educating and encouraging travelers to offset their flights.  Many “tour providers” carefully choose locally owned properties and restaurants and hire regional guides, all of which encourage an overall understanding and connection with the destination. I believe that future political and ethical decisions a traveler makes when NOT traveling will be based on these experiences.  Post travel we tend to read, shop, listen to and engage in topics that touch on a destination we have been to very differently than when we merely read about an issue in a far off destination. The Middle East and Africa are good examples.

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Within the travel industry the importance of “Women’s Travel” is often confused.  Women hold a, agruably THE,  leading position in the viability of travel and tourism products.

Slovenia Women's Adventure

Slovenia Women's Adventure

Women as Decision Makers

Depending on whose research you review, women influence between 88 and 92% of all travel decisions.  period (should I write that again?)

She is behind the final decision for all family vacations, romantic get-aways, adventure weeks.  She controls the purse-string though she might not be making the final booking.  She makes decisions based on different variables that men.  She wants to know about the experience; how it will make her feel, how it will make her life easier (you’ve done all the planning and picked the perfect hotels, there are options for her kids, you can accommodate her husbands food allergies etc), who she will meet along the trail…she wants the picture rather than the minute by minute details.

She has a high bullshit meter and purchases from companies she has established trust with.  She wants to be asked questions about her needs and she likes to work with people who listen.  She researches travel online but then looks to her friends to tell her who they have traveled with and where they have been.  She’s looking for the perfect solution…and they want to be surprised and delighted that you have thought of something they haven’t.

To providers this may seem like a fairly straightforward introduction…but it is amazing how many brochures, websites,  tour itineraries, confirmation packets, photos, trade-show booths etc are NOT targeting women.  Having been in the industry for over 20 years I would bet that most companies in-house staff is made up predominately of women.   Has every piece you send out to potential clients been honestly reviewed by them?  Who is training your ground staff beyond “guiding” to address how to integrate these needs and desires into the itinerary.

Last but certainly not least, we should address Word Of Mouth Marketing.  In general, women are part of a much larger social community than men are.  We surround ourselves with diverse groups…other couples, women’s book groups, moms play groups, walking/running friends, professional networks. We are part of a huge web are always sharing tidbits of insider knowledge to help others.  Yes, if we like (or don’t like) the trip or company we have just traveled with we will tell EVERYONE.

Women as “Travelers”:
In the late 80’s and early 90’s women’s tours were put in a corner which most adventure travel companies as well as guests were uncomfortable with.  Were “Women Only”  really just another word for Lesbian Trips?  If we had group of women traveling together on our trips, what was their relationship? If two women booked a trip together, were they a couple?

The fact was that during this time, a fair portion of companies targeting “women only” were targeting the lesbian community, while an emerging group of entrepreneurs were simply realizing the growing market of women interested in traveling with other women.

As the industry came of age in the late 90’s and had “softened” a bit (offering more options to suite a wider range of physical abilities, staying at properties with private baths, focusing on local culture interaction and environmental education…renaming trips from “Hiking” to “walking”, focusing on food) we saw astounding growth in the industry.  The demographics had changed from trips being made up predominately of men in their 30’s to couples in their 40’s and 50’s and singles, mostly women, of all ages, eager to take part in an adventure without the concern of security or the need for a traveling companion.

In the beginning of the century “women’s only” tour companies were popping up in every niche (yoga, culinary, skiing, Sailing etc) and major tour operators began testing out “women’s only” departures.  Similar to the “family tour” bandwagon, there was little thought of why, where and when women choose women-only departures.

What we have found through the fallout of canceled departures is what we, as adventure seeking women, have always known, we are constantly changing.  We  gravitate towards “women’s only” trips to learn a new skill, especially one which involves a new sport or physical challenge, as we enjoying being in a supportive women’s only learning environment.  We are likely to take Goal Trips, like trekking the inca trail or climbing Kilimanjaro with other women.  We LOVE to get away with our girlfriends and this section of the market is only beginning to tap into this annual event.  We are also wives, mothers, girlfriends,  individuals who enjoy the company of the other sex.  We like traveling with our husband or partner, with couples, and, if we are single, in groups that have other solo travelers as well as couples.  Most of us are not “women-only” travelers, we are “sometimes women-only travelers”…it is or prerogative 🙂

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TravelTrends – Travel search intelligence: performance among demographic segments – Compete, Inc.

TravelTrendsTM Weekly travel insights from Compete

By: Jack Drew
September 28, 2008

This is the fourth search-themed travel newsletter this month, highlighting the capabilities of Compete’s Travel Search Intelligence product. This week we focus on the ability of travel marketers, using Compete Travel Search Intelligence, to assess their performance in attracting specific demographic segments through search.

Each month the major online travel agencies fight for hotel search referrals and bookings. Not all searchers are created equal, however, and many marketers are looking to attract only specific customer segments. To highlight Compete’s capabilities in looking at search activity for specific segments, we analyzed Online Travel Agency search performance within a defined demographic group.

Looking specifically at search-driven hotel bookings of high-income women travelers between the ages of 35-44 shows an increasingly competitive Hotwire gaining ground against a steady Expedia and Priceline, while Hotels.com loses ground. While a year ago Hotwire had captured an average of 10% of the search-driven hotel bookings of this demographic, the past few months have seen the brand rise to up to a 30% share in May 2008.

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I love this post…wish I could meet all of these women~!

25 Most Influential Women In Travel – Forbes.com

ForbesLife Executive Woman
25 Most Influential Women In Travel
Melissa Biggs Bradley 06.30.08

Women are the prime movers in American travel, driving 70 percent of all leisure travel spending and 80 percent of corporate travel bookings, profoundly impacting where the entire country goes for both business and pleasure. (And don’t forget, women count for some 40 percent of the nation’s business travelers.) Who among these millions of “deciders” have the most clout? To find out, ForbesLife Executive Woman polled top industry executives. The result is our first list of the 25 Most Influential Women in Travel, all of whom have significantly shaped–and will continue to define–the $740 billion U.S. industry that fuels more than 5 percent of America’s GDP. Their predictions for the hottest new destinations and travel trends follow our list.

Produced by Susan Delson

THE NEW SPECIALISTS

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief, CruiseCritic .com

After years of covering cruises for the Washington Post (nyse: WPO – news – people ), Brown was a natural to take over CruiseCritic.com. Thanks to the site’s wealth of information, active community, and frank reviews (from both staff and members), it has 5 million annual visitors and more than 110,000 registered members. That may explain why it is listed as the number one cruise-information web-site on Hitwise.

Georgia Kirsner
Vice President, Travel Industry Sales, Ritz-Carlton

If travel agents could have just one wish, it would be that hotels give their clients the star treatment. Kirsner knows that a happy customer is a return customer, which is why she introduced the Ritz-Carlton’s STARS program, reserved exclusively for top trav- el agencies working with the company. Selected agents have access to a password-protected website for booking. In addition to the attentive service accorded Ritz-Carlton guests, STARS clients are monitored by a designated “guardian angel” at each property for even more personalized attention.

Lisa Lindblad
Founder, Lisa Lindblad Travel Design

Lindblad creates personalized journeys for a following of highly exclusive clients–those who don’t blink at her initial con-sulting fee of $2,500 to design an itinerary. Areas of expertise include East Africa and India. Customers can expect a once- in-a-lifetime trip. Says Lindblad: “I make sure to insert magical moments–like being on top of a hill in East Africa when the sun sets.”

Michelle Peluso
CEO and global president, Travelocity; executive vice president, Sabre (also see “The Climb”)

Travelocity, the mother of online travel agencies, took a blow when competitors Expedia (nasdaq: EXPE – news – people ) and Orbitz (nyse: OWW – news – people ) ramped up their oper-ations in 2002. Wharton grad Peluso, Travelocity’s CEO since 2003, helped the company reach profitability by launching an innovative hotel partnership program and spearheading the acquisition of lastmin ute.com and ZUJI.com (another travel-planning website). In 2008 the World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader. Despite the size and scope of Travelocity’s business, Peluso maintains a small-business-like approach in her dealings with people: She answers all customer emails that land in her inbox and tries to get back to employee emails within 24 hours.

Lalia Rach
Divisional Dean and HVS International chair, NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management; founder, Rach Enterprises

In any game there is a need for exceptional coaches. Rach has advised many people in the industry and is one of its most sought-after speakers. As an academic and the founder of a business consulting company, she tracks trends in business management as well as in affluent and baby-boomer markets. In part through her embrace of the increasingly digitized way of doing business, she is known for helping to shape the next wave of travel professionals.

Patricia Schultz
Author, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

Schultz developed a passion for exploration as a child, but it has been as a travel journalist (for such publications as Condé Nast Traveler and Frommer’s) that she began honing the “life list” that blossomed into a number one bestseller in 2004. With 2.8 million copies in print, the compulsively readable tome has introduced millions of people to such gems as Canyon de Chelly and the Hagia Sophia, and has spawned a sequel (on U.S.- and Canadian-specific sites), a Travel Channel show, and even a jet trip around the world with TCS Expeditions. (more…)

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Where are they now – WTM Global Trends Report in association with Euromonitor revisits 2007 trends

Where are they now – WTM Global Trends Report in association with Euromonitor revisits 2007 trends
October 13, 2008 in Travel Related
Where are they now – WTM Global Trends Report in association with Euromonitor revisits 2007 trends(Forimmediaterelease.net) The 2008 World Travel Market and Euromonitor International Travel Trends Report will launch in November at the World Travel Market Conference. Highlighting the next big trends, the report is the precursor of what is set to impact the travel industry.

The report will be launch by BBC presenter Thalia Pellegrini to attending press from around the globe at the Forecast Forum on Monday, November 10 at 10:00 hrs. in Platinum Suite Four. A second presentation with CNN anchor Louisa Bojesen for both press and visitors takes place on Tuesday, November 11 from 11:00-12:00 hrs. in North Gallery Room Eight.

Revisiting the 2007 WTM Global Trends Report finds the travel trends Euromonitor International predicted would be on top…

2007 Trend – North America: Debaucherists work hard and play harder

· Young adults, seeking to prolong their uninhibited youth, are following in the footsteps of tabloid celebrities and traveling to experience out-of-control parties in a trend called “debaucherism tourism.”

· Las Vegas thrives on catering to these “debaucherists” with hotels hosting pool parties starting in the morning, allowing travelers to party 24 hours a day. Niche cruises offer excessive drinking, gambling and cutting-edge music acts for this audience while Caribbean resorts specialize in eroticism for those looking to fulfill their sexual fantasies.

· Even as travelers age, they will continue to embrace travel as an opportunity to revisit their hedonistic youth and to spend lavishly, ensuring that they enjoy the most outlandish parties. Long-haul, exotic destinations are expected to benefit as these party addicts search for the next thrill and document their party activities via social networking websites for all to see and imitate.

Did it come true?

2008 saw the introduction of several debaucherism activities. Maxim Magazine partnered with the Bud Light to create the Bud Light Party Cruise, an age 21 and up cruise promising, “3 nights/4 days of fun aboard the Bud Light Party Cruise for only $348 dollars for two people. We’ll be taking you through the Bahamas, stopping at Nassau and a private island for a rockin’ up-close and personal VIP concert with a well-known music artist.”

Airbus also announced in early 2008 the launch of a Airbus A380 Casino. The business behind the venture was not revealed but flightglobal.com revealed that casino operators in Macau may be behind the deal with the casino expected to be fully operational within five years.

http://www.maximhookup.com/default.aspx
http://www.budlightpartycruise.com/
http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/feb/15air.htm
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/02/15/221581/airbus-a380-could-be-used-as-airborne-casino.html

2007 Trend – The UK: Have Pet, Will Travel

· With a pet population of 49 million and consumers spending £2.7 billion on pet food and pet care products in the UK, pets are an integral part of consumers’ lives. The trend for pets to be treated as a member of the family has subsequently led to the rise in demand for tailored pet travel facilities and services, providing the UK domestic tourism industry a golden opportunity to build additional revenues.

· There is currently a significant lack of supply to meet this untapped demand for pet travel products and services, with hotels being the only sector to actively target pet owners. So far, independents have been the most proactive, however with the success of pet schemes introduced by leading hotel chains in the US, UK chains should follow suit and introduce similar programs.

· Despite the challenges in providing pet services, potential exists for travel operators and travel retailers to offer value add-ons to their standard offer that pet owners will pay a premium for. Pet health and wellness is also an area that shows signs of great promise as well as pet travel insurance.

Did this come true?

The potential for pet travel in the UK is supported by the forthcoming launch of a series of books from Dog Friendly, Ltd., including the title Dog Friendly Hotels listing http://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/ over 2,000 hotels. According to Caroline Bremner at Euromonitor International, “The current economic downturn represents a silver lining for UK domestic tourism and travel operators that cater to the family market with pet-friendly facilities. These operators will be in a prime position to benefit from this trend.” Steve Bennet from Dog Friendly, Ltd. responded, “We have seen an incredible increase over the last year for pet travel. Our new book on Dog Friendly Hotels will include not only chained and independent hotels in the UK, but also in Europe thanks to the new Pets Passport Scheme.”

2007 Trend – Western Europe: Slow travel builds momentum

· Slow travel is the perfect antidote to life’s stresses and strains, offering consumers the opportunity to disconnect from their hectic lifestyles, experience direct contact with nature and enjoy life’s simpler pleasures. The ultimate aim is to regain time, a real luxury in today’s fast-moving world. (WTM Global Trends Report 2007)

· Slow travelers often opt to stay in farms or other rural accommodation and prefer to travel by train. The motivation for slow travel is also linked with a rise in responsible tourism particularly with UK travelers. The pull of slow travel is also rippling across the world to the Americas due partly to the influence of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” featuring Al Gore.

· Slow travel is expected to become a significant alternative to beach and cultural tourism, moving from a niche into the mainstream. “Slow hotels” or “slow packages” will allow operators to embrace this growing trend, allowing consumers to not only enjoy a more authentic travel experience, but also give a boost to the local economy.

Did it come true?

According to a survey by the US Tour Operators Association and travelmole.com, slow travel began to catch on in early 2008. Companies such as Rocky Mountaineer Vacations offer tours providing simple, leisurely travel usually through extended railroad vacations. Caroline Bremner, Global Travel and Tourism manager at Euromonitor commented, “Slow travel offers travelers the chance to kick back and rediscover the joy of hassle-free travel with a low carbon footprint as illustrated by Ed Gillespie’s year long flight-free adventure.”

The launch of OzBus in 2007 with its inaugural bus journey to Australia was a great success and also well documented in the UK press, leading to services to Africa, the Hippy Trail, as well as a new overland route, London-New York.

http://www.travelmole.com/stories/1127727.php?news_cat=&pagename=searchresult
http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/blog/2008/apr/04/slowtravelforpeopleinahu
http://www.lowcarbontravel.com/
http://www.oz-bus.com/

2007 Trend – Middle East: Halal Tourism offers great potential

· In the attempt to emulate Dubai’s success, Middle Eastern countries are turning to tourism as an alternative revenue source. There is currently little differentiation between Middle Eastern travel and tourism products and services for Muslims and non-Muslims. This represents a huge opportunity for Halal tourism, a form of religious tourism defined as activities permissible under Islamic law.

· It is important that Halal tourism develops alongside domestic tourism infrastructure, giving rise to organic, as well as adapted products and services that appeal to Middle Eastern tourists. There is also great scope to attract Halal visitors beyond the boundaries of the Middle East from the growing Muslim populations across the world, from Europe to the US.

· Hajj and Umrah packages for pilgrims offer potential for Halal tourism products and services. This niche market offers strong inelastic demand and demonstrates high resilience where religious and Halal tourists will travel for their faith even in times of insecurity.

Did it come true?

Catering to Muslims with Halal tourism jumped significantly in 2008 with several operators jumping at the opportunity to reach out to this segment. Dubai based Allmulla Hospitality announced the development of a hotel chain that complies with Islamic law. The development will include 10 hotels by 2012 in the Middle East and Asia.

Dubai based Landmark Hotel Group announced in July 2008 the addition of 10 hotels. According to Arabianbusiness.com, “All the properties will operate on Islamic principles and will be entirely alcohol-free, serve halal food and donate a percentage of their profit to charity.” In addition, unmarried couples would not be allowed to room together.

http://www.reuters.com/article/privateEquity/idUSL0323765720080303

2007 Africa: North Africa tourism is poised for success

· Aided by government policies and the arrival of low cost carriers, Morocco is a rising star in North Africa for tourism while Tunisia and Egypt are looking to build upon their current success. Potential tourism powerhouses, Algeria and Libya, on the other hand, have until now been held back by political tensions and a lack of infrastructure.

· Morocco, with a wealth of exotic tourist attractions, has benefited from government initiatives to promote itself as a destination and encourage foreign investment. Low-cost carriers have helped increase demand from neighboring Europeans. Tunisia and Egypt have benefited from a “sun and sea” combined with culture model to attract international visitors.

· As they experience greater political stability, both Algeria and Libya are poised to follow in the footsteps of their neighbors. Their governments have embraced tourism development as a means for economic growth and have started to build the necessary infrastructure. Additionally, these governments are welcoming foreign investment, particularly from Middle Eastern countries.

Did this come true?

According to Euromonitor International figures, and supported by the WTTC, arrivals in Morocco and Tunisa grew significantly through 2006 and 2008. Euromonitor expects Morocco to welcome approximately 8.16 million visitors by the end of 2008, up from 6.6 million visitors in 2006. Tunisia is expected to have close to 7.17 million visitors through 2008, up from 6.5 million in 2006. “The continued growth in the number of airline routes to North Africa and Morocco has contributed enormously to growth in the region. Travelers from the UK make up a big chunk of Moroccan tourism, having doubled in number since 2005. The liberalized air agreement between the EU and Morocco permitted low cost carriers, Ryanair and EasyJet, to fly from the UK to Morocco in 2006,” said Euromonitor International Research manager Michelle Grant. Euromonitor expects UK travelers to Morocco to reach almost 5.13 million by the end of the year.

http://www.wttc.org/eng/Tourism_Research/Tourism_Satellite_Accounting/TSA_Regional_Reports/North_Africa

2007 South America: the exotic lure of End of the World Tourism

· Considered the “End of the World,” Ushuaia, Argentina is benefiting from a boom in tourism thanks to media attention to climate change and the popularity of films such as “The March of the Penguins.”

· Baby boomers from North America and Europe are contributing to the growth in tourism to Ushuaia as they adventure further afield to acquire evermore unique experiences. Hotel chains and cruises are responding by expanding their capacity in the region and offering casual luxury to these demanding travelers. The expansion of cruise itineraries along Latin America’s coasts has also resulted in a greater number of cruisers from the region.

· While Ushuaia faces challenges, such as seasonality and the environmental impact of increased tourism, demand for travel to the destination is expected to remain strong as baby boomers travel in increasing numbers and cruise itineraries are expanded.

Did it come true?

Cruise arrivals during the high season to Ushuaia jumped in 2008 to 112,144 travelers from 84,765 in 2007. This is an increase of 32% percent. According to Michelle Grant, Euromonitor International Research manager, this is attributed to an increase in the number of cruise ships arriving in Ushuaia. Luxury cruise ships, such as the Star Princess and Regent Seven Seas, have found great success among baby boomers seeking to visit the seventh continent. Furthermore, cruise companies intend to send more and larger ships in the 2008-2009 cruise season. Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, which can hold 3,114 passengers, is expected to sail some time after February 2009.

Cruise Arrivals to Ushuaia during High Season:

2002 – 52,774
2003 – 58,622
2004 – 57,760
2005 – 63,867
2006 – 81,224
2007 – 84,765
2008 – 112,144

Source: Secretaria de Turismo-Municipalidad de Ushuaia

2007 Eastern Europe: niche operators benefit from Diaspora tourism

· The expansion of the European Union to include Eastern Europe has lead to a rise in immigration for both humanitarian and economic reasons to Western Europe. Low cost airlines have enabled these Diasporas to travel frequently to their homelands.

· Diaspora tourism is segmented into three categories: heritage, residential and festival tourism. Heritage tourists return home to learn more about their ancestry and often participate in language or culinary courses. Residential tourism is concentrated mainly among young adults who emigrated for economic reasons. Earning more in their new country allows them to visit and invest in property in their home country. Festival tourism is driven by those who return for important events and festivals.

· The increasing Eastern European Diaspora has resulted in niche travel agencies cropping up to cater to heritage tourism. On trips home, many Eastern Europeans add a visit to the dentist or doctor to take advantage of the cost savings, providing opportunities for suppliers in medical tourism. Additionally, Eastern European tourist boards are stepping up their marketing efforts towards these tourists to further encourage return trips.

Did this come true?

Euromonitor International forecasts outbound travel from the UK to Poland, a key diaspora market, to reach 3.3 million in 2008, representing an impressive annual increase of 58%, underlining the pull of home, coupled with the rise of Poland as a leisure destination. Provisional data from the Office of National Statistics also supports a strong annual increase.

Low-cost carriers are the main drivers of diaspora tourism flows. EasyJet continued to expand its presence in Eastern Europe, including the launch of a new route to Bulgaria in November 2007, following Bulgaria’s accession to the EU at the beginning of that year.

http://www.easyjet.com/en/Investor/investorrelations_introduction.html
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_transport/mq6-q1-2008.pdf

More than 47,000 travel professionals, senior management, buyers and opinion formers from regions, countries and industry sectors throughout the world are expected to attend this year’s World Travel Market at ExCeL, London. The event takes place from November 10-13, 2008. For more information about World Travel Market please visit http://www.wtmlondon.com .

Arleigh Galant Vasconcellos Phone: +44 (0)20 8910 7038 Email: arleigh.galantvasconcellos@reedexpo.co.uk

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