Zika Outbreak Causes UK to Issue Warning on Travel to Florida
UK health officials have advised pregnant women to postpone or cancel trips to Florida following the first domestic outbreak of the Zika virus in the state. Four new cases of Zika in Miami announced over the past weekend appeared to be the first caught from mosquitoes in the US, rather than from overseas travel. (On Aug. 1, a day after the UK announcement, the Florida Department of Health issued a travel warning for Wynwood section of Miami where, according to updated information, local mosquitoes had spread the virus to 14 people).
Officially, Public Health England updated the risk level in Florida to “moderate” and the Government’s National Travel Health Network and Centre advised pregnant women in England to consider postponing non-essential trips to Florida. UK residents were also advised to use condoms and not to have unprotected sex during on trips to Florida and for eight weeks afterwards, even if they show no symptoms.
As a result of the health warnings, Thomas Cook, Thomson, First Choice and British Airways are allowing pregnant women who have booked trips to Florida to change their destination for free. Virgin Holidays has said it will give full refunds.
In mid-April of this year, experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed that Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. That’s because when a mom-to-be becomes infected with Zika virus, the virus can also infect the fetus. Microcephaly is a neurological condition where babies are born with small heads and sometimes small brains. The condition may also be associated with severe developmental issues and in rare instances death.
The UK is Florida’s top overseas source market. It sent 1.7 million visitors to the state last year.
What U.S. City is Beginning to Emerge as a Favorite Destination of North American Travelers?
The latest quarterly issue of Sojern’s Global Travel Insights contains few surprises for those who market and promote U.S. destinations (i.e., New York City remains a global favorite) but one city that is not a familiar one on lists of U.S. favorites makes an appearance at one point—Washington, DC, the host city for next year’s IPW—on the report’s Top 10 Destinations for North American Travelers in August and September 2016.
For its study, Sojern analyzed travel behavior worldwide in five regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia-Pacific in order to understand travel intent for Q2 and looking forward into Q3 and beyond. Sojern used data based on search and booking behavior provided by major airlines, online travel agents (OTAs), meta-search and other travel service providers. Aside from “Top 5” and “Top 10” lists, the Sojern report contains tabular data on lead-times for booking, size of travel parties, length of vacation and other trends. We’ve digested some of the highlights of the report’s findings below.
Top 10 Countries Searched and Booked
|Top 10 Searched||Top 10 Booked|
|1. France||1. France|
|2. Germany||2. German|
|3. Greece||3. Italy|
|4. Italy||4. Mexico|
|5. Portugal||5. Netherlands|
|6. Russia||6. Portugal|
|7. Spain||7. Spain|
|8. Thailand||8. US|
|9. US||9. UK|
|10. UK||10. Switzerland|
From the quarterly outbound search trends for North America:
Top Five Destinations
- New York
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
From the quarterly outbound search trends for Latin America:
Top 5 Destinations
- New York City
- Los Angeles
From the quarterly outbound search trends for Europe:
Top 5 Destinations
- Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- NYC/Paris (tied)
From the quarterly outbound search trends for the Middle East and Africa:
Top 5 Destinations
From the quarterly outbound search trends for Asia Pacific:
- Hong Kong
From the Q3 Search Trends for North America: Top 5 Destinations, Short-Haul and Long-Haul
|1. London||1. Las Vegas|
|2. Cancun||2. NYC|
|3. Paris||3. Miami|
|4. San Juan||4. Los Angeles|
|5. Dublin||5. San Francisco|
North America—Travel Changes throughout the Summer: How do vacations change over the course of the summer months? Sojern looked at the top 10 searched destinations for North American travelers throughout the Third Quarter (July, August, and September) in order to see changes in travel behavior:
Top Destinations for North America throughout the Summer
|3||Los Angeles||Los Angeles||Los Angeles|
|7||San Francisco||Boston||San Francisco|
|9||Las Vegas||Toronto||Washington, D.C.|
From the Q3 Search Trends for Europe: Top 5 Destinations, Short-Haul and Long-Haul
|Top 5 Destinations Short-Hall||Top 5 Destinations Long-Haul|
|1. Palma de Mallorca||1. NYC|
|2. Barcelona||2. Bangkok|
|3. London||3. Los Angeles|
|4. Ibiza||4. Bali|
|5. Madrid||5. Miami|
From the Q3 Search Trends for Asia: Top 5 Destinations, Short-Haul and Long-Haul
|Top 5 Destinations Short-Hall||Top 5 Destinations Long-Haul|
|1. Singapore||1. London|
|2. Tokyo||2. Paris|
|3. Bangkok||3. NYC|
|4. Taipei||4. Los Angeles|
|5. Osaka||5. Honolulu|
A Note on Methodology: Sojern’s quarterly insights reports are based on the analysis of more than a billion traveler intent data points, obtained through Sojern’s unique partnerships with some of the world’s most renowned travel brands. Its analysis is based on airport level data which is then aggregated to countries and regions. All of the insights are based on very specific data sets as provided by Sojern’s data partners. Sojern’s data is rounded to the nearest whole number for readability and therefore not all charts and graphs will add up to 100 percent. The data provided are not a complete view of all global traveler information, as different data sources provide additional views of traveler behavior.
Final Edition of the IPW 2016 Photo Album
June 22, the final day of IPW 2016 in New Orleans, seemed to trigger a collective burst of pent-up energy as buyers and suppliers worked feverishly to complete their business appointments and then went to the New Orleans Riverfront and Mardi Gras World for a memorable closing night party.
What Do New Trends in Indian Travel Mean for USA?
A recently released report on travel trends in India by the country’s dominant travel company, Thomas Cook India (it is owned by the Fairfax Financial Holdings Group, which also owns SOTC Travel Services—formerly Kuoni India), provides interesting insights into how Indians traveled this summer, including new trends observed, and new destinations which came up on the travelers’ radar. We’ve isolated some highlights of the report, which augur well for those who are marketing and promoting their travel product in India, which has grown in Visit USA business to the point that it is now the No. 9 overseas source market for the U.S. inbound tourism industry. The highlights follow.
—Destination Favorites: USA saw strong interest with marked uptake for New York, San Francisco and LA (due to an extension of VFR travel); also Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Florida. This summer witnessed high demand for Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, UK, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia. Short hauls were a clear “flavor of the season” with Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong-Macau and Bali trending; with newer entrants like Korea, Japan, and China emerging.
—Seasonality Trends … an Extended Summer: A unique trend specific to Summer 2016 was that of an extended summer season across source markets. Typically, India’s peak summer travel season for West and South India covers April and May. However, this season, saw demand extending into the months of June and July courtesy varying vacation periods across school boards—starting as early as mid-March. This has seen cascading demand into of the months of June, July & August
—Early Bookers: More than 39 percent of Indian travelers were early planners this year, planning almost 120 to180 days prior to departure and opting for long haul destinations such as the USA, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Considering a number of long weekends in 2016, more than 66 percent of Indian travelers preferred combining public holidays with personal leave. While 65 percent of Thomas Cook India customers opted for International tours, 35 percent preferred domestic holidays.
—“Slow Travel”: Another interesting observation this season was the emergence of Slow Travel with options like walking tours seeing uptake. Slow Travel is intended for travelers who appreciate the journey (as against merely the destination), are curious to learn via travel and absorb myriad experiences en route. Village/farm stays in Switzerland and leisurely hiking, along with cycling tours in Europe also saw growth, Slow Travel seemed to offer” work weary corporate India” a neat outlet for rest and rejuvenation, to bond with loved ones and reconnect with their inner self for a spiritual refresh
—Visa on Arrival/No-Visa Destinations saw Uptake: Over 31 percent Indians were last minute travelers this season and in an attempt to expedite the planning-booking process, opted for no-visa destinations or those that offered visa-on-arrival (VoA) like Maldives, Hong Kong, Bali, Mauritius, Cambodia, Jordan, Kenya, Thailand.
—Growing Demand for Soft Adventure/ Experiential Travel: Original and immersive experiences were high on the travel agenda. Indians seemed curious and “raring to go” on an adventure whether it was experiencing soft adventure such as snorkeling, hiking/mountain biking, going volcano climbing, sampling new cuisines or cooking with local chefs and shopping for fresh produce and wines in destinations as varied Italy, France, Malaysia or Spain. Also, unconventional locales and unique stay accommodation, with Airbnb trending strongly.
—New Travel Segments: Ad-hoc groups ruling the roost, emergence of common interest groups; opting for van tours: Significant and growing demand (35 percent) was evident for ad hoc groups of friends/colleagues – especially in the young professional segment (25-35 years). These extended groups/like-minded people/alumni groups connected via social media, traveled for common interest tours such as cycling in Scandinavia and Amsterdam, marathons in Boston, Berlin etc., and wildlife expeditions to South Africa, women-only tours to Thailand, Malaysia for culinary experiences. What also featured strongly was preference for van tours especially in Europe.
—Self- Drives Emerged as a Favorite Option, especially for honeymooners and DINKS, with destinations such as the USA New Zealand, UK, Scotland and New Zealand topping the list.
—Average Holiday Stay for Summer 2016: 6-10 days for short hauls and 14 to 20 days for long hauls. Average travel budget allocated by Indians this year for domestic travel was $525 per person; $900 per person for short-haul international getaways and $2,250 to $4,500 for international long-haul vacations.
China Study Reveals Shifts in Destination Preferences, Traveler Services
The fifth annual edition of the Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM), which has come to be regarded in the tour and travel industry as the authoritative, non-proprietary source of information on the world’s largest source market for international travelers, shows that the United States is still a popular destination for Chinese travelers, but that Chinese travelers face some real challenges.
The two biggest challenges facing those providing accommodation (prepared by Hotels.com, the CITM has an additional, special focus on hotel) to Chinese travelers are a lack of Mandarin-speaking staff and of China UnionPay card facilities. These are not only the most important services demanded by Chinese travelers, according to the survey, but seen as areas in pressing need of improvement. Other highlights from the CITM include the following:
—The top spenders from China are more sophisticated than the average, valuing experience (comfort, star rating, facilities and hotel services) above price.
—Most Chinese travel with friends and family, with nearly half taking their children. Only a small proportion of travelers have a backpacking experience.
—Short-haul countries were most popular with Chinese travelers in the past twelve months, with South Korea ranking first, followed by Japan, Hong Kong/Macau, Taiwan and Thailand.
—But the future seems set for a mixture of short and long haul destinations, with Australia number one in the travelers’ wish lists, followed by Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and the Maldives.
—When planning their next trip, Chinese travelers are particularly taking into account safety, sightseeing, dining and ease of visa applications, with the currency of the intended country not generally a factor.
The Inbound Report has prepared the following tables based on information furnished in the CITM report.
Most Popular Countries/Regions for Chinese Travelers According to Hotels.Com China Website
|Country & Rank 2014||Country & Rank 2015|
|1. USA||1. USA|
|2. Thailand||2. Thailand|
|3. Hong Kong||3. Japan|
|4. Japan||4. Hong Kong|
|5. Taiwan||5. Taiwan|
|6. South Korea||6. Australia|
|7. France||7. South Korea|
|8. Australia||8. France|
|9. Italy||9. Italy|
|10. UK||10. UK|
Most Popular Cities for Chinese Travelers According to Hotels.Com China Website
|City & Rank 2014||City & Rank 2015|
|1. Hong Kong||1. Hong Kong|
|2. Bangkok||2. Bangkok|
|3. Taipei||3. Phuket|
|4. Phuket||4. Tokyo|
|5. Seoul||5. Taipei|
|6. NYC||6. Las Vegas|
|7. Las Vegas||7. NYC|
|8. Los Angeles||8. Seoul|
|9. Tokyo||9. Los Angeles|
|10. Singapore||10. Chinag Mai|
When it comes to the countries seen by Chinese travelers as the most welcoming, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong came out tops.
Most Welcoming to Chinese Travelers
|Destination & Rank||Percentage|
|2. South Korea||11%|
|3. Hong Kong||8%|
Spending Power: The Chinese are among the biggest spenders on tourism. Outbound travelers spend $3,455 on travel a year – almost a quarter of their income. Young millennials (born in the 90s) spent the highest proportion of all, 27 percent, just ahead of the 26 percent spent by those born in the 60s.
Overall, travel spending dropped an average of 17 percent from the previous twelve months. The top spenders spent three times more than the average traveler, despite having tightened their belts spectacularly, down 68 percent. But the future looks promising, with one-third of travelers expecting to spend 30 percent more in the coming year, particularly on dining and entertainment.
Most Considered Options to Chinese Travelers when Selecting a Destination
|Ease of visa application||7%|
|Value for money||7%|
|Good Public Transit||3%|
|Quality of Accommodations||3%|
|Hospitality of Locals||3%|
|Inspired by Drama/Film||2%|
Need for New Products and Services: As Chinese travelers become more sophisticated, hotels need to increase the rate at which they provide new services. While safety, comfort, star rating, facilities and price are still top of the list of important factors, they dropped each five percent on the previous year.
Chinese travelers had a number of other demands for services that were listed as being not only important but greatly in need of improvement, including UnionPay facilities, Chinese restaurants on-site, Mandarin-speaking staff and app-based customer service. UnionPay is by far the most preferred means of payment, listed by 66 percent of respondents
Preferred Payment Method among Chinese Travelers
|Method of Payment||Percentage|
Services that are Important to Chinese Travelers but Need Improvement
|Mandarin speaking staff||15%|
|China UnionPay facilities||13%|
|Chinese restaurant on site||10%|
|Chinese TV programs||10%|
|Local transport arrangement||8%|
|App-based customer service||8%|
|Mandarin travel guides||8%|
Type of Digital Equipment Used by Chinese Travelers
|Type of Digital Equipment||%|
Purposes of Travel of Chinese International Travelers
|Visiting Friends and Relatives||16%|
Main Activities of Chinese Travelers when Abroad
|Visit museums/art galleries||15%|
|Visiting the countryside||12%|
|Organized local tours||12%|
|Sports event participation||4%|
|Watching sports events||4%|
FIT vs Groups: When it came to how people traveled in the last year, almost half (49 percent) said independent travel; 40 percent with a tour group and 40 percent with a semi-packaged tour. Although tour group travel was up 6 percent on the previous year, the trend still appears to be in the direction of greater independence, with slightly more people saying they would like to travel independently or in a semi-packaged tour group in the future, and slightly fewer with a tour group. Backpacking was the least popular travel style, with only 4 percent selecting this – though 6 percent are looking to this for the future.
|Type of Travel||%|
|Free and Easy||49%|
|Private luxury tour||8%|
Time Spent Planning Ahead of Actual Travel
|Window of Time||%|
|Less than one month ahead||10%|
|1 month ahead||33%|
|2-3 months ahead||38%|
|More than 3 months ahead||19%|
Source of Travel Information
|Source of information||%|
|Online accommodations website||44%|
|Friends and colleagues||44%|
|Online review sites||43%|
|Searching on mobile phone||28%|
How They Book: The increased use of online research and booking methods in part reflects the growing sophistication of the Chinese traveler in comparing costs. The following tables reflect this.
Preferred Booking Channels among Chinese Travelers
|Online travel agent (OTA)||74%|
And from the above …
Preferred Booking Mode with OTAs
|Website on Desktop||19%|
Preferred Booking Mode with Travel Agency
Preferred Booking Mode with Hotel
|Website on Desktop||3%|
Notes on the Methodology: The CITM is based on research involving both Chinese international travelers and hoteliers around the world, combined with Hotels.com’s own proprietary data and other research.
For the travelers’ survey, Hotels.com used Ipsos, a world leader in market research, which in May 2016 conducted interviews with 3,000 Chinese residents, aged 18–54 years, who had traveled overseas in the past 12 months. A Computer-assisted Web Interviewing technology was used. The representative sample consisted of men and women from a number of different-tiered cities.
The travelers were asked about travel behavior, booking methods, accommodation choices and many other aspects of their travel.
To complement this with the opinion of hoteliers, Hotels.com carried out a global survey of more than 5,800 Hotels.com accommodation partners, also during May 2016. The 37 participating countries were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, the USA and Vietnam.
Figures on spending, including prices paid for hotel rooms, are quoted in Chinese Renminbi (RMB) and their US dollar equivalent wherever possible. Unless otherwise indicated, the RMB–US$ exchange rate used in this survey is US$1= RMB6.5386, the rate on May 18 2016, the mid-point of the field research.
Two Companies Dominate Annual “Power List” of Travel Agencies
One of the most referred-to lists in the U.S. travel and tourism industry is Travel Weekly’s “Power List” of travel agencies. The publication recently released its 2016 edition, and the Inbound Report has highlighted the trends noted in the new list, adding a perspective or two of our own. From the report:
—It had seemed likely that we might see a change at the top of the Power List this year as a result of Priceline Group’s momentum in the last few years. Moreover, in last year’s ranking the top two were practically neck and neck, with Expedia Inc. at $50.4 billion in annual travel sales and Priceline at $50.3 billion.
—Expedia has maintained its position at No.1, partly through aggressive expansion, such as the takeover of Travelocity and Orbitz Worldwide (No. 7 last year.). In the 2015 Power List, the top two were practically neck and neck, with Expedia Inc. at $50.4 billion in annual travel sales and Priceline at $50.3 billion.
—There were 21 on the list—the same number as last year—reporting sales of more than $1 billion. The top five agencies in the Power List collectively realized nearly $200 billion in travel sales in 2015.
—Acquisitions were part of the continuing consolidation in the industry that results in the departure of some names even as new agencies joined. World Travel Service (No. 34 last year), was acquired by No. 5 BCD Travel. Teplis Frosch, which last year was No. 56, has been totally absorbed by No. 17, Frosch. (A longtime member of the list, Montrose Travel, was acquired by Corporate Travel Management, but since the deal was not completed until Jan 1, 2016, the two retain their separate rankings on this year’s list at No. 41 and No. 42, respectively.
—There was even a rare instance of a company that split, with both resulting enterprises on the list: American Express Global Business Travel, at No. 3, and American Express Travel, at No. 8.
—The New York City Metropolitan Area leads all other regions in the USA with 10 agencies on the Power List.
—The blurring of the line between B2B, B2C, inbound and outbound is underscored by the prominence of three major U.S.-based agencies of large Japanese companies on the list: JTB Americas (No. 19); H.I.S. USA (No. 31); and Kintetsu International Express (No. 44).
—There has been a strengthening of host agencies (companies that serve as the “host” for contractors—usually home-based agents), even if some companies don’t like the term, “host agency.” Travel Planners International, for example, prefers the term “collection of specialists.” Among those on the list with high percentages of hosting were Travel Leaders Group (No. 9), Travizon (No. 26), Avoya Travel (No. 35), Cruise Planners (No. 36), Travel Experts (No. 38), Travel Planners International (No. 42), Uniglobe Travel Partners (No. 43), OutsideAgents.com (No. 54), Global Travel International (55), and KHM Travel Group (No. 58).
—Another trend revealed in the list was globalization, either through opening offices abroad or by affiliating with global companies. At the same time, family-owned agencies continue to maintain a strong position, such as Valerie Wilson Travel (No. 33), Balboa Travel (No. 45), Frosch (No. 17), Avoya (No. 35) and Cain (No. 57).
—It’s not only No. 1 and No. 2 that specialize in leisure travel. A number of leisure-dominant agencies continue to thrive as customers increasingly turn to agents.
—In addition, meetings and incentives seem to have finally returned in force. On the other hand, some agencies reported they were already seeing a slowing in corporate travel this year.
Travel Weekly’s 2016 Power List
Name of Company & Website Corporate Headquarters 2015 Sales
A1. Expedia Bellevue, Wash. $60.8 billion
www.expediainc.com 2. Priceline Group Norwalk, Conn. $55.5 billion
www.pricelinegroup.com 3. American Express Global Business Travel Jersey City, N.J. $30 billion
www.amexglobalbusibesstravel.com 4. Carlson Wagonlit Travel Minneapolis, Minn. $24.2billion
www.carlsonwagonlit.com 5. BCD Travel Utrecht, Netherlands $23.8 billion
www.bcdtravel.com 6. HRG North America New York, N.Y. $16 billion
www.hrgworldwide.com 7. FC USA Ramsey, N.J. $13.4 billion
www.us.fcm.travel 8. American Express Travel New York, N.Y. $5.1 billion
www.amextravel.com 9. Travel Leaders Group Plymouth, Minn. $4.32 billion
www.travelleadeersgroup.com 10. Fareportal New York, N.Y. $4.1 billion
www.fareportal.com 11. AAA Travel Heathrow, Fla. $3.8 billion
www.aaa.com 12. Corporate Travel Management Brisbane, Australia $2.88 billion
www.travelctm.com 13. Travel and Transport Omaha, Neb, $2.8 billion
www.travelandtransport.com !4. Altour New York, N.W. $2.51 billion
www.altour.com 15. Direct Travel Centennial, Colo. $1.54 billion
www.dt.com 16. World Travel Exton, Pa. $1.45 billion
www.worldtravelinc.com 17. Omega World Travel (tie) Fairfax, Va. $1.35 billion
www.omegatravel.com 17. Frosch (tie) Houston, Texas $1.35 billion
www.frosch.com 19. JTB Americas Torrance, Calif. $1.33 billion
www.jtbamericas.com 20. Ovation Travel Group New York, N.Y. $1.12 billion
www.ovationtravel.com 21. World Travel Holdings Wilmington, Mass. $1.01 billion
www.worldtravelholdings.com 22. ATG New Albany, Ohio $820.1 million
www.atg.travel e 23. International Cruise & Excursions (ICE) Scottsdale, Ariz. $704 million
www.iceenterprise.com 24. Vision Travel Toronto, Ont. $675 million
www.visiontravelca.com 25. Adelman Travel Group Milwaukee, Wis. $656.9 million
www.adelmantravel.com 26. Travizon Woburn, Mass. $601 million
www.travizon.com 27. Christopherson Andavo Travel Salt Lake City, Utah $552 million
www.cbtravel.com 28. CheapCaribbean.com Addison, Texas $540 million
www.cheapcaribbean.com 29. Worldview Travel Santa Ana, Calif. $470 million
www.worldviewtravel.com 30. CorpTrav Management Group Lombard, Ill. $461 million
www.corptrav.com 31. H.I.S. USA New York, N.Y. $399 million
www.his-usa.com 32. Travel Store Los Angeles, Calif. $394.4 million
www.businesstravelstore.com 33. Valerie Wilson Travel New York, N.Y. $377 million
www.valeriewilsontravel.com 34. Fox World Travel Oshkosh, Wis. $362.6 million
www.foxworldtravel.com 35. Avoya Travel Fort Lauderdale, Fla. $350 million
www.avoyatravel.com 36. Cruise Planners, an American Express Representative Coral Springs, Fla. $340 million
www.cruiseplanners.com 37. Professional Travel Cleveland, Ohio $336.7 million
www.protrav.com 38. Travel Experts Raleigh, N.C $325.6 million
www.travel-xperts.com 39. Shorts Travel Management Waterloo, Iowa $318 million
www.shortstravel.com 40. Global Crew Logistics Miami Beach, Fla. $310.8 million
www.globalcrewlogistics.com 41. Montrose Travel Montrose, Calif. $301.5 million
www.montrosetravel.com 42. Travel Planners International Maitland, Fla. $258 million
www.travelplannersinternational.com 43. Uniglobe Travel Partners Mount Arlington, N.J. $247.8 million
www.uniglobetravelpartners.com 44. Kintetsu International Express New York, N.Y. $244 million
www.kintetsu.com 45. Balboa Travel San Diego, Calif. $235.3 million
www.balboa.com 46. Atlas Travel & Technology Group Milford, Mass. $228 million
www.atlastravel.com 47. CI Azumano Travel Virginia Beach, Va. $211 million
www.ciazumano.com 48. The Appointment Group Los Angeles, Calif. $210 million
www.appointmentgroup.com 49. Gant Travel Management Bloomington, Ind. $191 million
www.ganttravel.com 50. Travelink, American Express Travel (www.travelink.com) Nashville, Tenn. $173.5 million
51. Amtrav Calabasa, Calif. $166.1 million
www.amtrav.com 52. Conlin Travel Ann Arbor, Mich. $140.1 million
www.conlintravel.com 53. Creative Lodging Solutions Lexington, Ky. $137.40
www.yourcls.com 54. Outsideagents.com Jacksonville, Fla. $134.6 million
www.outsideagents.com 55. Global Travel International Maitland, Fla. $129 million
www.globaltravel.com 56. Crucon Cruise Outlet Plus Moultonborough, N.H. $127.6 million
www.crucon.com 57. Cain Travel Boulder, Colo. $122 million
www.caintravel.com 58. KHM Travel Group Brunswick, Ohio $115 million
Methodology: The Power List 2016 questionnaire was sent earlier in 2016 to roughly 70 companies that had appeared on the list in previous years, had been in the news because of growth via acquisitions or other reasons or had contacted Travel Weekly believing that they qualified. To qualify for the list, a company had to have a minimum of $100 million in sales in 2015.
For purposes of the survey, sales are defined as gross sales of travel products worldwide, whether to consumers or to corporate travelers; the company must be the merchant of record on the transaction from a supplier’s perspective. At least 15 percent of the sales volume must have been generated in the U.S.
Travel Weekly requested that gross sales volume, the primary number for ranking, be certified by the company’s owner, CEO or CFO. In a small number of cases, certification as made by an executive at the vice presidential level but with financial oversight.
In one case, BCD Travel, sales totals are based on publicly disclosed information because the company did not respond to the survey. Several companies that may have qualified opted not to participate. They include Loyalty Travel and AdTrav; both appeared on the list in 2015 at No. 17 and No. 42, respectively.
While all cooperating entities on the list did certify sales (or made them public), readers must keep I mind that even those numbers are difficult to verify because the great majority of travel sellers are privately held and thus are under no obligation to disclose financial data.
Also, there is no commonly accepted standard for calculating sales volume, and there is no clearinghouse in the U.S. that tracks non-airlines sales, as does the Airlines Report Corporation (ARC) for airline sales.
Where possible, Travel Weekly sought to confirm accuracy in the figures by referring to other data and to articles published in the past year. The publication also reviewed responses for consistency and used whatever resources it had at its disposal to ensure accuracy.
The questionnaire on which the rankings were based also included questions involving sales figures; ARC sales; travel-related subsidiaries; percentage of sales from business and leisure; and corporate structure. There were several open-ended questions about recent and planned developments to which companies could reply in any way they felt appropriate.
HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
Dineene Bradley has retired from her post as vice president of tourism development for the Louisville CVB. She is a veteran of more than 25 years in the travel and tourism industry, with more than 16 years spent with the Louisville bureau. Before joining Louisville, she had served as executive director of the Bardstown Nelson County (Ky.) Tourist Commission.
André Witschi, a former head of Steigenberger Hotels and Accor Hotels Germany, has taken over as interim head of Thomas Cook’s Hotels & Resorts unit, replacing Karl Schattmaier who has retired. Witschi has joined the Group Management Committee and will run the unit until a permanent replacement is found.
Markus Leutner, a long-serving product manager at Thomas Cook Germany, who managed the company’s short-haul products for five years and also headed Thomas Cook Switzerland, is now director of product and contracting for Düsseldorf-based Anex Tour Germany. The Turkish-owned group operates Anex Tour, a major tour operator in Russia specializing in Turkey holidays, and also Azur Air, a charter airline with 17 Boeing jets that flies from Russia and Ukraine to diverse holiday destinations in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.
Jo Hickson has been appointed by Tui UK and Ireland as the company’s first head of innovation.
Hickson, who started her career on TUI’s graduate program, joins from Home Retail Group, the parent company of Argos and Habitat, where she held the same position. In her new role, she will run the newly-created TUI Holiday Lab, the company’s center of innovation and collaboration. Launched in March this year, the TUI Holiday Lab is tasked with “exploring and developing new and emerging technologies that will enhance the holiday experience for customers.”
Travelport has appointed Guy Snelgar as commercial director to lead its UK sales and account management teams. He replaces Paul Broughton, who was promoted to managing director for UK and Ireland after Simon Ferguson was made vice president and managing director of Northern Europe. A 25-year veteran of the travel and tourism industry Snelgar worked at Travelport (it was then Galileo) at the very start of his career, as account and sales manager. Most recently he was head of sales at Diners Club International.
Jane Atkins, sales and product director for SuperBreak, is succeeding Zena Hill as chairman of Tipto (Truly Independent Travel Organization), the supplier funded group of 20 major agencies that sponsors special events and other meet-up and sales and marketing opportunities for travel agencies in the UK. SuperBreak, which specializes in short-break product, has been a member of the Tipto for 18 years. Atkins’ appointment follows the decision by Hill to step down to enable her to spend more time with her family after holding the position for four years.
Greg Nacco has been named vice president of business development of Food & Wine Trails, which specializes in exclusive culinary tours. The company became an independent division of Edelman Travel earlier this year. Prior to joining Food & Wine Trails, Nacco held positions in sales and marketing, group development and operations with Cruise Specialists and Golden Bear Travel, affiliates of Travel Leaders and American Express respectively.
The San Diego Tourism Authority has announced today that Candice Eley has been appointed director of communications. She has been with the agency since January 2011, having started as public relations manager. Eley has also operated her own photography business for the past 15 years.
Janet Parton has been appointed head of sales for Cosmos Tours. Parton will be responsible for sales strategy for both Cosmos Tours & Cruises and river cruise operator Avalon Waterways, as head of sales. She will also oversee relationships with agents and third-party distributors. Parton who comes to Cosmos from MSC Cruises, where she was head of sales, previously worked for Thomas Cook and Carnival UK, will be reunited with former MSC executive director Giles Hawke, who is now chief executive of Cosmos Tours.
Eduardo Rebello de Andrade has been appointed as vice president and general manager of Latin America for Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). He will assume his new position on Sept. 1, 2016. Rebello de Andrade joined CWT in 2002 as CEO of Portugal and in 2007 moved to Spain to fill the position of Director of Operations and Business Travel. In 2012 he was promoted to CEO of CWT Spain.
HCorpo, the French bedbank, has promoted Laetitia Pairigouas to the post of sales manager. She joins the team that works on key accounts of the company, under the direct responsibility of Aurelian Rodriguez, director of sales. Pairigouas joined the company in October 2014.
The Las Vegas CVA has announced “a great and full come back” on the French market, with a full representation that began last month. TQC Agency, member of GroupExpression, in charge of the public relations for the CVA since 2014, will now be in charge of the full representation. Thus, the agency will be back on a 100% percent basis on the French market, via a 360°degree promotion: press and public relations, B2C actions as well as a full program of B2C activities scheduled for the end of the year and early 2017.
After rejecting several acquisition offers in recent months, UK tour operator Jac Travel, backed by the London-based private equity firm Vitruvian, has hired investment bank Evercore to handle takeover tenders. Two years ago, metasearch site Skyscanner, bought a 55 percent stake in JacTravel. Its management owns 45 percent, meaning a potential deal could see its top bosses, including chief executive Terri Williamson, share out more than £100 million ($133 million).