Mexican Arrivals Off by More than 850,000 in First Half of Year as Trump Approval Plummets Along with the Peso
It was reported last week, that for the first half of 2017, the number of travelers from Mexico to the United States fell by 9.1 percent, equivalent to 852 thousand fewer people, compared to the same period of a year before. As detailed by the Mexican trade news site, REPORTUR, this is the first contraction for the similar period since 2013, when there was a 0.8 percent decrease, Banco de México balance of payments data show.
Does the decline in visitation have anything to do with President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated in January and has just completed seven months in office? Perhaps. The most recent Pew Research Center survey last month recorded that a record low number of Mexicans—just five percent—approve of Trump, and that he seems to be dragging down their approval of the United States as well.
“Over the past decade, U.S. presidents have gotten mixed or negative reviews in Mexico, but at 5 percent, Trump registers the lowest confidence rating of any U.S. leader in Mexico since Pew Research Center began surveying there,” the Pew Research Center said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the new data showed that Mexicans generally liked former President Obama and gave the U.S. equally high approval ratings. When President Barack Obama left office, the favorability rating from Mexicans toward the United States was 66 percent. It has been cut by more than half to 30 percent.
Weak Peso has also had an Impact: While none of the industry experts cited in REPORTUR discount the impact of President Trump on travel to the U.S. by Mexicans, they point to the continued weakness of the peso vs. the U.S. dollar. Even though the peso grew stronger against the dollar by some 15 percent during the first half of 2017, it is still down about 35 percent from what it was three years ago.
Some of the consequences of the decline in the number of visitors from Mexico are already apparent. Some will be felt later.
For instance, lift capacity has already declined with carriers closing some routes. The Mexican business and finance newspaper, El Financiero, reported that at least six routes that are no longer operating between the two countries as a result of weak passenger demand. According to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics, among these are Torreon-Houston, Toluca-Florida, Mexico-San Diego, Mexico-Tampa, Morelia-Chicago and Durango-Houston.
“Lines like Interjet, Volaris, mainly the Mexican ones, were affected, the same agencies also stopped to capture less income,” said Armando Bojórquez, president of Confederation of Latin American Tourism Associations.
Enrique Beltranena, CEO of Volaris—it is the relatively new low-cost carrier that has made significant inroads into the U.S. over the past three years—said last March that due to uncertainty generated by Trump, they would reduce frequencies on the Dallas-Monterrey, Fort Lauderdale-California, Guadalajara-Fort Lauderdale-Mexico and Oakland-Tijuana routes. As a result, Volaris has reported a 30.1 percent annual reduction in its shares on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
Finally, should the decline in visitors from Mexico continue at the same pace (-9.1 percent) through the rest of 2017, It would mean a year-on-year loss in traffic of 1.7 million visitors—or about 2.3 percent of the total of all international travelers who visited the United States last year.
Which Three States Have Almost Three-Quarters of International Visitor Market?
NTTO Data Show NYC, Other Gateways, are the Big Attraction: Perhaps there are some factors that might qualify the data, but the recently released 2016 numbers by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) on overseas visitation to U.S. states, cities and regions reveal that little headway has been made in the past several years in persuading international travelers to go “beyond the gateways” when they arrive in the United States for their holidays abroad.
In fact, nearly three quarters (73.9 percent) of international travelers chose to visit New York, California and Florida. And though there was a noticeable decline in international visitor volume last year (it was two percent overall), market share did not change significantly. (Table data are for overseas visitation: i.e., Mexico and Canada are excluded from the estimates.)
Overseas¹ Visitors to Select U.S. States and Territories 2015-2016
¹ Excludes Canada and Mexico (2)
² Only states visited having a sample size of at least 400 are displayed
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Industry & Analysis, National Travel & Tourism Office Release Date: August 2017
NOTE: This table shows only one of the 37 travel characteristics data reported on international arrivals to the U.S. Additional information may be obtained for a fee. To learn more, please visit our website:
The situation is very much the same for U.S. city destinations. Except for the fact the Boston narrowly eclipsed Chicago in 2016 (vs. 2015) in market share, the Top 10 City Destinations remained the same, with New York City Area), although Los Angeles’ market share and volume numbers were healthier than they were for other destinations—likely due to the large increase in visitors from China and elsewhere in Asia, for whom Los Angeles is the major port of entry into the U.S.
Overseas¹ Visitors to Select U.S. Cities 2015-2016
¹ Excludes Canada and Mexico
² Only states visited having a sample size of at least 400 are displayed
n/a = Estimate not available.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Industry & Analysis, National Travel & Tourism Office
Regionally, there is an ever-so-slight shift in share away from the U.S. East Coast. Overall, NTTO’s overseas arrivals figures are similar, in their direction, to the nation’s major regions. However, on close inspection, one can see that both the South Atlantic U.S. and Mid Atlantic U.S., experienced declines in market share from 2015 to 2016. Also, the Pacific Islands enjoyed an increase in share—likely due to increased overseas travel from Asian source markets.
International Trade Administration-Tourism Industries
Survey of International Air Travelers For:
2015-2016 Overseas¹ Travelers Visits to U.S. Regions
¹ Excludes Canada and Mexico
Note: Starting in 2014 the 2 digit market share estimates were used to develop the visitation estimates for each year, although we only show one-digit in the table. *
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Industry & Analysis, National Travel & Tourism Office
The Future of Outbound Travel from Japan—According to JTB.
In his latest monthly “hitorigoto” (a monologue to one’s self), Hiromi Tagawa, chairman of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) and former president and CEO of JTB sketched out a profile of the country’s outbound travel activity. While hard data were scant, Tagawa reported the following:
- The percentage of travelers comprising leisure overseas travelers in 2016 stayed at 13.6 percent, showing no significant fluctuations since 2014.
- For a third consecutive year, Taiwan ranked No 1 as the most preferred overseas destination, while Hawaii was No 2 followed by South Korea.
- Taiwan was the favorite of family, couples, friends, solo, and child-parent pair travelers.
- The destinations which travelers enjoyed best were Western Europe, followed by Eastern Europe. Five out of the ten most desired destinations were European countries and regions (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Germany, Italy and Northern Europe in descending order).
- Among the ten most desired destinations were also the USA West Coast, Hawaii (Oahu), Hawaii (other than Oahu), and the USA East Coast (in descending order).
- For 2017, Hawaii (Oahu) is expected to be the most preferred destination, followed by Taiwan and South Korea.
- The number of overseas travelers is expected to grow by 7 percent to 8 percent in 2017.
- For a tenth successive year, Italy will keep its rank as the most desired destination for travel in the immediate future. France is expected to improve its position compared to 2014 and move up a rank higher.
- In the category “Destinations which travelers would like to visit in the future,” Hawaii ranked the highest, Italy came in second and Australia was third. France lost its second place, getting down to No 4.
JTB to Use 2020 Olympics to Help Make it Global Travel Brand: Meanwhile, Tagawa’s successor as president and CEO of JTB, Hiroyuki Takahashi, said in a statement posted on the company’s website that, “In order to realize long-term and stable growth in the future, the JTB Group has renewed its resolve … of establishing an overwhelming No.1 position in the Asian market.”
But the company is not stopping in Asia, he added, asserting that “moving forward, we will engage in full-fledged development of our business model, from one that has until now considered human interactions predominantly in terms of outbound travel from Japan, to a model that is global in outlook, with a focus on Asia. We aim to create a global brand that will provide perfect moments and happiness to all our customers around the world.”
Takahashi also noted that, since Tokyo has been chosen as the host of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, “the world’s attention is focused on Japan’s unique culture, products, and services, and the number of foreign visitors to Japan is increasing dramatically. Through our global businesses, we look forward to helping achieve Japan’s goal of establishing itself as a tourism-oriented country and contributing to the development of the tourism industry.”
WTF DEPARTMENT: Survey Reveals What German Tourists Will Want in 2030. It Sounds Suspiciously Like…2017?
In its 50th anniversary issue, “Reisen 5.0,” the publishers of the German trade magazine, FVW, posed the question “What will German tourists want in 2030?” To help them answer the question, the publication asked top tourism industry executives in the country—it is the fifth largest overseas source market for the USA—for their thoughts.
Concluded FVW, travelers will want “individual holidays where everything is possible instead of standardized packages.” According to the tour operators they talked to, the journal said, “The days of satisfied customers quietly and thankfully enjoying the luxury of a foreign holiday are over. In future, German will be travel-happy individuals who want to be able to do whatever they want on their trip, according to senior managers. Tour operators see individualized offers, service and quality as key demands from tomorrow’s customers, while technology will play an essential role.” Below, we’ve digested the commentary that appeared in the FVW article.
|Stefanie Berk, chairman of the Board, Thomas Cook Germany, managing director Central/Eastern Europe, Thomas Cook||Tomorrows holidaymakers will travel more individually above all. They will use digital channels to inform themselves or to book. But they will also put more value on good advice, additional products and special service, and at the end will receive a tailor-made offer for their specific personal travel wishes.|
|Peter-Mario Kubsch, head of cultural holidays, Studiosus||Travelers will still want to make their individual and personal wishes and interests come true, especially on holiday. The convenience factor will increase further as part of this. Since customers can already buy up everything on the internet already today, they will expect even more perfect organization and extremely individualized service,|
|Marek Andryszak, CEO TUI Germany.||The most important piece of luggage for tomorrows holidaymakers apart from their swimming costumes will be a smartphone Tourists will travel paper-free, check in online in advance at the hotel, book excursions from a sun-lounger, click their reservations for evening dinner, and share their holiday experiences digitally and sometimes perhaps even live with anyone and everyone.|
|Sören Hartmann, CEO of DER Touristik Group||Travelers will use every new option that is simple and rapid, enables a lot and reduces costs. Mobility will be completely different to today. Perhaps transfers will be organized with car-sharing or with self-driving shuttles in tourist hotspots. Travelling will have to impact the environment as little as possible. Many more customers will have that in mind when making decisions in 2030.|
|Ralph Schiller, group managing director, FTI||Sun and beach will still be the most popular holiday theme. Possibly the choice for beach holidays will be wider as more countries and regions are recognizing the opportunities and potential that tourism creates, and are investing in their infrastructure and offers.|
|Gerald Kassner, managing director, Schausinsland-Reisen||We see customers in 2030 as very well informed and sustainability-oriented holidaymakers who will focus strongly on traditional values such as service, reliability and service.|
|Felix Eichhorn, president, Aida Cruises||The uniqueness of a personal travel experience will be the priority for holidaymakers in coming years. Digital communications will play a decisive role so that our customers receive the right, individualized offers.|
|Wybcke Meier, CEO, TUI Cruises||Customers will be even more experienced in travelling, will be older and more mobile. Technical progress will provide rapid access at any time. But holiday motives such as relaxation and contrast to everyday life will not change.|
|Thomas Bösl, managing director, RTK||(Holidaymakers will be used to dealing with artificial intelligence and robots as well as going on) short holidays in cyberspace.|
|Michael Buller, chairman, VIR (Verband Internet Reisevertrieb/Association of Internet Travel Agents)||In 2030, intelligent systems will ensure that holidaymakers enjoy a trip, including all its elements, that is individually designed for their tastes.|
|Bernhard Steffens, managing director, Traveltainment||The human body and digital tools will grow increasingly closer together metaphorically but also physically and so the digital identity of travelers will follow them everywhere, even to the beach!|
Direct Flights to Denver Get a Boost Leading up to IPW
How serendipitous could it get? Denver receiving boost in international lift capacity at the same time it’s hosting IPW 2018: A collection of recent announcements is putting Denver, which last hosted IPW in 1991, in an ideal position to promote itself as the USA’s top Mountain West destination for international visitors. Here’s a brief checklist:
—Beginning next month (Sept. 16th), low cost carrier Norwegian Air will offer service from London’s Gatwick Airport to Denver. Initially, the flight will be twice a week (Saturdays and Tuesdays), then expand to three times a week, adding a Thursday flight, on Nov. 2. London is already Denver’s largest long-haul market.
—On Dec. 11th, Copa Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama, will launch service between Panama City and Denver and will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays using a Boeing 737-800 with 154 seats. Officially, Copa (it often appears in all caps, as in COPA) is known as Compañía Panameña de Aviación, and has become an increasingly important carrier in all of the Americas as its hub airport in Panama City connects to nearly every major city in South and Central America.
—At the end of next March (March 24th), the unofficial beginning of the peak summer travel season for the world’s airlines, United Airlines—long a major presence connecting Denver internationally—begins new service between Denver and London’s Heathrow Airport. The daily service will run through Oct.26, 2018, the unofficial end of the peak summer travel season. United’s international network to and from Denver now includes 13 destinations in five countries” Canada, Cost Rica, Japan, Mexico and the UK.
—On April 9 next year—a little more than a month prior to IPW, which takes place May 19-23, 2018—Norwegian will fill a big void in Denver’s international network by launching service to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. The new connection will operate twice a week, using Boeing’s 344-seat 7878-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Denver’s tourism officials say that the demand for travel between Denver and Paris has grown by more than 30 percent over the past year and is currently at an all-time high.
—Finally, Beginning June 2018, Edelweiss — Switzerland ’s leading leisure airline and sister company of Swiss International Air Lines — will offer nonstop flights between Zurich and Denver. More details to come.
In addition to the new service, Denver officials announced last June a massive, four-year project that will renovate its airport, consolidating ticketing operations, re-configuring security facilities and tripling concessions space.
Part Two of China International Travel Monitor: FIT Rules
A decade ago, the profile of the new Chinese market was one that comprised mostly low-cost group tours that made shopping stops an integral part of the tour. No more. The sixth annual China International Travel Monitor (CITM) put out by Hotels.com tells the reader that the soon-to-be largest outbound travel market in the world is mostly FIT. Also, an increasingly large part of the FIT market is interested in adventure and eco-tours.
(This year’s CITM bases its findings using a slightly different take on demographics. When analyzing the response of those surveyed for the report, travelers were divided into four age categories—those born after 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990 in order to provide further insights into choices and preferences of different generations. Those born after 1980 and 1990 rea also referred to as millennials. This group, also known in China as the “new generation” as distinct from the “post generation” born prior to the 1980s, is increasingly driving consumption and spending patterns of Chinese travelers.)
Methods of Travel and the FIT Factor: Along with their growing preference for long-haul destinations, Chinese traveler are choosing independent travel and more adventure rather than group travel.
It is post 60s travelers where the trend is particularly strong, with those choosing backpacking more than tripling in the next 12 months. Independent travel is particularly popular with millennials, with 64 percent of post 90s travelers and 62 percent of post 80s choosing this option.
Where They Stay: Chinese travelers prefer to stay in hotels, with 79 per cent choosing hotels over other accommodations types. Quality is important is important and the majority will stay in a three-star hotel or above. There is a shift in this trend, however, particular with younger travelers. Young millennials are showing an increasing interest in alternative accommodation types such as vacation rentals, apartments or hostels, with 29 post 90s saying they used these in the past year.
What Facilities/Amenities They Want in a Hotel:
Where Hotels Need to Improve: The CITM reports that there ae three key areas in which hotels could improve their services: Chinese-friendly payment facilities, language services and local transport arrangements, with the biggest challenge being a lack of Mandarin-speaking staff. Following is a table indicating how important specified facilities and services are to the Chinese traveler.
Modes of Contact and Types of Digital Equipment They Use—the Smartphone Rules:
Popular Destinations: Chinese travelers are spreading their wings and going further afield. This was a very strong trend in the 2017 CITM. While the Asia-Pacific area is still the most popular destination (82 percent of travel), long-haul trips to Europe and the USA have significantly increased in popularity. The number of people visiting these destinations have increased by 25 percent and 11 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year. The two destinations were particularly popular with post 80s travelers, with 42 percent visiting Europe and 29 percent visiting the USA.
Most Welcoming Destinations for Chinese Travelers
The Trend into Next Year: The trend for long-haul destinations will continue in the next year. When planning for the next 12 months, all age groups prefer long-haul destinations, with Europe at the top of the list, followed by the USA and Canada. With great proficiency in English, traveler are also favoring English-speaking countries, so Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and the USA are all on the list.
Country to Visit for the First Time in the next 12 months
And, finally …
The Top Cities to Visit in the Next Year
A NOTE ON METHODOLOGY: Hotels.com engaged the market research firm Ipsos to conduct interviews during May 2017 with 3,000 Chinese residents, aged 18-54, who had traveled overseas in the past 12 months. A computer-assisted web interviewing technology was used for the interviews and the representative sample consisted of men and women from a number of different-tiered cities.
Chinese cities are classified into different tiers based on their population, economic size and political ranking. Tier 1 includes cities such as Beijing and Shanghai; Tier 2 provincial capitals as Chengdu; Tier 3 medium sized cities such as Zhuhai; and Tier 4 smaller sized cities. The travelers were asked about their spending patterns, travel preferences, booking methods, accommodation choices and future plans, along with many other aspects of their travel.
(If you would like a PDF copy of the 2017 China International Travel Monitor, send us a request via e-mail: [email protected])
Oklahoma City at a Glance
AT A GLANCE IS A WEEKLY COLLABORATION BETWEEN ABA AND TOUROPERATORLAND.COM.
Oklahoma City at a Glance
IDEAS FOR FIRST TIMERS:
• National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
• Red Earth Festival
• Oklahoma History Center
• Myriad Botanical Gardens
• Oklahoma City Museum of Art
• Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
IDEAS FOR FOR REPEAT VISITORS:
• American Banjo Museum
• Museum of Osteology
• Oklahoma City Zoo
• Science Museum Oklahoma
• Overholser Mansion
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma City’s s rugged Western past and downtown urban renaissance have combined to create a modern metropolis that’s still rich in cowboy culture. Oklahoma City, an ABA Member that you can meet at Marketplace in Charlottte, NC
Royalty-free, high resolution photos you can download for brochures, website or proposals.
Photo credits: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
Oklahoma City royalty-free photo library click here.
For full Oklahoma City itinerary, click here.
For more information contact: [email protected]
TourOperatorLand.com is a proud member of ABA.
New and/or Interesting Product
Georgia Tourism has released a Georgia Film Selfie Spot Tour detailing local sites that have made appearances in major Hollywood films. The self-guided tour features 33 sites across Georgia’s various filming locations. Local stops include Georgia Visitor Information Center on I-95 South in Port Wentworth, Tybee Island Pier in Tybee, Wormsloe State Historic Site and Leopold’s Ice Cream, both in Savannah. Social media fans are encouraged to snap a selfie at their favorite location and use the hashtags #GeorgiaFilm and #ExploreGeorgia. The tour is the latest part of Georgia Tourism’s Year of Georgia Film Campaign, which kicked off this year. For a full list of tour sites, go to: http://www.exploregeorgia.org/film.
Virtual Reality Rules. Opened on June 24th across the street from the Empire State Building in New York City, VR World takes a new approach to the problem of adoption. VR World visitors receive a day pass with access to more than 50 different experiences. VR World is brand-agnostic, and aims to curate the best available experiences from today’s market. Downstairs, users can try Tilt Brush by Google or Fruit Ninja in VR. Upstairs, games like Superhot or rock-climbing simulator The Climb attract more traditional gamers. The new attraction has multiplayer games offer opportunities to socialize, along with a bar an event space. A separate room offers music videos and documentaries in VR. The space currently occupies three out of its five floors, leaving plenty of room for expansion. For more information, visit: https://vrworldnyc.com/.
The Hahvahd Tour (“Hahvahd,” of course, is the way locals in the Boston area pronounced “Harvard”) has gone mainstream. The first iteration of the tour was launched more than a decade ago by one-time student Daniel Andrew. It was an unofficial product, not sanctioned by the world-famous university. (There was even a tussle over its use of the Harvard brand. Harvard actually received a trademark for the word “Hahvahd,” which it now licenses to the tour group.) But, in the past several years, the informal tour made peace with Harvard officials, and even concludes its tour midst some university-sponsored gift shops. Founded by a former Harvard student and tour guide, Trademark Tours operates the Hahvahd Tour. It is now available every day of the year, with groups leaving every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the summer. Tickets start at $9.95 for a 70-minute general tour. A private tour for up to 20 people is $250, and tours are also available in other languages. For more information, visit: http://trademarktours.com/tours-of-harvard/group-tours-of-harvard/
$250 million Queen Mary Project Outlined: A new organization that has taken over the master lease of the land surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California ship has released renderings on what they hope will bring tourism to the area: a $250 million overhaul that includes an entertainment and retail complex: Queen Mary Island. Urban Commons, chosen by the City of Long Beach nearly two years ago to take over the marine complex, officially took over the lease last year under a 66-year agreement. Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons, has said the project would involve boat slips, a marina, a 200-room boutique hotel landside, restaurants, retail, possibly doubling the footprint of Carnival Cruises’ port, and major updates to the ship itself that will complement the historic aspects of the Queen Mary. Urban Commons will spend $10 million to $15 million to renovate the ship itself while an additional $250M will be needed to develop the surrounding land—monies that Woods claim Urban Commons can raise itself. According to the lease agreement, will be required to make an annual rent payment of $300,000. The percentage payment would be delivered to City Hall to the extent that amount exceeds Urban Commons’ minimum rent obligation.
Argentina Tourism Defies Gravity. Political Stability and Pent-up Demand Prevents a Decline to the US
It’s the only Major Market in Western Hemisphere that Hasn’t Had a Decline in Past Decade: Last month’s release of full-year 2017 arrivals data by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) showed red ink awash on the pages detailing of figures that detailed year-over-year declines or, at best, flat numbers, for Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.
For Argentina, however, the report for 2016 was strong: Arrivals for the year were up eight percent over 2015, and NTTO has forecast that arrivals from the market will exceed the one million mark for the first time next year. A closer look at the arrivals data for all major markets in North American and South America shows that Argentina is the only country that has avoided a year-over-year decline in arrivals for the past decade (and beyond).
How is this Happening? For the past several decades, Argentina has grown to be a reliable market, as its “travel ready” middle-class and upper middle-class population has expanded. Its economy has grown steadily, with no crisis strong enough to deter this population from traveling, except in 2014, when the economic policies of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Dec. 2007–Dec. 2015) were deemed largely responsible for record inflation, an exchange rate that punished Argentines who booked travel through traditional channels and a heavy tax on purchases abroad. Even so, the travel trade in the country adapted and incorporated the cost of many elements of a holiday in the cost of a travel package and spreading out the cost of a package over time and charging no interest.
In addition to news developments from various channels, the news portal REPORTUR.com.ar just published a thumbnail sketch of other developments and factors that suggest a steady, demand-driven increase in the number of Argentine travelers who are pushing their number of arrivals in the U.S. over the million-visitors-a-year mark. Those factors and developments include the following:
- The results of the recently released report by the research and marketing firm Minturfor the year 2016 indicated that more than 50 percent of the country’s population made a trip at least once a year.
- According to the CACE(Cámara Argentinade Comercio Electrónico, or Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce) there are 34.5 million internet users and last year at least 17 million people made purchases online, a 70 percent growth vs. last year (2016).
- This changed the habits of middle and upper middle class families, who used to spend their holidays in the same places year after year and now they exchange with national and even international destinations.The users got used to being able to travel for a few days of vacations, and then incorporated the habit of traveling to make purchases
- The favorite destinations of international travelers are Miami, Santiago de Chile and now Asunción, the capital of Paraguay. (Chile and Paraguay border Argentina.)
- A relatively new trend among travel agencies is the “shopping tour” to the USA or Chile.
- Millennials are traveling in a different way.According to a Boston Consulting Group report, 7 out of every 10 millennials now expect to become familiar with the five inhabited continents.
- Three out of every Argentine millennials who have smartphones also have at least one tourism app for their smartphone.
- Another emerging market sector comprises retired, but still active, senior citizens who have retired in their jobs, but are still very active.Through ANSES (Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social or National Social Security Administration), retirees are able to get discounts of up to 50 percent for airline flights and hotel stays.
- Lift capacity for international flights has grown steadily with most major carriers serving Argentina via Buenos Aires. But, regionally, the reach of Argentine travelers is expanding through carriers such as COPA, which is based in Panama. COPA, which already has a route between Panama City and Buenos Aires, is going connect Panama City and Mendoza, which is about 680 miles west of Buenos Aires.
- From Panama, Argentine travelers can then use COPA to connect with Boston, Chicago, Denver (beginning December 2017), Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington, D.C., as well as to Montreal and Toronto.
Receptive Finder Now Available
The new TourOperatorLand.com website that has introduced both receptive tour operators, U.S. tour operators and international tour operators to travel product and services of U.S. travel suppliers and DMOs now features Receptive Finder™—the new one-stop shopping venue designed to help both the travel trade and travel suppliers find the right U.S. based receptive tour operator to sell their products on the international travel market place.
The receptive operators, which are vetted and qualified by the NAJ Group—hosts of TourOperatorLand.com—also take part in at least one of NAJ’s RTO Summits series. The Summits take place annually in Orlando (Sept. 19-20, 2017), Los Angeles (Feb. 21-22, 2018) and New York City (April 17-18).
The Inbound Report is introducing a different receptive tour operator each week to help operators, suppliers and DMOs.
Selfie Thumbnail Sketch: Kaluah Tour is a receptive tour company based in Orlando, Florida since 2000. The company tells us, “With extensive experience, we are specializing in travel arrangements in the United States, Europe, Mid East, Asia and top destinations. We also operate programs in multiple languages for FIT and Fly and Drive travelers, leisure groups, incentives, conferences and special events. We have improved our booking tools and offer a variety of services to keep our clients ahead.”
Full Company Information:
Interested in Meeting Someone from the Kaluah Team? The company will be attend NAJ’s RTO Summit Orlando Sept. 19-20 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Orlando. Day one will be dedicated to educational sessions focused on enhancing the marketing skills of international tourism sales professionals. Day 2 will comprise one-on-one appointments between receptives and travel suppliers.
HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
Alfredo Gonzalez, who last month resigned his vice president of international sales and global development at Visit Florida, as the latter undergoes a major restructuring, has established the AG Hospitality Group, a multi-purpose consulting and marketing firm to serve clients in the leisure tourism and hospitality business sectors. Well-known in the Florida tour and travel industry, Gonzalez had been with Visit Florida for nearly three years following a stint of more than four years in a senior management position at Brand USA. Previously, he had served for more than 14 years with the Fort Lauderdale CVB.
Ardent, the Australian company that operates theme parks and other leisure tourism properties in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., has former Walt Disney executive Randy Garfield as an independent non-executive director, following a search by global recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles. The move comes after Ardent chief executive Simon Kelly told investors not to underestimate the potential of the group’s U.S. business. Garfield worked in senior roles at The Walt Disney Company for almost 21 years, including as executive vice president of worldwide sales and travel operations for the group’s theme parks. Retiring in 2014, he also served on the board of directors of Brand USA.
Denise Atkinson—the former head of sales at JacTravel, where she worked for more than two decades—has been appointed head of sales at B2B accommodation supplier Travellanda. A statement from the company said that she has been charged with “driving growth” and “taking company to the next level”.
Melissa Wade has been named senior communications director of Visit Pittsburgh. Wade previously served as public health information officer for the Allegheny County Health Department and as creative services producer and event coordinator for CBS/KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
It’s now Visit Rapid City. For the past year, the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau has worked closely with the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce to create an independent organization known as Visit Rapid City. The new name and brand is also marked by a move to new offices in Rapid City.
Boris Raoul will take up the position of CEO for the Invia Group Germany, the new name of Unister Travel, in September with responsibility for all the tour operator, flights and other portals of distribution. At the same time, he will be CEO of Invia Travel Germany, the parent company of package holidays portal Ab-In-Den-Urlaub. Raoul, who was a senior manager at FTI for 12 years, was head of Unister Travel for two years until March 2016. The Unister group declared insolvency in July 2016 following the death of founder Thomas Wagner. Rockaway Capital, owner of the Czech group Invia Group bought the former Unister Travel portals as of April 2017.
In Brazil, the entire technology area of the consolidator Rextur Advance, a CVC-owned brand, has been put under the leadership of Luciano Guimarães, who is the company’s vice president of operations and marketing. The move follows the departure of André Freller—he was one of the founders of Rextur Advance, which was acquired by CVC in late 2014—to the Technology Committee of the CVC Group.
Audrey Brooks-Wiggins has been appointed head of sales for Funway Holidays. She joins the company from Thomas Cook, where she was head of trade partnerships. Her appointment follows the departure of sales director Amanda Darrington earlier this year. Brooks-Wiggins had been with Cook since 2014 as senior account manager and going on to be head of the commercial and merchandising sales team, before being made head of trade partnerships in January 2016. Prior to that she worked for XL Leisure Group, Hays Travel, and First Choice.
Kane Pirie has been named managing director of the new bespoke tour operator Vivid Travel. Pirie is the former chief executive of Travel Republic—he co-founded the company in 2005, leaving it and the tourism industry in 2013 to serve as ambassador for the World Land Trust.
Richard Singer has been appointed as managing director of Monarch Holidays, succeeding Richard Francis who is moving to the role of deputy chief financial officer at Monarch Group. Singer was previously president for Europe at deals publisher Travelzoo, where he worked for five years. He will begin his new job on October 10.