Chris Collinson—A Practical Response to the Coronavirus
Since the coronavirus siege has dominated every thought, word and deed of travel and tourism industry professionals worldwide, each issue of INBOUND has urged our readers to check regularly with the US Travel Association for up-to-date information and resources to help us cope with and, eventually, prevail in our battle with this virus.
While the siege continues, however, we have business to conduct. That is what our industry is all about. Exemplifying this approach, Chris Collinson, president of Connect, last week penned a letter to the industry on what Connect is doing to ensure that those planning on taking part in its Connect 2020 event this summer in New Orleans will be able to do so with the confidence and the assuredness they should expect. Here, uncut, is what Collinson tells readers and prospective delegates:
Dear Valued Partner,
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We felt it was important to share our response to COVID-19, better known as coronavirus, as concern grows. Above all else, know we are committed to taking a leading role to offset the disruption in the events and travel industry.
Coronavirus will affect events for the near term, but this is not the first issue to cause the industry to adapt. Americans learned to travel with more security measures after 9/11. Individuals and businesses spent money differently in the wake of the Great Recession. Similarly, travelers will now adjust to new and different ways companies address the dangers of diseases like coronavirus. This is why Connect is taking several steps to create the safest and cleanest industry show.
Because health and safety are our top priorities, here are the ways we are protecting you in August.
—Connect is working with a health consultant, a world-renowned expert in the areas of immunology and infectious diseases who has decades of experience at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Connect will work with this consultant throughout the planning and execution process of our event.
—We will partner with a local health provider to conduct well checks on each attendee before they enter the convention center. If a person has a high temperature, they will be denied entry into the conference.
—We will change the way we provide F&B. This may include serving individually wrapped products. We understand this will increase waste, but in the short term, it is the best course of action.
—Surfaces inside the convention center will be wiped down with Clorox twice per day during the event.
—We will increase the number of hand sanitizers around Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
It is important for us to take these steps because Connect 2020 is important to you, just like you are important to Connect. We owe it to cities and hotels affected by the outbreak. Events like ours are vital to staff like housekeepers and other service staff who count on our business to support their families. We take that to heart. Connect 2020 will not only help hotels and businesses in New Orleans, but those in Raleigh, Roanoke, Rochester, Reno and every destination represented at our event. By introducing meeting planners to hotels and venues to do business, we are positively contributing to individuals who rely on groups gathering in one place to conduct business. This is our passion because it is the most personal nature of our industry.
The timing of Connect can’t be better for the industry’s benefit. Full confession: We used to joke about everyone loving the heat and humidity in New Orleans in August. It turns out, viruses may be just as averse to it as us. In all seriousness, research shows that coronaviruses die faster in high temperatures and humidity. The environment in New Orleans should be a natural insulator. This, in conjunction with the steps we will be taking inside the convention center, have us confident Connect will be the safest space possible to do business. You will book new business!
We pray and hope for the wellbeing of you and your families, and for the least amount of disruption to our industry. This is a new world, but rest assured we are preparing for a post-coronavirus way of doing business. We remain committed to producing the safest show in the industry. As humans, our innate nature is to meet in-person. Events will go on and we will lead the way. It is important to you. It is important to us.
Let’s continue this conversation. Reach out to me at [email protected].
Brits: Damn the Virus! Full Speed Ahead!
Three out of four Britons still plan to travel, coronavirus notwithstanding: A survey put out just after the last issue of INBOUND was published reported that three out of four UK travelers are still planning on taking their next holiday, despite the coronavirus outbreak. The study was based on a survey conducted by Holiday Extras.
The company monitored calls to its UK call center for a week to see what concerns customers had about travelling during the outbreak. These questions then formed the basis of a survey to airport travelers. Key findings include the following:
—Most people who’ve cancelled their trips have
been forced to do so and it’s the older travelers who are most likely to be
sticking to their plans.
—Three out of four (75 percent) people who flew out of a UK airport in the last year are taking their next overseas trip as planned.
—For respondents over 40, that rises to more than
four out of every five (83 percent) still planning to travel; and nine out of
ten (91 percent) who are more than 60 years old.
—Of the over-60 crowd, those, 59 percent say they are travelling through choice. This is due to the fact the virus is also present in the UK or because they do not think the virus is present at their destination, or because they are simply not concerned.
—Sixteen per cent are travelling through necessity, either because they have to take a trip or can’t get a trip they booked refunded
—Only 10 percent of UK travelers said they have decided against all international travel during the outbreak
—Thirteen per cent said they have cancelled a trip because they’ve been forced to, for example, because their carrier cancelled their booking, because a work trip was cancelled, or on medical advice
Seamus McCauley, editor in chief at Holiday Extras, commented “People, especially those in vulnerable categories, are right to be cautious about the risks of the virus and to heed the excellent advice of doctors and other experts.”
But, he added, “Clearly the majority of UK travelers are sticking to their plans to head overseas, and the majority of those who have cancelled their plans have been forced to do so.” Holiday Extras will be conducting follow-up surveys on the subject, said McCauley
(Note: The UK government yesterday issued a statement advising all Britons to avoid non-essential travel overseas for an initial period of one month.)
For IPW Beginners and Veterans
This week marked the beginning of the period during which travel suppliers attending IPW in Las Vegas from May 30-June 3 and, provided that the event does indeed get under way, those suppliers and buyers of the U.S. travel experience will come together to sell, buy and develop the products that make up that experience.
For those attending for the first-time, IPW can be a daunting experience. INBOUND’s editor barely had a grasp of what was going on during his first IPW in 1986 in Phoenix and did not really feel familiar with the event until 1989 in—Where else?—Las Vegas. In order to spare first-timers some of grief and sense of being lost that one can feel at his or her first IPW, we got together and discussed the matter with Robert Graff, vice president of sales and marketing for Bindlestiff Tours, and a veteran of more than 20 years at IPW who lives and works out of Las Vegas, site of this year’s “big dance” for the inbound travel and tourism industry in the USA.
What follows is a rendering of our conversation from which, we hope, both beginner and veteran will benefit from the wisdom of Graff who speaks, at last count, seven languages and has a deep understanding of the cultures and business styles and practices of the people from a number of source markets—Europe, the Middle East, Asia to Latin America. Following is an excerpted version of our conversation.
INBOUND: What is the first thing you should do when someone comes to your booth?
Graff: The first thing you need to do starts well in advance of the appointment. When you sign up on the IPW appointment scheduling system, you’re requesting meetings with clients. The first thing you need to be doing is identifying the right client that you need for your business. So, you start your search through the databases, so that you understand the market that you want to focus on because there are people coming in from all around the world.
Identify the markets that you’re interested in. Identify those top clients that serve your area. identify the type, the level of clients, you are looking for. Are they group clients? Are they FIT? Are they focused on luxury? Do they focus on what type of business are you looking for? Do they come to your area? And then I would probably solicit those through the IPW system. But I would also try to reach out and track them down, say, on LinkedIn, find their e-mail addresses and reach out to the company pointing out that you requested to see them and that you would like to meet with them and just kind of give them a very short brief of who you are and why you want meet with them. Because if you’re able to get a mutual match then, automatically, you’re moving up the ladder on as a supplier.
INBOUND: What else should you do—even if it’s still before your first appointment takes place?
Graff: Yes, right! Now, you’re going to meet them face to face. There’s still more to do. You had better be reading up on their profile. See exactly what they do. Their profiles are pretty extensive. They’ll tell you exactly what the operators are looking for or what new areas they’re focusing on. And so, I would hone in on showing them how your products would be able to fit into that picture –and how you’re able offer them in a way that suits their needs.
I think you need to be cautious, though … if you’ve been doing this with several clients back-to-back … that you don’t sound like a broken record, because by the time you’re done with 40 appointments, you’ve been repeating the same thing over and over again.
INBOUND: How should you conduct your presentation? What do you do first?
Graff: Always listen to the client on what they’re looking for. I think they’ll identify the areas they’re working. Sometimes they’ll have brochures with them. They might show you the brochure, and how they use certain areas of product. You need to pick up the queues of … if they’re leading into a certain direction, then show them the products you have that would accomplish their goals and objectives. Or it could be they’re just looking for something new and interesting or expanding their products with your services. This is a chance for you to explain to them how easy it is for you to work together, how the booking procedures are going to be, how you’re able to communicate back and forth. And what forms of payment you can you can agree to with the with the buyer.
INBOUND: In the context of an environment in which touching each other is occurring less and less, how you should greet a visitor to your booth?
Graff: Well, it’s going be very interesting. Are you going to be extending your hand or not? Or is it going to be turning into an elbow bump as a way of communicating? I think that, at the end of the day, the number one form of greeting—one that you can never go wrong with—is a smile. A smile is accepted in any country around the world. Have a smile on your face as they approach you. Welcome them into the booth. Generally, it’s good for the supplier to start the conversation and to point them to a table. And then, from there, you can kind of identify exactly how the conversation is going to proceed.
INBOUND: So, what’s the essence of a presentation? What kind of material should you be prepared the buyer?
Graff: I always like to ask the client: How much did you know of our service? Or what are they looking for specifically? (They’ll identify them,) Are you a tour operator? Are you a meeting planner? What are you working on? And then you can adjust your discussion according to your presentation. I believe that less is more. Don’t think that you are going to be able to inundate someone who’s come in from halfway across the world. And if they’re going to go through 40 appointments, with everyone handing them 456-page brochures. That’s a lot of information for someone to take back. I would suggest maybe no more than a one-page flyer of some sort, or highlighting particular points.
INBOUND: How important is it to work with your DMOs and your aisle-mates?
Graff: You need to work with both of them. It’s always good to check with your DMO. Ask them what’s happening? What what new information they’re about to communicate or any specific markets that you’re trying to go after or specific clients. They may already have a relationship with someone you are going to meet with, or there may be someone with the DMO who has expertise in a specific country, such as the French or German or Italian or Chinese market. And then, they might be able to introduce you to that contact that you’re interested in touching base with. So, you have to keep them informed of the products you have so that they are identify, and they may be able to help you expedite that meeting or that face-to-contact.
You will also benefit from the suppliers who are next to you, or near you, in the same aisle, who are also exhibiting. They are there to let someone know that you are taking a bathroom break, for instance, or that you’ve gone for a coffee and will be back. It’s always great—if you’re the only one in your booth at the time—to be able to turn to a colleague in another booth and let them know that you are just stepping out for a minute.
When things begin to subside, as they do, on Wednesday, you’ll find that, since it’s always good to keep a dialogue going with a client or potential client, to have a business discussion with someone you’ve wanted to touch base with.
And be alert, even if it is just walking back to your booth with a coffee, or after lunch, during an evening functions, or during some networking time, to look at badges because you can then identify whether that person is a journalist, a supplier or a tour operator. You can tell by the color scheme
And there’s a list of all the specific hotels where they’ve been assigned. You do see certain people that way. Find out where the delegates that you’re interested in meeting are staying. And if you can stay in the same hotel, then that provides many more contact opportunities from the elevator right up to your room, to the local bar settings, to the breakfast opportunities. You’re definitely showcasing yourself and your company to the buyer.
INBOUND: Is there real value in bringing a PR person to IPW?
Graff: If you have one on your team, then the Media Marketplace (all day on Monday) would definitely make sense. There’s no one better to speak to a reporter than someone who’s probably more media-trained than you are, knows more about them, and who is more involved in that process. Sometimes, you might be handling both sides—you might be a representative from a public relations point of view, but you also be someone who is part of the marketing team at the same time. It’s important, if you’re dealing with another colleague who might be handling public relations, for you touch base.
Sometimes, you know, when your team is handling both sides of the equation, it is good to connect with the PR representative and make sure that you know what they are launching, what is new, and what is the message you are trying to communicate. Is there a target market that they are trying to reach? Is there a new language service that you’re offering those markets? Those things, I believe, are very important and a PR person helps amplify your presence at a show. And it helps when you and your colleague are on the same page.
There are times when you might be handling both sides—your representative for your company from a public relations point of view or part of the marketing team.
So, I think it’s important if you are dealing with another colleague who might be on the side. It’s good for you guys to touch base. Ask “What are you launching?” “What’s new?” “What is the message that you’re trying to communicate? “Is there a certain target market you’re after?” “Are you expecting the PR side to be able to generate media related to the new products you’re launching for specific markets?” “Are there new language services that you’re offering those?” These things, I think, are very important in amplifying your exposure at a show. It helps when you and your colleagues are on the same page.
INBOUND: How helpful is it when helps when you are part of the host city delegation. (Graff works for a Las Vegas-based company.)
Graff: I think it’s phenomenal. But it can mean a lot of pressure on the suppliers, because people sometimes forget the logistics of running around at a trade show. Does the office know that you’re around because you’re in town? Or that you’re attending a trade show? But as far as an opportunity for the host city, it definitely showcases the city and gives you a chance to showcase your products.
INBOUND: Revisiting an earlier question, sort of, because of the coronavirus issue—How should delegates handle the traditional way that so many delegates from other countries greet one another, with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks?
Graff: You know, I think I’m going take the queues from the people who are approaching. I don’t think that it’s something to be overly concerned about. But only time will tell. It definitely doesn’t hurt to have hand wipes available. Of course, you need to be conscious of how you’re interacting with someone. If it does get more out of hand, it might be my detail to leave the business card on the table for them to pick up. But I don’t think we’re headed that way. We’ll definitely find out. My gut tells me that we’re going to see a lot of very resilient Europeans who will continue with their particular traditions. Once we’re at IPW, we’re going to have to pick up the queues of the delegates we’re meeting with and how comfortable they feel. I think, definitely, a handshake is going to get you in trouble.
I think the most important thing, regardless, is that we in the travel industry need to continue showing up at trade events and trade shows. If we’re not the ones who are traveling or if we’re not the ones attending conventions and trade shows, how can we expect the traveling public to do that? It’s an important message that delegations remain strong. That the suppliers remain strong. And this will be just another virus that we’ve gone through or another event that we’ve overcome.
INBOUND: What about follow-up? When should you do that?
Graff: For me, it’s based on when they will need the information. In my meetings with some delegates, like those from Germany, that are on a one-on-one basis, if there is a specific when-would-you-need-rates-by or when-would-you-need-the-information-by request and I am told “I need this now,” you may want to launch an e-mail with the follow-up information that night. But, as a general rule, I would say that 7-to-10 days would be a good follow-up time. Give them a chance to go back home. They can deal with the inundation of e-mails they received. And after they’ve had a chance to answer them, you can have your e-mails come in.
Vegas + IPW = Increase in International Travel Market
It was in 2008, the trough of the Great Recession of 2007-2009, that Las Vegas hosted one of the four occasions for which the destination has been the site of the event. It also during this period that Las Vegas—which felt the impact of a weakened domestic travel market—made a decided move to strengthen its international position and market share so that it could better withstand the effects of downturns in the U.S. economy and in domestic visitation to the city.
One result of this decision is that Las Vegas hosted IPW just five years after the 2008 event, and is going to do so again this year. (See chart in following article for a list of IPW host cities over the years.)
Has the strategy worked? As the table below shows, during the 10-year window following IPW 2008, Las Vegas has increased its overall visitor numbers but, more important, insofar as its standing internationally is concerned, the international share of the overall number of visitors to Las Vegas has gone from 12 percent in 2009 to 13.8 percent in 2018—the most recent year for which up-to-date data are readily available. Moreover, this means that there was a 15 percent increase in international share* of the total during the same period.
Note: Table prepared by INBOUND. Sources did not necessarily use same methodology.
Sources: Statista, and Global City Travel (GCT) data model from Tourism Economics
* Also: International increased by 1.44 million or 32.8 percent increase; Overall increased by 5.77 million or 15.9 percent increase.
Where IPW is this Year, Where it Will Be and Where It’s Been
May 30 – June 1-5, 2020 in Las Vegas
Future IPW Sites
2021—Chicago, April 24-28
2022—Orlando, June 4-8
2023—San Antonio, May 20-24
2024—Los Angeles, May 4-8
Shutdowns, Launches and Hard Times
—Flybe airlines ceased operations earlier this month after the UK government failed to grant a proposed £100 million ($129 million) loan. At the same time Virgin Atlantic, part of the Connect Airways consortium that has funded Flybe, said that it could “no longer commit to continued financial support” despite its investment of over £135 million in the carrier. Comments cited in published reports placed part of the blame on the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Flybe’s operations, which provided service in the UK and Europe and served as a connector to long-haul flights. The airline was established in 1979 as Jersey European Airways. Over the years, it went through several name changes and ownerships, the last being its acquisition in February 2019 by the Connect Airways consortium. However, Flybe continued to incur losses and it had significant tax debts. It employed a staff of 2,400.
—Trapsatur, a Madrid-based tour operator that provided escorted bus tours of Spanish and Portuguese destinations, has entered into bankruptcy proceedings. The company has not ceased operations, so that it can be overseen by an administrator who will try to save it in order to sell it, according to REPORTUR, a Mexico-based trade journal connected with the Spanish trade news portal preferente.com. Trapsatur is a subsidiary of the Tenerife-based Gowaii Vacation Holding whose subsidiaries, provides online travel services such as charter flights, hotel bookings, theme parties, and entertainment services. According to news reports, Gowaii has decided to focus on its air business.
—The UK tour operator Great Little Breaks has announced plans to fill the void left by the closure last August of Super Break. The latter was a part of the Malvern Group, whose brands included both Superbreak and LateRooms, and which ceased operations. Great Little Breaks, part of Hotelshop UK, has increased its hotel inventory and is planning to add rail and theatre packages to its portfolio. In addition, the operator was planning to launch a trade portal, agents to book online. Until January this year the operator was direct-sell only.
—Oyo Hotels has announced that it is laying off 5,000 employees because of a huge decline in demand and, according to news accounts, profitability problems that have been dragging on for months. The India—based company is eliminating jobs in China, the United States and India at the direction of its main shareholder, the Japanese conglomerate Softbank, which is committed to reducing the company’s expansion program in order to focus on less aggressive and more profitable growth. “In the previous phase, we have incorporated many hotels to our platform and have built a brand,” the company’s founder and CEO, Ritesh Agarwal, said in an interview with Bloomberg in which he outlined his change of plans: “Our first objective of 2020 is to grow profitably.” The layoffs will mostly affect China, where the chain will dispense with almost half of its 6,000 direct employees after the coronavirus crisis. In addition, Oyo will also cut 1,200 jobs in India, 12 percent of the total. “In China, the coronavirus has affected us and in specific provinces, we are trying to keep the hotels open, as much as possible,” Agarwal told Bloomberg. “It’s a difficult time for our hotel partners.”
—Level, the low-cost long-haul airline that is part of the IAG group, significantly increased its losses in 2019 due to a financial crisis in Argentina and the opening of a new base in Paris that was not successful, say reports from the travel trade press in South America and Europe. From its base in Barcelona, Level serves Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Newark, Oakland and San Francisco. In the group’s annual report, CEO Willie Walsh said that “Level had a disparate year.” Walsh noted, too, that
the opening of Level’s new Paris base did not go well: “The opening of a second long distance base in Paris also proved to be more difficult than expected, although the situation improved in the second half.” Level closed the year with a negative after-tax result of €39.26 million ($44.5 million), which was almost a five-fold increase of an €8.37 million ($9.5 million) in the previous year.
Will Japan’s Rebound Withstand Coronavirus?
Most observers of the international travel market, including INBOUND, were mildly surprised with the figures on Japan’s number of arrivals that were posted in last October’s long term forecast from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) that projected a five percent increase in the number of visitors to the USA from Japan—up to 3.67 million for last year from 3.5 million in 2018. Moreover, the NTTO forecast sees a combined annual growth rate of 2.5 percent from this year through 2024, with annual visitation reaching nearly 3.9 million in 2024.
Perhaps it is perilous, when studying the data for Japan, of thinking too much in the short term. For, when it comes to Japan—which has been the number two source market for overseas travel to the Unites States for some three decades—the nation’s outbound travel has been steady most of these 30 years.
The rule about thinking too much in the short term seems applicable to the quarterly surveys of the Japanese travel trade by the Japan Association of Travel Agents. (JATA). For years now, the JATA quarterly survey has indicated that travel agents and tour operators who book Visit USA traffic have never been that optimistic about business when looking at the next six months. However, it has never been that pessimistic, either.
So, we decided to look at some of the key data for Japan through a longer-term lens. The result, when one considers the numbers in the tables that follow, is that one gets the sense that, regardless of what happens to holidays abroad by Japanese travels, it will likely recover from any plunge in numbers.
First, here is a window on the past five years of Japanese travel abroad.
Japan Resident’s/Japanese Visits Abroad by Month
Second, see the table below and take a step back and look at a window of Japanese travel abroad for more than the past 50 years. Note that, since 1995, when 15.3 million Japanese traveled abroad, there has been just one year—2001, when travel abroad came to a screeching halt after the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States—that the annual number of outbound trips from Japan fell below 15 million: the total that year was 13.3 million. Even in the trough year of 2008—in the midst of the Great Recession—there were more than 15.4 million Japanese who traveled abroad. And as the previous tabled suggested, the total increased year-on-year for five consecutive years from 2015 through 2019.
Japan Residents/Japanese Visits Abroad by Year Since 1964
Another Non-Coronavirus Factor to Consider: Japan’s steadiness and seemingly slow-but-show growth in travel abroad is all the more surprising when one considers the fact that its population is steadily declining. (Japan has the lowest birthrate among the world’s developed nations.) This means that Japan’s traveling population will decrease, too. The country’s overall population began to decline in 2011. In 2014, Japan’s population was estimated at 127 million; this figure is expected to shrink to 107 million (16 percent) by 2040 and to 97 million (24 percent) by 2050 should the current demographic trend continue.
Late this past December, Japan’s health ministry announced that the number of babies born in 2019 fell by an estimated 5.9 percent this year, to 864,000. It’s the first time since 1899, when the government began tracking the data, that the number has dipped below 900,000, according to The Asahi Shimbun.
So, Japan’s outbound travel is likely to remain steady in the future, and whatever decline there is won’t have much to do with the coronavirus.
Up, Up and Away–Germans Were in Travel Mood until …
In a normal year, the annual report, ReiseAnalyse which is released during ITB in Berlin is a much sought-after study that documents the performance of the travel and tourism industry in Germany for the previous year, and offers some observations on the near-term future.
But, as we all know, this is not a normal year. There was no ITB in Berlin earlier this month. As such, the ReiseAnalyse report that coincides the convening of ITB hardly received any notice, even though it suggests to the reader that, should the travel marketplace return to a normal pace of activity, the findings of ReiseAnalyse are encouraging—for both the domestic and international segments.
As the study described it: “Germany is in the mood for holidays. In January this year, 72 percent of the people in Germany already had definite or provisional plans to go on holiday in 2020 (vs. 71 percent in 2019). Also,
—Only 11 percent were certain that they would not go on a holiday trip in 2020 (it was 11 percent last year.
—This means that from the travelers’ perspective, the prospects for the year 2020 are very positive. This trend is confirmed by important general indicators: When assessing the development of their own economic situation, 72 percent assume that it will remain the same, 17 percent expect it to improve and 11 expect it to deteriorate.
—A look at the past year shows that demand for holidays is at a very high level. In 2019, 55 million people went on holiday, about the same number as in the previous year.
—This means that the holiday travel propensity has exceeded 78 percent, again. This indicator reflects the proportion of the population who went on at least one holiday of five days or more in 2019. —The number of holiday trips almost reached 71 million, the total volume of expenditure was over €73 billion, more than ever before. In addition, about 36 million short break travelers went on a total of 88 million short breaks with a duration of two to four days and spent almost € 24 billion ($27.48 billion).
Holiday trips and short breaks in 2019 Key figures
Basis: holiday trips (5+ days) of the German-speaking population aged 14 or over, Jan. to Dec., source: RA 2019-2020; short breaks (2-4 days) of the German-speaking population aged 14-75 years, Nov. to Oct., source: ReiseAnalyse 2019-2020
International Travel as Strong as It’s Ever Been: According to the study, more Germans than ever before have been travelling to destinations abroad:
—In 2019, 74 percent of all holiday trips went abroad (vs. 73 percent in 2018). This equates to more than 52 million trips.
—Sun & beach destinations are clearly preferred – this fits the top holiday motivation ʺsun, warmth, nice weatherʺ.
—Compared to 2018, the Mediterranean destinations were able to grow once again towards a market share of 38% of all holiday trips. Turkey, Italy and France were among the winners in 2019.
—Still, Germany remained the most important holiday destination for Germans, accounting for 26 percent of all holiday trips.
Long-Haul Trips in 2019 – Market Share by World Region
Basis: holiday trips (5+ days), long-haul destinations only; total sum > 100% due to rounding Source: RA 2011, 2020 face-to-face.
The Migration to Online Booking Continues: The structural change in holiday booking driven by digitalization is progressing: In 2019 online bookings continued to grow again. 2018 had been the first time that more holiday trips were booked online than face-to-face. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years. In terms of holiday organization, package tours and modular holidays continue to dominate over individual accommodation bookings.
Holiday Organization and Booking in 2010 vs. 2019
Organization Booking Channels
Basis: holiday trips (5+ days) of the German Basis: holiday trips with advance booking (5+ days)
-speaking population aged 14 or over of the German speaking population aged 14 or over
A Note about the Reiseanalyse: The Reiseanalyse is carried out by the FUR (Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reise e.V.), an independent non-profit organization solely dedicated to the implementation and further development of the Reiseanalyse. A team of three partners implements the Reiseanalyse: the FUR together with the NIT (Institute for Tourism Research in Northern Europe) are responsible for organizational and scientific aspects of the survey. Ipsos is responsible for field work and data processing. FUR is located in Kiel, which is about 60 miles north of Hamburg.
2019: Another Record-Breaking Year for Canada
For the most part, INBOUND news items regarding Canada usually treat the county as a market that sends travelers to the United States; we tend to forget that the country is also a North American destination, as is the USA. And, as the data below show, the U.S. is both a source recipient of, and a source provider to, Canadian inbound totals, as many travelers from abroad land in the United States, but continue on to Canada via auto, rail and other modes of transportation.
The big news from the USA’s neighboring destination/source market is that 2019 marked the third consecutive year for inbound traffic from other nations.
The preliminary data and information in the table below are for Destination Canada’s top 11 international source markets.
—Destination Canada focuses on driving international arrivals by air; year-over-year changes are now displayed for air arrivals. More detailed information, including arrivals by other modes of transportation, can be found in the Monthly Snapshot at: www.destinationcanada.com/en/monthly-tourism-snapshot
—Direct air capacity to Canada grew by 2 percent to the highest level ever, representing an additional 900 seats on inbound flights.
HODGE PODGE: Appointments & Changes
Leonel Andrade has been named to replace Luiz Fernando Fogaça as CEO of Brazil’s largest travel company, CVC. Andrade is former chief executive of the airline Gol’s frequent flyer program company, Smiles. Fogaça had worked with the company for a little over a year. The change came six days after CVC disclosed it found signs of accounting errors that could result in substantial adjustments in earn.
Susan Takano has been promoted to the post of group business development manager at Sonoma County Tourism. Takano joined the agency in January 2017 as international tourism coordinator. She was later promoted to the role of tourism development manager/international sales manager.
At Tourlane, a tech-travel company based in Berlin that is “ideal for expert-made dream vacations,” there were a series of appointments recently, including that of Leah Farmer as vice president of product. She will take care of scaling product solutions. She previously spent 16 years in e-commerce with companies of all sizes. Since its founding in 2016, Tourlane has been growing steadily and today, it has more than 300 employees.
Tony Cameron has been appointed as the new CEO of the Maine Tourism Association. A native of Maine, he moves into the role after five years as the organization’s director of marketing & communications. He succeeds Chris Fogg who resigned at the end of December. Cameron previously served as executive director of Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce and Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, as well as director of marketing and membership sales for Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, also in Maine, Dirk Gouwens has been named executive director of the Ski Maine Association. has hired Dirk Gouwens as the organization’s new executive director. He succeeds Greg Sweetser, who announced his retirement from the position last October after serving 24 years in the job. Gouwens has served as eastern regional director of the US Ski Team and executive director of the New York Ski Racing Association for the past eight years
Darien Schaefer has been appointed president and CEO of Visit Pensacola. He joins the organization from Visit Big Bear in Big Bear Lake, California where he was president and CEO. Schaefer has more than 20 years of destination marketing experience, including a tenure as CEO of Visit Lake Geneva and executive director at the Wausau/Central Wisconsin CVB/Sports Authority. Schaefer succeeds Steve Hayes, who recently became president and CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater in Pinellas County. Pamela B. Johnson, deputy director of the Lee County CVB Bureau – The Beaches of Fort Meyers and Sanibel, had been recommended for the Visit Pensacola position by a search committee, but she withdrew her name from consideration, due to personal and family reasons.
David Filipiak has been named director of sales at Fotografiska New York—the new photography museum at 22nd Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan. He is joining the attraction from his position as general manager at the National Geographic Encounter/Ocean Odyssey, where he has served for more than three years. Previously, Filipiak was director of groups and tourism at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
WestJet has announced the appointment of John Weatherill to the role of vice president, network planning and alliances. Reporting to Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet chief commercial officer, Weatherill will be responsible for the strategic growth of WestJet’s network and partnerships, including WestJet’s first joint venture with Delta Air Lines. Weatherill has been overseeing the network planning and alliance team since early January, while serving in his former role of vice president revenue and pricing management. He has been with WestJet for nearly seven years.
The Travel Corporation has announced the appointment of Adam Armstrong as the new Global CEO of Contiki. A company statement said that Armstrong will be based out of Geneva, Switzerland and will pave Contiki’s path forward, including guiding the brand towards continued innovation as the needs of the 18-35-year-old client continue to evolve. A veteran of more than two decades in the tour and travel industry, Armstrong has held various leadership positions within the cruising category across Europe, Asia, USA, Australia and New Zealand. He will be joining Contiki from his current position as senior vice president & managing director of Silversea Cruises – Australia & New Zealand.
The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism has announced a partnership with South Carolina native and country and pop music star Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish fame. Under terms of the partnership agreement, Rucker, who went to Middleton High School in Charleston and still lives in South Carolina, will appear at several major tourism draws this year, such as the RBC Heritage golf tournament on Hilton Head Island in April, and he will appear in marketing materials for the state.
Mona Juett has been appointed to serve as the deputy commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Tourism. Most recently, Juett served as the assistant director for resorts with the state’s Department of Parks. She has worked for the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet since 2007 in multiple roles, including Research Director, Legislative Director and former Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Tourism. Prior to her career in state government, Mona was the Marketing Manager for The Council of State Governments in Lexington.
As a part of an expansion of its operations in Australia, Tauck has hired a new country manager for Australia and two new national account managers, as well as expanded call center staffing that will provide 24-hour, around-the-clock service five days a week. Tauck’s newly hired country manager is David Clark. A 16-year veteran of Australia’s travel and tourism industry, Clark has held management positions at The Walt Disney Company, Carnival and Helloworld. Most recently, he served as chief revenue officer at Journey Beyond.
Crystal Kennedy is now senior national accounts director at Philadelphia CVB. With 17 years of hotel sales experience, she was most recently associate director of sales at Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. She’ll be based in Dallas to focus on customers in the Western U.S.
The Detroit Metro CVB has restructured its leadership organizational structure, promoting several directors to newly created vice president positions, including that of Renee Monforton, who is now vice president of marketing and communications. Previously, she was director of marketing and communications, a position which she held for more than 24 years.
Debbie Megna recently joined Travel Costa Mesa as destination sales executive, where she’ll be focused on bringing in new group business to Costa Mesa in Orange County, California. Previously, Megna was a meeting sales manager at Visit Anaheim.
Delphine Decle has returned to Paris-based at Jancarthier, a collection of more than 20 agencies across France. She left the group in late 2018 to participate in the creation of Passport Oceans, an online agency specializing in the islands. She has been back at Jancarthier since March 2 as coordinator of the leisure network. The new organization is now structured around Delphine Decle for the Leisure division and Véronique Vauvert for the Business division.
Lucy Rowe, an account executive with Kent Marketing—it is a marketing, communications and representation firm that operates in the South Pacific market—has been re-elected to a second two-term as president of Australia’s Visit USA organization.
Julie Pingston, a 27-year veteran of the Lansing CVB, has been named the organization’s president and CEO, prior to her appointment, she was most recently vice president and chief operating officer. Before joining the bureau in 1992, Pingston served for several years as an international tourism program specialist for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration.
Industry Job Postings
From SearchWide Global:
—Meet AC (Atlantic City) is seeking a new to find their next President & CEO. Click here for more details.
—The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new president and CEO. More details here.
—The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has an opening for a senior national accounts director in Washington, D.C. Click here for more details.
—The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation has an opening for a senior national accounts director in Washington, D.C. Click here for more additional information.
—Visit Topeka has an opening for a new president, who will also serve as senior vice president of the Greater Topeka Partnership. You’ll find more details here.
—Visit Santa Clara is searching for a president and CEO. Click here for more information.
—Destination Ann Arbor is looking to hire a vice president of sales. For more information, visit here.
—Brett Robinson Vacation Rentals has an opening for a director of IT. Click here for more details.
—The Port Aransas & Mustang Island Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce is searching for a president & CEO. For more information, clickhere.
—The Galesburg Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Illinois is looking for an executive director. For more details, click here.
—The Spartanburg (S.C.) Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking a chief tourism development officer. Visit here for more information.
—Visit Pittsburgh is searching for a new president and CEO. For more information, click here.
—Discover Lancaster is searching for a new president and EO. Click here for more details.
—In Little Rock, Arkansas, the DMO there is searching for a senior sales director. For more information, visit here.
—The Monterey County CVB is searching for a new president and CEO. Click here for more details.
—Visit San Antonio is looking for a director of market strategy. For more details, click here.
—There is an opening for a director of sales and catering at a Great Wolf Resort. Click here for specifics.
—The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (Explore St. Louis) has an opening for a vice president of sales. Click here for more information
—The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau is looking for a president and CEO. For more information, visit here.
—An international hotels & resorts company has an opening for a regional director of sales and marketing; the position is based in Vancouver, B.C. Visit here for details
—The Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new executive director. Click here for more information.
—A collection of resorts at 17 locations in the U.S. is searching for national sales managers who will be part of a national sales force targeting group business for all markets. For more details, click here.
From HARP wallen Global Executive Recruitment and Search:
—A travel company in the North of England is looking for a sales and business development professional who will take on responsibility for designing, developing and implementing tour operating strategies. Click here for more information.
—In the Northern Home Counties, a growing luxury travel company is looking for an online marketing executive. Click here for more details.
—The position of head of sales, b2b Travel with a travel and tourism company in the Northern Home Counties is open. For more details, click here.
—In the North of England, a growing luxury travel company is looking for a marketing executive in a newly created role will help the marketing manager. Click here for additional information.