Inbound Travel—Is the Worst Behind Us?
At least one industry expert’s reading of the data tells us yes: “The market bottomed out in April 2020. The rebound, although subtle in May, improved in June, July, and August. Month over month percent change is still down over -95 percent for most countries through August. However, the overseas volume for August of 154,000 visitors is ten times higher than the bottom in April (15,000).”
The above is just one of the different but salient notes that one picks up in reviewing Travel Market Insights (TMI), an analytic report prepared and published by Scott Johnson, TMI’s president and CEO. A one-time senior trade specialist at the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism a few decades ago, Johnson is one of those industry analysts who can look at a prism and see color combinations (in this analogy, arrivals data from the old U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office) shine through that are not readily apparent to the average eye.
Such is the case in his latest market update, “What We Know, October 2020.” Highlights of his report follow.
—Current U.S. Visitation: The 18-24 age group and, to a lesser extent, the 25-34 age group, are down less than the average overseas visitor through August 2020. Starting with the 35-44 age cohort, each older age group is down more than the previous age group. This is evidence that the older generations are less likely to be travelling than younger travelers currently. The 0-17 age group is down even more, compared with the average overseas visitor, than any other age group. This indicates family travel is lagging the most. Current Target: Young independent travelers and young families with no children.
—Business vs. Leisure vs. Education Travel: Through August 2020 visitors with a pleasure travel visa were down less than the average overseas visitor. Through July 2020 visitors with business and education visas were down less than the average visitor, yet through August both segments lagged the average. The July bump in business and education are likely tied to “must-travel” needs for core business functions and students returning for classes. The July bump in these two segments is expected to continue to lag visitors traveling on pleasure visas through 2020.
—August 2020 continued to see extreme decreases across all world regions. Western Europe and Oceania were down more than 98 percent. The Caribbean was down the least at minus 88 percent. Through August 2020, visits to the U.S. have been cut by three quarters (down 76.0 percent). Africa and Western Europe declined the strongest (down 78 percent) and visits from Eastern Europe and Central America declined the least—down 72 percent. (For INBOUND’s complete data sets for these regions, visit here.)
TSA Checkpoint—Weekly TSA travel numbers show a continued uptick:
—On March 16, 2020 passenger volume bottomed out at 3.6 percent of last year’s “throughput.”
—On September 4, 2020 the throughput rebounded to 44.1 percent.
Note: The TSA Daily Checkpoint Throughput numbers are for all TSA checkpoint travel numbers, domestic and international.
Some Summary Points:
—The travel industry will be facing a new business environment. There will be fewer choices for air travel, at first, and direct routes to major hubs will drive visitation in the beginning.
—Overseas travelers will likely focus on a central location with side trips, which means those that communicate a safe and accessible product and are easily accessible (direct flight) will benefit the most early on.
—There are casualties in the supply chain. Destinations will need to know who the buyers are in-country, what they are promoting and what is selling, and understand how the landscape has changed.
—Younger travelers are driving the trickle of growth, while family travel is currently much lower. Vacation and visiting friends and family in “familiar” destinations will help kick off the rebound once travel is deemed safe, with business and education following.
New NTTO Data: Inbound Stays Near Zero
With no exceptions, all of the top overseas source markets that send visitors to the United States and that are important to the U.S. inbound tourism industry experienced another month of anemic activity in September. China, with an economy that has fared better than of most nations through the course of the global pandemic, took solace from a confidence-building boost in domestic travel activity due to its National Day holiday period.
The cyclical nature of way the tourism product is marketed and purchased needs something to happen. Right now, demand is stuck. International air carriers have reduced capacity as they await the lifting of restrictions imposed upon them in order to expand service. But that isn’t happening.
In sobering terms, OAG describes the situation thus: “The last week has probably been one of the most depressing ever in the aviation industry as a series of airlines reported billion-dollar quarterly losses, major carriers announced large redundancy programs and more and more scheduled airlines revealed plans to cut capacity by up to 30 percent over the IATA winter season. The loss of another one million seats takes total global capacity down to 55.6 million, 52 percent of both the January base point and last year’s weekly total. “(OAG Oct. 26)
From the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), which posts the monthly figures for the USA’s top overseas source markets, has just released the key data for September 2020. They are, in effect, stuck in the same place that they’ve been stuck for the past seven months when travel bans and, lockdowns and closed borders came into effect.
Where, When Will You Get a New Job?
Travel and Tourism Expert has Words of Wisdom & Advice for the Furloughed, the Laid Off and the Part-Timers Looking for Work: As a part of its multi-faceted program aimed at helping the thousands of people who lost their positions at the hotels, attractions, restaurants, tour companies and other business as a result of the corona virus-driven pandemic, the U.S. Hospitality, Tourism, Travel and Activities (HTTA) Recovery Registry recently had long-time industry leader Antoine Berberi, CEO & principal at Cedar Hospitality Partners, to talk with hundreds of those seeking some help and direction in their search for a new start or re-star in travel and tourism.
Berberi, who has some three decades of experience in senior management positions at some of the best-known hotel brands in the world, fielded some 20 questions from those who attended the webinar. INBOUND took a closer look at a couple of his answers and prepared them for its readers. Slightly edited for clarity, they are below. (Jonathan Elkoubi, chief commercial officer for NYC-based VisitorTix and managing founder of HTTA.US, moderated the discussion and asked the questions.)
Question: How do you stay positive when all of the news around you is bad?
Berberi: You ‘ve got to work on keeping the noise away. It’s so noisy out there. And it’s very easy when you’re at home to start listening to everything that’s happening because you have more time. When you’re not working that’s all you’re doing. You’re on social media all of the time. You’re listening to every possible comment, and you’re getting worried because every day there is a possible comment. Every day someone says it’s the end of the world, it’s never going to come back. Then, somebody else will come in and say, no it’s positive, it’s OK. You got to stay upbeat by focusing on the positive and focusing on developing yourself. If you’re not able to know what to do, start learning. Start reading. Start working on developing a new talent. Start thinking about yourself in a positive way. Because it starts with you. And once you start feeling good about yourself, you’re going to be able to tune out all of those negatives.
Shaping a Resume: Be Specific in What You Want and What You Can Do
Question: Many people have been sending resumes to hundreds of companies and they never hear back. Do you have specific best practice recommendations to avoid finding yourself in such a scenario? … What does it have to do with something called ATS or Application Tracking Software?
Berberi: Words matter. When you have so many resumes now that are going out—recruiters are getting 250 resumes for every job opening—and the recruiters also limited time to go over all of the resumes. So they use systems, ATS or other systems. You know, people are found on LinkedIn through LinkedIn Recruiter, which really uses “bullying,” which is really all about the key words that you have on your resume. So, you have to look at what is on your resume. And do you have the right words?
Please: No Blanket Resumes
I suggest: don’t just have one resume that’s going to fit every job. Look at the job description. Every time there’s a job opening, there is a specific job description. Learn from the job description. Investigate the actual words themselves, and make sure that some of those words are actually on your resume.
Many times, we just send a resume … and I’ve seen that because I’ve done recruitment … and I knew people who were really good for the position, but their resumes never popped out on LinkedIn Recruiter. So, if I didn’t know them, I wouldn’t have been able to find them.
So, key words are so important, especially now when there is so much competition. Change your resume. It’s OK. Change some of the key words to benefit the specific job description. Put the letter that accompanies it … there’s always a way to add more things and add more files. Add a specific introductory letter that really speaks to the job description.
Study the Information on Your Prospective Employer’s Website
(On your cover letter) Don’t tell me what you’re good at. Tell me how you’re going to bring value to that specific job that they’re advertising. And the key words are all there. You know that those key words are there because they put them in the job descriptions. They’re in the company profile and culture. They’re on their website.
For example: What do you call the team members? Do you call them “team member?” Do you call them “associates?” “Do you call them “colleagues?” If you send a letter and use the same words that they’re using on their website, it gives you an edge because they start relating—you’re using the same words and the same meaning as they are. And that makes it a real connection.
Again, don’t just send a blanket resume to everybody—the same resume that looks the same to everyone. Try to modify the actual job description. You’ll learn from it. Do your homework, and send it specifically. On LinkedIn, there is also a feature where, if you’re applying on LinkedIn, you’re able to send a message to the actual recruiter. Do that.
There are a lot of ways in which you can differentiate yourself. If you’re applying for a job and it says, “Would you like to send a note to the recruiter, and this is the name of the recruiter …” Even if they’re not on your LinkedIn profile, you can send them a message. I’ve noticed that that if you send them a message specifically, they will respond.
So, when they’re getting all these 250 people sending them a resume. And then they see your name, so something’s going to trigger, “Oh, I like this guy. I don’t know where I’ve known him from (Maybe they’ve even forgotten that you’ve just sent him a note.), but you connected with them somehow. And you used the same words as the company …
Go specifically to the person who is going to make the decision. And you can always find out. Do your homework. It’s very easy. Call the company. Find out more. Get the e-mail if you can find it on LinkedIn. Be more personalized. Adjust accordingly to the job description. And you well get a call again. For the complete recording of the webinar, visit https://htta.us/
Building an Itinerary in Post-COVID Era
One of the most popular of Connect Travel’s series of “Staying Connect” virtual roundtables, this month’s “Connect with Itinerary Planning Experts” generated questions ranging from “What do we mean, when we say something is ‘unique’ to an itinerary?” to “How do we handle the challenge of ‘safe and clean’ to travelers who are used to a ‘hands-on’ experience?”
Panelists included: Karin Omojola, vice president of product, AmericanTours International and Sean Bayliss, president and CEO, International Tourism Resources Group. Moderating the discussion. was Shari Bailey Shari Bailey, vice president, Connect Travel, and general manager, Connect Travel Events,
“The rules are kind of different now; we’re all starting from the beginning again.”—Shari Bailey
Bayless’s Five Keys to Developing and Itinerary
Bayless said that, right now, there are five keys to developing an itinerary: (1) known your target market; (2) create partnerships; (3) know your strengths and develop around them; (4) prepare for trends that will be shaped by a post-COVID market (“It’s the big question everybody’s asking now how: Are we coming back? When are we coming back?); and (5) ensuring the bookability of the itineraries—“You can design the most beautiful itinerary in the world, but if it’s not bookable out there, it’s unsuccessful.”
Other Points Made along the Way in the Bayliss Presentation:
—Focus on your core strengths.
—If you’re looking at new markets, just do it slowly. Get to be established in that market before moving to another.
—Budgets are going to be tight for the foreseeable future so you know look at what you’ve got to spend and look at how you market this look at partnerships.
—Internationals are visiting for an average of 12 to 14 days; in some markets, up to 21 days. This is a long journey for them it’s normally a bucket list item. They want to see as much as possible. So partner with destinations surrounding you. Use all of your strengths. This increases the variety of the product, and it increases the international gateways where people can come in so that increases the markets you can operate in.
—Remember—a percentage of something is better than all of nothing. That is,if you partner with four other destinations and you have three nights out of the twelve three nights is better than nothing.
—Self-drive will be hot. The average duration of the international trip is still going to be around 12 to 14 nights. Travel will be focused on beyond the gateways. For the short term, visitors will feel uncomfortable in built up areas; also, there’s not so much open in those areas—there’s no major shows, no concerts. So, initially they will look to go beyond the gateways,
America’s Wide-Open Spaces Will Be Popular
—An outdoor-centric itinerary allows social distancing. America is known for its wide-open spaces. Such destinations offer the perfect product for the post-COVID itinerary.
—One of the key things we’re seeing and I’m hearing from operators overseas are motorhomes. I don’t think you can rent one at this point for the whole of next year.
—Even pre-COVID, people were starting to travel in small groups—you know, three couples; two couples as friends; two families because the kids are friends; that trend is growing.
—Though there will be interest in self-drive, beyond the gateways, and outdoors, people will still want to do city stays; It’s not that people aren’t going to stay in cities. They are. Remember, the average duration is four to five days.
—Home rentals will start to become popular; it’s where people can self contain in their own group if they’re traveling with friends or if it’s two families traveling together.
—Outdoor activities will become a key focus and not just because people are looking to stay outdoors, but a lot of indoor places are still not open or they’ve got limited numbers. So if you expect someone to stay four to five nights you’ve got to create enough interest of things for them to do.
Toward a Post-COVID Market
—In recovery, we’ll grow exponentially because (of COVID and) what we’ve always called the hub-and-spoke, mentality where people will be staying in the city, but they they’re staying four to five nights; they don’t want to do every day there. Rather, they will go out on certain days and I think we call it like probably like a two-to-three-hour radius that they will drive there.
—One of the perfect examples I can look at is Las Vegas. People will stay in Las Vegas for four, five, six nights. International travelers will take a Day trip to Death Valley, which is an hour-and-a-half to two-hour drive. They take a day trip to Zion—a two-to-two-and-a-half-hour drive, and then every other day they can still lie by the pool. The plus is they’re not having to pack and unpack because they’re not going to different hotels. They’re able to settle down in one place where they feel comfortable.
—International travelers will do a lot of investigation and you may not think they know about your secondary or tertiary sites but, believe me, they do. The internet has made the world a much smaller place.
Branding—What Are you Known for?
—Brand your itinerary to define who you are again. It’s not just about the itinerary it’s about branding your region—what are you known for what are your strengths? Is it food and wine? Is it national parks? Is it music? Play on your strengths. develop around your strengths but but then go into detail because that’s what creates the experience.
—Two good sources for starting to build or building an itinerary are TourOperatorLand.com, and Brand USA. The latter’s website is: https://www.visittheusa.com/traveltradeusa
—Take a look at the itineraries and how we have worked upon different regions strength to create different themes and those themes are everything from culinary, historic cultural, outdoors and more. Once you’ve looked at all that and you know what your strengths are you know what your market is you know what your theme is going to be then and only then develop your itinerary. When you’ve developed the itinerary, you go out marketing it … that’s great but do prepare with your region and with your partners. if you’re including hotels, attractions, sightseeing, ensure that those people know that they’re included and ensure they understand the international market.
—Then, there is the most crucial part: ensure bookability. You can create the best itineraries in the world, but if it can’t be booked, how do you prove a return on investment? How do you justify the budget? Where do you get stats and figures so you know?
Work with the Receptives
—Work with receptive international tour operators create worldwide awareness of your brand through consumer known and trusted channels. They work with the tour operators in those international markets that the public knows and trusts. They’re not only doing marketing and brand awareness of your product but they also educate they run familiarization tours. They make people aware and they ensure that people are selling your product properly through training and awareness return on investment. They ensure a conversion to book passengers and they provide statistics and tracking when you need to justify what you did to your boards, to your owner.
—A receptive tour operator at the international wholesaler retail distribution they’re your marketing arm overseas they break they branch out into secondary and tertiary U.S. destinations, so they’re not only focused on the known key gateways; they promote the entire U.S. That’s the benefit to smaller destinations or if you’re doing partnerships—they have the ability to penetrate in not only existing markets but also emerging markets with very little risk to you.
—The international tour operators are located overseas. They’re your sales team. They’re predominantly laser-based. They’re market specific. They’re focused. They’re based in the UK, Germany, Brazil, Australia … They are the experts in their market. They have market-specific knowledge and experience.
—Together, the receptive tour operator and the international tour operator will give you a streamlined approach to reaching international audiences through one contact.
“One nice thing with TourOperatorLand.com is that the itineraries are downloadable and each time someone downloads an itinerary you get an email with the contact of who downloaded that itinerary, so it gives you the ability to follow up with them.”—Shari Bailey
Some of ATI’s Karin Omojola’s Notes on “Road Tripping”
—Road trips will be the biggest trend for the domestic traveler from now till the summer of next year.
—Sixty-five person of U.S. travelers are right now planning to take a road trip within the next six months, and there will be a huge focus on outdoor activities.
—In the U.S., consumer confidence went from 35 percent in May to 49 percent in August and it’s obviously been continuously going up, which is great news.
—Road trips have been really popular with the international market even before COVID, provides and they’ll be even more popular when international travel returns.
—When it comes to domestic markets, which is the company’s focus at the moment, domestic travelers are really showing a great interest for road trips—(She calls it “road tripping”)—as they can travel with family and friends and create their own “travel bubble.”
—ATI’s Drive America program actually empowers the traveler to take advantage of this travel trend and its newly enhanced Drive America Road Trip building platform was actually developed as a result of ATI’s long-time partnership with AAA and the Canadian Automobile Association.
—Right now, its Drive America Road Trip is being featured by the British travel publication, Travel Mole, and is actually targeting the domestic traveler,
—ATI has just launched a Drive America campaign on Travel Mole where it partnered with Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.
—The tour operator is also promoting a road trip itinerary from Las Vegas that goes to Bryce Canyon, visits Escalante National Monument and then returns to Las Vegas.
—Not confined to the popular national parks of the U.S. Southwest, ATI has a road trip itinerary that focuses on the southern coastline of the U.S.—with product that includes North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Drive Itinerary’s Flexibility
—Underscoring the program’s flexibility, as well as its natural appeal to destinations and their tours attractions is a concierge service that complements its Drive America bookings—this allows agents to add specialized services such as private guides.
—ATI, Omojola emphasized, is the only tour operator/travel company that has the flexibility offered by its Drive America program. Travel agents using the platform can log on and create new itineraries—they can start from scratch or take action in assisting a drive itinerary and then amend it so they can start a new itinerary really from any city.
—The program also allows an agent building an itinerary to change the number of days you want a client to stay in any city. They can change hotels from one that has a three-star rating to a five-star rating. As well, they can add as many attractions into a package as they would like.
—Also, end consumers of the itinerary will actually have an app on their phone in which every detail that’s actually relating to his or her drive itinerary is on that app. Overall, ATI is featuring the 31 Brand USA tours that Bayless alluded to, It also has 120 tariff tours and 400-plus client custom tours.
—With the program, ATI can promote first-tier, second-tier or third-tier destinations (“it makes no difference”) and, because of its reach, ATI and its market experts tells agents and DMOs “We are your marketing arm and we do specialize in domestic and international travel so when we collaborate … we have close relationships with the neighboring states and that’s really important when you consider multi-state drive itineraries.”
—The tour operator also offers an extensive number of day-trip itineraries.
Readers can access a complete recording of the session at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhR1GbCz95o
German “Best Agers” Set to Travel in ‘21
Forget the rest of 2020. The generation that makes up what German travel industry analysts call the “best age” for traveling—the 50-to-70-plus segment of the country’s population—is, as Americans would say, “pumped up” for travel next year. This is one of the conclusions one draws from the results of a recent survey commissioned by the Frankfurt-based tour operator trendtours Touristik.
In fact, says the survey, more than half (61 percent) of those surveyed are staying with their holiday plans for 20201. Yes, despite the impact of the coronavirus-generated global pandemic that has virtually stopped long-haul air service to and from Germany and, at the same time, blunted travel to and among European countries, the desire of the “Best Agers” to travel remains strong.
Despite the corona pandemic, the best agers’ desire to travel remains unbroken. 61 percent of those surveyed are planning a vacation trip in the coming year. This was the result of a representative survey by the market research institute YouGov, which was carried out on behalf of trendtours Touristik among 1,632 people.
More than one in four people in Germany are now aged 60 or over.
Other key findings of the survey:
—54 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 70+ who would like to travel in the coming year are sticking to their travel plans for 2021.
—12 percent not only want to make up for the vacation they missed this year, but also want to make another trip.
—Most of the participants in the study, 56 percent, want to travel abroad in 2021.
—43 percent of those who want to travel are planning a vacation trip within Europe.
—35 percent want to go on a trip in Germany within the coming year.
—13 percent are planning a long-distance trip.
—Proximity to a hospital and the availability of a German-speaking doctor do not play a role for most when choosing a travel destination, with only 17 percent of people aged 70+ saying that their booking behavior had changed due to the corona to the effect that the quality of the healthcare system had become more relevant for them when planning their vacation.
—Interestingly, the 17 percent are only one percentage point above the 50-to-59-year-olds (16 percent) and even one percentage point below the 60-to-69-year-olds (18 percent).
Observed Markus Daldrup, chairman of trendtours Touristik, a tour operator specializing in best ager trips in Germany, “The survey shows that the 50+ generation is still keen to travel despite the ongoing pandemic. That gives us hope that the booking trend will recover as soon as it is possible to travel again,”
A note on methodology: The data used were based on an online survey by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 1,632 people took part between September 25 and 30, 2020. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 50 and over.
Wooden, D’Allesandro Named to Hall of Leaders
The U.S. Travel Association has announced that Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, and Ernest Wooden Jr., former president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, will be honored as the 2020 inductees into the U.S. Travel Association Hall of Leaders.
Distinguished individuals are named to U.S. Travel’s Hall of Leaders for “sustained, noteworthy contributions that have positively impacted the travel industry and raised industry-wide standards. With these two inductions, 102 travel industry leaders have been named to the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders since it was established in 1969.
D’Alessandro has led the San Francisco Travel Association as president and CEO since 2006. Prior to joining San Francisco Travel, D’Alessandro was president and CEO of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association from 1996 to 2006 and served as executive director of the Oregon Tourism Commission from 1991 to 2006. He was recognized as State Tourism Director of the Year by U.S. Travel’s National Council of State Tourism Directors in 1995.
D’Alessandro has served numerous industry boards, including the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association, Visit California and San Francisco’s Super Bowl 50 Host Committee.
Wooden’s career in tourism and hospitality was concluded with seven years as president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, from which he retired in June. Wooden also served as executive vice president, global brands with Hilton Hotels Corporation, where he was noted as the world’s highest-ranking African American hotel executive, spearheading initiatives for 3,000 properties in 80 countries. Wooden also held senior positions with Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Omni Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton and Promus Hotel Corporation.
Brand USA Global Marketplace Opens
Brand USA has launched its Brand USA Global Marketplace—a one-stop shop for U.S. travel partners and international audiences to interact. Brand USA Global Marketplace is a custom-built, always-on, virtual platform that provides access to a diverse range of U.S. destinations, attractions, and points of interest for the international travel industry. A reimagined version of traditional trade shows and industry events, the organization has designed the digital platform to solve the need for the U.S. travel community to engage with the global tourism industry while international travel is limited due to the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“This is a ground-breaking digital platform that will enable U.S. partners and international audiences to foster meaningful business relationships and critical connections, at a time when it is needed most,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, adding, “together, we’re building the future of U.S. tourism.”
Thompson explained that, by hosting ongoing networking opportunities, enrichment sessions, and large-scale events across multiple time zones, Brand USA Global Marketplace encourages the international travel community to engage with U.S. destinations on an ongoing basis.
150 Partners Anticipated
Approximately 150 U.S. partners—ranging from destinations, regional marketing organizations, transportation services, attractions, hotels and hotel groups, to receptive tour operators—are expected to join the platform. The high-caliber of U.S. partners will attract key international audiences who are interested in the U.S. and its diverse destinations, products, and services.
Added Tom Garzilli, chief marketing officer of Brand USA, “Our industry is resilient, and when it is safe to do so, the world will travel to the United States again. In the meantime, Brand USA Global Marketplace will inform and support our partners and keep the U.S. top-of-mind among trade, media, and consumers. Brand USA Global Marketplace will ensure a ‘quick start’ back into global markets as soon as it is viable, stimulating active consideration and future travel bookings. We are all determined to welcome the world back to the United States when the time is right.”
5 Portals Featured
Featuring five portals—each designed for virtual exploration of the 50 states, five territories, and District of Columbia—Brand USA Global Marketplace provides registered users with travel itineraries, destination marketing collateral, and insights from industry experts. The Main Stage serves as a place for educational seminars, while the USA Partner Pavilions—featuring geographically-driven partner Pods representing the entirety of the U.S.—and Buyer Pavilion will facilitate one-to-one meetings.
In the Networking Lounge, participants will have the opportunity to engage outside of scheduled sessions. Video On-Demand allows for self-guided discovery with three screens showing a variety of travel entertainment, educational, and featured programming. To simulate the relational exchanges that occur at industry events, registered users will also have access to a Virtual Briefcase and Business Card Jar, among other networking tools.
Brand USA Travel Week Europe Takes Place in Days
The second edition of Brand USA Travel Week Europe will be the first event to take place on Brand USA Global Marketplace. Connecting Europe with the U.S. travel industry, the four-day initiative (October 26-29, 2020) will offer U.S. partners and European buyers the opportunity to schedule one-to-one appointments, and attend enrichment sessions that provide marketing insight from thought leaders in the industry. Additional information about Brand USA Travel Week Europe 2020 will be released in mid-October 2020, followed by announcements for events tailored for Canadian, Mexican, and Australian audiences in Winter 2021.
Public Relations – Brand USA Global Marketplace
202.536.2060 Ext. 376
Key Points on Study of São Paulo Trade
Tour Operators Make up Almost One-Fifth of Trade: The São Paulo State Tourism Secretariat, through the Tourism Coordination and the Tourism Intelligence and Economics Center (CIET), has just released the survey “Agência de Viagens Paulistas – Análise Mercadológica.” (Roughly “São Paulo Travel Agencies—Market Analysis.” The term “Paulista” is a shortened form of the city and state’s proper name for its citizens and residents—in much the sense that “American” is a shortened form, for many, to use for people of the United States of America.)
Preface—Why This Matters: It is important to recognize the singular importance of such a study, as São Paulo is the largest (44 million people) of Brazil’s 26 states. Its principal city, São Paulo, with a population of approximately 12 ¼ million, is the largest in the nation and one of the largest cities in the world. It is also the business and industrial center of Brazil. Were it a nation, the state of São Paulo, with its GDP of $472 billion, would rank it 26th among the world’s nations. (Brazil is ranked #12.)
Location of Brazil’s state São Paulo is Highlighted
Preface, continued: Also, the two major consumer confidence measures for the Brazilian economy—The Consumer Confidence Index (ICC), The Retail Businessmen Confidence Index (ICEC)—are based in the city of São Paulo. As the authoritative monthly overview of the Brazilian travel and tourism trade put out by the publications PANROTAS and FecomercioSP explains it, “Although the indicators are from the city of São Paulo, they follow the trend of what is happening in the rest of the country since the largest city in Brazil represents 11 percent of the national GDP.”
The following points come from the study (Caution—this is a google translation), as reported by the Brazilian trade journal Diãrio do Turismo.
—The objective: The of the work is to delimit the commercial characteristics of the State’s travel agencies. The questionnaires were answered in July, allowing an overview of how the segment is organized in the State, in addition to the impacts of the coronavirus on sales expectations at the height of the pandemic.
—Careful Look: “This result demonstrates that the tourist destinations in the State will need a more careful look at the increase in demand that we are generating”, understands the Secretary of Tourism, Vinicius Lummertz. “Sales will take place directly between the customer and attractions, hotels and other services. Something that already happens, it is true, but now we have the exact dimension of how much.” Most tourist cities are visited by São Paulo residents itself, autonomously, in their own car, without the intermediation of agencies.
Regarding the location of the most commercialized by the agencies:
–54.16 percent are national destinations outside the State of São Paulo;
-24.96 percent in São Paulo; and
-20.88 percent international travel.
Potential: The “sun, beach and nautical” segment is the most worked by the agencies, with 67.8 percent of responses. In sequence, “ecotourism, adventure and rural” appear, with 49.9 percent, “theme parks,” 49.7 percent, “business and events” and “cultural,” 46 percent. The results, according to the Secretary of Tourism of São Paulo, demonstrate the potential to be explored by the State of São Paulo, which has beaches, theme and natural parks, Atlantic Forest, mountains and rural attractions, in addition to leadership in business trips and in the cultural calendar.
Worrisome Brits Right to be Worried
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the United Kingdom has been the most reliable generator of overseas visitors to the United States. Last year, 2019, was no exception when the UK market sent some 4.8 million travelers to the USA, accounting for nearly one out of every eight of those visitors who came to the United States from abroad.
If there were declines in the annual number of Britons who took their holidays in the U.S., those declines didn’t last—as was the case in the downturns following 9/11, the Great Recession of 2008 and some weak economic numbers in the mid-teens.
Always, always, the USA’s neighbors across the Atlantic Ocean proved resilient and, indeed, stubbornly determined to take their holiday in the USA.
So, it was a bit troubling last week when a new survey told us that, as of now, Brits are holding off on their holidays for 2021. In fact, just one in ten adults in the UK were planning a trip abroad in the next six months. (What information we have from decades of covering the UK is not sorted in a way that gives INBOUND the ability to say so with certainty but, our sense tells is that such an outlook is unprecedented.)
The survey—it was conducted last month by YouGov—reported a decline of 12 percentage points to 34 percent in the proportion of UK adults planning a domestic holiday in the next six months. (It should be noted that the survey was conducted before the latest development, or lack thereof on Brexit, the UK withdrawal from the EU.)
Another view: Seemingly overlapping the release of the results from the YouGov report were the numbers from another survey conducted of Mail Metro Media readers as part of the media group’s partnership with the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS). The responses were gathered from respondents who all intend to travel in the next three years. The survey indicated that holidaymakers planning touring and adventure getaways in 2021 are prepared to spend more to ensure safety as the sector is “likely to bounce back” long-term. (It was not exactly spelled out how it was determined a respondent was “likely to bounce back.”)
Some of the findings from the Mail Metro Media study included the following:
—Seven in 10 people were yet to book a 2021 holiday, but that they intend to take an average of 2.1 holidays next year.
—Under 34s plan an average of 2.1 holidays, with 27 percent of that age range intending to take three or more; the 35-54 age group plan 1.9 holidays with 24 percent hoping for three or more; and the 55+ category plan 2.2 holidays next year, with 35 percent planning three or more.
—Respondents said they would spend an average of £2,200 ($2,870) per person per week on accommodation and flights, with only 20 percent focused on getting a deal and 40 percent saying safety was more important.
—Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they were happy to spend a bit more in 2021, particularly the younger age group; 27 percent said they were happy to spend more. Of the 35-54s group, 26 percent said they would spend more and 12 percent of the over-55s were prepared to spend more.
—According to the survey, the preferred average group size for an escorted tour was nine people.
Where would they be interested in visiting?
What does all this mean? Mail Metro Media’s travel account manager, Robertina Tompa, said the data showed a “huge appetite for this type of holiday” as results showed 41 percent of respondents would consider a touring holiday next year, compared to 31 percent who would not consider one and 28 percent undecided or unsure.
She said the touring and adventure market is “likely to bounce back” in the long term, but noted the sector faces “concerns” about group travel that “need to be addressed for the recovery process.”
Hodge Podge: Appointments & Changes
Kelly Schulz has been named senior vice president, communications and public relations at New Orleans & Company. Previously, she served as vice president and CEO, operations—as well as vice president of communications—for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is headquartered in Memphis. Kelly is returning to New Orleans & Company, where she was vice president of communications for more than eight years (2006-2014). She has also served as director of communications for Meeting Professionals International.
Victoria “Vic” Isley has been selected as president and CEO of the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau. She replaces former CEO Stephanie Pace Brown, who left the organization last July to become executive vice president of SMARInsights, and Indianapolis-based research and marketing firm. Most recently, Isley served as chief sales and marketing officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority for more than six years. Isley began her career in tourism in the mid-1990s at the Durham CVB as the director of marketing and communications. She’s since held senior executive positions at Tampa Bay CVB and Destination DC in Washington, D.C. She also served as chief operating officer at Destination Marketing Association International (now Destinations International).
Intrepid Travel has named Matt Berna its managing director of North America to oversee and expand its Canadian and U.S. operations, including the development of more trips for domestic travelers. Berna comes to the post rom Peak DMC, where he was general manager of global sales. Previously, he was president of AmeriCan Adventures for nearly 10 years. Intrepid Travel is the largest small group adventure travel company in the world. The company offers more than 1,000 escorted tours worldwide, including product in the USA and North America. Tours are offered under the brands Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Adventure Tours Australia, and Urban Adventures
After nearly 30 years in the airline segment of the travel and tourism industry—almost 15 years at British Airways—George Bequinot has joined Hablo, a technology platform that connects the travel industry by streamlining communications and driving business between travel agents, tour operators, destinations and private sector travel brands worldwide. The company Is schedule to launch next month. Most recently, Bequinot was partnership manager at British Airways, where he served for nearly 15 years.
Jean Hébert has been renamed chair of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). The action took place at the organization’s annual general meeting at which Scott Stewart was elected as vice-chair. Formed in 1997, TICO is a not-for-profit corporation wholly financed by Ontario-registered travel agents and wholesalers
Cory Jobe has been named president/CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau. He comes to the bureau from Chicago’s Navy Pier, where he has been vice president of marketing and communications. Previously, he served as director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. Jobe succeeds Brett Stawar, who had left in August for a similar post in Port Aransas/Mustang Island, Texas.
Georgia Mariano, who recently left Brazilian operator Fllytours Viagens where she was product manager/project manager, has been named product manager for Diversa Turismo do Grupo ARBO. Mariano is well known in the USA, especially in Florida, where she worked with U.S. travel suppliers to bring business to Brazil. She had been with Flytour/MMT Gapnet for nearly 14 years.
Jens Bischof has taken over as chairman of the management board of Cologne-based Eurowings and, as a result, becomes CEO of the second largest airline in the Lufthansa Group. Bischof was previously CEO of the SunExpress airline, also a part of the Lufthansa Group. He succeeds Thorsten Dirks, who is now responsible for IT, digital and innovation in the Lufthansa Group executive board.
Seniors travel specialist tour operator Saga Travel has appointed Nick Stace as its new CEO. Currently the company’s chief strategy officer, Stace takes up the role immediately, overseeing Saga’s Cruise and Tours businesses. He replaces Robin Shaw who left Saga back in June. Stace will retain his responsibility for strategy, along with focusing on ensuring a safe return to service for the cruise line – as soon as government restrictions are lifted. Before joining the company, he held a series of senior leadership roles across charities, consumer-facing organizations and financial services – as well as in regulation. He also served for a while as strategic communications director in the Office of the Prime Minister during the period when Gordon Brown was UK prime minister.
Krystelle Kubicki has been named by specialist ski travel company SNO as head of marketing to head up spearhead its online growth strategy and expansion into beach holidays. Kubicki comes to the London-based organization from STA where she was digital marketing manager. She has also served as marketing manager for Iglu. SNO is planning a soft-launch of mid and high-end beach holidays in 2021.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has announced that Michael R. Burns, the current vice president of sales for the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, will serve as interim president after the recent retirement of Mike Carrier.
From Hannover, Germany-based TUI, the largest tour operator in Europe, has come the announcement of a Transformation of the TUI Group, which involves a Supervisory Board new set-up of Group Management as of January 1, 2021. Highlights include the following.
* Sebastian Ebel becomes new chief financial officer.
* CFO Birgit Conix has decided to leave TUI at the end of the year.
* Peter Kruger assumes responsibility on the executive board for airlines, cruise business, hotel joint ventures and M&A.
* CMO Erik Friemuth leads extended department with marketing, tui hotels & resorts brands and group responsibility for sales and customer operations.
* David Schelp joins the Group Executive Committee as CEO of the growth segment TUI Musement.
Posted Industry Jobs
From SearchWide Global:
—Visit Orlando is searching for a new president and CEO. For more information visit here.
— Brett/Robinson Vacation Rentals on the Alabama Gulf Coast has an opening for a director of operations. Visit here for more details.
— Sports Facilities Management is searching for a senior project to join its facility planning and finance support services team. For more details, visit here.
—The Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a new president. Click here for more information.
—A new president and CEO is being sought by Destination Madison (Wis.). For additional details, click here.
—The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for a president and CEO. For more information, visit here.
—The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is looking for a new president & CEO. Click here for more information.
—The City of Omaha has an opening for the position of director, parks, recreation and public property. Visit here for additional details.
—The city of Fort Smith Arkansas is searching for an executive director of its Advertising and Promotion Commission. Click here for more information.
—The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new president and CEO. For details, visit here.
—The Virginia Tourism Corporation (it is the state’s DMO) has an opening for a director of research and market intelligence. Click here for more information.
—In the Charlotte/Concord area of North Carolina, Great Wolf Resorts as an opening for a director of sales and catering. For details, click here.
—Visit Santa Clara is searching for a president and CEO. Click here for more