Mergers, Acquisitions and Market Moves:
• Callaway Golf, the Carlsbad, California-based company that is one of the largest biggest golf equipment makers in the world, has acquired Topgolf, a global sports entertainment company headquartered in Dallas, Texas to create a brand that combines technology, entertainment and sports, attracting golfers and non-golfers alike to its 58 locations across America. “Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business,” said Chip Brewer, president and CEO of Callaway. “This combination unites proven leaders with a shared passion for delivering exceptional golf experiences for all – from elite touring professionals to new and aspiring entrants to the game.” Brewer will run the combined company after the completion of the merger. Dolf Berle, Topgolf’s current CEO, will continue to lead the Topgolf business through the transitional period, then step down and leave the company. With the move Topgolf will join Ogio (golf bags and travel luggage), Travis Mathew (apparel) and Jack Wolfskin (apparel) under the Callaway brand.
Spanish Tour Operator Closes: Politours, a mid-size operator based in Madrid, has shut down. Established in 1986, the company had a strong presence in Latin America, including Mexico, and sold North American product (Canada) as well. Alejandro Fernández Torres, a spokesperson for the company for Latin America, said in a statement to REPORTUR.com.ar, “We want to make an orderly closure. These coming weeks we will continue to balance accounts with our operators, so that they receive what corresponds to them as soon as possible and transferring reservations to friendly correspondents.” According to REPORTUR, Fernández Torres also suggested that “the idea of the wholesaler’s management is to return in two years, as they foresee difficult times ahead.”
• TUI UK hoping to Sell beyond just next year. In a move that could be indicative of what much of the global travel and tourism industry is going through—a need for cash … upfront … now—TUI UK, a unit of the largest tour operator in Europe, last week put its summer 2022 holidays on sale, explaining that a recent survey showed that 86 percent of its customers expected to be travelling again by next summer. The company said that is already seeing strong demand for winter 2021/22 bookings to Cancun, Jamaica and Tenerife. Also, TUI has two new winter sun routes for 2021, from London Stansted and Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Boa Vista in Cape Verde. And It has additional frequencies on a number of existing routes. TUI is seeing an upward trend in 4 and 5-star all-inclusive hotel bookings for next summer, with over 40 percent of customers surveyed expressing this preference. Eighteen percent of customers surveyed said they would look to book a villa holiday with car hire included, making social distancing easier on holiday.
TUI also expects Florida to continue to prove popular as many families moved their trip from this year to 2021, with 40 percent of holidays to this destination already sold. Richard Sofer, TUI UK’s commercial & business development director said: “Our latest customer survey and booking patterns for next summer indicate that the great British public are looking forward to future holidays even more so as they may have been unable to take one this year.” He added, “This is why we have launched our future holiday programs through to the end of October 2022, so that families and couples alike can plan ahead to next year and beyond to make informed choices about what will make their perfect holiday from the wide range we have on offer.”
• Brand USA Says Bye-Bye to WTM and ITB. Brand USA has confirmed that it is likely to withdraw for good from participation in the World Travel Market in London and ITB in Berlin. Tom Garzilli, Brand USA’s chief marketing officer, made the comment during the organization’s Travel Week Europe, a trade show that was launched in 2019 and which took place online for the first time Oct. 26-29. Brand USA, a public-private partnership, had already planned to reduce its presence at both WTM 2020 and ITB 2021 prior to Covid-19 but, Garzilli told a travel trade publication, the pandemic had “speeded up change.”
“Big global trade shows like WTM and ITB for US tourism are just not as efficient and not as necessary,” said Garzilli. “A lot of money gets spent on those things that we would like to see spent in the market, with tour operators, with consumers, driving business.” Brand USA launched Travel Week Europe, a B2B event in London last year and, after this year’s virtual event, which has attracted 115 U.S. exhibitors and 150 buyers from across Europe, plans called for it to be held in Germany in 2021.
Also, another factor could be that, like many of its private sector partners, Brand USA has suffered this year from a decline in funding levels. Just how much will become known next Tuesday, Nov 17, when Brand USA has a meeting of its board of directors.
• Filling Hotel Rooms, Pandemic Style: Juergen Hutterer, an Austrian businessman who owns the Mihlton, a small hotel in Barcelona, has taken a somewhat different approach to meeting the challenge of surviving in a time of a pandemic-driven economic crisis for the world’s hospitality and tourism industry. He is filling once-empty rooms by the month—effectively turning his property into a unit of short-term apartments. Hutterer is not alone. According to an item in Eldiario.es, “real estate portals that usually rent chalets, flats or apartments now advertise hotel rooms for one or two people per month, with the payment of a one-month deposit.” Prior to the pandemic and related health emergency, Hutterer sold the rooms for between 130 and 180 euros ($158-$213) a night. With this new method he rents them for 590 euros ($698) per month. What used to be billed in four days now takes a whole month, although an employer has fewer expenses. For instance, the cleaning service has been reduced to one day a week. Click here for the complete article.