… and other Trade Talk items
● The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) has announced the release of the Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT) Inbound Monitor. The Monitor is a new data visualization tool based on the Survey of International Air Travelers which enables users to interactively analyze the characteristics of overseas visitors from world regions or countries to the United States at the national, state and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) level. This includes data on passenger trip planning, travel patterns, demographics, and spending and income. The Monitor is updated to include the latest data from 2020, which as anticipated measured a decrease in inbound international visitation by 75.5 percent from 2019.
Exploring the monitor allows data users to identify some interesting findings about international visitor trends at the national and local scale. For example:
—The median household income of overseas visitors fell from $82,636 in 2019 to $76,585 in 2020.
—Florida’s top inbound market changed from the U.K. in 2019 to Brazil in 2020.
—53 percent of overseas visitors who traveled to Wyoming in 2019 also traveled to California.
—46.5 percent of French visitors to Chicago used the city subway/tram/bus in 2019.
The SIAT Monitor can be accessed directly by clicking here or by going to the SIAT Program landing page. Later this fall, NTTO will release a companion Monitor on U.S. outbound travel to destinations abroad.
● Touristik Aktuell tells us that TUI, Europe’s largest tour operator recorded an unbroken high demand for holiday travel in the third quarter of the financial year. The travel group has so far achieved a total of 4.2 million bookings in all European markets for the current summer. Since the half-year figures in May, around 1.5 million bookings have been added. At the same time, there is still an increased trend towards online bookings: According to the information, 52 percent of TUI customers booked their holidays online in the third quarter as well. Read the complete article from Touristik Aktuell here
● Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced on Aug. 15, that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Apple Leisure Group., a major luxury resort-management services, travel and hospitality group, from affiliates of each of KKR and KSL Capital Partners, LLC for $2.7 billion in cash. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. ALG’s resort brand management platform AMResorts® provides management services to the largest portfolio of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Americas under the AMRTM Collection brand portfolio, including well-known brands Secrets® Resorts & Spa, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Breathless® Resorts & Spas and Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts as well as the fast-growing Alua® Hotels & Resorts brand, which is expanding in European leisure destinations. Apple Leisure Group is headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown, Pennsylvania.
● Free Vaccinations at DFW: Given the increase in infections that have occurred from Covid-19 at the national and international level, the DFW International Airport and the United States National Guard will be vaccinating passengers (including internationals) and airport employees until September 12, 2021 or while supplies last. The airport is applying the three vaccines offered in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The passenger can arrive without an appointment and will simply have to fill out an electronic form right there.
● Brits and Visitors Comfy with Masks: Overseas residents are slightly more likely than UK residents to say that wearing face coverings made them feel safe (75 percent and 69 percent) respectively), although as these are unweighted figures this cannot be called a statistically significant difference said a new report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS). Following are some of the main findings of the ONS culled from the report:
—The number of UK residents arriving back into the UK who have been vaccinated rose between February and June 2021, from 6 percent to 62 percent, a trend broadly reflecting the vaccine rollout in the UK over this time period.
—Roughly two-thirds of all UK (66 percent) and overseas residents (69 percent) interviewed felt safe with social distancing during their journey in June 2021, which has remained broadly consistent since February 2021.
—Most UK and overseas residents arriving in the UK said the wearing of face coverings made them feel safe during their journey with overseas residents slightly more likely than UK residents to say that wearing face coverings made them feel safe (75 percent and 69 percent respectively), although as these are unweighted figures this cannot be called a statistically significant difference.
—The proportion of both UK residents and overseas residents in June 2021 (52 percent and 64 percent respectively) who said coronavirus (COVID-19) testing was very important fell from the corresponding figures in May 2021 (64 percent and 73 percent respectively).
—Most UK residents arriving in the UK found following overseas COVID-19 restrictions either difficult, or very difficult (80 percent in June 2021), but conversely most overseas residents said that they understood UK COVID-19 restrictions either quite well, or very well.
—Despite understanding UK COVID-19 restrictions quite well or very well; most overseas residents said between February and June 2021 that they were either not at all confident, or not very confident in accessing information about UK COVID-19 restrictions.
The above findings are based on results from the ONS International Passenger Survey, More information is available here.
● Holiday travel and shopping—online or in-store? The latest Consumer & Retail study from Escalent, a human behavior and analytics advisory firm, has been released. Sink or Soar During the 2021 Holidays: Redefine Your Brand and Gain Market Share provides a close look at the trends that will define the crucial 2021 holiday shopping and travel season.
“As pandemic restrictions continue to evolve and concern over new variants fluctuates, consumer habits are shifting rapidly in response,” said Greg Mishkin, vice president of Escalent’s consumer & retail and telecom division. “A customized, omnichannel strategy will be all the more important to win over customers this year, as divisions remain over which shopping channel they prefer.” Some numbers:
—Consumers have acknowledged the pandemic as a catalyst for a change in their habits, with 44 percent of respondents saying COVID-19 has changed how they prefer to shop.
—However, similar to how they shopped during the pandemic, consumers on average plan to do 48 percent of their holiday shopping this winter in brick-and-mortar stores, 41 percent via online retail and 12 percent through curbside pickup services.
—Gen X and Millennials are the most travel-eager generations, with more than 38 percent of each group planning to hold large gatherings and more than 45 percent anticipating holiday celebrations with local attendees.
To learn more about how brands can position themselves for success during the 2021 holiday season, read the full white paper at Escalent.co
● “I missed a connection and I want my money back!” Getting a lot of attention in Europe these days—especially with new restrictions at airport points of departure—is flightright.com. Its mission is simple. Its website tells us: “We enforce your right to reimbursement and compensation in the event of flight delays and cancellations!”
It cites EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004: Basically, a delayed passenger and may be entitled to a ticket refund or compensation. The EU regulation applies to flights departing from or arriving in the EU. In the second case, the airlines headquarters must also be based in the EU. So far, it claims to have enforced over € 350,000,000 (just over $410 million) for its customers.
$410 million. You’ll find more on how it works, along with other information at https://www.flightright.com/
● More Analytics worth Reading: The research team at MMGY NextFactor—a global tourism research and marketing group headquartered in Kansas City—has released the DestinationNEXT 2021 Futures Study, a strategic road map that provides direction for how destination leaders should navigate our industry’s highly fluid future. When push comes to shove, will the industry really ‘build back better’? Will we see definitive advances in sustainability; equity, diversity and inclusion; and community building to make our sector more human and earn the respect of other leaders? Have a good read and then share your thoughts at https://lnkd.in/eVJd8vDi
● HotelPlanner and Reservations.com enter a three-way merger with Astrea Acquisition Corp. to Become a Public Company Listed on NASDAQ: HotelPlanner and Reservations.com, two widely known companies in in travel technology and online hotel bookings, have announced a three-way merger agreement with Astrea Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company, that will result in their combining as a publicly listed company on NASDAQ under the new ticker symbol “HOTP.”
The combined company will keep the HotelPlanner name after consummation of the merger. HotelPlanner, with its family of brands including HotelPlanner.com, Meetings.com and now Reservations.com, will offer individual, group and corporate booking access to more than 1 million global properties, enabled by a proprietary, cloud-based, artificial intelligence technology platform, and a 24/7 global customer service platform. The transaction values the combined company at an enterprise value of $567.1 million, plus additional consideration should it achieve market-based milestones.
HotelPlanner intends to use most of the anticipated net proceeds to accelerate organic growth by continuing to increase effectiveness in marketing spending, and accelerating investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning.