● The just published edition of the Brazilian Overview Monthly suggests that the second half of this year has some good reasons for the tourism industry in South America’s largest overseas source market for inbound travel to be cheered. José Guilherme Alcorta, CEO of Brazil’s PANROTAS, which partners with FECOMERCIOSP—the São Paulo-based business and economic research organization—in producing the overview, told subscribers in a cautious-but-still-upbeat-message “We are, clearly, more optimistic, and the numbers support us. But also, we are alert and still unable to do long term plannings.” Click here to download the June edition of the Brazilian Overview Monthly Report
● German Operator Says Outlook for Long-haul Travel Looks Good: From Touristik Aktuell, July 4, 2022: “Tour operator Alltours expects an increase in participants of over 25 percent for the 2022/2023 winter season compared to the pre-crisis winter of 2019/2020. ‘After two difficult years, we feel that we have a lot of catching up to do, which will continue in the coming winter season,’ says Alltours owner Willi Verhuven. ‘We expect a significant increase in bookings for all travel destinations, especially for long-distance travel.’”
● Brightline expansion to Orlando area won’t include station on Disney property. As reported by the Palm Beach Post, the rail line says it moved the station away from the Disney Springs entertainment complex to place it closer to Orlando-area employers. Just prior to the news, Brightline announced that in addition to expanding its service to Orlando International Airport, it now plans to build stations at the Orange County Convention Center and an alternate site near Disney Springs, but not on Disney-owned land. Click here for the complete Palm Beach Post article on the announcement.
● Dot Erased in Favor of New Brand: Places Dot, LLC, a content strategy company focused largely on the use of AI to produce the most relevant and targeted text-based content possible, has announced that it will rebrand and start doing business as “Intentful.” The rebranding reflects the company’s realization that its services can, and presently do, provide significant value to clients in a broad array of industries, allowing it to offer such services beyond its original travel-oriented (or “Places.”) target market.
Said Marina Petrova, CEO, “We came to realize that the name ‘Places Dot’ no longer appropriately conveyed the way we provide value-added service to our customer base. We are excited to introduce our new name, which we feel more accurately reflects the way we are able to contribute to our clients’ success – producing content matched to customer intent.” Leaving the Intentful venture day-to-day operations, Jonathan Elkoubi, co-founder and previously CCO of Places., will return to the helm of his consultancy firm, NAVEW (the North American Visitors Experience Watch), to maintain his focus on the travel sector.
● New Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO) via the International Trade Administration: April 2022 total international inbound travel volume (visitor arrivals) to the United States was 4,330,371 – a year-over-year increase of 216.5 percent and 61.5 percent of April 2019 arrivals. Want to view interactive data visualization of these statistics? Please visit ADIS/I-94 Visitor Arrivals Monitors (Country of Residence) and (Country of Citizenship) and its I-92/APIS International Air Passenger Monitor for a more comprehensive and customizable experience.
● From Travel Weekly (UK): A&K Travel Group, the company owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage Group, has confirmed the acquisition of two Crystal Cruises ocean-going ships. Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony will resume service in 2023 after an extensive refit and operate under the Crystal Cruises brand which has also been acquired by A&K Travel Group. Click here to read the complete article.
● With all the hype already being afforded in China to Singles Day, we thought better to ask an expert on such things—Z.J. Tong, a USA-based marketing consultant who knows the Chinese travel market and is also a widely-listened-to podcaster/influencer—what he thought about the hype and whether it was worth investing in by U.S. travel marketers. (Singles’ Day is a holiday celebrated in China on November 11. Unmarried people commemorate the occasion by treating themselves to gifts and presents, leading Singles’ Day, or Double 11 as it’s also known, to become the largest online shopping day in the world—by quite some margin.)
Here’s what Z.J. told us: “Historically I haven’t seen Singles’ Day to feature outbound travel products as much since Single’s Day usually carries deep discount and outbound travel products usually have limited room for further discounting. Plus, at this moment, there are not many US-bound travel products listed on Chinese OTAs, other than products that are catered to Chinese travelers who are already in the US. In general, I do not recommend travel products to participate in Singles Day campaign because with reduced profit goes with the quality of service.”
● Canada Jetlines, the new all-Canadian, leisure airline, has announced that the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) has provided approval to the carrier’s subsidiary—Canada Jetlines Vacations Ltd.—as a travel retailer and travel wholesaler under the Travel Industry Act, 2022. TICO is mandated by the Ontario government to administer the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05 which governs approximately 2,100 travel retailers and travel wholesalers registered in Ontario—providing Canadian travelers with confidence from their stamp of approval. For a complete news release on the action, click here.
● Back at pre-2019 Booking Levels? According to Amadeus’ Demand360 business intelligence data, hotel reservations have been on par with pre-pandemic 2019 booking levels since March this year. April 2022 was the first month to surpass 2019 occupancy levels and continued to climb in May hitting a new high of 63 percent, compared to 60 percent in May 2019. High performing countries like the U.S. saw occupancy levels of 68 percent for the month, 7 percent above 2019’s performance, while Canada reached 64 percent occupancy in May, 8 percent higher than the same time in 2019. Forward looking on-the-books data tells a similar story globally with the summer months of June, July, and August currently tracking just one percent off 2019 levels. For more on the Amadeus report, click here.
● A recent TTG article tells us that more than half of Britons are more likely to book a U.S. trip after Covid testing was lifted, but almost the same number said travel and accommodation costs were a worry, new research has found. Last month, Kansas City-based MMGY Travel Intelligence surveyed 774 Americans and 436 Britons and found that, among British respondents, 49 percent said the cost of airfare and lodging would impact their decision to travel to America, while 39 percent said personal safety concerns were an issue. Click here for the complete article.
● From the Nuremberg-based Travel Data + Analytics (TDA): In May 2022, holiday travel bookings in sales exceeded both the previous month (+ 13 percent) and May 2019 as a benchmark to the pre-Covid level: the latter by a remarkable 51 percent. The catch-up race of the low-booking winter months is still ongoing: Cumulatively, the backlog of the summer season 2022 to the previous month melts by a further 10 percentage points to a minus of currently 13 percent to the booking level at the end of May. As the positive booking trend continued in June, so far, it is to see: The current summer season will have achieved the turnaround in two months.
With the continuing extremely good holiday demand in the German market, it can no longer be ruled out that the 2022 summer season will return to growth as the first travel season since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic – provided that the airlines’ many flight cancellations due to staff shortages do not thwart the Germans’ holiday desire. Whether and to what extent this effect will have an impact will only become clear with the June data. More details here: Strong holiday demand is going on – Travel Data + Analytics GmbH
● Globally, “The summer months of 2022 are expected to be exceptionally strong, with many noting that the summer of 2022 is actually three summers merged into one.“ This is the ultra-short summary of the recently released Airports Council International World in its 10th annual quarter assessment reviewing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, its effects on airports, and the path to recovery. You can read the complete report here.