Chinese Travelers on the Road Back
Out of nowhere, it seemed, the number of international arrivals to the United States made China rank number 10 in the monthly advance release of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office and its latest tally of Top 20 country source markets for overseas visitors to the United States. The sudden appearance for the month also propelled China to No. 18 for year-to-date arrivals.
On their face, the numbers from China are not that impressive. But they indicate that China’s slow and steady step-by-step opening of boundaries in key markets seem to have worked in opening the world up to more overseas Chinese travel. Whether or not the increased travel activity has anything to do with the opening next month (Oct. 15th) of the 20th quinquennial edition of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party would be nothing but a matter of conjecture.
The point is that, for the thousands of U.S. travel marketers and destinations prepared to show Chinese travel consumers what they’ve got that … China is back.
Other than the news of China’s resurgence, the rhythm of the market seems to be settling into place, with the UK once again the number one overseas market for those selling Visit USA product and, for the moment, the number one market from continental Europe, Germany, in place as second overall European overseas source market.
And from this point, the reader is encouraged to digest and analyze the latest batch of numbers from NTTO.
Top 20 Overseas Tourist-Generating Countries
Month of August 2022
|Country of Residence & Rank||Number of Arrivals||% Change vs. 2021|
|1. United Kingdom||371,994||1699.5%|
|6. South Korea||111,670||282.3%|
|10. China, PRC||75,912||(17.5%)|
|15. Dominican Republic||40,952||6.0%|
|Total Top 20 Overseas Countries||1,927,697||238.5%|
Top 20 Overseas Tourist-Generating Countries
Year-to-Date Through Month of August 2022
|Country of Residence & Rank||Number of Arrivals||% Change vs. same period 2021|
|1. United Kingdom||2,125,208||2540.1%|
|7. South Korea||500,817||434.8%|
|15. Dominican Republic||269,427||14.9%|
|18. China, PRC||215,719||78.0%|
|Top 20 Overseas Countries||10,499,020||281.6%|
Overseas Visitors to the U.S. by
World Region of Residence
For Month of August 2022
|Region||Number of Arrivals||2022 Share||% Change vs. Same period 2021|
|Central America (Excluding Mexico)||85,683||3.3%||(7.0%)|
Overseas Visitors to the U.S. by
World Region of Residence
Year-to-Date Through August 2022
|Region||Number of Arrivals||2022 Share||% Change vs. Same Period 2021|
|Central America (Excluding Mexico)||719,680||4.9%||1.4%|
From this point, the reader is encouraged to digest and analyze the latest batch of numbers from NTTO.
INBOUND reminds the reader that, if you find that you want to dig deeper into your data collection and analysis program, you might want to contact David Huether at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO). He is deputy director for research, and he can probably help you point your venture in the right direction. You can reach him here: [email protected]
A Good Year is Not That Far Away
Ever since the USA’s inbound international travel tourism industry hit the deepest darkest depths of its performance from mid-2020 to mid-2021, the conventional wisdom among those of us looking for some way to measure what recovery is, or should be like, have settled on 2019. While the professional tourism economists and statisticians have their standard ways of analyzing what has or has not really happened, others consistently settle on 2019.
So, INBOUND has taken a look at some of the available data (most of it is produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office) and tries to present it here in ways that are readily measurable (as in “quick-and-ready”) in our attempt to give the numbers some meaning. Random thoughts follow:
- Why 2019? Many of us in the industry use 2019 because it was a healthy year for the overall numbers of overseas, long-hall visitors to the U.S. A majority (11 countries from NTTO’s monthly Top 20) of them set records for the number of visitors they sent to the United States. So, comparing 2022 against 2019 is valid if one wants evidence.
- Other numbers that are important: For all of 2019, the USA received 40.4 million overseas visitors. In 2020, the number plummeted to 7.6 million. Last year, it rebounded ever so slightly to 9.2 million. (Through July, the overall figure for 2022 was already more than 11 million.)
- Why July? Generally, July is the strongest month for overseas visitors, so we used measurements from July (although, preliminary NTTO data indicated that August will be slightly stronger). The table below shows us that, yes, it is still going to be a weak year over all.
- However, the same July numbers show us that two country markets, Colombia and Chile, have actually increased their number vs. July 2019.
- Finally, more than a dozen of the Top 20 were down around 20 percent (not a cataclysmic number at all) or less vs. 2019,
There are more data on the subject at NTTO’s website. In the meantime, spending a few minutes looking at that numbers for 2022 and 2019 are likely to make you feel better about the rest of the year and 2023, which is just around the fiscal corner.
Top 20 Overseas Tourist-Generating Countries
Month of July 2022 vs. July 2019*
|Country of Residence & Rank||Number of Arrivals July 2022||No. of Arrivals July 2019||% Increase/Decline From 2019 to 2022|
|1. United Kingdom||361,313||455,044||-20.2%|
|6. South Korea||114,841||222,906||-46.3%|
|15. Dominican Republic||45,460||55,797||-19.6%|
* Caution: data material was entered manually. Percentage figures were rounded.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office
Notes from Germany
From the ta.ts travel agency mirror—invoiced values August 2022 vs. 2021 & 2019.
● The German long-haul travel market is re-establishing its primacy as continental Europe’s top overseas source market for the visitors to the U.S. The latest data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO) affirm this standing in another article on a related matter elsewhere in this issue INBOUND.
● As well, a new report from Oxford Economics for the World Travel & Tourism Council shows there has been no change in the world tourism economy’s top three countries: Germany is third, behind only the USA and China.
● At the same time, a survey conducted by the online travel portal Urlaubsguru in conjunction with Yougov, indicated that a quarter of Germans would travel with the Corona infection.
● With that kind of hype (there is more from different publications), one might expect the German trade trade press to soften the starchy tone of their interpretation of the latest report from the ta-ts Travel Mirror, which delivers a monthly analysis of the retail part of the travel and tourism industry, based on agency sales of the industry’s different sectors. (During the worst part of the global pandemic, the ta-ts report became the only reliable and recognized information on Germany’s tourism industry.)
● No one seemed to cheer the latest report—not that there was material that would cause to be people truly cheerful. Instead, the tone of the coverage on the report was this: Good work, but your sales levels are still down by more than 25 percent less than they were during this month in 2019—which has become a sort of base mark measure of the industry’s performance.
Base mark or not, here’s what the recent “ta.ts* Reisebürospiegel” report had to tell us.
The invoiced total turnover of the travel agencies recorded in the “ta.ts* Reisebürospiegel” (Travel Agency Mirror) was:
- Up 110.5 percent last month (August) compared to the same month of 2021. Compared to August 2019, the invoiced total turnover was minus 10.0 percent.
- The invoiced tourism turnover in August shows an increase of 80.7 percent compared to 2021. Compared to August 2019, the invoiced tourism turnover is down 12.6%.
- Air traffic revenue this month was up 162.1 percent vs. 2021. As of August 2019, air traffic revenue was down 12.3 percent.
Other sales are up 96.9 percent in August 2022 vs. 2021 and up 13.4% vs. 2019.
- The number of tickets was up 71.6 percent compared to August 2021 and down compared to August 2019 by 35.7 percent.
- In August, sales from the tourism sub-division of cruises were up 129.4 percent compared to 2021 and down 15.0 percent compared to August 2019.
- Cumulatively, the total invoiced travel agency turnover in the months from January to August was up 242.7 percent compared to 2021. For the period January to August vs. 2019, the cumulative invoiced travel agency turnover was down 27.5 percent.
- Tourism recorded an increase of 229.8 percent compared to 2021 and minus 24.5 percent compared to 2019. Air traffic recorded an increase of 281.6 percent compared to 2021 and compared to 2019 a minus of 32.4 percent.
- Other sales show an increase of 168.5 percent compared to 2021 and a minus of 14.2% compared to 2019.
- The number of tickets was up 190.5 percent compared to 2021 and down 46.5 percent compared to 2019. The cruise sub-sector shows a cumulative increase of 309.9 percent compared to 2021 or down 30.5 percent compared to 2019.
Tourism Order Intake
- In August 2022, the incoming orders in tourism amounted to 70.9 percent in a monthly comparison to 2021.
- The tourist order book by travel date up to August 2022 was up 158.4 percent compared to the previous year.
- In the cruise sub-division, incoming orders are up 195.4 percent month-on-month, and the order backlog by voyage date through August 2022 is up 114.0 percent.
- In August 2022, the incoming orders in tourism amounted to minus 21.0 percent in a monthly comparison to 2019.
- The tourism order book by travel date until October 2022 is minus 42.1% compared to 2019.
- In the cruise sub-division, incoming orders in a monthly comparison to 2019 are minus 14.1 percent.
The tourism order book by travel date until October 2022 is minus 43.3 percent compared to 2019.
*Travel Agency Technologies & Services GmbH, Frankfurt. CEO: Rainer Burghardt, [email protected]
What’s New and/or Cool
Here is this issue of INBOUND’s sample of new and/or cool attractions and experiences as they appear in the current annual issue of TheTourOperator
Buffalo Bike Tours—a Buffalo New York. Guests will sample the best chicken wings Buffalo has to offer. Get a guide or go out independently. Food tours, history tours, sightseeing tours, bike rentals. (buffalobiketours.com)
Mississippi—On the Mississippi with Quapaw Canoe Company. A Mississippi River adventure in a guided canoe paddled by Quapaw Canoe Company. Choose from a day trip, overnight, or muti-day excursion departing from Clarksdale or Vicksburg, Mississippi. (island63.com)
Great Delta Tours—New Orleans, Louisiana. Go beyond the floodwalls with a master naturalist for an immersive ecotour of life along the Mississippi. Meet local fishermen, see alligators and wildlife in their natural habitat and explore massive flood protection and coastal restoration efforts. (neworleans.com/listing/the-great-delta-tours/30495)
Horsefly History Walking Tours—Durango, Colorado. Wild West history and the characters and events that shaped this town since it was founded in 1880 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Hear true tales of gunfights, ghosts, “soiled doves” and madams, outlaws—even this town’s one and only legal hanging. (horseflyhistory.com)
Four days of Route 66 in Arizona—Take in a little kitsch, a little culture and a lot of incredible natural history and historic landmarks along one of the most famous highways in the world. It is the quintessential American road trip, filled with the weird, the wonderful and the wow factor.
Notes on the UK Market
What’s a hungry market look like? Try the two letters of “UK,” where average booking values for one travel group for the summer of 2023 are up by 46 percent.
It’s been like that of late—the above figure is from a survey by Advantage Travel Partnership, UK’s largest network of independent travel agents—as agencies and operators are feeding a demand curve that they sensed was on the way earlier this year. They could tell by its shortage of tourism industry employees, cancellations of flights that had no pilots to fly them and reports of record-breaking sales both online and on high street.
For those who are selling Visit USA product, the impact has been a quick run-up to monthly data reports that use the word “million” to describe the level of British visitors coming to the United States and making it the number one overseas source market for long-haul travel to America. INBOUND has digested some of the validating numbers and news, and they follow:
- Average prices for like holidays have risen 20 percent to 25 percent year-on-year, which follows on from an average price increase of 11 percent this year over 2019.
- Chief Commercial Officer Kelly Cookes told the British trade publication, Travel Gossip, that this was due in part to rising air fares and hotel price increases, but also the fact that customers are upgrading their holidays or staying for longer.
- While higher prices and the cost-of-living crisis don’t seem to be impacting bookings yet, Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of Advantage, noted: “The reality is that for our member it is pretty tough.” Many have lost and been unable to replace experienced staff, she said, and bookings are taking longer to convert and service because customers have so many more queries than previously.
Click here for the complete article.
Just Gotta Travel—A report from TTG media said that the majority of British travelers still plan to go on holiday in the next 12 months despite the fact that 92 percent of respondents to a new survey admitted they had anxiety about the rising cost of living. In fact, the attitude of holidaymakers is sufficiently bullish with regard to travel, that only 10 percent of survey respondents said that they don’t expect to travel.
- More than two-thirds (68 percent) of those questioned by Travel Republic, which conducted the survey, reported that more than two-thirds of those questioned said they still plan to holiday in the foreseeable future, even if they spend a little less when they do.
- The 10 percent who are not traveling said it is due to concerns about household bills.
- Thirty percent of Travel Republic’s customers said they don’t expect rises in the cost of living to impact their holidays plans, with 36 percent stating they will still travel but plan to spend less than they have previously done so.
- Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that being able to pay in monthly instalments was an attractive option for dealing with costs while 48 percent surveyed said it was in choosing their holiday based on the lowest price.
Click here for the complete article. And click here for the Travel Weekly (UK) article on the same matter
HODGE PODGE: Appointments, Opening and Changes
The U.S. has a new head of its National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO)—Mark L. Keam, who has been appointed deputy assistant secretary for travel and tourism in the International Trade Administration. As head of the NTTO, Keam and his team are charged with promoting the competitiveness of America’s industries, which in turn supports robust employment and economic growth for states and localities. The office produces research and works with Brand USA, the Tourism Policy Council, the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and other private and public sector stakeholders to advance global travel and tourism.
Before joining the Biden Administration, Keam was a seven-term elected member of the Virginia House of Delegates where he led the Virginia Legislative Tourism Caucus. In addition to his experiences as a state legislator, he has served in federal and local governments, including as chief counsel to a United States Senate Assistant Leader.
As a naturalized immigrant, Keam has lived a global and multicultural life. He grew up and attended schools in five countries and traveled to over two dozen other nations. He, his wife and two children have visited every American state and some of its territories. He graduated from the University of California system with degrees in political science and law.
TTC Tour Brands has announced changes to the North American sales team with the promotion of Josh Hepp to vice president of national accounts from his current role as director of strategic accounts. Ursula Blackburne, who is working under The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) sales team will transition to North America sales manager, Brendan Vacations, a Celtic tour company included in TTC Tour Brands. Hepp joined TTC in December 2013 as a regional sales manager with Contiki. He has spent the past two years as director of national accounts. Prior to that he managed the sales managers on the West Coast and Midwest. Blackburne has been a part of the TTC North America sales team since February 2018 and will transition to focus solely on Brendan Vacations in her new role as North America sales manager.
Central Holidays, which includes USA product among its products, has announced changes in the organizational structure of the company. Adam Greis, who since 2017 has been responsible for directing the Group Travel Experiences brand, has been promoted to general manager of Central Holidays. As part of a realignment at the company, Maria Jose Merino, vice president of operations for Central Holidays will take on an expanded role to include the overall direction of product development. Under the new structure, Marco Evangelista serves as sales director for the Central Holidays brands and Margie Bell continues to serve as vice resident of sales.
Great Rail Journeys has promoted group chief financial officer Dave Riley to role of chief executive with oversight for the rail specialist and its sub-brands. Riley, who joined the business in October 2018, took over from Peter Liney earlier this month. GRJ said in the top role, Riley would be tasked with driving an “ambitious global growth agenda” at GRJ, which offers more than 200 independent and escorted rail and river cruise holidays in 50-plus countries. The business also owns Chicago-based rail holidays brand Vacations by Rail. GRJ was acquired by mid-market private equity firm Duke Street in July 2018.
Tourism Economics has announced that Dan Roberts has joined the company’s U.S. team in the role of senior economist. Dan brings considerable industry experience to our team from his years managing market and economic analysis for Choice Hotels. More recently, Dan has distinguished himself as director of research & market intelligence at Virginia Tourism Corporation where he established a foundation of data-driven decision making and accessibility throughout the organization.
Winnie Wang is the new vice president of revenue at Empire State Realty Trust (Empire State Building). She comes to her new role from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in New York, where she served as director of revenue management. Previously, she was area director of revenue management for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.
Kelly Walker is the new head of distribution at easyJet holidays. She was most recently trade and partnerships manager at villa specialist Oliver’s Travels and previously James Villas. She took up the position at the carrier’s in-house tour operation last week, leading a distribution team which work with more than 3,000 agents.
BCD Travel has appointed Rene Villarreal as director of Mexico operations. Villarreal takes on his new role with more than 20 years of professional experience in commercial and operational areas support the new director of operations. The BCD Travel Program Management team is based in Monterrey and Saltillo.
Chris Simmonds has taken over as CEO of JG Travel Group, replacing Andy Freeth, who stepped down from the role. Simmonds joined the company a few months ago as marketing director. He was previously Saga Holidays CEO and also boss of Revitalise, a charity and provider of holidays for disabled people, said: “I am excited about the challenge and opportunities ahead. We have fantastic brands with massive addressable market and great prospects.”
Lindsey (Guinn) Stevens has been promoted to the position of vice president of marketing communications at the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. She was previously director of marketing communications. Prior to that she was international public relations manager for Visit California.
As announced last May, after almost six years with Gebeco Travel, Björn Oberländer has taken over the management of the tourism department at the travel agency chain Derpart. Oberländer brings substantial experience to the new job: he worked for Gebeco Travel in Kiel as a sales and service director, before that he headed the marketing and sales department at Aovoa Touristik in Hanover. DERPART is part of DER Touristik, the tourism division of the REWE Group.
The Argentinian Günther Leudesdorf is Air Canada‘s new general manager for Mexico and Colombia. The new appointment is aimed at strengthening the company’s presence in two of Latin America’s most important countries. Leudesdorf is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he started his professional career in tourism and hospitality, then he continued in the financial services.
Agaxtur Travel, one of the 25 largest travel companies in Brazil, which markets domestic product as well as international product (to the USA and other destinations), has promoted Vilmara Souza to the position of product department manager. She brings 16 years’ experience to the job.Gold Medal has strengthened its team of destination managers with the appointment of Leanne Davies who will oversee East Coast USA and Canada. Davies joins from within the dnata Travel Group, which includes Gold Medal. She has been purchasing assistant for the Americas and Caribbean since 2017. Davies brings more than 10 years in the business. She will be based at Gold Medal’s Leyland head
Following are tour and travel industry jobs as posted by the recruiting firm, Searchwide Global. For more information, go their site, Searchwideglobal.com and click on JOBS.
- Vice president of finance & administration, Visit Franklin
- President & CEO, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
- Executive director, Baltimore Convention Center
- CEO, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence
- General manager-Charlotte Convention Center
- Vice president of enterprise sales, American Society of Association Executives™
- Director of sales, Preferred Hotel Management Company
- Director of communications, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
- Senior sales manager, Royal Sonesta Minneapolis
- General manager (outdoor hospitality), upscale outdoor resort
- Resort manager, international luxury hotel company
- Senior vice president, community engagement & public affairs, Visit Seattle
- Northeast director of sales, luxury hospitality group sales organization
- Senior director of human resources & culture, Destinations International
- Vice president of business development, Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
- President and CEO, Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Executive director, Explore Sisters
- National Sales Manager, Experience Scottsdale
- Executive director, Explore Butte County
- Downtown Vacaville, executive director
- Chief marketing officers, Visit Williamsburg
- Director of the film & creative industries office, Visit Dallas
- President and CEO, Visit Bath
- Executive director, Pacific County Tourism Bureau
- Director of group sales, Visit Vancouver WA
- General manager, Los Angeles Convention Center
- Chief executive officer, Discover Santa Clara™
- Vice president of sales, Bermuda Tourism Authority
- General manager, Moscone Center (ASM Global), San Francisco
- President and CEO, VisitGreenvileSC
- Vice president of sales, Visit Wichita
Readers might want to check out the linkedin site for jobs. There are usually hundreds of job descriptions and links, which are updated regularly. Some samples of jobs include these:
- Director, public relations, Resorts World Las Vegas
- Travel and tourism lecturer, Eden Brown Education
- Division coordinator, marketing, Lindblad Expeditions
- Copywriter, EF Go Ahead Tours
- International product development manager (shore excursions) American Queen Voyages™
Travel Wisconsin is looking for a Digital marketing Specialist in Madison Dance County, Click here for details.
Also, check out TheTravelVertical. Hundreds of jobs largely having to do with travel and tourism leadership positions, or in the digital side of the industry, can be found in this sister publication of the INBOUND Report.