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WTM Buyers’ Club

Members’ EditionClub 2014 WTM Buyers’


WTM Business Members’ Edition 2016


The exclusive magazine for WTM Buyers’ Club members ®


WTM reviews the overall impacts on the travel industry EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL MEDIA & TRAVEL






The bigger picture for host nations

Will Virtual Reality change the way your customers ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL FOR ALL make their future buying decisions? RESPONSIBLE TOURISM


Is your business digital ready?


Navigating your way through an online world

Saving our wildlife


Update on the travel and tourism world

Official WTM Buyers’ Club Partner


PLUS: INDUSTRY NEWS 5258_WTM_business_Cover AW_F.indd 1

SPORTS TOURISM 17/10/2014 12:09

Jakarta City

Explore Fur

Wonderful Indonesia, Wonderful Destinations...The Best Choice You Could Make

Stand No:

AS 6 0 0

Indonesia is the best destination you could choose for your family holiday, honeymoon, or business incentive. It offers a perfect balance of great valuefor-money facilities, attractions and services in its 13,000 plus tropical islands, anchored by Bali, Island of the Gods. The Indonesian archipelago gives visitors fascinating diverse culture, outstanding natural beauty, and the warmest, most hospitable people on earth. 56 WTM Business 2016





Senior Exhibition Director | World Travel Market Dear WTM Buyers’ Club member, Through the pages of WTM Business, I would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome you to WTM London. The key objective of WTM London is to facilitate business deals for the industry, which means giving you, the senior buyers, access to the very best facilities to conduct business negotiations with the widest range of exhibitors. WTM London 2015 saw more than 9,100 WTM Buyers’ Club members attend the event, helping it to generate a record £2.5 billion in industry contracts. This year we anticipate WTM London will facilitate an even greater amount of industry business deals thanks to the array of business opportunities available, starting with the hugely successful WTM Speed Networking

event which takes place before the exhibition opens on Monday morning. WTM London 2016 is a three day event for the first time, with opening hours extended to 7pm across all three days, to offer you even better opportunities to conduct business with exhibitors The event will conclude on Wednesday with the WTM Festivals. These celebrations are a great opportunity to network with an array of exhibitors, make new contacts over a drink in a relaxed environment, which might lead to a fruitful business relationship. This year WTM Business is even more membership focused with more interviews, Q&As, discussions, tips and insight from senior figures and industry leaders than ever before. We are constantly trying to improve our communication with members and

would like to hear your views and feedback on WTM Buyers’ Club and on what we can be doing better. May I wish you an enjoyable and productive week of business at WTM London 2016.


WTM Business 2016



Contents 09 FOREWORD Welcome from Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, World Travel Market

32 THE BIG INTERVIEW Face to face with World Travel & Tourism Council CEO David Scowsill

10 INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT Spotlight on a year’s worth of statistics across the travel & tourism world

38 FOOD TOURISM How this vibrant sector is opening up new destinations worldwide


42 RESPONSIBLE TOURISM A look at some of last year’s Responsible Tourism Awards’ winners

NEWS FOCUS 12 UK & Ireland 14 Europe 16 The Americas & Caribbean 18 Middle East 20 Asia/Pacific & Indian Ocean 22 Africa & North Africa

26 WTM BUYER’S CLUB Events, benefits, deals and exclusive offers for WTM Buyers’ Club members


WTM Business 2016

50 SIMON CALDER The ‘man who pays his way’ takes a look at the state of the industry 52 ADVENTURE TOURISM More and more travellers are seeking thrills on their worldwide travels




Director Alexander Collis Managing Editor Andy Sutcliffe Contributors Jamie Carter Erik Wolf Sean Thomas Simon Calder Paul Richer Phillip Jacobius Simon Greenbury Delphine Bartier Caroline Couret Christina Beckmann Rhys Griffiths Creative Director Print/Digital Lee Gavigan Operations and Production Manager Alena Kravchenko Accounts Controller Martin Reece Project Services Alex David Paul Cooper, Jim Kook Dawn Cooper, Martin Bond


WTM Business 2016 is produced and published by Event Publishing Services for and on behalf of Reed Exhibitions Ltd. Event Publishing Services Tel: +44 (0) 20 3727 7979 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8181 6833 Website:

18 58 CREATIVE TOURISM How DMOs and local government are boosting this growing market 62 WOMEN BUSINESS TRAVELLERS What the industry needs to improve to keep businesswomen travelling 68 MARKETING TO MILLENNIALS Focus on how social media is impacting the marketing landscape 72 TRAINS, BOATS AND COACHES How travel modes are faring in the search for new experiences 78 PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE The new Package Travel Directive will change the legal landscape for agents

38 82 86

For all sales enquiries: For all corporate enquiries:

IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT The constant search for better in-flight passenger experiences VIRTUAL REALITY As Virtual Reality enters the mainstream, WTM Business looks at this exciting new technology

94 DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Are your business’s digital practices fit for purpose in the 21st century? 98 TRAVEL PRODUCTS Essential travel gear for the modern tourism professional 100 THE OVER TOURISM THREAT Coping with the surge in visitors

The World Travel Market logo, WTM, RELX Group and the RE symbol are trademarks of RELX Intellectual Properties SA, used under licence. Reed Exhibitions and Reed Travel Exhibitions are trade marks of RELX Group plc. Hosted Buyer is a trade mark of Reed Exhibitions Limited.

The Catalogue is published by Event Publishing Services under license from Reed Exhibitions Limited. The copyright in the design and content of the Catalogue is owned by Event Publishing Services, Reed Exhibitions Limited and its licensors. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, by any means – electronic, photocopying or otherwise – without the prior written permission of Reed Exhibitions Limited.

While every effort is made to ensure information is correct at the time of going to press, neither the publisher nor the organisers can be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Opinions expressed within the articles are not necessarily those of Event Publishing Services nor Reed Travel Exhibitions.

WTM Business 2016


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Madhya Pradesh Tourism · Paryatan Bhawan · Bhadbhada Road · Bhopal 462 003 · India · Tel: +91-755-2778383 · E-mail: · Web: · Tourist Helpline: 1800 233 7777

Madhya Pradesh Tourism · Paryatan Bhawan · Bhadbhada Road · BhopalMarkt 46251003· 40489 · IndiaDüsseldorf · Tel: +91-755-2778383 · E-mail: · Web: · Tourist Helpline: 1800 233 7777 PR Contact: Prexma Limited · Kaiserswerther · Germany · Tel: +49-211-4054544 · E-mail: · Web:


MAPPING THE MARKET With a new report or white paper landing on the WTM desk seemingly every other day, WTM London Business takes a quick look at some of the facts and figures that have come our way since WTM London 2015.

A recent survey showed that 40% of Americans will not use all of their holiday time. 13% of employees will take no paid holidays at all. 




ICELAND LONDON So far this year Iceland has seen a 35% increase in overseas visitors, aided by new transatlantic routes.


London remains the top city destination for international visitors, 18.8 million in 2015.

In 2015, 12,598,860 Americans travelled to Europe.



9,554 The Olympic Effect: Rio now has 38 new hotels and an extra 9,554 rooms.


WTM Business 2016

International demand to Africa is driven primarily by three countries: USA, UK and France. These three countries represent nearly 60% of demand.


3,469,000,000,000 By 2026, Skift is forecasting that the travel industry will annually contribute $3,469 billion to world GDP (2015: $2,230 bn). GLOBAL

In 2015, the Asia/Pacific region accounted for 23% of international tourist arrivals, 277 million visitors.

Chinese tourists are now the world’s biggest spenders. Spending $292 billion in 2015.




By 2025, Travel & Tourism in India will account for 29,020,000 jobs directly, an increase of 2.2% pa since 2015.


HOTELS Phocuswright reports that for hotels looking to better serve Chinese travellers, employing Mandarin-speaking staff is crucial. One in five rated Mandarin-speaking staff as important when choosing hotels. ONLINE Expedia says that UK travellers spent 2.4 billion minutes looking at digital travel content last year – a 44% increase year-on-year. YOUTH By 2020 there will be almost 300 million international youth trips per year, according to UNWTO forecasts. Up from 200 million in 2010 EUROPE 28 European destinations reported growth in 2015, says the European Travel Commission. DESTINATIONS Skift claims that the top three emerging global destinations are Tulum in Mexico, Cartagena, Colombia and Porto, Portugal. GOOGLE Everyone (!) reports that if you want to win online you have to win on Google. Full stop!

JAPAN Last year, Chuo-ku in Osaka, Japan was the top trending destination on AirBnB, with 7,000% growth.

There are 273,512 tourism businesses in Australia; 13% of the total.


In 2016 over 24 million passengers are expected to take a cruise holiday.


CLIMATE CHANGE The UN believes half of the world’s reefs are at risk of degradation from climate change. At least 93 countries and territories benefit from tourism associated with coral reefs, and in 23 of these, reef tourism accounts for
15% or more of GDP. DOLLAR SPENDERS Last year visitors from the US, Britain’s most valuable source market, spent over £3 billion in Britain for the first time. And visits from China, the world’s largest outbound market, increased by 46%.

WTM Business 2016



NEWS ROUND-UP UK & EIRE With over 4,000 exhibitors, WTM London is full of opportunities for Buyers’ Club members. WTM Business looks at some key stories from around the regions.

PRESTIGIOUS BOOST FOR ISLE OF MAN The Isle of Man has been awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere programme. The Island is the first entire jurisdiction in the world to be awarded the accolade. Biosphere Reserves are ‘special places for people and nature’. The recognition is awarded to areas that demonstrate a successful balance between the two. “This reflects our exceptional quality of life and will help spread the message to the world that the Island is a great place to

visit,” said Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture. There are 669 Biosphere Reserves in 120 countries. They include such iconic sites as Ayers Rock (Uluru), Yellowstone in the USA, the Cape Winelands in South Africa, Mount Kenya and Central Amazon. Mr Ronan added, “Internationally, gaining such a prestigious status will amplify our reputation both in economic and environmental terms, leading to investment and tourism.” Stand: UKI300

ABOVE: Biosphere Award for IoM



ABOVE: Cruising is seeing growth

AMAWATERWAYS OPENS UK OFFICE AmaWaterways has opened a new sales and marketing office in the United Kingdom. The office, located in Guildford, Surrey, will be led by cruise and river cruise industry veteran Stuart Perl. California-based AmaWaterways was previously represented in the United Kingdom by Fred Olsen Travel, under the leadership of MD Steve Williams, who will continue to work very closely with the AmaWaterways UK team. Stuart Perl will oversee all of AmaWaterways’ UK and Europe sales and marketing efforts. Stand: EU600 |


WTM Business 2016

Hard Rock International, in collaboration with glh Hotels, has unveiled its plans for Hard Rock Hotel London, a conversion of the existing Cumberland Hotel. Offering views over Hyde Park, the 900-room hotel is scheduled for completion in summer 2018. A short walk from the original Hard Rock Cafe, the Hard Rock Hotel will stay true to the city’s musical heritage through live events featuring both local and international talents. In addition, the music-inspired hotel will feature curated

memorabilia displays and a memorabilia vault within, housing some of the brand’s more than 80,000 historical pieces. Hard Rock Hotel London will feature a vast, welcoming lobby lounge offering guests signature cocktails and live music, an on-site Hard Rock Cafe and a Rock Shop, featuring the brand’s iconic merchandise. The hotel will also cater to guests with a full service Rock Spa, signature restaurant and sophisticated speakeasy-style bar. Stand: GV125 |

SCOTLAND TO FOCUS ON ANCESTRAL TOURISM IN 2017 A scheme aimed at tapping into the valuable ancestral tourism market in Scotland has been officially relaunched. The Ancestral Welcome Scheme, which has been revamped and upgraded by VisitScotland, was unveiled in October, in front of industry representatives gathered to learn about Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017. The scheme is open to frontline tourism businesses, such as accommodation providers, restaurants, pubs and visitor

attractions, who wish to help visitors seeking to unearth their Scottish roots. Ancestral tourism is an important market in Scotland, with an estimated 50 million people worldwide claiming Scottish ancestry. It is thought that 213,000 trips are made per annum to Scotland by visitors who take part in ancestral research amounting to £101million for the economy. Research shows that 68% of North Americans cited ‘genealogy/researching ancestors’ as a motivation for travel to

Scotland, with ancestral tourists staying longer and spending significantly more than the average visitor to Scotland. Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s history, heritage and archaeology are among the top reasons for visiting our beautiful country and 2017 offers huge opportunities for the tourism industry and collaboration across sectors to encourage more visitors to delve into our past, and their own.” Stand: UKI520

LONDON’S NEW ATTRACTION CARD For the first time ever, Go City Card is now available for travel abroad with the introduction of the new Go London Card. The Go London Card offers travellers the opportunity to experience London’s most exciting attractions and to save up to 35% versus purchasing individual tickets to each attraction. With a Go London Card you pay one low upfront price and then nothing more at the gate. Go City Cards can be purchased online and instantly delivered to a traveler’s smart phone or they can be bought at brick and

mortar outlets within a city upon arrival. Travelers can opt for a 3, 4, or 5-choice pass and choose as they go from a total of 14 top available options including: Coca-Cola London Eye, Madame Tussauds London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, various walking tours, SEA LIFE London Aquarium and The London Dungeon. Smart Destinations, the company behind the Go London Card, says additional attractions are expected to be added in London later this year. Stand: NA207

ABOVE: New Go London Card


ABOVE: Tourism Ireland down under

Tourism Ireland, together with 13 tourism companies from Ireland, is preparing to undertake a week-long sales mission to Australia and New Zealand this month – to grow tourism from both markets. The sales mission – 14-21 November – will target some 300 influential travel agents, tour operators, airlines and travel journalists in

the key cities of Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The objective is to engage with travel professionals who are currently selling Ireland, or who have strong potential to sell the destination – and to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time. Stand: UKI400 WTM Business 2016



EUROPE SERBIAN HOTEL WINS DESIGN PLAUDITS Since opening last year, Belgrade’s Old Mill Hotel has won numerous design awards, reflecting the unique design of a hotel that has fast become a favourite with visitors to the Serbian capital. The hotel building was constructed on the site of one of the largest and most developed mills in Serbia, established in 1901. The spirit of the 19th-century’s Old Mill is reflected in every detail of the interior, displaying natural colours and materials (such as oak, stone, bricks, copper, and

textile) combined with designer touches. The hotel was selected for two prizes at the 8th Annual International Design Awards. Winning first prize in the Interior Design section ‘Renovation’ category. From more than 560 entries the hotel was selected as one of the three finalists in the category ‘Hotel Midscale’. The Old Mill Hotel was also the first hotel in Serbia to receive the Green Key eco-label, promoting sustainable tourism. Stand: EU650

ABOVE: Design Tour de Force


ABOVE: New 4-star Hotel for Lille

LILLE BOOSTS HOTEL OFFERING L’arbre Voyageur, a 4-star hotel themed on trees and environment, opens in Lille at the end of November. Each floor recreates a journey inside a tree, from the roots of the wood, to barks, leaves and finally birds. The lobby, with an orchid-based roof and flower shop, has a 80m² patio and origami-style lights. The hotel will have 48 rooms, from 20-25m². Priced from €119 for the ‘luxe’ room (Wifi, Occitane items, mini bar, Espresso, Replay TV). There are two restaurants including le Jeanne, with a cosy atmosphere and serving local produce. Stand: EU2000 |

TAP has increased the number of weekly flights from Gatwick to Lisbon and Porto this winter. From Gatwick to Porto, TAP added two additional flights, now offering 14 weekly flights. And the Gatwick-Lisbon route now has 12 weekly flights. Other changes in the schedule include increased services from Lisbon to the Azores; now two flights a day. There are also increases from Lisbon to the USA.

TAP’s network in Africa is also set for growth, with new services operating to Cape Verde, Senegal and Angola. Passengers flying on round trips starting in the UK to the US, Brazil or Africa, and vice versa, can benefit from the new Portugal Stopover programme. Customers travelling via Lisbon or Porto can break up their journey on the outbound or return itinerary for up to three nights. Stand: EU1010

NEW FARES STRUCTURE BRINGS ‘THE MOST COMPETITIVE PRICES’ TAP has also announced a new commercial policy, which it says offers the most competitive prices in the market for its destinations. Discounts range from 28-53%.







THRILLSEEKERS ONLY NEED APPLY Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster will be the main attraction at Ferrari Land, which is gearing up to open at PortAventura World in Spain next year. The Vertical Accelerator will set a double record for being the highest at 112 metres and fastest, reaching 111 miles per hour in five seconds. Ferrari Land will open on April 7, 2017, and means that PortAventura World, near


WTM Business 2016

Barcelona, will have more theme parks than any other resort in Europe. Representing an investment of €100 million, the new theme park is the largest project in PortAventura’s 21-year history. The resort expects to attract five million visitors annually when the 60,000m2 Ferrari Land is fully operational. Stand: EU1530 |

ABOVE: F1 drivers’ levels of G-force

NEW ATTRACTIONS FOR ANNIVERSARIES World War One centenary anniversaries continue to drive tourism strategies across northern France and Belgium. Both the Flanders region and France’s Nord district have seen large numbers of new tourists, from all around the globe, travel to the area as new museums and visitor sites open as anniversaries continue to be marked. In the Nord region, the Government of Canada is building a permanent Visitor Education Centre at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Construction of the centre is expected to be completed by April 9, 2017 – the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

that helped shape Canada, leading up to the nation’s 150th birthday in 2017. The centre will aim to put the battle into context, both in terms of the Great War and the history of Canada as a nation. In April 2017, there will be major ceremonies at Arras and Vimy. Also opening next year, the Historical Centre of the Battle of Cambrai is due to be inaugurated on 20 November, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai. Overlooking the site of the battle, the centrepiece of the museum is the British tank ‘Deborah’ [] which was uncovered in 1998, by a local

ABOVE: ‘Deborah’ – National Monument

“Our Government is committed to building a lasting legacy to honour the sacrifices of Canadians” Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, Government of Canada Already the site of the majestic Vimy Memorial, which overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about eight kilometres northeast of Arras, the area is particularly significant for Canada. And the new visitor centre is part of the ‘Road to 2017’, a Government of Canada initiative that began in 2014. The aim of the initiative is to commemorate significant milestones

hotelkeeper, after years of research. The new centre will tell the story of the battle and the tank, and its crew, of whom five are buried in the nearby Flesquieres Hill military cemetery. A new book ‘Deborah and the War of the Tanks’, by John Taylor, was published last month by Pen & Sword Books. Stand: EU2000

ABOVE: The tank’s new home

ABOVE: The Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge WTM Business 2016



ASIA & PACIFIC BOUTIQUE GLAMPING NOW A BALI REALITY Prime Plaza Hotels & Resorts has opened its ‘Menjangan Dynasty Resort, Beach Camp and Dive Centre’ – a much anticipated, tented boutique retreat, located on 16 hectares of land, beside a white-sand beach lapped by the waters of Banyuwedang Bay in Northwest Bali. Catering to outdoor adventure enthusiasts with an appetite for indulgence, the safaristyle tented rooms and villas, combined with a series of communal spaces crafted in bamboo and thatch, present a refreshing alternative in style and five-star flair. This eco-friendly tented resort, which is the first of its kind in Bali, is designed to blend with the environment and provide guests with a memorable and exciting, close-to-nature ‘glamping’ experience. Accommodation at Menjangan Dynasty Resort comprises 24 Beach Camp Tents, 2 one-bedroom Cliff Tent Villas and 2 two-

bedroom Cliff Tent Villas. The cool air-conditioned interiors of the tents capture the ambience of the classic safari club style with glass doors, natural materials and muted colours. The romance of sleeping under canvas is coupled with the tranquility of the great outdoors, with each private deck furnished with daybeds and loungers. Communal facilities include a 158m2 cliffedge infinity swimming pool. The Resort’s Pasir Putih Beach Club, open to the public, incorporates a restaurant and bar, an open kitchen, as well as a beachside swimming pool, flanked by bamboo cabanas and beanbags on the white-sand beach. The 5-star PADI dive centre and watersports centre offers scuba diving and snorkelling excursions to the dive sites surrounding Menjangan Island as well as non-motorised watersports. Stand: AS600

ABOVE: Stunning beach location

ABOVE: Stylish muted colours


ABOVE: Fun atmosphere in rooms

FAMILY-FRIENDLY GRAND MIRAGE Bali’s Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso is to open a new family paradise at the end of this year. The new complex is uniquely designed as a kids’ paradise with its 75 rooms and suites, indoor playground, outdoor playground, kids club, and restaurants. The outdoor recreation area is dominated with water attractions. Inside there is an an indoor playing arena, a Kids Club and gaming rooms with Wii and Nintendo. The resort has also established three restaurants in the complex offering kids’ dining sections. Stand: AS600 |


WTM Business 2016

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is celebrating the opening of its new InterContinental Shanghai NECC in the new Hongqiao CBD. It is the 38th hotel under the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand in China. InterContinental Shanghai NECC is the only luxury hotel located within Shanghai’s new National Exhibition and Convention Centre (NECC), the largest single building and exhibition complex in the world. Adhering to stringent sustainable principles, InterContinental Shanghai

NECC offers 536 elegantly designed rooms and suites. The hotel also features four restaurants and lounges, plus more than 2,200m2 of event space. Peter Pollmeier, General Manager, commented: “InterContinental Shanghai NECC is an integral part of Asia’s largest exhibition venue. This unique location offers the finest facilities for corporate and leisure travellers to live the Intercontinental life, enhanced by our signature service and authentic destination experiences.” Stand: AF500 |

QANTAS AND TOURISM AUSTRALIA DEAL Qantas and Tourism Australia have signed a $20 million deal to promote Australia to the world. The three-year agreement aims to attract more international visitors to Australia, with a focus on the USA, Asia, the UK and Europe. With an emphasis on digital marketing, the new agreement will see Tourism Australia and the national carrier invest in joint campaigns that will be supported through public relations, social media and trade activities.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Both Qantas and Tourism Australia want the same thing – a strong tourism industry that makes Australia the first choice for people all over the world. With tourism both to-and-within Australia on the rise, it’s the ideal time for us to join forces once again. Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said he was extremely pleased to have a formal multi-year agreement with Qantas once again. Stand: AS350

ABOVE: Joint investment


ABOVE: Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State

KAYAH STATE – MYANMAR’S NEWEST TOURISM REGION OPEN FOR BUSINESS Representatives from Myanmar’s newest tourist region are keen to meet up with operators and agents who might be interested in featuring the region. Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM) in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) will officially launch Kayah State as the country’s newest destination at WTM London 2016. Tourism in Myanmar has so far been concentrated on traditional highlights including the capital Yangon, the colonial era charm of Mandalay, the temples of Bagan and tranquil beauty of Inle Lake. Kayah State is a recently opened destination in the east of Myanmar and since 2014 ITC – the joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations – has worked with the government of Myanmar to develop suitable cultural and ecotourism products, preparing local

communities for the arrival of visitors. In 2015 Myanmar attracted more than five million international visitors and its recent responsible tourism policy has paved the way for community tourism development. One of the aims of the policy is to ensure an equitable distribution of the benefits from tourism into new regions, encourage local entrepreneurship and involve local communities in development. Closed for over half a century, recently opened to visitors, and finally accessible by air and road, Kayah is one of Southeast Asia’s last frontiers for inspiring, authentic travel. With pristine nature, ethnic diversity and a location close to Inle Lake and the Thai border, Kayah holds great potential for community tourism in the small local villages and offers a privileged insight into traditional ways of life. Stand: AS468

Couples can now renew their vows at a spiritual beach ceremony in the delightful southern tip of Mauritius. The ceremony at the Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort begins at sunset on the beach and invokes energy and symbolism from Reiki chakra traditions. Couples exchange flower chains and bracelets during the ceremony. Petals are sprinkled over everyone present during the occasion. There is no charge for the ceremony, which takes place on Fridays at sunset. Afterwards, the couple have the option of choosing a four-course romantic dinner on the jetty or beach and/or a special breakfast with sparkling wine served in room the next morning. Stand AS130

WTM Business 2016



AMERICAS & CARIBBEAN FIRST UNESCO SITE FOR ANTIGUA Tour companies operating to Antigua are celebrating the news that the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, in English Harbour, has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is the first time a site has received this status on the Caribbean island; World Heritage Site designation can be used as a brand to promote their tourism. The site consists of a group of Georgianstyle naval buildings and structures, set within a walled enclosure. The Dock is part of the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park,

which also contains Clarence House. The announcement, in July, came as UNESCO released its latest list of new heritage sites. Amongst the 21 sites joining the list were the Khangchendzonga National Park in India, the work of French architect Le Corbusier, the Antequera Dolmens Site in Andalucía and Gorham’s Cave Complex on the Rock of Gibraltar. The total World Heritage List now comprises 1,052 locations. |

ABOVE: Sheltered moorings


TAKE CANADA TO HEART CAMPAIGN Destination Canada is inviting UK travel agents to take Canada to heart with the launch of a new Canada Specialist Training Programme (CSP). 20 British travel agents, who complete the new programme by November 30, will be in with a chance to win a Haribo treat. All agents have to do is complete the new programme via “The programme is regularly refreshed and updated to reflect changing patterns in learning, the increase in access to mobile technology and to keep agents motivated to look at Canada,” says Adam Hanmer of Destination Canada. Stand: NA400

Billions of viewers around the world watched the Rio 2016 Games and would have seen just how beautiful the city is. Rio, a city that has always been considered one of the most charming and most beautiful in the world, could not have been given better exposure. Based on the findings taken from the three previous Olympic host cities

(Athens, Beijing and London), Brazil’s ministry of tourism expects a six per cent increase in the number of visitors to the country over the next year. Rio welcomed around 500,000 visitors during the Olympic Games. According to a survey carried out by the ministry of tourism, 87.7 per cent of foreign tourists intend to come back to Brazil.





purchased leisure travel via mobile

of browsing done by mobile


of leisure travellers use mobile to share experience

of booking comes from mobile


of travellers use mobile to plan or book

HERITAGE STATUS FOR CANADIAN SITE Atlantic Canada is expecting a rise in tourism, as one of its ecological reserves is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its 565-million-year-old fossils. Found in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve is one of seven world heritage sites in Atlantic Canada. It is located on the rocky stretch of coastline on the southeastern tip of


WTM Business 2016

Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula – home to some of the oldest known evidence of complex, multicellular life. Guided walks to see the fossil site will be one of the key activities being promoted by the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership at WTM London. Atlantic Canada is the closest North American destination from the UK, a sixhour flight from London. Stand: NA400

ABOVE: Mistaken Point

UPDATES FOR THE CARIBBEAN’S ELITE ISLAND RESORTS Elite Island Resorts has announced a series of improvements to seven of the Caribbean’s most popular all-inclusive beachfront resorts. St. James’s Club & Villas, Antigua enhanced all of their menus earlier this year to elevate guests’ dining experiences. The resort’s Jacaranda Bar & Lounge, Docksider Restaurant & Bar, and Coco’s Restaurant & Bar all have a fresh new look. All four tennis courts were resurfaced to world-class standards, and the resort opened a new Fitness Centre. At The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua guests love the newly enlarged beaches and the colorful Wadadli Snack Shack on Rasta Beach.

Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua has added chic new furniture throughout the resort, including upgraded sun loungers. There is a weekly Silent Cinema on the beach, a new beachside Spa Pavilion, and a yoga & Pilates deck right on the sand. A brand new Rum Shack and Coffee Shop have just been completed as well. St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia placed new artwork in all guest rooms, opened a beautiful new buffet area in the Palms Restaurant, and enhanced menu options at all restaurants. Most popular among guests is the addition of the Choc Bay Café specialty coffeehouse, and the brand new spacious state-of-theart fitness centre.

Beautiful renovations have been completed at The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa including the reimagined Enid’s Restaurant and the brightly coloured Rum Shop Bar. A private island paradise in the Grenadines, Palm Island Resort has also been freshened up while still retaining its rustic chicness. Long Bay Beach Club, Tortola BVI is enjoying some new amenities including a beautiful beachfront pool, a seaside Spa Pavilion for breezy massages, and the addition of stress free in-room check-in for visiting guests. Stand: CA220 |

NEW ANDAZ HOTEL OPENS IN OTTAWA Hyatt Hotels recently opened the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, marking the brand’s official entry into Canada. The hotel, the 13th in the portfolio, joins other Andaz hotels in global cities and top resorts. Three other Andaz hotels will join the portfolio by the end of 2016, including Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa, Andaz Delhi and Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya. Set in the heart of ByWard Market, a historical marketplace and present-day urban centre of chic boutiques, galleries, restaurants and nightlife, the capital’s newest hotel has 200 contemporary guest rooms, six studio meeting spaces, a ground floor restaurant and bar, as well as a rooftop lounge, offering sweeping views of Ottawa.

“We are very excited to introduce the Andaz brand to such a special city like Ottawa that has so much history and culture to share,” said Matt Graham, general manager. “With the support of local designers, artisans and creative minds, this incredible hotel celebrates the very best of local culture here in Ottawa and aims to inspire guests and locals. We look forward to becoming a member of this great community and growing alongside the nation’s capital.” One of the most distinctive features of Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market will be the hotel’s collaboration with local artists, musicians, designers and more to create events and programmes.

ABOVE: Natural materials on display WTM Business 2016



MIDDLE EAST YAS ISLAND TO OPEN WARNER BROS. PARK Miral, the asset management company responsible for the development and management of Yas Island, and Warner Brothers have officially announced that a Warner Brothers themed destination is set to open in Abu Dhabi. Situated on Yas Island, the development will include an immersive Warner Brothers theme park and the world’s first Warner Brothers branded hotel. The first phase of the project, Warner Brothers’ World Abu Dhabi, is set to open in 2018 and will bring together stories and characters from the studio’s portfolio of DC Comics super heroes, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as Warner Brothers’ cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry. Guests of all ages will be able to step inside Gotham City and Metropolis, and experience the cartoon worlds of Looney

Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and more, all under one roof. Located alongside the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and the iconic Emirati-themed water park, Yas Waterworld, the new theme park aims to help Yas Island take its annual visitor tally from 25 million in 2015, to over 30 million in 2018. His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Miral, told WTM Business: “It is incredibly exciting to announce that we are bringing the iconic Warner Brothers brand to Yas Island. Miral’s investment in the theme park is estimated at $1 billion and is a milestone in the emirate’s journey to put Abu Dhabi on the global map and become one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.” Stand: ME300 |

ABOVE: Set for 2018 opening


ABOVE: Private and luxurious

PREMIUM BEIRUT Phoenicia Hotel Beirut invites guests to experience a heightened level of comfort and privacy at its revamped Phoenicia Club. Conceived to meet the needs of business elites, it includes an array of bespoke privileges, starting with a chauffeured limousine pickup from the airport, escorted check in and private reception, dedicated concierge staff and much more. With stunning views of Zeytounay Bay, Club guests have exclusive access to the beautiful lounge, an exclusive and ideal space for relaxation, focusing on providing a personalized end to end experience. Stand: ME150 |


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Newly opened in September, the Ramada Hotel and Suites Amwaj Islands is within walking distance from Amwaj Marina and the Amwaj Lagoon, and only a few minutes’ drive from Bahrain International Airport, making it conveniently accessible from Manama. Ramada Hotel & Suites Amwaj Islands’ 162 spacious rooms and suites are designed with an eye for detail and equipped with deluxe amenities for ultimate comfort and convenience, including high speed Wi-Fi. Three on-site restaurants offer a

variety of dining options, ranging from Moroccan to international all-day dining; live cooking demonstrations, theme nights and an indulgent buffet. From the tranquil spa and gym, to an outdoor swimming pool and indoor Jacuzzi with sauna and steam rooms, there are multiple leisure options. The property is independently owned by Mannai Holding Co. S.P.C. and operated by Wyndham Hotel Group (UK) Limited. The group will also manage a second hotel for Mannai, expected to open in early 2017. Stand: ME700

TUI CRUISE SHIPS TO VISIT DOHA IN 2017 Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced an agreement with TUI Cruises to include Qatar in its itineraries for the 2017/18 season, bringing seven TUI cruise ships, with up to 17,500 visitors, to Qatar. The agreement puts Qatar on track to achieve its target of 250,000 visitors on board cruise ships in 2019. The Qatar Ports Management Company – ‘Mwani Qatar’ – has confirmed the berthing schedule for the cruise ships. QTA is working closely with Mwani Qatar to expand

the various elements of the country’s cruise industry, in particular, Doha Port, which will be undergoing redevelopment to transform it into a full-time cruise terminal. “The cruise tourism sector in Qatar provides huge opportunities for the growth of the country’s overall tourism industry and is central to the realization of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030,” commented Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA. Stand: ME100

ABOVE: More visitors for Doha


ABOVE: Design inspired by a desert rose

QATAR’S STUNNING NEW NATIONAL MUSEUM NEARS 2017 COMPLETION Qatar’s cultural landscape will see a major addition in 2017 with the opening of the National Museum of Qatar, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The building’s distinctive interlocking disc design is inspired by the desert rose, and the museum will give ‘voice to Qatar’s heritage whilst celebrating its future’. The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) will be at WTM London to promote the museum, as well as a host of new upscale hotels. Recently opened hotels include the Melia, Warwick Doha, Westin Doha, and Double Tree by Hilton. Upcoming openings include the Mondrian Doha, Mandarin Oriental Doha, and The Waldorf Astoria Doha. A key market for the QTA is the UK, which is Qatar’s largest European visitor source market, accounting for more than 30% of all

visitors from Europe. British tourist numbers have grown steadily over the past few years, and QTA has identified the UK as one of its key growth markets. The QTA’s increased marketing activity in the UK has contributed to a raised awareness of the destination among agents, tour operators and consumers. More than 500 British travel agents have signed up for the Tawash online destination training programme, with 70% graduating as qualified Qatar experts. Alongside the QTA at WTM London, there will be a delegation of leading hotels, destination management companies and other hospitality suppliers. Stand: ME100 |

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has passed two major milestones in the construction of the museum: commencement of the removal of temporary sea protection walls, and the illumination of the museum’s iconic dome. Louvre Abu Dhabi has been designed as a ‘museum city’ on the sea, with its series of white buildings inspired by the medina and low-lying Arab settlements. In total there are approximately 55 individual buildings making up this museum city. The 180 metre-wide dome covers the majority of the museum city. The museum is scheduled to open in 2017 and recently announced the appointment of Frenchman Manuel Rabate as director. Stand: ME300

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AFRICA MARRIOTT REBRANDING FOR PROTEA Marriott International has rebranded its Protea Hotels. The company said that the move was to capitalise on the travel aspirations of Africa’s growing middle class and the increased presence of international hotel brands in Africa. The rebranding includes an updated and modernised logo and the ‘by Marriott’ endorsement. Marriott’s endorsement of Protea Hotels signifies a turning point for the South African-based brand, which Marriott acquired in 2014. Having successfully integrated Protea’s systems and operations, Marriott is enhancing Protea Hotels’ brand strength and awareness through its endorsement. The rebranding represents Marriott’s long-term commitment to evolving Protea Hotels from a strong regional player to a globally-recognised brand with international appeal. Additionally, the endorsement will strengthen Marriott’s

awareness in Southern Africa by leveraging Protea Hotels’ strength in the region. “Travel to and within Sub Saharan Africa continues to grow at an impressive rate, and ‘Protea Hotels by Marriott’ is well positioned to capitalise on and drive this trend,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Consumer research conducted in South Africa in 2015 confirms that the endorsement of Protea Hotels by a large, international brand company such as Marriott would elevate brand perception and preference, further supporting the strategic move to endorse the brand.” Protea Hotels by Marriott has over 100 hotels throughout South Africa and seven other African countries, including Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana and Uganda. Stand: AF260 |

ABOVE: Protea Cape Town

ABOVE: Protea Kruger Gate


RETURN OF THE RED SEA RIVIERA The Egyptian Tourism Authority has announced it will re-launch its Red Sea Riviera logo for its marketing activities in the UK, as part of plans to extend the Red Sea Riviera brand to other resorts. The initiative will see the logo used by the Egyptian Tourism Authority and UK tour operators in promotional activities to remind holidaymakers of the allure of the Red Sea. Rasha Azaizi, UK Director, Egyptian Tourism Authority, said: “The Red Sea Riviera logo was part of Egypt’s most successful tourism advertising campaign in the UK, perfectly capturing the country’s unique promise of both a relaxing and exciting holiday. Extending the Red Sea Riviera brand into the region’s other beach destinations will enable us to put Egypt back in the ‘Riviera League’ of popular tourist destinations.” Stand: AF500


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The South African Tourism Board has a new Chief Executive Officer. The Chairperson of the South African Tourism Board, Dr Tanya Abrahamse, announced the appointment of Sisa Ntshona [pictured below] in October. “Sisa has displayed the right attributes for this position. He is an energetic leader for an ever-changing world, with its challenges and opportunities for the growth and sustainability for South Africa’s tourism,” said Dr Abrahamse. “He has more than 15 years’ experience in leadership roles in a range

of sectors, both within and outside the tourism sector. Sisa will lead SA Tourism into a new era of business sustainability through increased co-operation with the tourism industry, as we aim for a greater contribution to SA’s developmental goals and inclusive growth,” added Dr Abrahamse. The South African Tourism stand [AF260] features a number of key partners. And there will be a drinks reception, hosted by South African Airways and Cape Town Tourism, on the stand from 16.30-19.00 on 7 November.

MEET KENYA’S NEW VISITOR SUPREMO Kenya’s new tourist board chairman is keen to meet partners from around the world to discuss initiatives in the country’s fight back against dwindling visitor numbers. Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chairman Jimi Kariuki told WTM Business magazine that the exhibition is crucial to getting the message across that the country is back in business. In the peak season on 2011, Kenya attracted 1.78m visitors, but this figure dropped to 1.18m last year. In March, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Mr Kariuki, who is marketing and sales director at Sarova Hotels, as chairman of the Kenya Tourism

marketing team to link up with partners so that we can attract large numbers of tourists to the country this year,” he said. WTM London visitors to the Kenya stand can find out about promotional campaigns aimed at their particular market. The government has recently launched incentives including visa fee waivers for under 16s, reduction of entry park fees, incentives for charters and the scrapping of a 16% VAT on tourism services – a move that is expected to bring down safari costs. KTB is doing joint marketing with Kenya Airways to attract travellers from other African countries, as well as promoting the

ABOVE: Joint marketing with Kenya Airways

“We have categorised our markets to make it easier for our marketing team to link up with partners” Jimi Kariuki, Chairman, Kenya Tourism Board Board (KTB). Mr Kariuki says Kenya’s tourism sector has the potential to attract at least five million visitors annually. He said his first assignment at the board is to spearhead the recovery of tourism through campaigns intended to help the government achieve the 2016 target of 1.6 million international tourist arrivals. “We have categorised our source markets to make it easier for our

country in emerging markets, specifically Poland and the Czech Republic. Currently, lodges and tented camps in the Maasai Mara National Reserve are enjoying roaring business in the wake of the wildebeest migration spectacle. And at the coast, hotel bookings have improved following the resumption of charter flights from Europe. Stand: AF300

ABOVE: Safari costs reduced?

ABOVE: Wildlife tourism remains the major pull for visitors to Kenya WTM Business 2016


In Guatemala you can travel in time, and enjoy the beauty of more than a century ago.

Antigua Guatemala is located in a valley where the best coffee in the world is produced. Its unique atmosphere is an invitation for visitors to stroll along its cobblestone streets amid colonial structures. Its impressive historical value and

incomparable beauty has led UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage site. The surroundings of this beautiful city are considered some of the best places in the country for mountain biking and birdwatching of regional endemic species. LA ANTIGUA GUATEMALA

A place where you can see the blue sky by looking down

Considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Atitlรกn is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes and picturesque Mayan villages, such as San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlรกn. This is an ideal place to experience the amazing fusion of the Mayan conception of the

world and the Catholic faith brought by the Conquistadors. Visitors can climb the three volcanoes surrounding the lake (Tolimรกn, Atitlรกn, and San Pedro) throughout the year and revel in the most spectacular views. LAKE ATITLรN




As a WTM Buyers’ Club member at this year’s revamped WTM London, you are in prime position to take advantage of the many business networking events and seminars held across the three-day event from Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 November, with opening hours extended from 10.00 to 19.00 throughout the exhibition. In response to exhibitor and visitor feedback we have moved more content on to the exhibition floor, further increasing networking opportunities between exhibitors, buyers, visitors and media, including a new 300-seat amphitheatre which joins the Global Stage on the exhibition floor. With over 80 seminars across the three days, WTM London offers buyers a host of opportunities to gain insights and expertise.


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There are also a number of key networking functions for you to attend. Firstly, if you are looking to meet luxury suppliers, we have an open ‘drop-in’ session for A Taste of ILTM at WTM on Tuesday 8 November from 13.00-17.00 in the Luxury Lounge. As a valued member you do not need to register – just turn up. The WTM Wellness Lounge returns this year, recognising the growing importance of the Wellness Tourism sector globally. On Wednesday 9 November, from 11.00, the lounge is open for buyers to meet with Wellness exhibitors. Finally, don’t miss out on experiencing the culture, hospitality and cuisine of each hosting exhibitor at this year’s WTM Festival, taking place on Wednesday 9 November, from 17.00-19.00. Back for another year, this vibrant networking event is a perfect

opportunity to network with new and existing contacts outside of traditional hours in a relaxing and fun atmosphere. This year we have once again been working with various travel providers, including the oneworld alliance and Eurostar, to secure the best travel deals possible. Also, please take advantage of the discounts we have made available to you with MBNA Thames Clipper and Emirates Air Line. And check out the exclusive members offers on the next page. For further information on how to redeem these discounts please talk to the WTM Buyers’ Club receptionists. There are two Buyers’ Club lounges at WTM London. One located close to the East Entrance in the North Hall (Europe section) and one in the South Hall (Africa section), close to ExCeL’s west entrance.


WTM Buyers’ Club, the leading travel business network, is WTM’s business club for senior travel industry decision makers with direct purchasing responsibility.

53% of buyers have an annual budget of US $500,000 or more

The key attribute for WTM Buyers’ Club members is that they are decision makers for purchasing and are looking to sign contracts with suppliers Buyers at WTM London have significant budgets for the purchase of travel products – they also typically are looking to source a number of different types of suppliers

Typically, members of the WTM Buyers’ Club are senior travel industry professionals and are in positions of power



9 out of 10 members are middle management or above



The WTM Buyers’ Club consists of topquality travel and tourism buyers and generates business leads for WTM exhibitors. The exclusive members-only club is open to leading buyers in the travel industry and currently has more than 10,000 members who have undergone the strict entry process in order to access the many benefits. The WTM Buyers’ Club generates real business for exhibitors and improves the quality of buyers’ experiences at World Travel Market events. After buyers register, the WTM London team review their application, with only those meeting the criteria for membership being granted their exclusive WTM Buyers’ Club badge. Membership is free.




Fast Track access to WTM London Exclusive access to two WTM London Buyers’ Club lounges with free refreshments and a complimentary massage l Free cloakroom

Access to meeting rooms and free internet facilities l Fantastic partner discounts, visit l Access to the WTM Buyers’ Speed Networking

“WTM was a great opportunity, after 5 years in the industry, to meet with new and existing suppliers. It gave me a great insight into the different products and services available.” Bethan Hopkins, Bookable Holidays

WTM Business 2016




Being a WTM Buyers’ Club member brings with it a number of fantastic benefits to make your trip more comfortable and stress-free. Enjoy our hospitality at WTM London as well as making the most of our partners’ special offers outside of the show!

FREE GLASS OF BUBBLY Dine in either the O2 or Canary Wharf Gaucho restaurants during WTM London and receive a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, before enjoying delicious Argentinian dining. Just quote

‘WTMBUYERS’ when booking. |

2-COURSE MEAL AND LIVE JAZZ Choose from three Boisdale venues. Enjoy fantastic dining and live Jazz with prices from £18.50 for a 2-course dinner, bubbly and live jazz. Just quote ‘WTMBoisdale’ when booking your table. Conditions apply. |

UP TO 20% OFF AT WESTFIELD Show your valid WTM Buyers’ Club badge

at one of the concierge desks at Westfield Stratford City and receive a VIP Pass giving you access to exclusive discounts at a range of shops and eateries. |

ON-DEMAND LUGGAGE DELIVERY Head straight to WTM London and enjoy a stress-free journey between London’s airports and ExCeL (or vice versa). AirPortr will transfer your luggage to your London base, ready for you on arrival Quote ‘WTM2016VIP’ for 20% off. |

THIS YEAR’S PARTNER TUI GROUP World Travel Market is delighted to welcome TUI Group as the 2016 partner of its prestigious WTM Buyers’ Club. At this year’s WTM London TUI Group Product & Purchasing will partner with the WTM Buyers’ Club. Garry Wilson, Managing Director, TUI Group Product & Purchasing said, “I’m delighted to be able to announce our partnership of the Buyers Club at WTM London 2016. It is important to highlight the significance of WTM to a business such as TUI Group and specifically Purchasing. Every year we enter into thousands of agreements with our hotel partners that are specifically selected to provide our customers with the best holiday experiences from TUI. The key to such success is having the best and most professional teams who are aligned to the vision of our business. We will continue


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to grow and search out new opportunities and I’m very excited about new potential partners we will meet and build relationships with during this event.” TUI Group Product & Purchasing is instrumental to the success of TUI Group which on annual basis will enter into more than 15,000 accommodation contracts within destinations generating over €5 billion in turnover for TUI’s hotel partners. The team supports 14 tour operator source markets of TUI Group giving a true international culture to working. Key to their success is sourcing and driving growth in differentiated hotels which is core to the strategy of TUI Group. The key hotel brands generating success to the business are RIU, Robinson, TUI Magic Life and TUI Blue as well as TUI Sensatori, TUI Family Life and TUI Sensimar.

TUI Group is the world’s number one tourism business. The broad portfolio gathered under the Group umbrella consists of market leading tour operators, 1,800 travel agencies and leading online portals, six airlines with more than 130 aircraft, over 300 hotels with 210,000 beds, 13 cruise liners and incoming agencies in all major holiday destinations.

90% have direct purchasing responsibility

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DAVID SCOWSILL As WTM London opens, global security issues and Brexit uncertainty are just two issues taxing the sector. To take the temperature of the industry, WTM Business spoke to David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council.


he World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) was formed in 1991 by a group of travel and tourism CEOs who felt that the sector’s contribution to economies and job creation was not being fully recognised. Its objectives were to use evidence to promote awareness of the industry’s economic contribution; to expand markets in harmony with the environment; and to reduce barriers to growth.

The WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report update is forecasting full year growth of 3.1% for the industry. By any standards a stellar performance, but what are the issues that could slow growth? Travel & Tourism is an extremely resilient and important sector. It currently generates around $7.2 trillion to the world economy, which is nearly 10% of total global GDP and supports over 284 million jobs, which is one in 11 jobs worldwide. The world has seen many terrorist attacks over the last year and whilst these attacks are utterly tragic, travellers have shown to be more resilient than ever. Travellers may change destinations, but they continue to do business and take vacations. Travel and


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tourism needs to recognise and address the attacks, but not succumb to them. A large part of the danger of attacks to our sector lies in the overreaction of governments looking to close down borders or implement stricter visa requirements. Visa requirements are another issue hampering the freedom to travel for all. One of the main strategic priorities that WTTC advocates for is freedom to travel, which means the right of people to cross international borders for leisure and business travel purposes, without compromising security.

One of the largest threats to the growth of travel and tourism is for companies and consumers to ignore the impact our sector has on the environment, local communities, and cultural heritage. While travel and tourism is a force for good, it is of extreme importance that all stakeholders in the sector adopt policies that support sustainable growth and align with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Something you have spoken about in the past is travel advisories. Specifically, that governments

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need to be very specific with travel advisories to not victimise destinations for the long-term. Could you elaborate? WTTC understands the need for travel advisories and always recommends travellers to be informed before they commit to travel anywhere. However in order for travel advisories to be effective they need to be up-to-date and to remain relevant.

The impact on travel and tourism and the recovery of a country’s visitor numbers is dependent on a variety of factors including: the stability in the country; whether the attack was aimed specifically at tourists; and how the government and private sector coordinate their response. The key is for governments to communicate clearly about the situation from the very first moment after a crisis has

“Our sector is extremely resilient. It is key to restore confidence in a destination after they have witnessed a terrorist attack or a natural disaster” Inaccurate, out-of-date and vague travel advisories can affect jobs and livelihoods of people employed in travel and tourism. We encourage governments to categorise risks by using an impartial, international body so that consistent information is provided to travellers. Travel advisories should be geographically specific and updated regularly. It is critical that all local knowledge is taken into account when issuing travel advisories. Clearly terrorist incidents often do have an immediate impact. We’re thinking here of recent attacks in France, Turkey, Thailand and Tunisia in particular. The WTTC is always quick to condemn and to offer your support, and destinations often prove surprisingly resilient.

What practical steps can the industry take to support countries after such terrible incidents?

happened, and to provide constant updates as new information becomes available. Managing the media is critical in the first few days, and then again when the conversations focus on the recovery and ‘what is next’. The situation has to be managed on the ground by the government in coordination with the private sector. When the incident is no longer being covered by the media, the process of rebuilding can start quickly. Our sector is extremely resilient. It is key to restore confidence in a destination after they have witnessed a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Restoring that confidence involves increased marketing and keen pricing by tour operators and travel agencies to get customers to return. The key is to ensure that tourists understand that the country is safe to visit and then business will return to normal pretty rapidly.

You have long campaigned for simplifying visa policies, citing examples such as the Schengen agreement, recently calling for a unified tourist visa policy six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and campaigning against any suspension of the Visa Waiver Program reciprocity between the USA and EU nations. With an often knee-jerk reaction to terrorist incidents and the like,

MEET DAVID SCOWSILL – PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE WTTC David has been Chairman PrivateFly, Chairman Yuuguu, Director On the Beach Holidays, Director i-level Digital, Vice Chairman at Worldhotels; Director Venere Net SpA; Group Marketing Director at Manchester Airports Group, Sales and Marketing Director at easyJet airlines and CEO for Opodo, the pan-European online travel company. He has built an extensive network in Private Equity and Venture Capital, whilst working on specific deals in the travel and technology sectors. Previously, David has served as the MD of the Consumer Division for Orange; CEO for the global retail services business Minit Group; SVP Sales, Marketing, and IT on the Board of Hilton Hotels, Director of, and Hilton Reservations Worldwide. He has 19 years of extensive sales, marketing, and operational experience worldwide in aviation, with British Airways as Director of Europe and Middle East, and Regional General Manager of Asia Pacific; and as Managing Director of European Sales at American Airlines.


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ACCESSIBILITY Recently the WTTC has called for the Travel & Tourism sector to be more accessible. During a speech at World Tourism Day celebrations in Bangkok,. David Scowsill said: “Travel and tourism needs to take

are you optimistic that there will be a gradual loosening of visa arrangements?

European bodies in Brussels to stress the importance of Visa Waiver Programmes.

Over the last decade we have seen major developments of countries adopting more visa friendly policies. Countries like India, Indonesia, and Japan have all implemented or extended visa waiver programmes. However, there is still a long way to go. The UNWTO [United Nations World Travel Organization] Openness study showed that currently 61% of the world’s population still need to apply for a paper visa, queuing up to visit an embassy or consulate. It is important to highlight that enhancing security is not about closing borders or tightening visa restrictions. It is about working on the ground to prevent terrorism, by improving the use of biometrics and intelligence sharing between nations. In terms of the USA, while the country revised its visa waiver programme at the end of last year, we believe that the US government is fully committed to their visa facilitation policy. During our Annual Global Summit in Dallas last April, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued an urgent call to action for the sector to help ensure the future of the visa waiver programme. We work closely together with the USA and the

You are a champion of the economic impact of open skies policies around the world. You have called for a nation’s premier to intervene when there is domestic protectionism. How big an issue is it for the industry? A liberal approach to aviation brings economic growth, as we have seen with the countries and regions that have liberalized aviation. This started with the USA in the early 1970s, followed by the flourishing of the low cost carriers in Europe. Open skies provides the opportunity to connect not just primary cities, but also secondary cities, which has led to an influx of leisure and business travellers providing economic stimulus to cities which previously had no air connectivity. Starting originally with Southwest Airlines, this model has been replicated throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Protectionism still plays a huge part in aviation, which ultimately stifles economic development and job creation. WTTC urges governments to adopt a clear policy on aviation which is led by the Prime Minister

ABOVE: Endeavour Safaris accessibility requirements seriously. The imperative is not only moral, but it also makes good business sense. “Many tourism businesses can be deterred from making themselves more accessible. Sometimes they have financial concerns about the investment necessary to alter or refit their facilities, and at other times they are concerned about offending people. That is why days such as the World Tourism Day are so important. We need to raise awareness of the opportunities of accessibility and the mechanisms by which it can be achieved,” stressed Scowsill. Nearly 15% of the world’s population is estimated to live with some form of disability.

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or President, whose office can resolve conflicts between Tourism/Commerce and the Transportation or Interior Ministries on the strategic long term approach to aviation. Travel and tourism generates economic growth, jobs, and investment. Aviation liberalisation creates more routes, greater competition, and lower fares. As we head towards two billion international passengers crossing borders by 2030, we must work together to drive our mutual growth agenda forward, in a way which balances the needs of people, planet, and profit.

Problems aside, tourism does seem to be moving in a very positive direction. If you gaze into your crystal ball, what do you see over the next 5-10 years? The sector will continue to grow. Travel & Tourism will grow by 4% per year on average over the next decade, and will continue to show resilience against the constant disruptions that we face. There will be an increased pressure on companies in our sector to integrate sustainable practices into operations, and there will be pressure on destinations to manage their growth as the numbers of tourists increase. Acknowledging the sustainability targets set out at the COP21 meeting in Paris last year, we will have to focus very hard on the climate change agenda and the commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the board. This is not just an issue for aviation, but for the entire sector. The sharing economy will continue to grow as we align our policies with the UN’s

for the travel industry. What are you telling ‘Brexit Ministers’ Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson? Our sector has not seen any immediate dramatic impacts following the UK vote to leave the European Union. Our Mid-year Update of our Economic Impact Report 2016, which we released in August, showed that in the UK, direct travel and tourism GDP growth is expected to hold up well in 2016 and 2017. Even though we anticipated

“The most important message we can get across now to the UK government and the EC is that our sector thrives in an open, competitive environment” 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. More traditional companies will continue to reinvent themselves, as they encounter different business models and different types of competitors. Technology driven new entrants will bring new challenges and new opportunities for travel product distribution.

Closer to WTM London’s home. Clearly the Brexit vote is a huge issue for the UK, and by implication


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weaker domestic spending growth because of the drop in value of the pound, any losses will be offset by stronger international leisure spending as a weaker currency makes the UK a more affordable destination. The cost of travel for UK residents will increase due to the exchange rate movement, and this may impact overseas travel and spending. Those countries that rely heavily on the UK as a source market, such as Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands,

might see some decline of UK visitors. The most important message we can get across now to the UK government and the European Commission is that our sector thrives in an open, competitive environment. We will be urging politicians and negotiators on both sides of the table to pursue policies that facilitate travel for business and leisure purposes. Fundamental to this will be a trade agreement, mobility of labour, visa free travel, open skies, security and intelligence cooperation.

Finally, you often talk of tourism and travel as a ‘force for good’ in the world. Are you optimistic about the future? Yes, tourism is a force for good. It brings people together. It connects travellers to local communities, bringing a greater understanding of cultures and traditions. Earlier this year we released a study that looked at the correlation between tourism and peace. The research shows us that open and sustainable tourism sectors tend to be more resilient to terror or conflict. Despite the world becoming a more violent place, countries are improving their openness and sustainability. It is crucial for governments to acknowledge the importance of a strong tourism sector. |



The Next Big Thing Food Tourism has grown rapidly as foodies search out new and exciting culinary experiences across the globe. The World Food Tourism Association’s Erik Wolf looks at how secondary and tertiary food destinations are poised to prosper.


or the new food traveller, nothing quite scratches the itch better than a first trip to France or Italy. But after several trips to these countries, foodies start to yearn for the new and different. Occasional business trips to London, Singapore, New York or similar places give us some opportunity to try new food experiences, although trips like these are typically made for business and are not necessarily our first choice as food destinations. We still dream of cute cafés with outstanding views, the best locals-only restaurants and a new ‘undiscovered’ beverage. These are the kinds of experiences that we tend to find on our own or via word-of-mouth from trusted friends and family. Often this information does not filter down quickly enough, or more likely, our friends and family are not the same kinds of foodies that we are, and the traveling foodie is left to find new and exciting destinations on his or her own. That is a time-consuming process at best. In the past few years, I have had the good fortune to be able to travel to dozens


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of countries. Recently I found myself in Poland for work, and I had absolutely no expectations as to what food and drink awaited. I always go with an open mind and try not to have any expectations because unmet expectations are always met with disappointment. When I told friends that I was going to Poland, there were a few chuckles about vodka, kielbasa and pierogi. Of course those things are available, but I found a new world of Polish food and drink that is on the verge of becoming one of the world’s most interesting ‘new’ cuisines.

DISCOVERING NEW DESTINATIONS Some of the places I enjoyed were Mierzęcin Palace Resort, northwest of Poznan, in rural western Poland. We toured the vineyards on this beautiful estate and then tasted the estate’s wines. That’s when I knew that Poland had something truly remarkable and yet to be discovered. The resort’s chef Dawid Łagowski is on the verge of earning a Michelin star. I also visited Folwark Wasowo, an organic farm with meeting space. Lunch was simply outstanding, with products that

were either grown or produced on the farm or nearby farms. This is just one example of a food and drink experience that is flying under the radar for visitors to Poland. Poland is just one example of an emerging food destination with serious potential. A couple of years ago I visited Ecuador and was similarly amazed by the country’s jams, teas, chocolate, coffee, fruit and herbs – very basic products, all of outstanding quality. As for Ecuadorian cuisine, soups, grains like quinoa and potatoes are heavily featured. There are as many as 800 different kinds of potatoes in the Andes Mountains. We in North America and Europe tend to only see two or three kinds of potatoes. I never knew a potato could taste so amazing. The Ecuadorian people are so humble; they almost don’t seem to know what they have. It is truly one of the world’s best kept foodie secrets (well, no more, now that I’ve said it). Earlier this year, I was in Peru, whose cuisine is similar to that of Ecuador in many ways. Probably the best black olives I’ve ever tasted were in Peru. Locals told

LEFT: Sunny Point Cafe, Asheville. ABOVE: Chocolatier in Antwerp.

me the reason why is because Peruvian olives have the highest acid of any in the world. Whatever the reason, they added an amazing flavour to many of the dishes I tried (aji de gallina comes to mind). And of course there are plenty of fine dining establishments like Central in Lima that showcase true culinary innovation. Tasty food and drink seem to permeate every aspect of Peruvian society. While Peru may not be regarded as a rich country, its people are happy going to bed every night knowing that they have eaten well with the local products that nature has made available to them. Another great lesser known destination is Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Quietly known as a foodie haven, the word is now getting out that this small area should be on any foodie’s itinerary. Asheville has historically been known as home to the Biltmore Mansion, as well as a great place to see the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, neither activity equated to overnight lodging. Explore Asheville (the tourism office) did not have to think too hard about what other sights and activities it could WTM Business 2016



promote to encourage overnight stays. The town’s food and drink were evident: a product ready to market. Given travellers’ mushrooming interest in food and beverage, it only made sense to nudge Asheville’s food and beverage attractions to the forefront. A couple of years ago, we had a work assignment in Jordan. Some of the best meat I’ve ever tasted in my life was in Jordan. And I remember a falafel from a street vendor there that was probably the freshest, most flavourful one that I’ve ever enjoyed. We went to a cooking class near Petra and I learned how to make some classic Levant cuisine dishes. Many people are scared to visit Jordan because of the unrest in the Middle East, and that’s understandable. However, Jordan is an oasis of relative calm in the region. For something new and even exotic, a trip to Jordan for the food and drink, as well as the sights, would certainly hit the mark. Ireland is another emerging foodie destination. It may not be easy to find Irish classics like Irish stew and soda bread in an international city like Dublin. Still, one doesn’t have to travel too far out of the city to experience these and other authentic Irish dishes. Besides the everyday classics, the Irish are proud (and rightly so) of their dairy products like cheese, butter and ice cream. I tend not to eat butter at home, but when in Ireland, I can’t get enough. Any discussion of Ireland would be remiss without a mention of two Irish classics: Guinness and whiskey. The Guinness Storehouse factory and tasting room in Dublin is a world-class attraction and alone is worth the trip to the city. If whiskey is of interest, you can certainly enjoy it at the Jameson Distillery in Dublin, or at many of the other distilleries that dot the countryside. Ireland is rapidly shedding the stereotype of its beer and whiskey reputation, and visitors are returning home with fond memories of the highest quality and tastiest lamb and beef, seafood, cheese, yogurt, berries and more. What other places could emerge as the world’s next exciting foodie destinations? Everyone has their favourite ‘undiscovered’ places, and nominating one over another

is nearly impossible. Immigrants from many destinations have brought their cuisine to the new countries that they now call home. Perhaps a better question to ask is, what cuisines should we be looking forward to trying next? In the food and beverage world, the spotlight has yet to shine on some real gems that include the cuisines of Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Indonesia and Nepal. Ecuador and Indonesia are already doing pretty well in that category. None of the destinations mentioned are what analysts would call ‘primary’. As people tire of crowded sites and soaring prices in famous cities, it is the secondary and tertiary destinations like those above that are poised to gain popularity. Think: more authenticity (usually), shorter queues and lower costs. Of course not all foodies are the same. Our PsychoCulinary profiles [see right] have a tremendous influence on

where we choose to go. Travellers can find great food and drink all over our planet. Some destinations are more ready than others to package and promote their food and drink for visitors to enjoy. Sometimes food and beverage businesses need extra help to understand how to woo food travellers. Other times, the DMO needs help understanding why it needs to invest in promoting the area’s food and drink. After all, our industry is all about creating economic opportunities where food and beverage meet travel and hospitality. There are many secondary and tertiary destinations with exciting food and drink to uncover. That’s one of the exciting things about being a foodie who travels. We are inherently explorers, and our next great meal is only a short ride away. |

“For something new and even exotic, a trip to Jordan for the food and drink, as well as the sights, would certainly hit the mark” Erik Wolf, World Food Travel Association


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ABOVE: Asheville – Foodtopia. BELOW: Folwark Wasowo, Poland.

ABOVE: Cork food market. Ireland’s food offering attracts fans from around the globe.

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW FOOD TRAVELLERS? Not all foodies are the same! When we hear ‘foodie’, some of us think of lovers of good food. Others think of high maintenance diners who must create the perfect dining experience (from service to ambiance and of course the food), everywhere they go. Still for others, fancy or gourmet experiences come to mind. In reality, we now know there are as many as 13 different kinds of PsychoCulinary profiles. That’s the fancy way of explaining our behaviour around the food purchase decision-making process. The 2016 Food Travel Monitor published by the World Food Travel Association surveyed food travellers from 11 major countries and derived the following profile of food lovers who travel: PROFILE



Authentic 46% (up from 8.8% in 2010) Seeks food/drink prepared according to recipes and traditions of region – an ‘authentic’ experience. Eclectic 44%

Seeks wide variety of experiences/a little bit of everything: Italian one night and Thai the next.

Localist 35% (up from 11% in 2010) Seeks locally-owned and operated restaurant/s, from tiny cafés to gourmet restaurants. Social 30% Seeks social food/drink experiences. Time talking or meeting friends/family are important. Innovative 23% Seeks to experiment often trying innovative things. Seldom return to the same places. Budget 22% Seeks inexpensive dining options. May not seek a particular type of food but budget important. Adventurer


Seeks unique foods and drinks & may be willing to try anything.


18% (up from 8.1% in 2010)

Seeks fine-dining and gourmet dining.



Seeks organic or naturally-grown ingredients.

Ambience 15%

Seeks distinctive experiences where ambience takes precedence over food. May include romantic or themed restaurants.

Novice 14% Seeks the usual or the ordinary. They want to avoid surprises and seek out ‘standard’ experiences. Trendy 11%

Seeks trendy, hip, & cool food & drink experiences. Being at the forefront of ‘cool’ is important.


Seeks vegetarian or vegan restaurants and foods.

8% (up from 3.3% in 2010)

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BELOW: LooLa in Indonesia

The Gold standard in the field

Now in their 13th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards are a celebration of the most inspiring and enduring tourism experiences in the world. WTM Business talks to some of last year’s Gold Award winners to find out what impact the awards have had.


ast year’s overall winner, the idyllic Indonesian island resort of LooLa was praised by the judges because of their innovative approach, based on the Dutch ‘polder principle’ – that all stakeholders should benefit – and because they have proven that it works. Based in Singapore, joint owner Dr. Marc van Loo measures the major benefits of the resort’s success at the Responsible Tourism Awards through reference to local staff empowerment and morale. From the outset he, and his partner Isabelle Lacoste, set out to establish a business where the ‘eco’ or ‘green’ credentials went hand-in-hand with the needs and aspirations of the local people. Based on a realisation that it is difficult to conserve nature if the local communities in the area do not support the idea. As van Loo says: “The key for an eco-conscious business is increasingly understood to be this: to construct a business that is sustainable, meaning that the interest of all stakeholders (owners, staff, local communities, local government, clients, and the nature around us) align to produce an outcome that is good for each stakeholder.”


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BELOW: Atlas Kasbah

ABOVE: Activities at LooLa With reference to his two gold awards at WTM 2015, van Loo says, “The whole event was a huge boost for our staff’s self-esteem, and it enables me, as the Singapore-based founder of LooLa, to remind them that there’s nothing that they cannot do.” He adds: “We’ve further used this award to embark on our most ambitious goal yet: for LooLa staff to become fully financially

independent in 2017, meaning that I can simply pay them a package and they run the whole show, including paying their own salaries… “A few departments are already almost financially independent, and the staff’s own shop has truly taken flight. “Such staff empowerment is awesome – I couldn’t have wished for a better outcome!”


ABOVE: Hetta Huskies

ATLAS KASBAH ECOLODGE Winner of the gold award in the Best Hotel for Local Sourcing category, the Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge was built from scratch in 2009 in the Argan Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site to protect the argan tree. Built with a view to sharing the Berber heritage of owner Hassan Aboutayeb, pride, protection and pristine beauty oozes from every hand-

the award, we have become a recognised example of responsible tourism in Morocco and other hospitality facilities contact us to ask for information or help in improving their sustainable policies. This is really interesting to share with others and these interactions also helps us learn new ways of achieving the same objectives.” Hassan was invited to the COP21

“The Award meant that we could approach a number of key players linked to animal welfare and tourism” Anna McCormack, joint-owner, Hetta Huskies crafted corner of this 11 bedroom property, just 20 minutes from Agadir in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. After the award was announced Hassan Aboutayeb says he was overwhelmed by the congratulatory messages he received. With many thanking him for promoting the Kingdom of Morocco around the world. He told WTM Business that, “Thanks to

Sustainable Innovation Forum in Paris to talk about best eco-friendly practices and sustainable tourism, the Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge having being recognised as the best example in Morocco and one of the best in North Africa. During the year, Hassan has worked hard to promote the triple bottom line framework [a financial model incorporating

Mushing, dog sledding or husky journeys into snowy wilderness. Whatever you call them, few can resist the imagery of these blue eyed beauties, galloping through the snow. However, like so many tourism practices that involve animals there are good and bad ways of doing it. And because huskies are seen as hardy, able to cope with any conditions, welfare issues are often overlooked. Gold award winner in the Best Animal Welfare section, Hetta Huskies, however, based inside the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, leads the way in mushing magnificence. For joint owner Anna McCormack the award brought valuable credibility to her company. As she explains: “the Gold Award meant that we could approach a number of key players linked to animal welfare and tourism in Finland. As a result, we were able to generate sufficient interest in the subject to kick-start two EU-supported projects tied to the responsible use of animals in tourism. Now, a diverse group of stakeholders including veterinarians, 11 key Finnish entrepreneurs, researchers and representatives of institutions overseeing standards in tourism and animal welfare both in Finland and internationally are meeting and networking regularly. “The three-year project goals include the development of both baseline and optimal standards applicable to the key arctic tourism industries (sled-dogs, reindeer, horses and, to a lesser extent, wild animals) whilst also figuring out how those companies operating at the highest standards can utilise that in their marketing and communication channels to help consumers make choices which take animal welfare into consideration. “The next step will be to take the developed standards, gain widespread acceptance of them within each industry and apply them to Finnish, Scandinavian and, ultimately, International Law. In other words, we have a long way to go, but this is just one more step that we have been able to take part in.”

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ABOVE: Accessible camp with Endeavour Safaris social, environmental (or ecological) and financial parts] among hospitality managers in the region and also to promote sustainable proactive practices among all the regional stakeholders, e.g. with the rural tourism association in the region – the RDTR – the school, the village, the local cooperatives, etc. For now, Hassan explained his “main focus right now is the COP22 in Marrakesh in November. We are applying for the Ministry of Tourism’s National COP22 Award. Our objective is to draw people’s attention to climate change and show that the tourism sector is fully involved in reducing energy-related CO2 emissions.”

ENDEAVOUR SAFARIS Gold award winner in the best accommodation for disability access category, Endeavour Safaris has led in demonstrating that it is possible to enable people with a wide variety of disabilities – ranging from wheelchair users to people requiring oxygen and kidney dialysis – to experience a safari in South Africa with specially-adapted vehicles and mobile camps. Those with disabilities can enjoy the same safari experience with their families and friends. The judges said that ‘It is rare to see a conventional tourism business get its head around what disability access really means, but when a safari company does it, you really have to take your khaki hat off. And most importantly, Endeavour Safaris understands inclusivity in tourism. Because they are not just about providing safari camps for people with disabilities. They are just about providing top notch safari camps. For everyone.’ Since the award, director Mike Hill says Endeavour Safaris has enjoyed a number of very focused press articles as a result of their success. He adds that the company is also experiencing a higher number of bookings related to the specialisation in


WTM Business 2016

“We long for the day when most of the tourism destinations around the globe will cater to everyone’s needs” Mike Hill, Director, Endeavour Safaris disability tourism. Mike told WTM Business, “We are very proud to have been recognised for many years of building a foundation which has resulted in our region being accessible to persons with disabilities and their friends and families. The fact that many people have had travel opportunities through our services is something that we will continue to expand upon, improve and continually educate our partners and colleagues about the need to remain inclusive as a destination. “Inclusive tourism does not belong to any one organisation or country, it is something that will continue to grow and improve with time and education, and, importantly, travellers with disabilities need to continue travelling; this is how things change. Not complaining from an armchair, but rather physically being in a destination teaching a learner the correct way to making everyone feel comfortable. “Pioneers are always needed for new or developing destinations, and that is where it gets tough, so depending on where you feel you fit into the mix, choose a destination that will work for you. “Our next agenda includes improving the lives of our local people living with disabilities, through tourism. Gaining training and employment in our inclusive environment. Our dream is to globally see an inclusive tourism environment that will support and employ a healthy percentage of that destination’s locals, living with disabilities. We are proud of our Tourism Leaders in Botswana for their support and

vision, which is enabling us to succeed in our dream. “We long for the day when most of the tourism destinations around the globe will cater to everyone’s needs and have adopted the inclusive tourism agenda.”

URBAN ADVENTURES The Gold Award in the Best for Engaging People & Cultures category went to Urban Adventures, part of Intrepid Travel. Established in 2009, they provided urban experiences for 70,000 travellers and locals in 2014. The judges were pleased to see that the experiences were sold to both travellers and locals alike and recognised their highly scalable business model where, within the framework of a Responsible Travel Code of Conduct, local Urban Adventures Partners (UAPs) are able to own and manage their own business. In return for a commission on tours sold, Urban Adventures provide local UAPs with the BELOW: Endeavour Safaris

BELOW: Local engagement with Urban Adventures

JUDGING... How does the judging panel ensure consistency and identify the most enduring and shining examples of responsible tourism? 1. EVIDENCE-BASED The panel are looking for evidence of real change, businesses which can convincingly demonstrate positive impacts, or reduced negative impacts, quantified wherever possible. 2. REPLICABILITY The Awards aim to inspire change, to identify examples of best practice which can be replicated across the sector and around the world. 3. INNOVATION The judges are looking for innovative practices that make a real difference, the Awards highlight new good practices, which the judges believe, can, and should, become common practice. 4. INFLUENCE We look for businesses and organisations that are not only doing good work themselves, but are using their influence to ensure their peers and suppliers to do the same. 5. SUSTAINABILITY & LONGEVITY The judges seek to Award those businesses that understand that taking responsibly for tourism is a long journey, that it encompasses the economic, social and environmental impacts of their activities and who have a clear vision for the long-term success of the work.

technology, marketing, and sales support to promote and sell their tours. Director Tony Carne commented, “We won the award last year thanks to our unique business model: rather than being a top-down organisation where the power is held by a select few at the top, we instead help local tour guides to start their own businesses, that they completely own, and which in turn support their local communities. It’s a model we are really proud of and that now extends to local operators in over 150 cities worldwide. “Winning the award gave us the confidence to double down and extend this model, helping other individuals and organisations from non-traditional tourism backgrounds, but who have great stories to tell – such as NGOs, not-for-profits, and social enterprises. We now have 14 different tours from 10 different organisations,

each telling the unique city stories from the perspective of those groups and the people they help. We are delivering a real, new, sustainable income stream to these organisations and, with it, we are enabling our community to go places no other travellers venture.” Looking to the future, Tony says, “we want to extend that help to as many organisations as possible — people who want to tell their unique and uplifting stories, and to give our community an insight they could not otherwise have into a place and its people.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION | | | | | WTM Business 2016



THE 2016 SHORTLIST IS REVEALED said, “We are extremely proud to be backing these 13 incredible organisations. It’s inspiring to see the calibre and variety of responsible tourism outfits across the world. As we move forward with the next stage of our sustainable tourism plan here in Belize, we hope that their stories will in turn inspire businesses in our country, as well as in other parts of the world, to invest in, and achieve more through sustainable tourism.”

ABOVE: Lemon Tree Hotels, India This finalists for this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London, sponsored by Belize, include one of India’s largest hotel chains, making the employment of people with disabilities and socially excluded groups a core part of its business model; a tour operator democratising tourism by pioneering the ‘Buy one, Give one’ concept in travel; one of the world’s most iconic hotels with a successful programme to rescue, rehabilitate and re-release adult sea turtles; and a tourism business offering migrant-led city tours to foster greater understanding between locals, tourists and migrant groups. Commenting on the standard of the finalists, Chair of Judges, Professor Harold

Goodwin says “This year we have an incredibly strong field of contenders. “Over the past few months each of these organisations has been subject to intense scrutiny by a panel of judges combining some of the leading minds in responsible tourism, conservation and development in the country. They have come through the most rigorous and competitive judging processes for an Awards scheme of this kind and have emerged as international leaders in their respective fields.” The winners will be announced on Tuesday 8 November at WTM London. This year the awards are sponsored by Belize. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism

THE FULL LIST OF FINALISTS !Xaus Lodge | South Africa Burj Al Arab Aquarium | UAE Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Resort | South Africa East African Safari & Touring Company | Tanzania Elevate Destinations | USA Friends International – Childsafe Movement | Cambodia Lemon Tree Hotels | India Misool Eco Lodge | Indonesia Sam Veasna Centre | Cambodia Sapa O’Chau | Vietnam Tren Ecuador | Ecuador Viaggi Solidali | Italy World Cetacean Alliance


FRONT ROW (L to R) Linda Park, Campaign Against Canned Hunting - Abigayil Blandon, Honko Mangrove Conservation &

Education - Tracy Byrne, TUI UK & Ireland - Karno Kom, Loola Adventure Resort - Klaudija Janzeli, Urban Adventures - Sophie McCarthy, Soneva - Rachel Bell, Ullswater Steamers - Agata Zborowska, Uncornered Market. BACK ROW (L to R) Magnus Berglund, Scandic - Pandurang Taware, Agritourism Development Company - Professor Harold Goodwin - Cillian Murphy, LoopHead Peninsula - Eamonn McCormack, TUI UK & Ireland - Hassan Aboutayeb, Atlas Kasbah - Justin Francis, - Kate Nustedt, World Animal Protection - Glenda Kitley, Gaansbai - Anna McCormack, Hetta Huskies - Paul Hill, Endeavour Safaris.


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DISCOVER MOR AT STAND AF600 IT’S MUCH CLOSER THAN YOU THINK Morocco is a vibrant, alluring, almost mystical destination with a welcome as warm as its weather. And with over 70 direct flights a week from the UK and Ireland, Morocco is closer than you think. Travellers can fly direct from London (Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted), Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin, Bristol and Liverpool.


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WTM Business 2016




SIMON CALDER Widely recognised as the UK’s leading travel journalist, WTM Business spoke to travel specialist Simon Calder, to see how this champion of consumer rights views the travel industry in 2016 and beyond.


t’s fair to say that many of today’s travel journalists have something of a deserved reputation for wandering the world from one luxurious freebie to the next. Not Simon Calder – a writer who pays his way and has a well-established reputation for impartiality and independence.

Airlines are often the part of tourism that travellers love to hate. How could they improve? It may be a minority view, but I believe the 21st-century traveller is extremely well served by aviation. Flying has never been safer or cheaper, and the opportunities it bestows for the world are immense. But stuff goes wrong sometimes. Passengers just want more honesty and openness about what’s going on when problems occur. BELOW: Surprising Colombia. Ripe for discovery, says Simon.


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Where do you see the future growth areas for the industry? A very significant proportion of the world’s population has never travelled abroad for tourism, and the unremitting spread of low-cost airlines means more of them are gradually being empowered to extend their horizons. So I think most of the growth is going to be from ‘newbies’ — who have different interests and needs from more experienced travellers. They need to be nurtured.

With the growth of online, the tourism industry has had to embrace huge change. Where do you see opportunities and threats? Travel and the internet are made for each other, enabling billions of consumers to

access billions of elements of inventory: aircraft seats, hotel beds and rental cars. There are still opportunities for harnessing the web to enhance consumer choice — but there’s also the threat that unscrupulous online organisations will fleece travellers by setting traps that prove expensive for the unwary.

The sharing economy has had a huge impact on travellers’ habits. How do we compete? Competition is marvellous in any industry, particularly travel, and it’s great that consumers have more options – especially in locations where beds are in short supply, such as Amsterdam and Barcelona. The threat is persuading the traditional accommodation industry to shape up,

“Competition is marvellous in any industry, particularly travel, and it’s great that consumers have more options”

FAVOURITE… COUNTRY Close to home, Northern Ireland is one of many, along with Scotland, Wales and Colombia. CITY DESTINATION London, where I happen to live, feels en fete every day of the year. Paris is eternally entrancing. But frankly any city, with the possible exception of Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, is a joy to explore.

ABOVE: Nuuk in Greenland. Not a fan! WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE This summer, to Greenland and Baffin Island. I’m surprised my family are still talking to me after I persuaded them to spend two weeks drifting around the sub-Arctic on an old Polish ferry.

ABOVE: Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast. Top of Simon’s bucket list.

competing on service as well as price. But regulators need to ensure a level playing field, ensuring peer-to-peer hosts respect the same safety standards as the mainstream hospitality industry, and pay tax on their earnings.

You are well-known as a champion of consumers’ rights in the tourism sector. What changes would you most like to see. Compared with the rest of the world, we get a pretty good deal from travel providers. But right now the way that European passengers’ rights rules are trampled on by some airlines concerns me. Sure, the EC261 regulations are absurd in their impact – obliging airlines to pay passengers a multiple of the fare for a three-hour delay. But that doesn’t excuse misrepresenting the rules, as some carriers do, nor fibbing with impunity about the cause of a particular delay. In a sense you can’t blame the airlines for trying it on – but it makes you wonder about the teeth of the regulator, the CAA.

Each year, ‘new’ destinations are touted as the next big thing. Are there any particular areas that you feel are ripe for discovery? Northern Ireland. Fascinating, friendly, accessible and yet with far fewer visitors than its natural and cultural attributes should attract. One day the world will catch up; meanwhile, you can enjoy Titanic Belfast, the Ulster Museum and the Giant’s Causeway without the crowds. Colombia, incidentally, is much the same (in terms of postconflict tourism attitudes — not language, Caribbean beaches, rum, etc).

JOURNEY Waterloo Bridge, London, heading south, on my bicycle BELOW: Waterloo Bridge. A favourite view.


SIMON CALDER Simon became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as the ‘Man Who Pays His Way’. He contributes to various BBC programmes and regularly comments as an expert on travel issues. | @SimonCalder | |

THING YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO CHANGE ABOUT THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY The attitude that is taking hold, even among professionals, that the world is more dangerous than ever. In fact, the world is safer than ever. I’ve checked.

WTM Business 2016



Travel’s Adventure Revolution

Like creative travel, adventure travel continues to grow dramatically across the globe. Christina Beckmann, from the Adventure Travel Trade Association, looks at how this exciting sector of tourism is developing and expanding. In Hokkaido, and even all over Japan, adventure tourism has not yet been included in the general tourism concept and has not been appreciated yet as an important opportunity,” remarked Ayami Saga at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Anchorage, Alaska recently. “What we are learning here will spark many new opportunities in Japan.” Ms. Saga was attending her first Adventure Travel World Summit representing the Hokkaido Engineering Development Center. And describing a situation found still in many countries, Ms. Saga shared that “because Japan has many places that are rich in traditional, historical and cultural resources, their tourism focus has always been on these assets.” She said that learning about the adventure tourism market had sparked many ideas for the development team of Hokkaido. She and her team are now working on concepts to develop and bring to market the outstanding adventure assets in Hokkaido: rich wetlands for bird-watching, volcanoes and vast virgin forests for hiking and biking, glorious hot springs for that restorative soak. Each year new markets awaken to the


WTM Business 2016

guiding philosophy of adventure travel – that working at the intersection of conservation and commerce can deliver benefits for business, communities, the environment and wildlife. And, they also come to realise, if not immediately then very quickly, that the imperative to manage adventure tourism responsibly is acute. Roughly one in four international travellers

includes an adventure activity in their trip, according to research conducted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association and The George Washington University. This editorial explores current trends in the expanding adventure travel industry including activity and destination trends, along with traveller demographics and spending patterns. In addition, the perspective of longtime

SNAPSHOT Every year the Adventure Travel Trade Association publishes its Industry Snapshot. The report contains the results of a global survey in which adventure travel tour operators are invited to share information about their business operations as well as trends they are experiencing in traveller demographics, destinations and activities. Custom itineraries, soft adventures, and cultural based adventures top the list of itinerary types receiving greater interest from adventure travellers in 2016.

The top 10 terms used by tour operators to describe the activities preferred by clients:

industry experts on the reality of commercial adventure tourism in key regions is provided along with a discussion of how the adventure industry is mobilising to bring conservation funding to worthy projects.

DESTINATION TRENDS In terms of trending adventure destinations, adventure travellers continue to demonstrate

experiences. Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, with their deep reserves for wilderness and cultural enthusiasts, are among the top countries receiving interest among tour operators based in North America. Jean-Claude Razel, owner of Alaya Expedições, a long running and successful company in Brazil reports, “The greatest asset of South America with respect to

“The greatest asset of South America with respect to the adventure market is that it is still an unknown region” Jean-Claude Razel, owner, Expedições, Brazil their interest and desire to explore rugged, difficult to access, and little known places alongside mainstream attractions. South America is one of the most indemand regions among adventure travellers in 2016. An increased awareness and interest in conservation and wildlife has perhaps driven travellers to seek out trips that draw together rich cultural and nature

the adventure market is that it is still an unknown region and with reserves holding great surprises for travellers in search of new experiences. Operators in countries such as Bolivia and Colombia are genuinely creative and offer amazing experiences for the most daring adventurers. South America also benefits from a favourable evolution in exchange rates for countries

1. Cultural 2. Hiking 3. Cycling 4. Eco-tourism 5. Trekking 6. Walking 7. Safari 8. Locals 9. Bird-watching 10. Environmental

The top activities reported booked by companies across all regions in 2016 : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Cultural Activities Hiking Cycling Eco-tourism Trekking

“Food, beer, unique gastronomy” was cited as an activity trend in the 2016 Snapshot, and it is clear that culinary experiences continue to blend well with adventure travel itineraries. From a previous survey, Adventure operators and advisors estimate that the incorporating food experiences into adventure itineraries appeals to 50% of their clientele. Recently Skift reported that interest in gourmet food and wine ranked far below chef-driven ‘gastropub” cuisine and experiential activities such as farmer’s markets, food festivals, and food tours.

WTM Business 2016



like Argentina. Brazil also is in the same dynamic, reinforced by the exposure gained from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.” Other countries leading in terms of adventure traveller bookings are (not ranked order): Canada, Italy, Spain, France, UK, South Africa, and India. Although not leading in terms of adventure tour bookings yet, increased traveller interest has been noted in Southeast Asia including: India, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines. There is also increased interest from travellers for the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland. Perhaps most notably in terms of regions expected to surge in the coming year is the Western Balkans. Although countries such as Montenegro have been actively pursuing adventure product development for nearly a decade, the region has only recently organised for adventure tourism promotion, hosting its first adventure event in 2016: AdventureNEXT Balkans representing Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. This international gathering helped build momentum for adventure travel and its core message of sustainability and local economic uplift. Among the nearly 300 delegates to AdventureNEXT were more than 40 international leading tour operators (buyers) from North America, Western Europe and other target source markets, and more than 20 journalists, representing media such as New York Times, Outside Magazine, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, LA Times and Wanderlust. Other delegates were representatives of the entire tourism supply chain from Southeastern Europe. As Jack Delf of Montenegro’s Black Mountain Adventures commented, “Continuing security concerns in more established tourism destinations such as France, Western European cities and now


WTM Business 2016

“ Travellers [want] to pursue activity interests and genuine travel, going beyond the routine sun and sand” Jack Delf, Black Mountain Adventures Turkey are still affecting traveller choice. South Eastern Europe, and the Western Balkans have now come full circle and are rightly being perceived as safe and settled. The trend among consumers to look for more authentic travel experiences and escape tourist hot spots is strongly fuelling the growth in visits to parts of Europe which are less well known or less blighted by ‘overtourism’.” The Balkans region now drawing so much trade attention has everything to offer from natural wilderness assets to genuine and accessible local culture. Tourism professionals should expect to see many more trips on offer to this region.

TRAVELLER TRENDS There is no question that destinations and activities once available only to the most intrepid and well-equipped explorers are now readily accessible to a growing global population of experience seekers. Recent research by the ATTA shows that adventure travellers are split evenly male/female. For companies headquartered in Africa the ratio of men to women adventurers is even higher: 57% female/43% male. With respect to travel style, tour operators currently observe that 36% of their guests are couples, 17% are families, and 17% are solos. Thirty two percent are groups. However, an increasing number of tour operators – 72% according to ATTA’s 2016 Industry Snapshot – say they are devoting attention to cultivating trips for multigenerational groups and families.

“We have for many years noticed a difference in the average age of adventure travellers in general (36) and the average age of adventure tour operator clients (25% age 41-50 and 25% age 51-60). Now we’re seeing adventure businesses starting to really step up to the opportunity, looking for ways to appeal to families and multigenerational groups. This will allow more people to access the authentic connections and experiences that adventure travel can offer,” says Shannon Stowell, ATTA President.

SPENDING TRENDS Adventure tour operators estimate that per guest spending on local handicrafts or souvenirs is $145. They further estimate that 65% of the trip cost per guest remains in the destination. In contrast, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that for every $100 spent on a vacation tour by a tourist from a developed country, only

BELOW: It is estimated one in four travellers are looking for adventure on their travels

around $5 is thought to stay in a developing destination’s economy.

BUSINESS OUTLOOK Sixty-five percent of operators in ATTA’s 2016 Industry Snapshot survey said their net profit outlook for 2016 is up, with new customers as the primary factor influencing projections positively. Their experience is supported by recent research released from Visa in which the company estimates that “the number of people making a crossborder trip will climb by 50% over the next

10 years, leaping from 2015’s total of 1.2 billion to 1.8 billion in 2025.” Key drivers for global growth include a rising middle class, aging travellers, and better connectivity – both in the physical sense of airlines and technologically. Jack Delf of Black Mountain Adventures observes growth in his business coming from “the demand for second and third annual holidays among older more affluent Europeans particularly into pre-peak AprilJune.” He noted that travellers are extending the season as operators offer more ‘weather

neutral’ activities and believes that travellers are making an intentional decision to “make better use of vacation time, to pursue activity interests and genuine travel, going beyond the routine sun and sand.” The global adventure industry is thought be worth at least $263 billion, based on a study published in 2013 by the ATTA and The George Washington University . At the time, researchers estimated 65% growth in adventure tourism from 2009 to 2012, with Asia not included in the survey. In the intervening three years, the industry


LEFT: Visit Meteora ©ATTA/ Rupert Shanks

Adventure traveller spending on adventure travel tours range from $167 [€151] per day to $448 [€406] per day. Adventure travel companies participating in ATTA’s annual Industry Snapshot report rising trip prices, with percentage increases ranging from 1% for companies based in North America to 65% for companies based in Central America. Although global exchange rates affect prices reported in USD, the industry still assumes a general uptick in pricing. Per day trip prices were as follows for companies based in the following regions: Africa: $285/€258/£233; Asia: $178/€162/£145; Central America/Caribbean: $167/€151/£136; Europe: $200/€181/£163; Middle East: $288/€254/£230; North America: $448/€406/£367 South America: $255/€231/£209.

WTM Business 2016



BELOW LEFT: Nepal ©ATTA/EricLarsen | BELOW RIGHT: Turtle Conservation ©ATTA/HassenSalum | BOTTOM: Workshop ©ATTA/Juno would seem to be continuing with its expansion. For many adventure businesses, improving their business management practices may be one of the simplest ways to capture a growing traveller base: more than half of companies – 53% – say they do not have an online reservation system. One might infer further evidence of industry expansion from the rising attendance at adventure industry events. For example, the Adventure Travel World Summit grew 300 attendees in 2005 to 800 industry participants at its most recent Summit in Anchorage, Alaska. Alongside of that, the organisation has added numerous new trade events, which have been attended by hundreds of trade, media, and tourism board representatives.

CONSERVATION FIRST While adventure industry expansion represents a positive development for many businesses and communities, it is impossible not to acknowledge that alongside of the economic benefits also exist many possible downsides for wilderness areas and local communities hosting adventure travellers. As Jim Sano, VP of World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Tourism and Conservation group observed recently, “The volume of travellers in Asia’s most iconic adventure destinations has reached levels where the integrity of the tourism assets and the quality of the traveller experience is compromised. 40,000 travellers a year make the trek from the Lukla airport to/from the Mt. Everest region

using one trail (in contrast, the total number of backpackers in Yosemite National Park was 56,000 across a 750 mile network of trails); Angkor Wat receives over 2.1 million visitors a year; and Chiang Mai’s visitation has risen to 1.6 million. “The long term health of adventure travel in Asia and the rest of the world ultimately lies in creating integrated management plan that balance protection of the resource; community benefit; and elevating the quality of the traveller’s experience. It will require courage on the part of all stakeholders to set a carrying capacity for their destinations.” Recognising that adventure travel’s ongoing expansion puts pressure on nature assets, wildlife and communities, the adventure travel industry mobilised in 2016 to create the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF). The Fund was founded by five industry leaders: The Adventure Travel Trade Association, REI, ExOfficio, Eagle Creak, and Uncruise Adventures.

The ATCF will directly fund local organisations outside of the United States engaged in the conservation of unique natural and cultural resources of adventure travel destinations. Both nonprofit and forprofit organisations such as conservation groups, indigenous people groups, tour operators, accommodation providers will have the opportunity to receive project funding from ATCF. Travel companies would do well to participate in conservation efforts and advocate in the destinations where they operate. Recent research by Mandala Research and Sustainable Travel International confirms that travellers are making purchasing decisions based on a corporate behaviour. For example, 57% of a recent survey’s respondents said they have recently made purchases from a travel company or destination because it offered travellers experiences reflecting the unique character of the destination; 48 percent say they have purchased from a company because it implements initiatives to help conserve natural resources.

IN SUMMARY Every year new, significant regions awaken to the opportunities and the challenges of adventure tourism. Alongside of this, growing numbers of travellers looking for deep and meaningful travel experiences find their way to adventure travel operators. Companies looking to tap into the trends will focus on cultural activities, hiking and cycling in destinations in South America, Southeast Asia, Western Balkans and the Nordic region. These companies will also integrate conservation messaging and advocacy into their business practices, recognising that without strong management and a commitment to protecting core assets, the adventure tourism victory may wind up a sadly pyrrhic one. |


WTM Business 2016

WTM Business 2016



Exploring Creative Options Airbnb is attracting a new generation of travellers who are seeking authenticity in their The Creative Tourism sector is going from strength to strength. However, argues experiences, and areDMOs after the in their accommodation. The attraction of offer. home Caroline Couret, andsame destinations need to think carefully about their | Photography: Jean-Sébastien Veilleux Saint-Jean-Port-Joli village créatif’ stay travel instead of the more extravaga previous, Lee Gavigan wonders how


hen the concept of creative tourism first appeared in the 2000s, defined by professors Greg Richards and Crispin Raymond as a ‘Tourism which offers visitors the opportunity to develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences, which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are taken’, the tourism industry was still immersed in a top down relationship in which standard packages were imposed on tourists. When these ‘creative’ experiences already existed, they were seen as being restricted to a few romantic travellers willing to explore their hobby in different parts of the world. Painting in Tuscany, taking a photographic tour of Madagascar and practicing traditional dances in Brazil were some of the many experiences that were moving these budding artists around the world, like some kind of modern day heirs of the Grand Tour. Richards’ and Raymond’s visionary thinking was to foresee the potential to evolve from a minority niche to a new form of travelling. As technology’s ‘disruptive innovation’ has provoked changes across society, one main consequence is the empowering of consumers. Although this


WTM Business 2016

ABOVE: Delegates from the Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development explain their project. is reflected in many sectors through the emergence of new models of circular, sharing, experience and the creative economy, the tourist sector is one of the most illustrative of this transition from a consumer to a prosumer. This change, from a top-down to a bottom-up approach, forces DMOs and private entrepreneurs to collaborate with new players in order to fulfill

travellers’ new demands. In other words, it enables the tourist entrepreneurs to be creative themselves. In some way, this new reality brings new opportunities for a tourist sector that was reaching maturity while observing the negative externalities. But it also brings new challenges. Being able to satisfy foodies, sketchers, knitting lovers, makers, PANKs

[Professional Aunts, No Kids], bleisure [travellers mixing business with leisure], performing travellers, and other wanderlusts in the same destination requires a deep knowledge of each field. Creative tourists are renowned for being very demanding about the authenticity and relevance of the activities at the core of their travel experience. Fakes don’t pass muster, and if

benefits to the local economy and the destination’s sustainability. So, what can we do to overcome these challenges and reach these new markets? First of all, obvious but urgent, we have to realise how fast processes are changing when we probably believe everything still works according to our historic perceptions. This may look easy but it is not. Especially

“We have to be ‘listening’ to travellers’ expectations through their active and constant interactions on social media and other channels” they do, they are then severely denounced in user’s reviews. As an aside, one of the missions of the Creative Tourism Network [CTN] is to promote Creative Tourism Best Practice and to recognise, through our Creative Tourism Awards, the destinations, tour operators, agencies, hospitality and experience providers that are innovating in this direction, while guaranteeing

for companies, or projects, in which there may be a generational conflict. For example, in a company where the millennials managers would be keen to propose unique experiences for their guests (importantly, their peers), as added value, they may have to deal with other [older] managers’ reticence or objections; managers wanting to achieve short term economic profits

to the detriment of investing in innovation or sustainability. The consequence, not surprisingly, is a loss of attractiveness and competitiveness, as well as an increasing gap between the offer and an ever more complex marketplace. Secondly, we have to be ‘listening’ to travellers’ expectations through their active and constant interactions on social media and other channels. They are our guides through this hyper-segmentation and intangible sector, now often based on ethical and ecological principles, intangibles, knowhow, permanent training, experiences and DIY trends, more than simple products. Once we understand their needs, we have to find the most appropriate external collaborators, who are not necessarily tourism entrepreneurs, but usually experts across a very wide array of specialties. Would we entrust the surgery to a tourist manager because his/her company deals with medical tourism? Recently, many destinations, aware of this essential commitment, are working hand-inhand with the local communities to position themselves with very singular offers that are characteristic of their culture and traditions. The CTN was founded based on the WTM Business 2016



Barcelona Creative Tourism pioneering experience, and brings together other destinations worldwide that are developing approaches of this kind. In this context we should recognise the City of Porto Alegre in Brazil, where Secretary of Tourism, Luiz Fernando S. Moraes, has founded Porto Alegre Criativa. This is a programme designed to promote the ‘Gaucha’ culture, typical of the area, through a selection of creative workshops and participative activities designed and produced by the craftsmen, cultural associations and artists, in collaboration with the hospitality sector. The village of Saint Jean Port Joli, in Quebec, also bet on its artistic heritage and the presence of numerous artists and artisans, to develop the brand ‘Creative Village’, and offer travellers the chance to work with its ‘creatives’, a term that refers to the local artists and craftsmen, but also the local community as a whole. The result was immediate, as millennials discovered this creative destination, experienced it, and became ambassadors. Loulé, in the Algarve, is another destination that addressed its seasonality by becoming a place-to-be for the creatives, makers and other experience travellers. The recipe is always the same: the realisation by DMOs and local governments of this intangible potential, in order to create a ‘creative’ segment and its corresponding brand, and to involve the local stakeholders. Of course, the ingredients change depending on the destination, in order to


WTM Business 2016

preserve the offer’s authenticity and to strengthen the destination’s DNA. The example of Ibiza is an excellent one. They created an off-season experiences’ programme, through which travellers can participate in a varied selection of activities ranging from a sandals-making workshop, to a painting retreat, plus cooking classes, underwater video-making and even, appropriate for Ibiza, ‘becoming’ a DJ through two-days of intensive training. This all contributes to enhancing the intangible heritage of the island, as well as diversifying the destination’s offer and helping to maintain the hospitality sector during the low season.

include it in a 360° marketing plan. This empowerment usually requires professional training for the craftsmen, artists, and others, in order to convert them into microentrepreneurs for the tourist sector. To this end, the CTN organises seminars through which these stakeholders acquire, not only specific knowledge and skills, but also create, within the same session, their own offer, in partnership with other local players.
As you can imagine, the benefits in terms of professionalism, revitalisation of the local economy, social cohesion and residents’ self-confidence are enormous, and for a tiny investment. For this reason, it’s important that the initiative comes from

“Creative tourism is thus the ‘tool’ through which local communities will be able to learn from tourism and to establish a responsible model” The Region of Tuscany, in Italy, where the artistic heritage and tourist attractiveness has few rivals, is also developing the creative tourism segment as a new way for visitors to experience the Tuscan way-of-life, and be inspired by its creative atmosphere. This all requires DMOs to build strategies around these new offers that engages and empowers the local communities and

the DMOs and local governments, in order to establish a governance framework that fosters private initiatives and businesses, create synergies and guarantees a sustainable development. In addition to generating business, creative tourism offers new opportunities (as well as challenges) for tourism engineering, through the co-creation of


new experiences in partnership with very different partners, in a very disruptive and evolving framework.
This is what SMIT – The Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development – highlighted in the project, for which they received the Creative Tourism Award for Best Strategy, which consisted of converting creative tourism into an economic and social ‘lever’. This was not only for top destinations, but perhaps more importantly, in remote areas ripe to be discovered. Creative tourism is thus the ‘tool’ through which local communities will be able to learn from tourism and to establish a new and responsible model, in which visitors and residents can develop friendly relationships.
Clearly, this exceeds the DMOs’ classic remit, but it chimes with today’s tourist realities, to which public and private bodies have to adapt ... or die. Truthfully, such adaptations are not that difficult. It just requires a change in mind-set. Which often means, for example when it concerns international positioning, to forget about the rankings and to start networking with other destinations that are offering meaningful experiences to this new generation of travellers. To recommend each other, instead of competing. To reach the ‘human’ instead of targeting the tourist. Tourism is an industry, but an industry of emotions!

Typical of the new breed of museums, alert to the Creative Tourism concept, is the MusVerre, which opened in October in the northern French village of SarsPoteries, south east of Lille, a former glass-making town known among glass enthusiasts all over the world for its studio, artists’ residencies and its collections. This new 4,000m2 building, clad in local blue stone, is a showcase for over 3,000 works made of glass by both local craftsmen in the 19th century and contemporary glass from artists from all over the world. The walls and roof of the building are clad throughout with blue stone quarried in the Hainaut region. It reacts to the changing light and lends a unique depth to the outside appearance of the building. Designed to be perfectly integrated into its natural environment, the MusVerre is oriented so that it interacts with its surroundings. In the current economic and social context, in a region that has greatly suffered from industrial decline, the MusVerre aims to place culture at the heart of a rural community as a means of development. Taking its

local heritage as a starting point, it will encourage creative networking on an international scale. The MusVerre, located in a rural community
of 1,500 people, will help to drive the cultural
and economic development of the region. Its commitment to the local people and area and the diversity of its actions will contribute to opening up the region in terms of communications and political engagement. Through the well established reputation of the museum and the unique quality of its architecture and collections, the project underlines the attractiveness of the region as a tourist destination. The 850-piece collection of ‘bousillés’ are works made by 19th-century glassworkers for their own pleasure during their breaks. They thus made masterpieces out of everyday objects, each more elaborate than the other, using their skill and virtuosity as well as their imagination and creativity to bring the colours and shapes alive. Regular glass-making classes and demonstrations run throughout the year with a strong emphasis on the traditions of the Nord region. |

CAROLINE COURET CEO of the Creative Tourism Network. | WTM Business 2016




Female Business Travel A new report from Maiden Voyage, the first comprehensive piece of research into the female business travel market, highlights the issues female business travellers face and looks at the steps the industry needs to take to improve the experience.


he Women in Travel Business Report has been 30 years in the making. That’s how long the debate over whether female business travellers should be treated any differently to their male counterparts has been dragging on. Today we live in a risk-filled world where corporates must remain ever-mindful of their duty of care to travelling employees. More women are in senior corporate positions and more are travelling on business too. Travel management has changed too. Personalising the traveller experience is essential to maintain the policy compliance that
drives maximum value from corporates’ travel spend. Travel managers are therefore engaging with a more diverse range of stakeholders than ever before in a bid to create travel programmes that meet the personal needs of every business traveller. The trend towards greater customer segmentation has also revived travel suppliers’ interest in tailoring their products more effectively. It is against this background that commissioned TIN to carry out


WTM Business 2016

the Women in Business Travel Report. The results come from over 200 female travellers who shared their views. Those views, together with those of some leading travel managers and travel supplier partners – Avis Budget, CTI, International SOS, Priority Pass and Virgin Trains – are summarised in the report. Full report available to download from

SURVEY RESPONDENTS The seniority of female business travellers in 2016 is reflected in the survey participants. Of 205 respondents, half were managers; 30% were company directors; 13% owned

their businesses and 8% were CEOs. Just under half of the survey respondents spend four nights or more per month away from their UK homes on business. 56% are away for between one and three nights; 28% for 4-6 nights, 10% for 7-10 nights and 6% for more than 10 nights a month.

THE FEMALE PERCEPTION One of the primary objectives of the report was to explore female business travellers’ perceptions of their own corporate travel programmes. When asked how well, in general, travel suppliers treat female business travellers compared to their male colleagues, 61% agreed that the sexes

“The European hotel market continues to grow – some travellers might choose home-stay” Douglas Quinby, Phocuswright’s Vice-President, Research

WTM Business 2016



are treated equally well. Only 22% said that women were treated less well than the men but 70% believed that travel suppliers should try harder to address the needs of female business travellers. When questioned about their corporate travel policies, a sense of disengagement emerged: 77% agreed or strongly agreed that their programmes should take account of their needs as a female business traveller. And while 72% disagreed or strongly disagreed that shortcomings in this area made them less likely to comply with policy, almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) agreed or strongly agreed that their experiences of preferred travel providers would affect whether or not they use that provider. In addition, 75% agreed or strongly agreed their companies should prioritise suppliers who paid attention to the needs of female travellers. Meanwhile, over half of respondents felt that their TMCs were failing by not making allowances for their needs.

PLAYING SAFE According to the survey, almost a third (31%) of female business travellers have suffered sexual harassment while travelling. In fact, sexual harassment accounts for over half (51%) of all incidents encountered by female business travellers. Handbag theft is the second most frequently encountered incident, followed by drink spiking and sexual assault. Meanwhile, 64% of female travellers say there are destinations they would not travel to that they would probably travel to as a man, such as parts of the Middle East, Africa, South America and even Japan.

BE PREPARED The vast majority (79%) of female business travellers claim they are under-prepared to deal with the incidents they encounter. Of those who are, training is again non-gender specific. 69% of travellers know who to turn to in case of emergency or incident.


WTM Business 2016

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION The Women in Business Travel Survey reveals where travel providers are getting it right
– and not so right – when meeting the needs of female business travellers. The Survey analysed when travel providers do well and where they appear to be falling short in the opinion of female travellers.

BELOW: Falcon Grove, London Falcon Grove, London

AVIATION Airports and airlines fared well on the provision of flight delay and disruption information, ranked top of the most important criteria and third for delivery. Similarly, female business travellers rank staff attitudes towards them as the second most important criterion and top of the rankings for delivery. Key areas for improvement are the provision of onboard assistance with luggage; improved security presence at taxi and shuttle bus pick-up points and the need for staff to demonstrate their understanding of female travellers’ safety and security concerns more effectively. The latter is ranked fourth most important criteria but also features in the list of top five bad experiences. An area where travel suppliers can meet the needs of female business travellers is the provision of wellness facilities such as showers and spas within airport lounges. However, over half (52%) of female business travellers do not have airport lounge access, mainly due to their companies’ travel policies.

CAR RENTAL The same methodology was applied to survey respondents’ assessment of car rental providers. The most important criteria are the provision of well-lit collection/drop-off areas, followed by the provision of manned collection/drop-off areas and the staff demonstrating their understanding of customers’ safety and security concerns. However, the presence of each criteria

in both the good and bad experiences of survey respondents suggests that delivery is inconsistent between providers and locations, especially in manned collection/ drop-off and enhanced security in these areas. Another area for improvement is the provision of safe route guidance information and sensitivity to customers’ needs when selecting a vehicle. Improved explanation of vehicle equipment and SatNav were mentioned as features that should be considered.

HOTELS According to the survey, over two-thirds (68%) of female business travellers prefer to stay in hotel chains. This reflects not only corporate travel programmes in general but also a widely held perception that branded hotels offer a more consistent standard of product and service. Hotel location is unsurprisingly female business travellers’ top priority and also tops the list of positive personal experiences. When the Woman Aware programme began, women travellers’ biggest concerns related to in-room security, discretion shown during check-in when confirming room number, not booking lone females into ground floor rooms and the often-uninviting environment of the dining room or bar


forcing many to stick to room service. Things have moved on since then, but not that much. That all-important discretion shown by reception staff still ranks in female travellers’ list of bad experiences, as does a lack of choice in room location. Hotel room amenities and overall security are deemed to have improved, although many hotels still lack well-lit car parks monitored by CCTV, healthy food options or discrete dining areas. Other comments from survey respondents related to shortcomings in general signage to lifts, stairs and hotel amenities; how dark, energy-efficient lighting has rendered some hotel rooms dull and uninviting; and the often poor quality of hotel spa facilities.

TRAINS According to our survey, 83% of female business travellers use trains for UK domestic travel. This makes rail the most popular transport mode, ahead of private cars (67%), air (58%) and car sharing (35%), although 68% of female business travellers say the introduction of higher speed rail links in the UK will not affect the amount of business they do in the UK. The top priorities for female business travellers are the provision of train delay/ disruption information; the ability to select

78% of survey respondents use a TMC, but while 49% don’t mind where their TMC is located, 24% prefer to deal with someone locally based. So how do these providers
fare when it comes to identifying or meeting the needs of female travellers? Of all the travel sectors surveyed, TMCs emerge as the only sector to provide a total match between most important criteria and delivery, although staff understanding of travellers’ safety concerns and highlighting areas of travel risk also feature in the list of respondents’ negative experiences. TMCs are constantly seeking new ways in which to add value to their services. Personalisation of travel programmes and the traveller experience are both hot topics in 2016, but should female business travellers be treated differently to their male counterparts? Clive Wratten is Chief Executive of leading regional travel partnership company CTI. “I don’t like the phrase ‘treated differently’. It’s about treating travellers appropriately to their needs. TMCs have to engage with all parts of a company to find out what they expect when their employees travel. Only then can you design an effective corporate travel programme
that suits each and every part of the organisation.” Wratten agrees that the needs of female travellers have become a hot topic once again, “because there are

now so many more women in business, and in higher positions, than there were 35 years ago.” CTI’s Clive Wratten believes that greater consultation and dialogue between corporates, TMCs and travel providers is essential if the disconnect between travel needs and service delivery, confirmed by our survey, is to be eradicated. He also says that the results would deliver both ROI and ROO – Return on Objectives. “There is both a need and
a business case to build a greater level of dedicated service around female business travellers. Corporate social responsibility and Duty of Care demands that we design products and services for this important traveller group.”

“There is both a need and
a business case to build a greater level of dedicated service around female business travellers”

WTM Business 2016


 l Better in-room facilities l Generally more female-aware/ friendly/empathetic to needs
 l Discretion and understanding, for example, at reception AVIATION
 Luggage assistance l More flexible seating arrangements
 l Access to airport lounges included in travel policies l

 Better toilets
 l More on-train/on-station assistance l Improve perceived security/safety l

 l Safe check-ins
 l Generally more female-aware
 l Safety familiarisation TMCS
 Better awareness of hotel locations
 l Generally more female-aware/ friendly/empathetic to needs
 l Ask for details of personal needs as a female traveller l

their own seat when booking tickets; for on-station and on-train staff to demonstrate understanding of female travellers’ safety concerns; well-lit car parks monitored by CCTV and that female travellers are treated the same as men. The good news for train operators is that each of these criteria features in the list of positive experiences. The bad news is that three of them –
staff understanding of travellers’ concerns; provision of disruption information; and staff attitudes towards female travellers – also feature in the list of bad experiences. As in the car rental sector, this suggests inconsistent delivery between operators
and services. Of the required areas for improvement, well-lit car parks monitored by CCTV tops the list, followed by on-station facilities and assistance. Other enhancements identified

by survey respondents were better (and more) women-only toilets; women-only carriages or private booths; better security on-train/at the station; greater choice of seat location (i.e., with other females/more single seats) and better on-station assistance, especially late at night.

SO WHAT NOW? The entire business travel community should be developing female-only environments where appropriate, regardless of cultural diversity. There are female-only train carriages in Germany and Japan, womenonly taxis in London and India, and dedicated facilities for female guests in some hotels. For this trend to gain real momentum, standards are essential. A special mark of recognition might be granted to travel providers who meet female business travellers’ needs. For example, by installing CCTV or improving car park lighting. Of course, the real issue here is that travel providers should not need to make specific arrangements for female business travellers. Perhaps that’s the biggest indictment of our society so far. l Maiden Voyage founder Carolyn Pearson is speaking as part of the Women in Travel Meetup on Tuesday November 8. WTM Business 2016



Engagement Rules OK! Social media has taken engaging with travellers to a whole new level. It has revolutionised how the tourism industry communicates and interacts with their audience. Simon Greenbury takes a look at how this trend has evolved. The times they are a-changin”. Bob Dylan may have written these lyrics in 1964 but never was a phrase more relevant to marketing in the travel industry in 2016. It does not seem that long ago when travel companies, destinations, attractions and suppliers had limited choices when it came to advertising and marketing – TV, radio, billboards, direct mail and fam trips and ‘product’ placement. 12 years ago – the year Facebook was

bookings. Travellers commonly use apps, read blogs, ebooks or articles online as well as checking websites with professional or user generated reviews. And importantly, technology is increasingly shaping tourists’ experiences and expectations of travel and their holiday. The likes of Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, What’s App, Trip Advisor and Google have revolutionised the way the industry engages with audiences.

So in marketing terms, social media platforms are influencing the way the industry is communicating and promoting their brands to all audiences and ages. But, beware of going after the new trending technology or platform in the hope that it will generate more traffic, sales or buzz. Always, always know why a strategy is being undertaken, whatever the audience. Don’t be taken in by what has been called the Shiny New Toy Syndrome (SNTS). Choose strategies and approaches that

“There is an argument to say that all travellers are millennial travellers” David Chapman, World Youth Student & Educational Travel Convention launched – who would have predicted it would be the norm to communicate via a mobile phone rather than a postcard or make travel choices from computer screen rather than a travel agent or a brochure. Young and old are turning to technology to research destinations, travel options, accommodation choices, to make online


WTM Business 2016

In fact, research from IPK International in their World Travel Monitor 2014 reported that social media now influences nearly one fifth of all international trips, especially travellers’ choice of destination and accommodation. This equates to 235 million international trips being influenced by social media choices.

achieve business objectives not ones that follow the crowd for the sake of it. The rise of marketing through social media has been led by the industry recognising the ‘power of personalisation’. The understanding that the more one knows about your audience, the better targeted your marketing can be. Who are they?

THIS IS COPENHAGEN Agency Konstellation & Republica was asked ‘How do we attract more American tourists to Copenhagen?’


To target US travellers by telling stories in a fun way, communicate the feel of Copenhagen and transmit the fact that the Danish capital embodies the tagline ‘liveable city, happy people’. To crowdsource real Copenhageners’ content.


What are their needs, aspirations, interests? Data collection is therefore key to delivering relevant and appropriate campaigns. The marketing function is now the driving force behind many successful travel businesses and marketers need to have a grip on consumer change, data analysis, CRM technology, social media as well as recognising that the more traditional forms of advertising have their place in telling the brand story. To understand how social media impacts on marketing in the travel industry this article will look at one case study – ‘This is Copenhagen’ – as well as looking at how one audience (the millennials) have influenced how the industry has had to shift their marketing approach before taking a look at a new way to evaluate campaigns. Interaction, realism, authenticity, sharing experiences are key buzz words for the social media generation.

TARGETING MILLENNIALS... WITHOUT IGNORING THE REST! There is no audience that has so influenced how the travel and tourism industry markets itself than millennials – those between the ages of 16-34. Millennials currently account

To create a ‘This is Copenhagen’ social campaign built around Instagram videos to showcase the city of Copenhagen through authentic content focusing on genuine images and stories highlighting architecture, gastronomy, history, green, nightlife, family, tradition and surprise Additionally, campaign asked visitors to site who would they like to bring to Copenhagen. Tag your favourite travel Copenhagen (via Twitter or Facebook). According to Albertslund-based agency Konstellation & Republica, “the strategy behind the solution is based on relevant themes that Gen-X in the U.S. are attracted to e.g. gastronomy, fashion, design, bicycles etc. We made a plan for each theme to activate people and make them interested in Copenhagen as a travel destination. The plan included social media, events, PR, partnerships, paid media etc. and gave Americans a personal and authentic taste of what can be experienced in Copenhagen.”

THE INTERACTION Generate your own Copenhagen film and participate in a competition to win a trip to Copenhagen. A total of 500 videos from the community were submitted.

THE ADVERTISING Wonderful Copenhagen took a holistic view on the campaign, and also used display advertising. Digital Tourism Think Tank analysed the approach: ‘Online billboards and banners were used, and once US consumers engaged with the content, they were re-targeted with display banners. A three-step strategic approach was followed by inspiring people on Facebook or TripAdvisor through video banners and small films. Then followed by the campaign page, where visitors were asked to share videos and generate user ads. After engaging with the campaign site and content, consumers were re-targeted with displays.’

THE RESULTS Click rates on the Facebook ads and engagement with the Instagram videos increased 50% more than expected. The users spent, on average, one and a half minutes on the campaign site. The number of flight seats filled with Americans visiting Copenhagen exceeded expectations, but exact numbers are confidential. WTM Business 2016

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for 217 million trips, a number expected to rise to 320 million in 2020. According to David Chapman of the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Convention (WYSE), an expert on Millennial travellers, “These young travellers have accounted for at least 20% of international arrivals since the turn of the century and… likely to approach 25% before long.” Understanding how best to connect with; to appreciate what makes them tick is key to creating a connection and in turn, getting










them to have a relationship with your brand. This approach is as valid and relevant though to any other audience whether baby boomers or silver surfers. It is just that the millennials have been instrumental in causing this seismic marketing shift.

TOP 'MUST KNOWS' ABOUT MILLENNIALS WHEN CREATING CAMPAIGNS (many principles relevant to other audiences and sectors): l Understand and speak to the values that drive them – sharing, discovery, passion, diversity, happiness l Be personal, trusting and direct – it is

l l




all in the content and how audiences are communicated to Tailor strategies and activities to their wants and needs, not yours or what you think their needs are Don’t be afraid of segmenting. The better targeted the campaign is the more likely to succeed Think mobile – more time is spent on mobile devices than any other Go visual and be visually appropriate to your audiences Keep it short – if a video or clip on a mobile device, consider captions Empower them to share the brand story – they are your ambassadors Make ambassadors feel special – events, sneak previews Be entertaining by delivering quality content that is 'useful', rather than marketing promotion Gain their trust by valuing their relationships and connectedness; be transparent so make it clear how data is collected and exchanged Keep it authentic Sell them something they want, that adds value to their life Keep true to your own identity and brand values; so if you are a cool brand, be cool; at no time pretend to be something you are not; millennials will see it a mile off and move on to another brand Appeal to their sense of adventure and experiences; “it’s about real travellers in real places who crave adventures not souvenirs” – Ottakar Rosenberger, Hostelworld chief marketing officer Utilise millennials in your own company to help formulate strategies and

RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL If you think content marketing is a passing trend, think again. Brands have recognised the importance of sharing 'valuable' content, that engages with a customer and, most importantly, gives the consumer something of interest or value, for many years... 1. 1895: John Deere introduces The Furrow, a free publication of farming tips and techniques to help farmers become more profitable. Now available in more than 40 countries and 12 different languages. 2. 1900: Michelin released a 400-page auto maintenance guide with everyday drivers in mind, and also included travel tips. 35,000 copies were distributed free-of-charge before a cover price was introduced. 3. 1966: Nike released a 19-page booklet titled Jogging. It was filled with advice on enjoying running as a recreational activity, including posture and striking tips, and it never once mentioned a Nike shoe.


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ABOVE: Phones are now an essential tool for travellers and marketeers alike.

marketing approaches Listen to their feedback – and act on it. It has never been easier to listen and respond to customers l Learn from other brands outside of the travel and tourism sector; analyse what they are doing. For example many drinks brands know that millennials will seek out travel and adventure so often have travel ‘backdrops’ in their ads. l

As David Chapman from WYSE says, “There is an argument to say that all travellers are millennial travellers. Their behaviours and preferences shape the products and

ABOVE: Seventy is the new forty! BELOW: User-driven content marketing campaigns are increasingly common.

services that the travel industry develops, many of which are later adopted by mainstream travellers. This is what I mean when I say that every traveller is a millennial traveller.”

DON’T FORGET THE OVER 55s Enough of millennials. Marketers ignore the over 55s at their peril. If anyone has disposable income this is the group. Following last year’s UK government pension changes, it was reported that up to 75% of people planning to withdraw money were considering spending some of it on travel. Understanding consumer behaviour is as relevant with this age group as the millennials; a group that is more and more aware and willing to take a social media approach to researching, booking and experiencing holidays. After all, it is the millennials and GenZ who are influencing their parents and grandparents. So this particular generation are looking to free up their pensions to consider having that last family holiday. The 60-year-old of today acts in a very different way to their parents. They are more willing to look at taking their children back to places they had been to themselves when they were younger, so freeing up pension money at this stage of life should be a breath of fresh air to the travel industry.

MONITORING EMOTION The impact of social media on the travel industry has brought a more personal, emotional approach to marketing. But the way feedback is obtained from travellers has changed very little in decades. Judging increase in sales/travellers, number of impressions or likes obviously have their place but what is often missed is asking travellers how they felt about their experiences from an emotional perspective. Consider how one reacts to a piece of theatre. That’s the kind of emotional response that has the potential to be mapped onto a tourism experience. Travel marketing, however defined, whether for a destination or as a service provider, has common issues. They both want people to come back to their destination or use their service again. And they certainly want the customer to rave about the experience they had. The basis of making an emotional connection reaps many benefits. Cold and clinical marketing using numbers without any true enthusiasm for the product is no longer so relevant. Customers have become much more sophisticated in their dissemination of marketing information. Telling a customer your destination has a capacity for 3,000 beds is pretty meaningless. But knowing that they had a soothing night’s sleep in a comfortable bed,

or feel safe due to the security policies put in place and the friendliness and openness of the staff, tells more about the experience than ticking boxes. So, whilst numbers tell a story, they don’t provide any emotional connection to the message. People buy on emotion so evaluating campaigns should reflect this. That thinking, for example, is behind a new evaluation tool – Applause on Investment (AOI) – which captures and evaluates data, working by analysing emotive feedback from the traveller. Many social campaigns are created to get an emotional response. The time is right to capture these emotional reactions and harness the information to help drive sales. In conclusion, trends in travel and tourism marketing will come and go. But whether undertaking social media campaigns or what would, 15 years ago, be considered more traditional campaigns or a mixture of the two, one thing has and will not change. Have a strategy in place with clear objectives and key performance indicators; identify target audiences and how best to reach them and prioritise your tactics, recognising that budget and staffing will not allow you to be effective on every platform or marketing medium.




Scenic Travel experiences With many travellers viewing the journey as not so much a means to an end, but as an integral part of their holiday, companies across the globe are raising their game.


espite the best efforts of airlines and airports, travellers and tourists alike increasingly view the air travel aspect of a trip as the part to be endured not enjoyed. At the same time, other travel modes have upped their game to make the transportation part of a holiday a real plus side contributor to the overall tourism experience; or the actual main aspect of the holiday itself. From luxury trains focused on fine dining to cruise ships with facilities to rival entire cities. From coaches with on-board entertainment systems to challenge an airline’s first class cabin to hire cars straight out of a Mayfair garage. Across the travel and tourism sector transport is increasingly viewed as an essential part of the customer experience. And an experience that can be leveraged for profit. Manufacturers are increasingly being tasked with producing trains, coaches and ships with a focus on luxury, comfort and entertainment. For every basic-spec school bus leaving Volvo’s coach factory in Gothenburg, the company is just as likely to be supplying a leather-trimmed tri-axle coach with in seat entertainment systems, increased leg room, and the whole basket of on-board systems and services a modern coach passenger requires. Think Wi-Fi, charging points, satellite TV, coffee machines, wholelength sun roofs, etc. The same story is true on the rails. Eurostar is busy bringing into service its new rolling stock. Starting in November 2015, the new trains, with a design created by Pininfarina,


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the world-famous Italian design house that creates Ferrari’s unique style, have enjoyed their own marketing campaign, better to get the message across to passengers. Lionel Benbassat, Head of Marketing & Brand, Eurostar, said: “With the launch of our new trains, we’ve created a campaign that brings to life the on board experience. By playing on each of the new features and overall benefits of the Eurostar service in an engaging video format, we are inviting travellers to explore the new trains.” A resurgence in rail travel has also seen Northern Ireland-based fit out firm Mivan awarded a £2.5m contract to work on Ireland’s first luxury sleeper train. The Belmond Grand Hibernian had its inaugural journey from Dublin in August, offering two, four and six-night itineraries from Dublin through scenic areas of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The train’s elegant interiors evoke the sense of travelling in an Irish country house with genuine and warm service provided by the train’s crew. This year has also seen the maiden voyages for Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas; the largest cruise ship ever to ply the oceans’ waves.


Driving Holidays Car hire is growing globally, with a number of key players expanding through consolidation. However, disruptive new entrants are shaking up the market significantly. Future Markets Insights reports that ‘Technological advancements coupled with expansion of leading car rental companies in developing regions, such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, are factors that are projected to boost demand for car rental services in the coming years.’ Further adding, ‘increasing demand from emerging economies, surge in public awareness about car rental services, rising global tourism industry, introduction of new business concepts, increasing number of Internet users and increasing international tourist arrivals are some of the major factors driving growth of the global car rental market currently.’ In the USA, the world’s largest market for car rental, Phocuswright reports that


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car rental is growing, but slowly. The segment rose 2% to $18.8 billion in 2015, and low single-digit growth is projected to continue for the next two years, pushing revenue to $20.1 billion by 2017. In Europe, Moody’s Investor Services reported that demand from holidaymakers will fuel annual growth of 3-4% in the leisure segment of the European car rental market over the next two years. Inbound visitors from the USA are key to the European market. “We expect the surge in international tourism to Europe, particularly from the US which is the continent’s largest source of holidaymakers, to benefit the leisure segment of the European car rental market into 2016,” says report author Moody’s Sebastien Cieniewski.


RULE THE WAVES The cruise industry has seen unprecedented growth over many years as the sector successfully reacts to changing customer tastes and demands.


ABOVE: River cruising through vineyards in the Valley of the River Douro, Portugal

ruise tourism will generate an estimated $40+ billion in passenger expenditure in 2016 and has been the fastest growing sector of the travel industry for the past 25 years; demand for cruising has increased by 68% in the last decade. Across the globe, the sector is hugely important. For example, between 2008 and 2014, cruise travel outpaced general leisure travel in the USA by 22%; and in ten years, Australia’s cruise passengers have grown more than six-fold, to over one million per annum. Industry body the Cruise Lines International Association estimates that 24 million passengers will cruise in 2016, with The Caribbean and Mediterranean regions accounting for over 50% of passengers. With the industry continuing to forecast growth, new ships are rolling down the slipway – 10 in 2016; five scheduled for 2017 – adding 39,637 berths to world-wide passenger capacity, or 8.1%. As with so many sectors, the cruise industry is pushing ahead with green initiatives. Royal Caribbean International announced in October that its newest class of ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and introduce the use of fuel

cell technology, ushering in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Our guests expect us to push every envelope we can,” said Michael Bayley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean International. “And on this new class of ship, we began by challenging ourselves to find a new approach to power and propulsion that is safe, reliable, and more energy-efficient than ever before.” The introduction of fuel cells represents another dramatic step forward for the maritime industry, which has only made limited experiments using the technology.

ABOVE: Miami Port

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Car Hire Continued… American tourists are more likely than travellers from other countries to rent cars, and they also tend to generate higher sales. By contrast, car rentals by businesses will remain sluggish as companies continue to be cautious about travel spending despite the start of an economic recovery in the euro area. In terms of future expansion, Lucintel commented this year, that the development of new and value added service to enhance the performance of car rental services would drive the market. The report further suggests the development of partnerships with customers to create win-win situations and development of low-cost solutions for customers. Emerging trends, which have a direct

impact on the dynamics of the industry, include enhanced user experience through digitisation, introduction of green vehicles in car fleet, enhanced technologies in car rental service, and the concept of self-drive instead of hiring a driver. In a clear reflection of the issues facing the hotel market, technologically disruptive new entrants are starting to have a real impact, often citing the sector as an industry in need of innovation. Pat Farrell, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Enterprise Holdings, recently noted that the car rental industry is experiencing major change from such factors as new innovative technologies and evolving consumer preferences.

“Technology – from the Internet, to social media, to mobile platforms – has truly put the consumer in control” Pat Farrell, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Enterprise Holdings

ABOVE: The car hire industry is seeing consolidation and innovation


Luxury rail travel takes the strain The luxury train travel market is growing as more and more customers look for a travel experience that mixes unique scenery with the very last word in luxury. Like much of the luxury market, train travel appears to have emerged from the stormy recession years fairly unscathed, and operators report growth in many areas. A recent sector focus for ABTA’s website highlighted the fact that luxury train

BELOW: Japan’s Bullet Trains lead the way for speed and comfort.


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travel is a growing market with plenty of potential for agents. ABTA’s Sean Tipton says: “Luxury train travel is one sector of the travel industry that has performed well despite the economic problems we saw after the credit crunch. Our consumer research shows 7-8% are planning to take a

train holiday in the next year, and that’s remained consistent for the last few years. “It’s an important segment of the market. People going on these journeys tend to be retired and benefiting from final salary pension schemes, and are spending their equity. Any section of the market appealing to that demographic has done very well.” The report highlighted the average luxury train traveller appears to have both time and money, so it comes as little surprise that most are older retired couples or singles. Operators report that most customers are aged 50-plus. Research by Canadian tour company Rocky Mountaineer shows 83% of its UK customers are married, 55% are retired, they earn a household income above


THE ROAD TRIP Coach operators have long struggled with a downmarket image problem. However, many are now fighting back with a luxurious, and green, product.


ABOVE: Bullet train seating

£50,000 a year and the average party size is two. “You immediately see the similarity to the cruise passenger,” Patrick Ryan, Rocky Mountaineer director of sales EMEA, told ABTA. “That has remained pretty constant over the last couple of years.” But while the vast majority of customers are older, that doesn’t make them any less active than their younger counterparts, says Natasha Baker, sales and marketing manager at the leading operator of exclusive, long-distance rail tours, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. “A lot of our customers were backpackers when they were younger and real adventurers. Now that they’re older, comfort and safety are important to them, but so is adventure. To them, life is worth living and they’re up for anything.”

or a number of years the coach industry has recognised that to attract passengers, particularly younger ones, they needed to work on getting the message across about the industry’s green credentials. As well as working on the product offering and the specification of vehicles. The Confederation of Passenger Transport [CPT] states that coaches are the most fuel-efficient form of transport; they are six times less polluting than an aircraft, four times cleaner than a car and twice as clean as a train. The UK’s Coach Tourism Association [CTA] (www., which represents the leading coach holiday operators, works hard with sister organisations in Europe and beyond, at getting the message across that coach travel, once experienced, usually finds favour with customers. Recently the CTA reported research showing that most people like the coach tourism product. The major benefits of going on a coach tour – everything being organised for you, value for money and stress-free travel – were all judged to be key reasons for taking a coach holiday in an exclusive survey carried out by Mail Newspapers on behalf of the CTC. In its Coach Holidays – UK 2014 report, Mintel states that 13 per cent of UK adults had taken some form of coach holiday in the five years to the end of 2013, with this figure doubling to 27 per cent of over 65s. Mintel stated that long term, prospects for the industry appear to be good, due to an aging population. Germany’s RDA (www.rda. de), which promotes modern and environmentally friendly coach and group tourism across Europe, is at the forefront of working with

destinations to encourage a ‘coach friendly approach’. The RDA is the leading federation in Europe for coach and group tourism with about 3,000 member companies and several associated federations in more than 40 countries and over 70 sectors. It is a founding member of the European Alliance for Coach Tourism (EACT), whose primary aim is to remove barriers to coach tourism and to promote the image of coach holiday travel. A significant aspect of this agenda is EACT’s current initiative to encourage destinations, town and city authorities, businesses, tourist attractions and politicians to work with coach operators to develop Tourist Coach Action Plans (TCAP). In the UK, the CPT’s own Coach Friendly Destination (www. status is awarded to cities and towns who can show a real commitment to working with and welcoming coaches to make them must-visit coach destinations. WTM Business 2016

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Package Travel Legal Reboot Post-Brexit, UK-based travel companies may wonder whether the new Package Travel Directive is relevent. But, argues Fieldfisher partner Rhys Griffiths, the UK is still likely to be a full Member State when the law needs to be in place in July 2018.


he original Package Travel Directive (the ‘Old Directive’) was published in 1990. It created valuable rights for consumers travelling on a package holiday. It created a requirement for consumer payments to be financially protected against the insolvency of the tour operator; it made the tour operator responsible for the ‘proper performance’ of the package; and it introduced other important protections concerning the provision of information to the consumer and the terms of the contract between the tour operator and the consumer. The dawn of the internet has allowed travellers easily to put together their own travel arrangements which fall outside the protections of the Old Directive. This, in turn, has led to calls for the Old Directive to be changed so that it captures these new travel arrangements. After much lobbying and debate these calls have now been answered by the publication of a new Package Travel Directive (the ‘New Directive’). This article analyses some of the key implications of the New Directive.


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THE IMPACT OF BREXIT Travel companies established in the UK may wonder why they need to know about the New Directive in the light of Brexit. The simple answer is that all Member States must pass national laws to transpose the New Directive into law by 1 January 2018, and that law must then be ‘in force’ by 1

UK’s relationship with the EU after its exit will require it to implement EU rules in return for free access to the single market – as is currently the case under the much-vaunted Norwegian model. Second, and perhaps more decisive, is the fact that even if the UK sits outside the EU, any UK company wishing to sell into the EU will have to

“Even if the UK sits outside the EU, any UK company wishing to sell into the EU will have to comply with the New Directive” July 2018. In all likelihood, the UK will still be a member of the EU at these times given the complexities of the exit process. Until it does exit, the UK must continue to implement all EU laws like all other Member States. There are also other reasons for UK companies to be engaged with the New Directive. First, there is a possibility that the

comply with the New Directive.

MORE PACKAGES If you thought that the era of package holidays was over, then think again. There will now be more packages than ever because the rules are being changed. There is a new and expanded definition for what

CLAIMED BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES The European Commission claims that new Directive will reduce the administrative burden on businesses and bring down compliance costs for traders from €11 to €8 per package sold. The main advantages for market operators consist: ● A level playing field: the same rules will apply for businesses across the EU selling competing travel products. The new harmonized approach will result in easier cross-border transactions. ● Mutual recognition of insolvency protection: insolvency schemes will be recognised across the EU. To that effect, a structured cooperation mechanism between the Member States will be put in place. ● Business trips arranged by business

To be more precise, the definition of a package envisages the combination of ‘Travel Services’, which are defined as: l Carriage of passengers; l Accommodation; l Car rental; and l Other tourist services not intrinsically part of any of the above.

3. Are offered, sold or charged at an inclusive or total price; 4. Are advertised or sold under the term ‘package’ or under a similar term, for instance ‘combined deal’, ‘all-inclusive’ or ‘all-in arrangement’; 5. Are combined after the conclusion of a contract by which a trader entitles the traveller to choose among a selection of different types of Travel Services; 6. Are purchased from separate traders through linked online booking processes where the traveller’s name, payment details and e-mail address are transmitted from the first trader to the second trader and a contract with the latter is concluded within 24 hours.

In essence, a package is a combination of at least two of these Travel Services if one of six circumstances exist, namely that the Travel Services: 1. Are combined by one trader and a single contract on all services is concluded; 2. Are purchased from a single point of sale;

The consequences of organising and selling packages will be similar to before. The New Directive imposes financial protection requirements, liability for the negligence of suppliers and the regulation of the provision of information to the traveller and the terms of the contract between the tour operator and the traveller.

constitutes a package and nearly everything is going to fall within it: traditional packages, flight-plus and click-through sales. All the hard work done by agents in disentangling their packages to take them outside the burdens of the Old Directive will be undone. Any simultaneous purchase of separate ‘Travel Services’ is likely to be a package.

travel management companies will no longer be included under the rules: this avoids overregulation, while ensuring that small and micro-businesses making travel arrangements will still be protected. ● Modernised information requirements no longer based exclusively on travel brochures: the fact that traders will not have to reprint brochures is expected to save traders €390 million per year. ● Less administrative burden, easier cross-border transactions and increased legal certainty will at the same time benefit businesses. Full details about the proposed legislation, and the timetable and consultation process, can be found at

PACKAGE LITE The New Directive introduces a pared down version of packages which will be called Linked Travel Arrangements (‘LTA’). The concept is designed to capture business models which are not packages but which often compete closely with packages. It is therefore thought that some obligations should be imposed on the sale of LTAs, but not all of those applicable to packages. In essence, an LTA will exist where the traveller purchases two different types of Travel Services (with different travel providers) which is not a package and where the trader facilitates: l The separate selection and payment of each Travel Service; or l In a targeted manner, the procurement of at least one additional Travel Service from another trader and that Travel Service is purchased within 24 hours. By way of example, an LTA is likely to exist where, along with the confirmation of booking of a first Travel Service (such as WTM Business 2016



a flight), a traveller receives an invitation to book an additional Travel Service available at the relevant destination (such as accommodation), with a link to the booking site of another Travel Service provider or intermediary. Having said that, linked websites will not always lead to the sale of LTAs. The New Directive suggests that an LTA will not be formed where travellers are simply informed about further travel services in a general way, for instance if a hotel’s website includes a list of all operators offering transport services to its hotel, independently of any booking. The consequence of a trader facilitating the sale of an LTA is that it will be obliged to provide limited financial protection for the refund of payments it receives (but not for the money received by any other trader) insofar as a Travel Service is not performed as a consequence of its insolvency. Moreover, insofar as it is responsible for the carriage of passengers, the insolvency protection must also cover the travellers’ repatriation. However, one very significant difference is that the New Directive does not impose liability on a facilitator of LTAs for the negligence of its suppliers, neither does it impose the same requirements concerning the provision of information to the traveller and the terms of contracts with the traveller. The real focus of LTAs is to provide limited financial protection for travel arrangements which are not quite packages.


Directive maintains the requirement that organisers of package holidays must provide security to cover the risk of their insolvency. The security must provide for the refund of all payments received in relation to forward bookings and the repatriation of travellers who have already departed. However, the New Directive adds a significant new twist. The New Directive provides that all member states of the EU must recognise the insolvency protection regimes of other member states. To be more precise, a member state cannot impose its own insolvency protection regime on a foreign company selling to travellers who live in its country if that company is established in another member state and complies with the insolvency protection rules of that other member state. In practice, what this will mean is that a company based in, say, Spain, but selling into Spain, France, Germany and the UK, will not have to comply with the insolvency protection rules of each of those member states. It will only have to comply with the Spanish rules. This change is going to be significant because it will effectively put member states in competition with each other. An inadequate or expensive insolvency protection regime may drive travel companies to establish in jurisdictions which have more cost-effective regimes. However, this does create a serious practical issue. It is possible under this scenario for a Finnish traveller to book a package holiday to Mexico with an Estonian travel company. In the event of the insolvency of the Estonian travel company whilst the traveller is on

“This change is going to be significant because it will effectively put member states in competition with each other” 80

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holiday, will he be expected to make contact with the Estonian authorities to ensure that he is repatriated? How will the Estonian authorities liaise with Finnish customers who have forward bookings? This is just one of the practical issues which will have to be worked through before implementation.

WHAT NEXT? At the time of writing, there is still a period of time before the New Directive must be brought into force by each Member State. They have until 1 January 2018 to pass laws to transpose the New Directive into national law, and then until 1 July 2018 for that new law to be brought ‘into force’. There may be consultation within the member states as to how this should be done (there certainly will be in the UK), and an opportunity for the industry to make representations to the Member States as to how the New Directive should be implemented. Travel companies should take the opportunity which exists before the New Directive is brought into force to consider how the changes will impact on their businesses. Travel companies must ensure that all packages and LTAs are financially protected, that their terms and conditions are brought up to speed, that their processes are in line with the new consumer rights and that they understand the data protection implications of any data sharing arrangements they may have with third parties as a result of the new concept of click-through packages and LTAs.

RHYS GRIFFITHS Partner and the Head of the Travel Group at European Law Firm, Fieldfisher LLP. |

Feel the nature and the raising of the mayan civilization

Visitors stand in awe of spectacular Mayan temples protected by an exuberant tropical jungle. They can admire the exquisite architecture of the Classic Mayan Period in all its splendor. The call of howling monkeys, the song of many birds

and the comings and goings of spider monkeys welcome visitors to this paradisiac site. One day is not enough to discover all of its magic‌plan to stay longer! NATIONAL PARK TIKAL


Inf light

Enter tainment Gets Smart From iPad integration and immersive cinema to live TV and Netflix, the quality of inflight entertainment is about to go sky-high, writes Jamie Carter


very long haul experience starts with an arduous flight, but despite aviation opening up the planet and travel products becoming ever more innovative, inflight entertainment (IFE) hasn’t changed for decades. If anything, the roster of movies, shows, music and games offered to passengers by airlines have been degraded in recent years. Happily, that’s all changing as a raft of new apps, wireless technology and even immersive cinema come to cabins.

SPREAD OF TABLETS Part of the problem with IFE has been the spread of tablets among passengers. After all, why should airlines bother updating seat-back screens when many passengers carry an iPad stuffed with movies? Since budget airlines routinely get away with offering nothing, why can’t long haul services follow suit? However, the fiercely competitive long-haul industry is looking at the spread of tablets not as an excuse to do nothing, but as an opportunity to impress. “Many airlines are now looking into IFE on tablets, laptops and smartphones that passengers are already carrying aboard, using their devices to provide the content,” says Kevin Curran, senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a frequent travel-tech commentator. “The days of the traditional hard-wired systems in seat-backs and ceilings on commercial passenger jets – with their poor resolution, poor viewing angles and limited content – is coming to an end.”


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BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE Novel ways of integrating mobile devices are expected in aircraft, including downloading movies in advance. “Bring-your-own-device will become more prominent in IFE, and there will be more of a focus on content over equipment,” says Joakim Everstin, head of innovation at travel technology firm Sabre. “Passengers will be able to select which entertainment they want to view via an onboard web portal, and then they will be able to download that content to view on their own device.” In fact, new inflight wireless platforms are suddenly all the rage in business and first class cabins, with streaming and ‘porting’ content to personal devices becoming possible on selected long haul flights.

INFLIGHT WIRELESS PLATFORMS Several airlines are embracing this ‘bring your own device’ trend, and it’s anything but a passive approach. Customers of Singapore Airlines’ Business Class cabin on its A380 and B777-300ER aircraft can already enjoy KrisWorld, a new IFE system that comes with a companion app. After checking-in using the app, passengers can then see exactly what movies and TV shows will be available during their upcoming flight, and they can even create a customised shortlist of what they want to watch well in advance. Once passengers are in their

ABOVE | RIGHT: More and more passengers are bringing their own tablets and want to stream their own supscription services. Immersive cinema is now a reality.


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seat, they can stream movies via WiFi, and port the inflight magazine and even the moving map to their personal tablet. The system was created for Singapore Airlines by Panasonic Avionics, which runs a similar service for Air Canada rouge; such inflight wireless platforms are quickly catching-on.

THE PERSONALISATION ERA “We believe personalisation will be one of the key trends in the inflight experience, and we’re very excited Singapore Airlines shares that vision,” says Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics. “The symbiosis of the onboard IFE network and the travellers’ personal devices will be the key to a seamless travel process.” Lufthansa, Virgin Australia and El Al AirlinesSystems all have similar systems, but it’s not just a long haul phenomenon. Immfly has created a similar platform for short-haul airline Iberia Express branded as Club Express Onboard, which allows passengers to stream content to their own devices.

ABOVE: Singapore Airlines is using a new system created by Panasonic Avionics.

IMMERSIVE CINEMA It’s also probable that private viewing devices offering ‘personal home cinema’ will spread through cabins. One such product is SkyTheater from Skylights, immersive cinema glasses capable of 2D and 3D that were trialled earlier this year by XL Airways France on its routes from Paris to Antilles and Reunion island. “IFE is nowadays one of the main concerns of passengers,” says Laurent Magnin, CEO of XL Airways France. “We closely monitor innovation in this field, and that is why we are proud to be the first to offer Skylights’ glasses

… we don’t have individual seat-back screens, but want our passengers to either bring their own device, rent a tablet, and soon rent immersive cinema glasses.”

PURE ESCAPISM Passengers wearing the device feel like they are watching a movie on a large cinema screen, giving them the sense that they’re no longer where they are. It’s pure escapism, but it also makes business sense, allowing airlines to spend less on constantly having to update and improve seat-back screens while also receiving a small income from the rental charges on such headsets. Avegant’s Glyph headset does a similar job, though it only semi-immerses the wearer in a movie so that a flight attendant can get their attention if necessary. There is also an opportunity for virtual reality headsets from the likes of Oculas Rift and Samsung Gear to catch-on in airline cabins. However, physical constraints mean that they’re only likely to succeed further up the cabin where passengers have privacy and space because watching VR involves the wearer of the headset moving their head to

LUFTHANSA March saw Lufthansa, along with content and media agency Spafax launch its new entertainment personalisation platform. Using technology developed by Spafax, will provide Lufthansa passengers with a wealth of information about the programming on upcoming flights via a highly interactive experience. The new site features a full listing of all movies, television programs, music and games onboard, and the site’s design allows for easy navigation of content, equal to what passengers would find on leading entertainment portals. Visitors can view trailers of films, as well as access an electronic program guide to learn which sporting events will be available

“Cloud-based IFE models seem to be the next step for the airline industry” Kevin Curran, Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers look around. That’s not going to work well in economy class.

LIVE TV AND NETFLIX What should work well throughout the cabin – and introduce a further revenue stream for the airline – is paid-for live sports events. Two live sports TV channels are now available through Panasonic’s eXTV television network that offer live broadcasts of everything from Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League football to Formula 1 and NFL. They’re available now on 13 airlines including Emirates’ ice TV Live service. However, this kind of service is only available to long-haul flights with satellite internet access, which for now offers limited bandwidth, so the number of live TV channels is severely restricted. “In the future, it is expected that more airlines will move

to using Ka-band satellites, which provide up to 100 times the capacity of regular Kuband,” says Curran, who thinks that reliable high-bandwidth internet access will allow the aviation industry to stream everything they need from the cloud. “Cloud-based IFE models seem to be the next step for the airline industry,” he says, mentioning on-demand IFE providers such as Aircell’s Gogo Cloud service, which allows aircraft to automatically receive updated content. Faster internet access in the skies should also mean that movie streaming from the likes of Netflix – something that has already been trailed by AeroMexico and Virgin America – becomes possible. When that happens, and entire archives of movies and TV are accessible from 35,000ft, even the most bored long-haul passenger should feel right at home.

via Lufthansa’s live television feed Sport24 (on all Intercontinental flights). Dedicated feature articles provide background on Lufthansa’s approach to entertainment, and children’s content is given a special focus for families. Future releases of the site will feature additional exciting features, including the ability to personalize content recommendations based on passenger preferences. The site is based on Spafax’s PROFILE platform, part of the company’s ICON family of digital products.

WTM Business 2016




TOURISM Could the travel industry’s experiments with 360° video and virtual reality change the way consumers choose between destinations, hotels and even seats on flights? Jamie Carter investigates.


ourism without travel? Virtual reality (VR) has been talked about for decades as the ultimate form of armchair travel, and the appearance in the last few years of 360° cameras and VR viewers has been leapt upon by some in the travel industry keen to find new ways of engaging consumers. Tourism organisations are developing VR content to inspire travellers, hotels are offering wraparound previews of rooms and restaurants, and airlines are pushing upgrades by letting customers try on VR headsets to see for themselves how much more room there is.

support for 360° video, so we uploaded bite-sized chunks of our videos, and we couldn’t believe the traction we got,” says Stuart. “The shark-diving video got a few million views in a single week!” YouTube also now has a 360° video channel.

360° smartphone apps so that anyone with a phone could watch the videos, with Thomas Cook also sent out cheap Google Cardboard 360° viewers with its brochures.


In the wake of these projects there has been IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES a flood of other 360° projects, including Visualise also worked on perhaps the most Tourism Australia using VR to inspire famous example of the travel industry travellers with epic 360° views of the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Hamilton Island using the tag-line ‘Australia is a place you feel’. Qantas trialled an inflight entertainment service that allowed passengers to wear VR headsets and enjoy Henry Stuart, CEO and Co-Founder Visualise NEW TRAVEL TREND 360° videos of some of the “For South Africa Tourism we airline’s network destinations, shot shark-diving, paragliding and abseiling embracing VR when last year Thomas Cook while Dubai’s high-end Burj Al Arab Hotel down Table Mountain in 360° video,” says put Samsung VR headsets in key stores in Jumeirah launched its ‘Jumeirah Inside’ Henry Stuart, CEO and Co-Founder at VR UK, Germany and Belgium for customers to app for Google Cardboard. specialist Visualise. “We also recorded it immerse themselves in curated 360° ‘taster’ SALES TOOL with binaural sound, a kind of immersive videos of holidays in five destinations. They In the US, the Las Vegas Convention and audio that make it just like being there.” The included a helicopter tour of Manhattan Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has been taking video got huge traction when it was shownand a walk along the OCBC Skyway in an Oculus Rift VR headset to travel trade off at events through specialist VR headsets, Singapore. “They found there was a 180 shows to showcase 360° experiences but it wasn’t until a year later that the project per cent increase in people booking those such as taking a sunset helicopter really took-off. “Facebook announced its holidays,” says Stuart. Visualise also built

“The shark-diving video got a few million views”


WTM Business 2016

WTM Business 2016



tour over the city. Meanwhile, the Dali Museum in Florida uses VR to view the paintings as if you were part of them, a project spearheaded by the Visit St. Pete/ Clearwater (VSPC) and shown-off at last year’s World Travel Market. “VR is an incredible tool that agents can use to help sell and book trips,” says Leroy Bridges, Media & Interactive Director at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. “Consumers can use their phones and YouTube to utilise the technology – and the view performance on our YouTube and Facebook channel shows how hundreds of thousands of consumers are using them already.”

ADVENTURES IN 360° Specialist travel companies are also investigating how VR can offer potential customers the chance to sample and confidently book expensive tailor-made trips. Polar expedition provider Quark Expeditions has produced a VR Antarctic Experience for Facebook and YouTube that covers each step of the itinerary, from life on board the ship to kayaking. It even offers the chance to stand in the middle of a penguin colony. Sporting events agents are also investigating VR. “We’re looking at it for promoting a whole weekend at an Formula 1 event, which would include travelling to the event, hotel accommodation, being at the track, and drinking in the hospitality suite,” says Tia Jordan at Grandstand Motorsports. “If the technology keeps moving at this pace then it won’t be long before everyone has VR headsets at home, which means that they can visit a website, click a destination and be on a virtual beach or at an event in less than 10 seconds,” she adds.

RAW RESULTS The early experiments with VR and travel aren’t just about marketing. “The real value with 360° video is the ability to capture a

ABOVE: Tourism Australia embraces VR.


WTM Business 2016

VR AT WTM 2016 Visitors to WTM London will have their own chance to experience cutting edge Virtual Reality as New York-based exhibitor The Ride showcases its portfolio of critically acclaimed and unparalleled New York City experiences. Immerse yourself in each attraction as the city unfolds through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and stadium-style seating with 40 LED TV screens and surround sound. The Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride, will take you on a historical journey to recreate New York City’s downtown history, enhanced with the magic of Virtual Reality. Enjoy the experience on Stand NA305. Exhibitor St Paul’s Cathedral will allow visitors to explore the iconic cathedral, famed for its dome. Included are touch-screen multimedia guides, scheduled guided tours and the Oculus film experience. Stand UKI430.

real travel experience and share it with the world,” says TV producer Daniel Bury, who is currently filming the world’s first 360° VR travel documentary for television called 360 Dreams. Bury has taken his 360° rig paragliding in Nepal and hot air ballooning in Myanmar, but he insists that 360° camera is not just for extreme sports. “I set the 360° camera down and people forget about it, and I’m able to capture powerful experiences in a very organic way,” says Bury, who has done just that in temples, villages and even at a funeral, showing places as they really are. “I know I am on to something very big,” he says. Sky News

ABOVE: Quantas. ABOVE RIGHT: Inside an Oculus Rift. RIGHT: The full VR experience. achieved a similar intimacy by using 360° video on a beach in Lesbos, Greece as two boats packed with migrants landed.

NEW ERA When used creatively, 360° video can be very honest and very moving, and for that reason it seems likely consumers will soon be recording their experiences in wraparound photos and video that let the viewer see in any direction. “The impact on the travel industry is huge because the prospects of improving 360° technology means that travellers have more ways of being engaged, and being more immersed

ABOVE: Specialist rigs are needed to mount cameras.

REALITY CHECK Virtual reality has long been sold as the ‘next big thing’, but the technology never seemed good enough... But recent advancements in technology, computing power and graphics have opened up the market to a whole range of new products, from bargain basin offerings to full-on immersive VR headests from some of the world’s leading technology companies. And it looks like the market is going to grow and grow.

500 million VR headsets could be sold by 2025, according to analysts Piper Jaffray.

in the virtual experience,” says Rey Ong, Managing Partner at Convertical in Hong Kong, which produces aerial photography and 360° panoramic tours for the travel industry. His colleague Kurt Tsui thinks that technology like this threatens to make experts of us all, saying: “Everyone can be a tour guide now, if they are willing to spend time on internet to look for the VR information and prepare … travellers do not need advice from travel agents anymore.” Others disagree with that. “Inspirational content is not competition, but helps agents in what they do, bringing brochures and 2D videos to life,” counters Bridges.

The virtual reality market could be worth $30 billion by 2020, says tech M&A advisory firm Digi-Capital.

Google’s Cardboard app has been downloaded over 10 million times.

WORKS BOTH WAYS Filming in 360° is becoming a great way for the travel industry to inspire consumers, but it will work both ways; think TripAdvisor in 360°, with unforgiving videos online for all to see of hotel rooms, swimming pools and buffets. “People love watching VR, they love putting a headset on and being taken to amazing places and doing amazing things,” says Stuart, but he admits that 360° is very honest, adding: “If you’re going to use 360°, then what you are going to show had better be truly stunning.” Carefully curated VR experiences aside, the 360° camera never lies. WTM Business 2016



Use of VR in Destinations British Columbia was one of the first DMOs to embrace VR with its ‘Wild Within VR Experience’ campaign. Philipp Jacobius investigates the background. Imagine sitting on your comfortable couch at home, relaxing after a long day at work – and suddenly a group of sea lions passes on your right side! Or rather, you are passing them in the boat that you are suddenly sitting in, cruising along the Canadian coast to spot some wildlife. What sounds incredible at first thought has actually become a reality just recently, albeit a virtual reality. What happened is that you are at home sitting on your couch with a head-mounted display (HMD) showing images in front of your eyes on tiny screens displaying ‘The Wild Within VR Experience’ created by Destination British Columbia. Virtual Reality (VR) is a major buzzword these days and being talked about at many trade fairs. In VR, users are enjoying virtual environments that are either consisting of video material that was captured from the real world in special 360-degree camera rigs, or completely computer-rendered environments that can either be completely made-up or based on the real world. In this context, it has to be distinguished between 360-degree video and immersive VR content. While the former takes the user on a predetermined journey allowing only head movements as the only degree of interactivity, true VR enables users to explore at will and take choices that

and audio is often added for a more immersive user experience. With sufficient immersion, users can actually achieve a feeling of presence, which describes the state where the human consciousness believes the body is operating in a different environment than it actually is, the virtual environment. This enables tourism marketers a multitude of opportunities.

SAMPLE BEFORE YOU BUY One game-changing advantage of applying VR in tourism marketing is that consumers can sample the product or service. This can include looking at a hotel in an all-revealing 360-degree video guided tour to identify if it is wheelchair-accessible, checking out the ancient ruins to build up anticipation or to identify if the destination that is being considered for the next vacation actually looks as good as in the brochures. Because of the 360-degree content that is shown, it is hard for marketers to cover up imperfections; the experience is very authentic. But how exactly do destinations apply VR to their advantage? One of the first destinations to apply VR majorly in their marketing efforts is the aforementioned Destination BC. They released their first VR campaign in December 2014. The DMO showcases

“We really wanted to have a tool that can showcase the destination” Maria Greene, Destination British Columbia influence the material being shown. There are also more advanced tracking techniques at work, enabling users to freely move through the VR display and lean in to investigate items from closer up.

THE POWER OF VISUALS Particularly in tourism, VR is said to be of great importance. Scientifically speaking, this is mostly due to the fact that most touristic experiences depend strongly on visual influences. Current VR technology relies for the most part on visual stimulation,


WTM Business 2016

some stunning 360-degree video footage from the Great Bear Rainforest, a diverse and protected area located along the central Pacific coast of BC. The footage is shot in both first person and third person view and follows general touristic experiences from the view of the visitors. Viewers are journeying along the coastline in a commercial whale watching boat and later have the option to either go visit a sea lion colony or to go hiking in the mountains, adding an element of interactivity. As pioneers in the area of VR destination

promotion, they had to overcome many challenges. Destination BC had to use 3D printers to create a custom rig for multiple GoPro cameras that they were able to either mount on a backpack or a drone. While the VR experience was initially designed for the Oculus Rift HMD, the DMO kept in mind the (at the time) impending release of consumergrade headsets of every brand, making sure that the contents of its production can be adapted to different platforms. Many major hardware sellers have since released their consumer HMDs. After originally being destined to be used at trade shows, the VR experience has since been made public. Having spent approximately CAD $500,000 on the production, Destination BC demonstrates their commitment to the VR approach and their belief that it is the right way to go in tourism marketing for companies fighting for time in customers’ short attention spans.

SHOWCASING BRITISH COLUMBIA Maria Greene, of Destination BC, says that the emotional change that consumers are experiencing after a VR presentation helps to position BC as a place more likely to be visited. She explained that, “we really wanted to have a tool that can showcase the destination in a way that consumers are

VR HEADSETS Oculus Rift has a number of rivals in the world of head-mounted displays.

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Filming in Canada; Actor Chris Hemsworth at the Australia VR launch; Destination BC’s campaign

SAMSUNG GEAR Price: $199/£169/€200 Easy to get up and running with the VR experience.

OCULUS RIFT Price: $600/£499/€580. The original. Now a mid-range virtual reality option.

craving. Because consumers want more and more information about a potential next place to visit.” She describes the disruptive nature of VR as follows: “This is really a movement here that is going to shake the ground of tourism, especially, because our regular videos are no longer going to be […] enough for clients to understand what the destination has to offer.” As the technology develops, there is less and less financial commitment necessary to produce proper VR content, with the production costs having already decreased significantly. To bring that into specific terms, back in 2014 the cost of production for the 20-minute video was $400,000-500,000. Similar productions can now be realized with approximately $35,000-75,000. The technology is advancing at a pace where the true costs are not so much related to the technological aspects anymore but in the development of proper storytelling elements and the post-processing (stitching) of the 360-degree video content. Destination BC is not the only destination that now working with VR. Many have followed since Destination BC proved the potential of the use of the technology. Back when the campaign started they managed to generate over 65 million media impressions. Some destinations are

designing entire promotional campaigns around the technology (Failté Ireland), while others are using the technology to supplement existing campaigns (Tourism Australia). In the case of Australia, the DMO chose to showcase 17 different locations in coastal and aquatic areas all around the country and use it as part of their ‘There is nothing like Australia’ campaign. There are countless more destinations that are now beginning to experiment with the technology and releasing their first results to the public. However, VR is still at a very early stage of development, so there are no proven techniques yet; most of the productions are based on trialand-error. Several VR productions from smaller destinations are lacking storytelling elements in particular, something that is easy – and fatal – to omit. Just recently Destination BC showed again their dedication to this new technology, when they released a new VR experience, ‘The Winter Within’, showcasing skiing experiences in Whistler Blackcomb.

PHILIPP JACOBIUS recently graduated from the UoAS Salzburg with a degree in ‘Innovation & Management in Tourism’. His thesis was on VR in destination promotion. |

SONY VR Price: $399/£349/€400. Launched in October. powered by PlayStation console. High hopes.

GOOGLE CARDBOARD From free. Build it yourself (or buy a kit) and downlaod apps from the Play Store. Better than you’d expect!



Digital Business Reality The pace of digital change can be bewildering for even the most tech savvy. Genesys Digital Transformation’s Paul Richer looks at the processes a business needs to embrace to ensure its digital practices are fit for purpose in the 21st century.


will be running the Genesys Digital Transformation Summit at WTM London on Tuesday November 8. Digital Transformation is a phrase of which I am sure you will have heard. You might be thinking it is not particularly relevant to you, more buzzwords than business reality. Well, if that is what you are thinking then you are very wrong. We are selling our products and conducting business in a digital world. Moreover, travel is an information product. Unlike a car, house or most other high ticket items, it actually does not exist when it is bought. It is no more than data sitting on a hard drive somewhere, whether this is in the cloud or on a server in your office. Sure, eventually the customer will consume the physical travel product but, until a flight departs or a guest arrives at a hotel and checks into the room, travel is no more than information, it is an electronic product, perfectly suited to being promoted and sold in the digital world. However, even though travel needs to be sold electronically, Digital Transformation


WTM Business 2016

is actually much more than this. I see it as having three pillars: the user or customer experience (or Ux or Cx as the techies would say), gaining an understanding of your customer and applying that knowledge, and creating a frictionless business where all business processes work efficiently and in harmony. These pillars, or facets, are equally important, so let’s look at them in much more detail.

PROVIDING AN EXCEPTIONAL USER EXPERIENCE This is one of the key factors in the success of the new generation of disruptive businesses such as Airbnb and Uber. It is an ideal that every business should strive towards. Travel is, by its very nature, a complex product with many variables such as departure dates, durations, destinations, room types, seating classes, extras and ancillaries. Trying to shuffle this lot into an easy and intuitive digital shopping experience is not an easy task. Travel businesses that have made their reputations online, such as Expedia, Skyscanner or, simply never stop tinkering with their websites, always looking for the next incremental improvement. They are all, of course, mobile responsive so that they look good and work well whatever the size of screen being used but the essential point is that they never stop a/b or multivariate testing. Simply put, this is trying out changes to the website and seeing what effect they have. a/b testing is trying one change against the existing site. Half of users see site ‘a’ and half see site ‘b’. It is then just a simple matter of seeing which version gives the best results. Multivariate testing is similar but is assessing more than one change at a time. It requires a greater number of website visitors to achieve a statistically significant result. Changes could be no more than changing the colour of a button or maybe trying out some different wording, for example ‘Fantastic discounts’ vs. ‘Fantastic offers’. The testing is never-ending. There is always scope for improvement. Part of the Ux is the flow of pages from the search results through to booking and

paying. I once did a booking flow analysis of a client’s website. They were unhappy about the conversion rate they were achieving of lookers to bookers. An incredible 77% of visitors who had chosen a holiday and started the booking process were thwarted by a poorly designed room selection page. Of those left and still wanting to book, 60% gave up because of a poorly designed passenger names page. Fixing those transformed the number of online bookings the company was receiving. Run some analytics on your own website to find out where your potential customers are giving up and abandoning their bookings. Should you not be sure of how to design

your website to provide an exceptional user experience, why not take a look at the sites of the major OTAs? They have spent much time and effort refining their Ux. Perhaps you could learn from them.

UNDERSTANDING THE CUSTOMER The website most commonly quoted when it comes to talking about understanding the customer is Amazon which so often has a product you would like to order on display on the site’s home page. Amazon is tracking the products you look at, you

“Run some analytics on your own website to find out where your potential customers are giving up and abandoning their bookings”

buy or put on your wishlist and using this knowledge to offer you products that you may well like. This personalisation of online content is being introduced into travel. What it is all about is getting to know your customer in the same way that a good high street travel agent does. When a regular customer walks into a high street travel agency, if the agent is on the ball, the customer will be recognised immediately. The agent knows the customer’s holiday preferences and immediately shapes the conversation, talking to the customer about the holidays that he or she knows will suit the customer. In digital transformation terms, this is about big data. In fact, ‘big data’ is a misnomer. It should really be called small data as it is about collecting the small nuggets of data that, together, build up a picture of the customer, their typical party make-up (family, couple, etc), preferred destinations, typical spend and more. WTM Business 2016



There are a number of technologies on the market now that use data collected from the customer to personalise the online or offline conversation. The online conversation is about customising your website to show the products that will most interest the customer. This data might be gathered by monitoring what products the customer is looking at or it might be that the customer is logging in so that information held in a database can be used to customise the pages displayed on your website. Customising offline communication is just as important. This might be providing call centre staff with the information they need for an informed conversation, personalising printed letters or email messages or creating newsletters that feature the products a customer wants to buy. Personalisation such as this might be based directly on data held about specific customers or it might be inferred, understanding the type of customer and his/ her preferences based on what customers with similar characteristics purchase. I have seen a number of presentations from travel companies using different methods of personalisation. Whether this is website personalisation, customised email newsletters or use of data to tailor the call centre conversation, without fail they have all seen very significant improvements in customer engagement and booking levels.

CREATING FRICTIONLESS BUSINESS PROCESSES Digital transformation is often thought of as being about the consumer facing side

of your business. However, one of the keys to success is running an efficient business. Think of the way in which all the work processes that make up your entire business mesh together like the cogs in a gearbox. Each cog needs to turn efficiently, that is with as little friction as possible. Moreover, each cog has to mesh precisely with the cogs with which it is engaged. If you are a car enthusiast, you will know that great strides have been made in gearbox design over the last decade or so. This has resulted in higher performance and increased efficiency. So it should be with any business. Each process needs to be examined. Is it optimally efficient in its own right? Does it interact well with the business processes it touches? Do you need to reorganise your business, introduce new

processes, get rid of redundant processes in order to maximise efficiency? BPR (business process reengineering) was a buzzword phrase from a few years ago. It is not much talked about now but it is still entirely relevant and essential to digital transformation. I have consulted with quite a few travel companies where an external view of how the business runs has resulted in some suggestions for change that have made a real difference. Here are two examples: A 100 seat call centre with just one PDQ machine for taking credit payments required staff to leave their seats and queue to take customer payments. Implementing an on-screen payment system saved hours of staff time and reduced customer call waiting times. A tour operator with no computer system had one staff member working full time checking customer invoices. Computerisation allowed that staff member to be redeployed to work on more productive endeavours. Frictionless business processes can save money and improve customer service.


DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SUMMIT Paul Richer founded Genesys Digital Transformation in 1994, realising his vision for a management consultancy that would offer the highest professional standards in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. The Genesys Digital Transformation Summit takes place at WTM London on November 8, at 10.30-12.30. Platinum Suite 4.


WTM Business 2016

Digital transformation can sound daunting. It affects every area of your business, so can seem a mammoth undertaking that is simply too large to tackle. This can be true if you consider digital transformation in the whole. However, think about your own business. Where could you start? Where is the low hanging fruit? What next after that? Find a starting point and then create a plan that will take in all three pillars of digital transformation. It may take time to implement but you will be revitalising your business, re-configuring it for the digital world in which we now live.

Fly Nonstop. Fly Germania. Scheduled · Charter · Ad-hoc

16 0 2 M T W T A S U T VISI UKI350

: D N A T S

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WTM Buyers’ Club members are some of the most travelled people on the planet. Alena Kravchenko asked members to nominate their ‘must have’ travel products.

BEDTIME BLISS SLEEP MASK This contoured eye mask won’t put pressure on your eyes, with a soft and comfortable bamboo and cotton lining with adjustable Velcro straps. Includes ear plugs, and storage pouch for travel. Perfect for shut eye on the red eye. Price | £11.49 |

ROAD WARRIOR CARRY-ON SUITCASE Strong but lightweight build featuring precision engineering, high-quality craftsmanship, hi-spec components and patented SPS™ Suit Packing System for the ultimate crease-free garment technology. Look the part as you head for the Business Lounge. Price | £299 |

ZENDURE A2 The pocket-friendly A2 is one of the smallest portable chargers, but with super-high-density battery cells, it’ll keep your phone charged long after the day is done. It detects your device and fine-tunes the output to charge it at maximum speed. So no excuse for a flat battery! Price | £29.99 |


WTM Business 2016

KINDLE PAPERWHITE Lighter than a paperback, holds thousands of books, and unlike reflective tablet and smartphone screens, the latest Kindle Paperwhite reads like paper – no annoying glare, even in bright sunlight. And the charge lasts weeks, not hours... Price | £105 |

SONY RX100 III Combining 20.1 MP1 image quality, pop-up electronic viewfinder, bright Carl Zeiss lens and compact size, the RX100 III slips easily into your pocket and is a pleasure to use. The rugged metal construction will soak up the knocks and the electronic pop-up flash is the icing on the cake. So ditch your camera phone and take some photos to remember. Price | £799 |


BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 20 ACOUSTIC NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES Bose noise cancelling technology allows you to shut out the world and focus on your music. Soft and secure for hours of listening from proprietary StayHear + ear tips. Aware mode to hear what’s around you at the press of a button. Nice. Price | £199.95 | ®

MACBOOK AIR 11” Whatever the task, the 11-inch MacBook Air is up to it. It lasts up to nine hours between charges, so from your morning coffee till you arrive at the hotel, you can work unplugged. A classic. Price | from £749 |

TWIST WORLD ADAPTER DUO The TWIST World Adapter DUO ensures worldwide compatibility for travellers everywhere. Its unique Twist & Lock mechanism allow user to simply twist and select the right power socket no matter where they are. Essential. Price | £19.99 |

WTM Business 2016




Death by Global Day Tripper A boom in tourism might be good news for the travel and tourism industry in the short term, but, travel writer and novelist Sean Thomas argues, there may be trouble ahead as ever more travellers tick off the world’s most famous destinations.


here aren’t many obvious links between Eqi glacier, in western Greenland, and Taormina, in eastern Sicily. The first is a remote and spectacular natural wonder, one of the most active glaciers on the globe, and possibly the source of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. The second is an exquisite Mediterranean town, a place “so pretty it hurts to look at it”, according to Ernest Hemingway – who was just one of the town’s famous 20th century visitors, from Elizabeth Taylor to Truman Capote to Tennessee Williams. Indeed, so disparate are these two places, there can’t be many people on the planet who can claim to have seen both. But I am one of them. In my career as a travel journalist, I visited both last September. And taken together, these places taught me something bleak about the possible future of our industry. My epiphany came as I sat outside the wooden bar of the Eqi Glacier Lodge and sipped some nice Aussie shiraz from the local supermarket (100 miles away), and


WTM Business 2016

watched the newly calved icebergs turn copper and gold in the sunset. It was beautiful: a place that demanded silent awe. And yet it was no lovelier than Taormina, nestled under smoking Mount Etna.

So why did I respond so positively to Eqi, whereas I was dismayed by Taormina? Because, tourists. That evening, overlooking the grandeur of Eqi, it was just me, plus a friendly American couple, plus the hotel staff (four young Danes going stir crazy). Otherwise, the place was deserted. And I mean deserted: we were probably the only human beings for 50 miles. The nearest town to Eqi is Ilulissat, a day’s voyage down the echoing coast, and itself a town surrounded by thousands of howling sled dogs: who have to be kept chained by law otherwise they eat the children. Not exactly a tourist honeypot. But it was precisely this magnificent solitude that made that evening in Eqi so special. By contrast, when I stepped out of my

ABOVE: Managed tourism in The Gálapagos Islands

ABOVE: La Dolce Vita? Probably not...

ABOVE: Falcon Grove, London

hotel in Taormina [pictured above], a week before, I was instantly mobbed. Engulfed in a sea of humanity searching for that exclusive selfie. This wasn’t even peak season, yet the hordes of backpackers and daytrippers were so intense people were literally queueing to get into the town, then queuing to walk down the main street, then queueing to take the same photo of the famous view over Etna, a view which was completely blocked by the numbers of people trying to photograph the view. Eventually I gave up queueing for the chance to walk along a street, and nipped into the celebrated Hotel Timeo for a ginand-tonic which cost me £30. I think they can get away with that price, because some people will pay anything to avoid the crowds.

In short: As I remembered my recent experience of mass Italian tourism, while sitting in the blissful emptiness of western Greenland, I realised that this overcrowding

ABOVE: Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

is spreading. And also that this situation cannot go on. We are running out of Europe. Because I’ve seen this overcrowding elsewhere. These days it takes two hours to drive just five miles into St Tropez in high summer. Horrific. It can sometimes take 90 minutes to drive a few miles into St Ives, in Cornwall. Yet people still do it, and because

they still do it, everything gets worse for everyone. The same grisly overcrowding can be seen in Florence or Capri, Siena or Venice, or the loveliest villages in Provence, Andalusia, or the Cotswolds. And the prospects for the rest of Europe’s prettier spots aren’t promising.

THE VENETIAN DILEMMA With a population of just 55,000, and a declining population at that, the citizens of Venice have long had a tempestuous relationship with the tourists who pour into their city each day. Recently tensions have simmered over. In late September, members of the Comitato NO Grandi Navi, a local organisation campaigning against the giant cruise ships that visit daily, took to small boats and dinghies to disrupt the disembarkation of the something like

30,000 daily cruise ship passengers who arrive in the Venice lagoon. In peak season around 60,000 visitors arrive in Venice. Locals bemoan the fact that less than half stay overnight, arguing that the overnighters, at least, bring income into the city. For Venice, the issues go way beyond overcrowding and human conflicts. As has long been reported, the city’s very foundations are at risk from the constant human invasion...

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BELOW: Italy’s Ligurian Coast

THE TOP TEN So, you were looking foward to a quiet walk down Las Vegas’s strip? Peak weeks see a million people strolling the sidewalks... 1. Las Vegas Strip Annual Visitors: 39.7m 2. Times Square, New York Annual Visitors: 39.2m 3. Central Park, New York Annual Visitors: 37.5m

BELOW: The Eqi glacier, in western Greenland

4. Union Station, Washington Annual Visitors: 32.9m 5. Niagara Falls Annual Visitors: 22.5m 6. Grand Central Terminal, New York Annual Visitors: 21.6m 7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Annual Visitors: 18m 8. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando Annual Visitors: 17.5m 9. Disneyland Park, Anaheim Annual Visitors: 16m 10. Forbidden City, Beijing Annual Visitors: 15.3m

Consider this fact: 500 million Chinese have very recently been lifted into the middle classes (and yay for that, it’s one of humanity’s greatest achievements). Indeed China overtook America and Germany, as the biggest source of international tourists, a couple of years ago. And where have these Chinese decided to go? Why, the very same places as everyone else: the places they’ve seen in movies, the towns and coasts and landscapes they’ve read about in books. What’s more the Chinese have only just begun (there’s another 500 million waiting to join the bourgeoisie) and after the Chinese are up and running, we’ll see the Indian tourist boom: which means another billion people, walking down the main street of Taormina. Which sounds great for Taormina’s restaurateurs, until you realise that, if this actually happened, Taormina would collapse into the Ionian Sea. All of which must lead us, as an industry, to ask the big questions. How do we manage this? How will travel evolve under these pressures? It’s not like we can manufacture more Provence. The supply is,


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by definition, limited. And then, as I sat in the tundra of Greenland, it occurred to me that there really is only one solution: we will start rationing travel, by time and money. We will put digital walls around towns and close the virtual gates when a country is chocka. We’ll have a ticketing system for provinces, coastlines, parklands, and a smartphone app that says when Florence is full. And we will impose serious entrance fees on absolutely everyone, like they do in Bhutan – a country I visited soon after Taormina, which stings a $250 daily fee on all visitors, and is thus blissfully empty. It sounds ridiculous when you put it like that. A Bhutan-style solution for Europe: tickets to get into coastlines. Yet one sunny corner of Italy, the Cinque Terre, on the Ligurian Coast, has now decided to do just that. Such is the yearly crush of visitors to Cinque Terre, from cruise ships and bus tours, from 2017 the National Park of Cinque Terre will limit the number of summer trippers to 1.5m (2.5m came visiting in 2015). Once the 1.5m limit is reached, via a process of online booking, Cinque Terre

will shut the doors. No one else will be allowed in. There is, naturally, a deep irony here. Restricting and rationing travel by cost will mean that we are returning to the past, when the most desirable travel was only for the wealthy. That is to say, in the future, enjoying a summer holiday in Tuscany will be like having Centre Court tickets for Wimbledon. Only the rich will get the pleasure. Taormina (and Venice and St Tropez and Marbella) will return to what they were: playgrounds for the affluent and famous. As for the rest of the world’s tourists, they’d best develop a liking for cold and rain and maybe Greenlandic glaciers.

SEAN THOMAS Has written for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Spectator and The Guardian. When he writes under the name of Tom Knox, he specialises in religious thrillers. Recently, he has written psychological thrillers as S K Tremayne.


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WTM 2016 Business Magazine  

Official Business Magazine for WTM Buyers' Club Members

WTM 2016 Business Magazine  

Official Business Magazine for WTM Buyers' Club Members