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FILM TOURISM Film and TV drives visitor growth
THEATRE The ticketing revolution
PLUS: BATTLEFIELDS | FOOD + DRINK | ITALIAN FOCUS | WEDDINGS OVERTOURISM | INDUSTRY NEWS | ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS | TECH
Contents 09 FOREWORD Welcome from Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, World Travel Market
32 ADVENTURE TOURISM It’s all about the ‘Experience’ as adventure travellers seek out thrills
10 INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT Spotlight on a year’s worth of statistics across the travel & tourism world
40 TECHNOLOGY EXPLORED How is travel evolving as the fourth industrial revolution rolls on?
48 OVERTOURISM INSIGHT Attitudes to mass tourism are changing over overtourism concerns
NEWS FOCUS 12 UK & Ireland 14 Europe 16 The Americas & Caribbean 18 Middle East 20 Asia/Pacific & Indian Ocean 22 Africa & North Africa
28 WTM BUYER’S CLUB Events, benefits, deals and exclusive offers for WTM Buyers’ Club members
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54 ITALY FOCUS WTM London’s Premier Partner is looking ahead to a foodie 2018 60 WAR TOURISM Battlefield and anniversary tourism is now big business around the globe
Director Alexander Collis Managing Editor Andy Sutcliffe Contributors Erik Wolf, Susan Barone, Richard Payne, Wouter Geerts, Paul Richer, Delphine Bartier, Christina Beckmann, Tim Leffel Creative Director Print/Digital Lee Gavigan Operations and Production Manager Alena Kravchenko Accounts Controller Martin Reece Project Services Alex David, Antonella Morlando, Paul Cooper, Daniel Barres, Francis Torres, Helen Sinclair WTM Business 2017 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: www.epsbusiness.com For all sales enquiries: email@example.com For all corporate enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
AVIATION FOCUS The need to green fleets is fueling global research and investment as airlines and airports look to the future
74 SPOTLIGHT: FILM & TV How filming is breathing new life into destinations near and far. With rewards that can continue for decades 80
SPOTLIGHT: FOOD TOURISM Authentic experiences in the perfect setting are the two trends to explore as food and drink tourism grows apace
SPOTLIGHT: THEATRE The tech revolution is driving the ticketing business as theatre continues to excite visitors to NY and London
80 94 SPOTLIGHT: WEBSITES Is your website fit for purpose? Best practice for dealing with the media 100 GOLF MARKET Golf tourism is booming as customers continue to seek out new courses. 110 SPOTLIGHT: WEDDINGS It’s the most important day of your life. So what drives the wedding market 114 LUGGAGE FILLERS Must have gadgets and products for every busy travel professional
Intellectual Property: World Travel Market, the World Travel Market logo and WTM are trade marks of Reed Exhibitions Limited. RELX Group, the RE symbol, Reed Exhibitions and Reed Travel Exhibitions are trade marks of RELX Group plc. 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.
Special thanks to our WTM London 2017 Publication sponsor...
122 WANDERLUST A quick look at some of the world’s most exciting travel stories
WTM Business 2017 05
A secret where twelve villages surround it with unique textiles and three giants as silent witnesses to itâ€™s beauty
Is The Secret Discover it!
the most beautiful waterways
VER the years CroisiEurope has become the European market leader in river cruising, with 50 ships operating on the most beautiful waterways in Europe, Asia and Southern Africa. CroisiEurope offers exceptional coastal cruises in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas on board an intimately sized cruise ship, the “MS La Belle de l’Adriatique” accommodating just 198 passengers. CroisiEurope is proud to reveal the charms of France’s canals in the regions of Alsace, Burgundy, Provence,
Champagne and in Paris on board a collection of 6 new canal barges, with a capacity of 22 passengers. Discover the Mekong on one of the five CroisiEurope ships that sail up from Siem Reap to Ho-Chi-Minh City: 4-star and 5-star colonial-style ships which accommodate 20 to 60 passengers. Explore Southern Africa on CroisiEurope's safari cruise sailing on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers, plus a stay at their elegant safari lodge.
Come and see us
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© Damien Lachas
CONTACT INFORMATION: STRASBOURG Headquarters (France) - ✆ + 33 3 88 76 44 44 - email@example.com - www.croisieurope.travel
WTM Business 2016
WELCOME TO WTM BUSINESS ®
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 2017. 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 2016 saw around 10,000 WTM Buyers’ Club members attend the event, helping it to generate a record £2.8 billion in industry contracts. This year we anticipate WTM London will facilitate an even greater amount of industry business deals thanks to an additional WTM Speed
Networking on the Tuesday of the event – meaning each day will kick off with a speed networking event before the exhibition floor opens. The leading global event for the travel industry will again be a three-day format following the overwhelming success of last year’s WTM London, which saw a record attendance of more than 51,500 senior industry professionals. 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, features, 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 2017.
WTM Business 2017 09
MAPPING THE MARKE T 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 since WTM London 2016.
Down 4.2 percent. New figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce show a drop in international visitors to the United States by close to 700,000 in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year. European countries were down 10.1 percent, and Mexico was off 7.1 percent in the quarter. The largest drops were from the Middle East and Africa, though.
Brexit effect: The number of inbound visits to the UK for January to April was a record 11.8m, up 11%, with visitors spending ÂŁ6.2bn, up 14%.
$11 billion: Russia has pledged to FIFA to invest $11 billion to raise and upgrade tourism-related infrastructure ahead of the World Cup in 2018. The top three regions of the world receiving increased interest from travellers for adventure experiences are South America, Central America and North America. The average age of the adventure traveller is 47.
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310%-2016 The worldâ€™s fastest growing travel destination, according to UNWTO, is Sierra Leone. The little West African nation welcomed 310 per cent more overseas arrivals in 2016, compared with the previous year.
NEED TO KNOW START-UPS Since 2005, a total of 20 companies accounted for 82% of the $62billion of global funding to digital travel startups. (Phocuswright Inc.)
7,700,000,000 Worldwide airport passenger numbers increased 6.5% in 2016 to almost 7.7 billion, registering increases in all regions except Africa, which recorded a slight decrease of 0.4%. AIR
$81 billion. Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector is expected to contribute more than $81 billion to the country’s GDP by 2026, according to the WTTC.
Chinese domestic tourism has been increasing about 10% per year, and it is estimated that this contributes 4% of China’s GDP of $9 trillion.
TUVALU Only 1,000 people ventured to the South Pacific paradise of Tuvalu last year, making it the least-visited country in the world.
NZ$500 million. New Zealand’s win in the Americas Cup is expected to be worth NZ$500 million to the country, when the 36th America’s Cup is held in Auckland in summer 2021.
USER GENERATED CONTENT Research in the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report shows that 92% of consumers trust UGC more than any other form of media, and 81% say their purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts. (Phocuswright Inc.) CHAT Chat is the most effective medium for customer service, for now. Thanks to WeChat, China is developing many exciting products. (Phocuswright Inc.) HALAL In 2016, according to the data of the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) about $155 billion was spent by Muslim travellers. This represents about 13% of the total global travel spend. AIRLINES When choosing an airline, which component is the MOST important? 37% said competitive price, followed by: convenience of flight time/ departure airport (31%); choice of destinations 21%; and customer service (6%). (Amadeus) ONLINE Worldwide, most online bookings are still made on desktop. In both the US and the UK the rate of mobile bookings is still under 30%. China, however, is the very notable exception to that rule; over half of all travel bookings are made on mobile. (Phocuswright Inc.)
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NEWS ROUND-UP UK & EIRE With over 5,000 exhibitors, WTM London is packed full of opportunities for Buyers’ Club members. WTM Business reports from around the world’s regions.
LUMIEREL ONDON RETURNS IN 2018 Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and arts charity Artichoke have confirmed that Lumiere London 2018, the capital’s largest arts festival, will return to London from 18-21 January 2018. Building on the phenomenal success of Lumiere London 2016, which was attended by 1.3 million, the festival returns with a bigger footprint stretching across both sides of the River Thames. Festival destinations will include King’s Cross and the West End, with Covent
Garden, Fitzrovia, Victoria, South Bank and Waterloo added as new destinations. More than 40 UK and international artists will transform the city into a vast nocturnal outdoor exhibition space, offering audiences new and surprising perspectives on the capital’s districts, streets and iconic architecture. The festival, will welcome millions of visitors to the capital and reinforce London’s position as the leading global cultural capital, open to all.
NEW POSTAL MUSEUM DELIVERS RIDES
£53M INVESTMENT IN BELFAST HOTEL Excitement is building around Hastings Hotels’ new £53m Grand Central Hotel Belfast, set to be Northern Ireland’s largest hotel. The transformation of Windsor House, from an iconic office block to the new property, will offer 300 luxury bedrooms, a restaurant, bistro, rooftop lounge, retail units and a range of offices. The hotel takes its name from the original Grand Central Hotel which opened in 1893, during Belfast’s Victorian heyday, and welcomed guests from Churchill to The Beatles. Stand: UKI400
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The Postal Museum is London’s newest heritage attraction, revealing the surprising and curious history of Britain’s earliest social network: the post. With rich collections, interactive galleries, an immersive subterranean rail ride and learning activities engaging 10,000 school children a year, The Postal Museum brings to life five centuries of history that has, until now, been hidden from view. Following the signing an agreement in June, visitors can now ride a part of the underground rail network that
was used to transport mail around London for over 70 years. Originally opened in late 1927 and using electrically-powered driverless trains, 90 narrow gauge trains ran over the 22 miles of track in the system, which was operational until 2003. At its peak the railway was running 22 hours a day, moving millions of items of mail across the capital. In a single day, it could carry up to 4 million letters and parcels. Stand: UKI300 | postalmuseum.org
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS UNVEILS NEW LEGOLAND HOTEL ®
Merlin Entertainments has opened its first ever CBeebies Land Hotel at Alton Towers Resort, and LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel at The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. Following the launch of CBeebies Land in 2014 at Alton Towers, the new hotel features 76 themed rooms set across four floors. Designed exclusively for preschoolers and young families, the hotel includes its own dedicated entertainment area, restaurant and a
reception area. With a full entertainment programme running throughout the year, the new hotel includes over 5,000 hours of live shows, character ‘meet and greets’ and play areas. The new LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel at The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort incorporates 61 themed Wizard and Knight bedrooms – each Knight room is home to a 17kg LEGO® dragon, while each Wizard room houses a family of three LEGO® owls. The hotel houses
over 2.1 million LEGO® bricks and 657 LEGO® models. The hotel also features an a la carte Tournament Tavern Restaurant and a Jester’s Play Den. Merlin is leading in developing fully immersive, themed accommodation and these two new concepts are a critical next step in achieving the company’s goal of opening 2,000 new ‘room keys’ before the end of 2020. Stand: GV555 | merlinentertainments.biz
IMPRISONED AT THE TOWER OF LONDON 2018 promises to be another exciting year at the Tower of London, as a new interpretation, ‘Imprisonment at the Tower’ opens in spring 2018 to explore its fascinating history as one of the country’s most infamous prisons. The ‘Bloody Tower’ will tell the story of ‘high status’ prisoners such as Sir Walter Raleigh, whilst an introductory exhibition at the Beauchamp Tower will reflect on the emotional responses to imprisonment conveyed through the Tower’s incredibly preserved prisoner graffiti.
Private tours at the Tower of London now include a ‘Secrets of the Tower’ experience, bringing visitors behind the scenes to uncover the guarded secrets and hidden stories of almost 1,000 years of history. Designed to offer an intimate, exclusive and immersive experience, small groups are invited to see sites including the Queens House, St Thomas More Crypt, Chapel Royal and even the cells of the famous prisoners who were incacerated in the Tower. Stand: UKI430
NEW CALEDONIAN SLEEPER REVEALED Caledonian Sleeper is giving the public a glimpse of its brand new £150m fleet of trains ahead of their introduction. A website – newtrains.sleeper.scot – gives full details of the trains and timetables ahead of their phased introduction to service from Spring 2018.
A host of new features have been included, such as a hotel-style key card entry system, more accessible rooms, bespoke ‘comfort seats’ designed for long journeys, upgraded panels for phone and gadget charging, and WiFi throughout the train. Stand: UKI100
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EUROPE AIR EUROPA’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY Spain’s largest privately-owned airline, Air Europa, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and will be at WTM London to update the trade on its aircraft renewal programme. New developments have seen seven Boeing 787 Dreamliners join the fleet since 2016 and the $3.5 billion investment in new aircraft will eventually see 22 Dreamliners delivered by 2022. The airline will be at the exhibition to promote its 19 destinations in Latin
America, the Caribbean and North America. The long-haul flights operate from Madrid airport with short-haul services feeding in from all over Europe, including a twice-daily service from London Gatwick. Agents visiting the Air Europa WTM stand will be encouraged to take the Air Europa online training course, which sees those passing the course given the chance to win prizes. Stand: CA330 | aireuropa.com
SITEMINDER POWERS ATAHOTELS
DISCOVER THE LOW COUNTRIES Mechelen is on everybody’s doorstep, located in the heart of Flanders and midway between Brussels and Antwerp. As from March 2018 the new Museum Hof van Busleyden will open its doors. Hof van Busleyden invites you to discover and re-experience life in the Low Countries during the Burgundian era. It was a hotbed for new ideas, arts and crafts. Margaret of York, Erasmus, Thomas More, Anne Boleyn were only a few of the international guests invited to this city palace. | www.hofvanbusleyden.be Stand: EU1450
One year after completing its merger with UNA Hotels & Resorts, Atahotels has partnered with the global hotel industry cloud platform, SiteMinder, to further capitalise on Italy’s rising tourism numbers. SiteMinder will power the distribution of Atahotels’ more than 4,700 rooms online and increase guest acquisition for the hotel group through the company’s 350-strong network of the booking channels. Atahotels merged with UNA Hotels & Resorts in 2016 to form the first wholly-Italian-owned and operated hotel group. Together, the two brands have 43 properties located in 25 destinations across the country. SiteMinder’s country manager for Italy, Simona Melone, says, “SiteMinder is a key enabler of sustainable tourism in Italy. In fact, it is through technology like ours that local hotels have the opportunity to
BRUSSELS BOOSTS MUSEUM’S WEBSITE The Brussels Museums Council has unveiled a new website for visitors to the Belgian capital. The site provides a wealth of information about more than 115 museums and arts centres in Brussels, and is available in English, French and Dutch. It has descriptions of the permanent collections, plus practical
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information such as contact details, opening hours and accessibility. The website also offers general Brussels visitor information and details about the successful Brussels Card, which offers discounts on travel and admission to venues. Stand: EU1435 | brusselsmuseums.be
tap into international source markets and capitalise on the influx of tourists in an efficient, cost-effective way. Together with several UNA Hotels & Resorts properties, we are delighted to support Atahotels, an esteemed and forward-looking group with big plans for even greater growth in the future, to maximise this opportunity and increase their visibility, occupancy and revenue.” Italy consecutively ranks among the five most popular destinations in the world, according to the country’s chief national tourist organisation, the Touring Club. Contributing more than €70 billion to the local economy each year, Italy’s tourism sector welcomed 50.7 million visitors in 2016 and recent figures show visitors this year-to-date have already surpassed 55 million. Stand: TT358 | siteminder.com
LILLE CELEBRATES DESIGN CITY WIN The World Design Organization (WDO) has named Lille Metropole, as the World Design Capital® 2020, for the effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. Lille Metropole is the first French city to hold this biennial designation. WDO President, Prof. Mugendi M’Rithaa, stated, “As a strategically located metropolis in the heart of Europe, Lille is an intellectual, cultural, socioeconomic and creative hub of significance to the sub-region and beyond. Their bid references their creative traditions and rich heritage whilst
and honoured to be designated World Design Capital 2020. This designation is a wonderful opportunity for the metropolitan area and the nation to lay down the foundations for a new society by spreading design practices across the region, and inviting all of our fellow citizens to play a part. We are convinced that design will be the key to our metamorphosis. For it provides methods and skills that are essential, inspirational and edifying when it comes to bringing about the profound societal, economic and environmental changes needed in society.”
“This designation is a wonderful opportunity for the metropolitan area and the nation” Damien Castelain, President, Lille Metropole showcasing the catalytic benefits of embracing human-centred design thinking at cityscale.” For Lille Metropole, the WDC designation will reap a number of benefits, including positioning the city and region on an international scale. In accepting the designation, Damien Castelain, Lille Metropole’s President said, “We are proud
World Design Capital® is a biennial designation celebrating cities that use design to improve economic, social and cultural life. Previous designations include Torino (2008), Seoul (2010), Helsinki (2012), Cape Town (2014), and Taipei (2016). Mexico City is WDC 2018. Stand: EU600 | lilletourism.com
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ASIA & PACIFIC ULTRA-LUXURY CRUISING EXPERIENCE Vietnam’s Emperor Cruises fleet is designed to be a sanctuary that ensures every moment aboard is special. And their latest debut, the ultra-luxe cruising experience in Bai Tu Long Bay, will be no exception. Expect exclusive royal butler service from beginning to the end. Upon arrival to the Emperor Cruises harbour, guests are whisked straight from the limo to the King or Queen Suites via an exclusive tender shuttle for private check-in in the magnificent suite. The overnight cruises accommodate 16-24 people in eight, en-suite cabins for one or two-night cruises and private charters options. All eight cabins are equipped with private balconies, panoramic ocean views and a full butler service. On the upper deck, the King and Queen Suites cover 757 square feet and are among Emperor Cruises Halong’s largest rooms.
“Once in your room, take in the royal fragrance of agarwood and a bottle of chilled champagne as you are welcomed into the largest suites in Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam. For those looking for something more relaxing, enjoy an exclusive four-hand Royal massage for one hour in the Heritage Spa or a foot massage in-suite. This service can be requested at any time, around the clock. Enjoy music at your leisure with an exclusive, oldfashioned gramophone recorder or iPod music player provided in-suite,” Huong Do, DOSM of Emperor Cruises Halong, told WTM Business. Off the beaten track, Bai Tu Long means “the place where the dragon children descended”. Renowned for its unspoiled beauty, it is rich in biodiversity, with a pristine environment and spectacular landscape. Stand: AS563 | emperorcruiseshalong.com
THE MALDIVES’ TEN NEW HOTELS
TAHITI’S WATER VILLAS ARE 50 The Islands of Tahiti, birthplace of the signature overwater bungalow, are celebrating 50 years of this unique accommodation that helped put the destination on the travel map. In 1967, Tahiti became the first destination in the world to take accommodation into uncharted waters, building traditional pandanus leaf thatched-roof bungalows or villas over the islands’ lagoons in a move that cemented the Tahiti as one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations. Stand: AS555
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The Maldives will welcome an abundance of new hotels throughout 2018 and into early 2019, expanding its already well-established portfolio of luxury resorts. To support the increasing number of tourists visiting the Maldives, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has pledged to open 50 new resorts within his five-year term, creating over 18,000 new job opportunities. Since 2013, 20 new resorts have already opened and following the
opening of Fushifaru Maldives, Reethi Faru and Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort towards the end of 2017, hotly anticipated openings for 2018 and 2019 include Mövenpick Resort & Spa Kuredhivaru Maldives, Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Carpe Diem Beach Resort & Spa, the Italiandesigned Baglioni Resort Maldives, ultra-luxurious Waldorf Astoria Maldives, LUX* North Malé Atoll, and four-star OBLU SELECT at Sangeli. Stand: AS540 | visitmaldives.com
BOLDLY GOING WHERE COOK WENT New Zealand specialist Silver Fern Holidays is looking ahead to 2019 and the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first voyage to the country. The operator is planning unique tours that include locations key to Captain James Cook’s first voyage to New Zealand in 1769. “2019 is going to be a huge year for New Zealand tourism, and a great opportunity for operators and agents,” says UK-based director John Lightwood. With a finite bed-stock, especially in
Eastland where the great circumnavigater Cook first landed, Lightwood believes that local relationships are critical when it comes to planning ‘Cook 250’ itineraries. “Our commitment to personal service, coupled with our on-the-ground presence and coaching fleet makes us the perfect New Zealand partner,” says John. Silver Fern Holidays is a member of the UK’s Association of Independent Tour Operators and is a 100% Pure New Zealand specialist. Stand: EU600
DRIVING IN JAPAN GETS EASIER
INDIA TOURISM SHOWCASES ITS NEW INCREDIBLE INDIA 2.0 CAMPAIGN India’s new Incredible India 2.0 campaign, the revamped version of the government’s marketing initiative to promote India, will focus on far flung monasteries in Lahaul Spiti, and Ayodhya [pictured above], the centre of the disputed Ram temple-Babri Masjid site. Yogi Adityanath’s Gorakhpur, home to the Gorakhnath Math, will also feature prominently on the list of tourist attractions that will be pushed in the Incredible India 2.0 campaign. In addition to showcasing a revamped website for the Incredible India 2.0 campaign, Indian Tourism will also discuss the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project, which entails encouraging students and private organisations to participate more actively in the maintenance of Indian heritage. Incredible India 2.0 campaign will focus
on developing at least 10 cities where it will promote their spirituality offering alongside medical and wellness potential. The “holistic development model” of 10 cities have been identified in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. At present, five cities have been picked from Uttar Pradesh – Ayodhya, Agra, Mathura-VrindavanGovardhan, Varanasi-Sarnath, and Gorakhpur. Kurukshetra, Guwahati, and Kanyakumari have also been identified for developing tourist circuits. Rishikesh, for instance, will not only offer ‘adhyatm’ to the tourists it hosts, but also offer traditional wellness programmes that tourists can enrol for. Kerala, likewise, will not only be promoted for its natural beauty, but also for its ancient ‘ayurvedic’ healing systems. Stand: AS300, AS350
Japan has announced the launch of a new nationwide expressway pass that will allow visitors from abroad to take unlimited travel on most expressways across Japan. From October, visitors to Japan with foreign passports who use certain designated rental car companies were able to make unlimited use of expressways across the country for a period of either one or two weeks for a fixed price by using the new Japan Expressway Pass. The seven-day all-Japan pass will be priced at 20,000 yen (£132) and the 14-day pass at 34,000 yen (£224). Stand: AS940 | seejapan.co.uk
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AMERICAS & CARIBBEAN AMAZING UNDERWATER ADVENTURE Opened last month and located in New York City’s Times Square, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is a first-in-kind immersive entertainment experience that transports audiences on an incredible undersea journey. SPE Partners, creators and producers of National Geographic Encounter, has engaged a world-class global team of Academy, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® Award-winning artists, including the team behind ‘Game of Thrones’, to produce
this never-before-seen experience. In the 60,000 square-foot venue, the use of innovative technologies such as video mapping, 8K photo real animation, mega projection screens, immersive sound and interactive “real-time” audience tracking will allow guests to virtually interact with sea lions, play with rays and dolphins, come face-to-face with humpback whales, Humboldt squids and great white sharks, all culminating in a 40-foot dome finale. Stand: NA300
HOLLYWOOD DREAMS COME REAL
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BOOST The number of European tourists travelling to the The Carribbean’s Dominican Republic jumped by an impressive 21.7 percent during the first half of this year. During this period, some 713,212 European visitors arrived in the country, which represented an increase of 123,703 tourists during the same period in 2016. The biggest increase in visitor numbers was Russia (80,907), followed by England (9,895), Germany (6,656), France (5,156), Switzerland (5,062) and Spain (3,893). Stand: CA300 | godominicanrepublic.com
Anchoring the extensive revitalization of Los Angeles’ famed Hollywood neighbourhood, Dream Hollywood brings together unrivalled partners in dining, nightlife, wellness and more. Dream Hotels’ marquee location creates a magnetic social hub for visitors and Angelenos alike. “We could not be more excited to welcome our guests and the community to Dream Hollywood,” said Jay Stein, Chief Executive Officer, Dream Hotel Group. “Dream Hollywood is truly unlike anything this city has ever seen, setting a new standard for hospitality and becoming a hotbed for creativity, culture and entertainment.” Located on the buzzing corner of Selma Avenue and N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, Dream Hollywood is designed by the award-winning architecture firm Rockwell Group and pays homage to Los Angeles’ iconic
CANCUN HOTEL HAS SENSUAL STYLE Temptation Cancun Resort, part of Original Group, has re-opened after a spectacular multi-million-dollar complete rebuild helmed by award-winning Canadian designer Karim Rashid. Inspired by the human body, the new resort’s 430 guestrooms and public spaces epitomize Karim’s sig-nature “sensual minimalism” style, including an iconic multi-coloured
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seven story façade. An evolutionary concept in Cancun, the ‘Playground for Grown-Ups’ welcomes adults-only (21+) to experience a sensual vibe throughout the entire property, with its bright colours and rounded, human-like shapes designed to optimize feelings of connectivity and attraction. Stand: LA300 | temptation-experience.com
mid-century modern architecture, balanced by garden inspired elements, plush upholstery and more, creating the perfect blend of hyperchic and comfortable. The hotel features 178 guest rooms and suites, including an 1,800-square-foot Guest House suite with private screening room and 360-degree views, a stunning indoor-outdoor doubleheight lobby with retractable Nana Walls, a sweeping 11,000 sq. ft. rooftop pool, restaurant and lounge with unforgettable views of the Hollywood Hills and Los Angeles Skyline, a 1,000 sq. ft. gym and wellness program designed by celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson; and an activated pedestrian alleyway that serves as a public gathering space linking the hotel to its adjacent dining and nightlife offerings. Stand: NA240 | dreamhotels.com
CARIBBEAN’S MESSAGE IS ‘WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS’ September 2017 will be a month to be remembered in the Caribbean, sadly for all the wrong reasons. The Caribbean’s most unwanted visitors, hurricanes Irma and Maria caused havoc on some of the islands, in particular Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Maarten, Dominica, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The Turks and Caicos Islands and southern parts of The Bahamas were affected but luckily were able to make a speedy recovery. The Caribbean islanders have come together to help their neighbours who are in the process of rebuilding not only their islands but their livelihoods. The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism
Association (CHTA) has launched the ‘One Caribbean Family’ initiative, encouraging hotels and travel professionals to contribute to the recovery through financial contributions and guest bookings. Karolin Troubetzkoy, President of the CHTA, told WTM Business, “Through this program, we are highlighting that over 70 percent of Caribbean destinations were not affected by the storms and that the majority of hotels across the region are fully operational and open for business. “We felt this was important because we realised that many people across the world did not fully understand the
geography of our region. After all, the Caribbean region consists of 32 countries and spans over one million square miles. The distance between Nassau in the Bahamas and the island of Tobago is approximately 1447 miles which is almost identical to the distance between London and Athens. “So, let me therefore assure you, our future visitors, that our diverse and vibrant Caribbean and its warm and friendly people still await you and that there still are many places to go and to choose from. And before long, those islands which are currently on the road to recovery, will be eager to welcome you back, too.”
SCOTTSDALE’S NEW RESORTS EMERGE Arizona’s Scottsdale recently welcomed two new resorts and is soon to add two more to its roster of accommodations. Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley [pictured, right] is expected to open by the end of 2018. This 200-room, new-build property will have it all — exemplary service, spectacular views of Camelback Mountain, modern and sleek interiors, and a location just minutes from downtown Scottsdale. Perfect for a cool-off in the desert heat, Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley will boast North America’s longest pool, at more than 400 feet. Other property attributes include a 20,000-square-foot world-class spa with indoor and outdoor
treatment areas, and a garden with a citrus orchard. Breaking ground next door is The Palmeraie, with 160,000 square feet of mixed-use space carved out for 60 luxury and specialty boutiques, plus restaurants from local, national and international celebrity chefs. Plans for a future phase also include high-end residences, a gourmet grocery store and a boutique hotel. Phase one for The Palmeraie is slated for completion in 2019. Scottsdale’s accommodation portfolio is currently benefiting from a whole host of refurbishments. Stand: NA330
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MIDDLE EAST $10BN INVESTMENT IN BAHRAIN TOURISM Bahrain will see the opening of 15 new hotels and beachfront resorts by 2020 – representing a total investment of more than $10 billion. New arrivals include global hotel brands such as One&Only, Wyndham, Fairmont, Vida, The Address, Ibis and Pullman. Bahrain already has more than 190 hotels and resorts, and the extra developments are expected to increase hotel capacity by about 4,000 hotel rooms by 2020. The kingdom will see another boost to its profile next year when its second largest island, Muhurraq, becomes the Islamic Cultural Capital 2018. Once the centre of the world’s pearl trade, Muhurraq will be crowned the Arab region’s Islamic Cultural Capital to recognise the conservation work being done on the island – most notably with the UNESCO World Heritage Pearling Trail due for completion in 2018.
The trail earned UNESCO World Heritage status four years ago and encompasses 17 listed buildings, including a fortress, residences of wealthy merchants and a mosque. The Bahrain National Museum covers 4,000 years of Bahraini history, while Beit Al Quran – meaning the ‘House of Quran’ – celebrates Islamic art, from stained glass to religious verses inscribed onto a grain of rice. Bahrain’s tourism is being further buoyed by developments in the cruise industry. The destination’s Khalifa Bin Salman Port received 32 calls in 2015 and it is expected to have received 40 by the end of 2017. P&O will base one of its Oceana cruises in the Arabian Gulf for a programme of five 10-night cruises between January and March 2019. Stand: ME6400 | btea.bh
ABU DHABI’S TOURISM HOTS UP
GULF AIR FLYER PROGRAMME Swiss-Belhotel International has joined Gulf Air’s FalconFlyer frequent flyer programme, awarding members 200 miles for every night’s stay at participating Swiss-Belhotel properties spread across 23 countries worldwide. The agreement came into operation in September. Serving 42 cities in 25 countries, Gulf Air operates daily flights to 10 regional cities. Swiss-Belhotel International currently manages a portfolio of more than 145 hotels. Stand: ME640 | gulfair.com
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Abu Dhabi’s Louvre will open towards the end of this year, the first branch of the Louvre to open outside France. Elsewhere in the Emirate, World Abu Dhabi Miral – the developer behind Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, which will open on Yas Island in 2018 – has revealed that the $1 billion theme park will be made up of six immersive worlds. The DC Comics universe will comprise two of the six worlds, with Metropolis and Gotham City, the homes of Superman and Batman
respectively, designed to draw fans of the super hero franchises. The next worlds, Cartoon Junction and Dynamite Gulch, will bring together Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and other famous characters from Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera, while fans of the Flintstones can have a ‘yabba dabba doo’ time in the prehistoric world of Bedrock. The final world will be Warner Bros Plaza, a recreation of Hollywood in its Golden Age, when many of these characters were first brought to life. Stand: ME200
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES HOTEL REFURB Ramada Hotel & Suites Sharjah, the hotel managed by global hotel giant Wyndham Hotel Group, has completed a AED 25 million [£5.2m] renovation and upgrade programme, creating an elevated 4-star guest experience across all 343 of its guest rooms and suites. Formerly the Ramada Sharjah, the hotel began renovations in 2016 and now offers deluxe rooms and executive deluxe rooms, as well as one and two bedroom suites. Additional facilities, which were
also upgraded as part of the renovations, include an executive lounge, six meeting and event venues, two restaurants, a gym and spa area, as well as an indoor pool. All newly renovated rooms offer an array of contemporary accommodation, including king and twin bedded deluxe rooms with modern design and decor and a comfortable seating area with a flat-screen TV. One and two bedroom suites feature a well-appointed kitchen. Stand: ME400
BEIJING FOR ROYAL BRUNEI
UK VISITORS BOOST OMAN AS SULTANATE LOOKS TO GROW TOURISM Oman is looking to increase interest in tourism from the UK and other key markets after reporting ‘very encouraging’ visitor figures. The first six months of 2017 saw the Sultanate of Oman receive 72,004 visitors from the UK and Ireland, a 4.3% increase. By 2040, Oman aims to attract more than 11.7 million visitors, making tourism one of the most significant income generators in the Sultanate. Oman Air’s new direct flight from Manchester to Muscat launched in May and is in addition to the airline’s doubledaily flights and British Airway’s daily flights from London Heathrow making Manchester the only airport outside of London to have direct flights to Oman. To cater for a planned increase in visitors, Muscat International Airport’s new
terminal will be operational by the end of 2017 and will have the ability to handle 12 million passengers each year. A number of new hotels have opened or are scheduled to open by the end of 2017, including the luxury Kempinski Hotel in Al Mouj, Muscat; the dusitD2 Palm Mall Muscat and the luxury development of Muscat Bay. Elsewhere, the former port, Port Sultan Qaboos, is under development to transform into a major travel destination with hotels, retail and cultural areas. Once the transformation is complete, the port will be renamed Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront. Finally, the opening of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) is now firmly establishing the country as a major MICE destination. Stand: ME600
Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) is planning to resume direct flights to Beijing in December 2017. The expansion of RB’s service into China will begin with a twice weekly service to Beijing using the Airbus A320 CEO and move to thrice weekly service at the earliest opportunity. Karam Chand, CEO of RB said “RB last flew to Beijing two decades ago and we are delighted to be connecting the cities once again. As national carrier of Brunei Darussalam, the reintroduction of Beijing flights supports network development and builds on the strong trade relationship between the two countries.” Stand: ME500
WTM Business 2017 21
AFRICA WILDERNESS SAFARIS LUXURY ECO-CHIC Qorokwe, a new Wilderness Safaris Classic Camp due to open in the private, wildlife-rich 26 180-hectare (64 692-acre) Qorokwe Concession in Botswana in December 2017, offers the perfect blend of luxury eco-chic within a beautiful Okavango Delta setting. Designed by lead architect, Joy Brasler and interior designer, Michelle Throssell, Qorokwe Camp is situated along the banks of a beautiful lagoon. The nine elegant tented suites, one of which is a spacious family suite with its own splash pool, and the main area, which comprises a dining area, lounge, library, bar and infinity swimming pool, are built on raised decked platforms (about two metres/six feet off the ground). This not only provides spectacular views of the lagoon and surrounding bushveld, but also enables the vegetation to thrive underneath the suites – a unique environmental
advantage as most rooms create ‘dead’ space beneath. According to Joy Brasler, materials chosen to build the camp include steel frames with infill panels to insulate against heat and cold, canvas and timber decks. Timber ceilings are perforated with light to mimic the experience of being beneath the trees at the side of the lagoon so that the entire camp experience blends in with its beautiful natural surroundings. In line with Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to operating with as light an eco-footprint as possible, Qorokwe will be 100% solar-powered and all water will be heated by means of thermodynamic solar geysers, further helping to mitigate the camp’s carbon emissions. Wilderness Safaris operate some 50 luxury camps and safaris across eight African countries. Stand: AF240 | wilderness-safaris.com
AIR MADAGSCAR’S NEW PARTNERSHIP
MARRIOTT DEBUTS IN TANZANIA Marriott International has opened its Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel, marking the debut of the brand into Tanzania. Founded in 1894, the centrally-located The Arusha Hotel, has emerged as a city landmark playing host to many dignitaries and well known personalities over more than 120 years. Rebranded after renovation, the hotel retains its unique charm reminiscent of a bygone era and a fabled past. Stand: AS500 | marriott.com
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Air Madagascar and Air Austral have signed a strategic partnership agreement. By entering into this strategic partnership, the Malagasy airline confirms its ambition to return to profitability and sustainability. The partnership’s main development goals focus on offering competitive passenger and cargo transport services in domestic, regional and international long-haul markets and improving subsidiary performance, especially MGH and Sofitrans.
The agreement was signed in the Ambohitsorohitra Palace, Antananarivo by Ralava Beboarimisa, Transport and Meteorology Minister, Paul Rabary, acting Finance and Budget Minister and Marie Joseph Malé, Air Austral CEO. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, His Excellency the President of the Malagasy Republic, and Didier Robert, Reunion Island Regional Council President, attended the event. Stand: AF465 | airmadagascar.com
CROISI EUROPE’S NEW AFRICAN CRUISE CroisiEurope launches its first Africa programme this coming December. The all-inclusive nine-day safari cruise will be on a new ship, the RV African Dream, with a maximum of 16 passengers. It will include a four-day cruise on the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers followed by a stay at a luxury lodge and will end with a visit to Victoria Falls. The new ship will have eight suites, six with French balconies and two with larger terraces. Guests will also have use of a lounge bar, panoramic restaurant, small pool and a rooftop terrace. The cruise will also include mini safaris
Customers can also add on a three-day pre-cruise programme in Cape Town, with a visit to Robben Island, a wine estate and the Cape of Good Hope. A second ship, RV African Dream II, is due to be launched at the end of 2018. It will operate a cruise-only itinerary. The African Queen is a ‘5-anchor’-rated ship. Carrying 16 passengers, with a 1:1 crew-to-passenger ratio, the ship has eight river-facing deluxe suites comprised of six suites measuring 183 square feet with French balconies and two staterooms that are the same size, each with a 38-square-foot balcony. All cabins
“A four-day cruise on the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers followed by a stay at a luxury lodge and will end with a visit to Victoria Falls” in jeeps and smaller boats, led by expert local guides, and a visit to a nearby village. The lodge, which has been bought and completely renovated by the cruise line, is on Impalila Island. Prices start at £3,900 (R70 400) per person and include internal flights and transfers but not international flights.
are situated on the Lower Deck. The design throughout will borrow from local African colours and designs. French-owned CroisiEurope is Europe’s largest river cruise operator, with 55 elegant ships and hotel barges on the world’s most beautiful waterways. Stand: EU405 | croisieurope.co.uk
WTM Business 2017 23
MY CHOICE, NaturalLY.
WTM BUYERS’ CLUB ®
THREE DAYS OF BENEFITS
The WTM Buyers’ Club helps generate business for exhibitors and improves the quality of buyers’ experiences at the event. After buyers register online, 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 and provides the opportunity to further business connections. This year, WTM London will be offering guaranteed access to exhibitors for its hugely-popular buyer Speed Networking events. Speed Networking has proved
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phenomenally successfully with the number of exhibitors attending growing every year and playing a significant role in WTM London’s £2.8 billion in deals. Furthermore, to continue to make the mini-meeting format worthwhile and productive for both buyers and exhibitors a second event has been added on the Tuesday morning. This means there will be two buyer speed networking sessions – both taking place at 9am – before the exhibition floor opens – on the first two mornings of WTM London at the Global Stage Networking Area (AS1000), entrance S10. The Monday event will see 200 buyers
seated by the geographical region they purchase. The Tuesday event is sector specific – including accommodation, adventure travel and travel technology covered by 100 buyers.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Fast Track access to WTM London Exclusive access to two WTM London Buyers’Club lounges with complimentary refreshments l Access to meeting rooms and free internet facilities l Access to the WTM Buyers’ Speed Networking l Networking receptions l l
VISIT US AT OUR STAND: LA440
The Adventure Travel Trade Association’s Christina Beckmann explains how adventure travellers are now looking at the whole experience.
his year has been a remarkable one of evolution and continued growth in the adventure travel industry. In addition to shifts in destination and activity preferences, pioneering new adventure routes captured the imagination in Jordan, Chile and Argentina, and Europe. Ground-breaking strides were made in how the market quantifies its value and continues to professionalise through the promotion of guiding standards. This article reviews the latest consumer and trade research,
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summarises trending regions and activities, and provides a look forward to what trade professionals can expect from the adventure industry in the coming years.
RESEARCH INTO MOTIVATIONS AND EXPERIENCE SHAPES PRODUCT AND MARKETING New survey research in 2017 into the benefits North American adventure travellers seek from adventure travel experiences is leading adventure travel tour operators to focus more
intentionally on how they influence and shape the overall traveller experience. Motivations revealed through the benefits analysis indicate travellers seek out adventure for personal growth, learning, and transformation. Quotes include: “learn more about myself through new, exciting and sometimes difficult cultural experiences”; “gain a new world perspective and test my physical and mental stamina in a non-traditional environment”; “gain self-awareness, open my eyes to the wonders of the world”. This deepening understanding of the traveller experience supported by research is helping to bring the science of experience design more intentionally to adventure travel product development
and marketing. As Adventure Travel Trade Association Director and American University professor Dr. Milena Nikolova notes, “experience design involves knowledge about the importance not only of different elements in an itinerary, but also the sequencing of activities, the time spent in different activities, balancing effort with the sense of achievement, and the emotions surrounding challenge.” Petter Thorsen of Wild Norway notes how his company applies full experience thinking in its Arctic Expedition Course: “we consider carefully how people come into our course, their expectations, dreams and motivating factors. The experience we offer in the Norwegian wilderness is challenging. We need to
consider not only the skill-building our clients have ostensibly come for, but also the emotional journey they’re on in the wilderness, with new people. Our ‘tour’ is so much more than a tour, precisely because of the focus we give to all aspects of the experience.” Incorporating this latest research, the ATTA now puts ‘Experience’ at the
centre of the definition of commercial adventure travel.
WISH LIST DESTINATIONS After combining the results of the North American consumer survey with ATTA’s annual Industry Snapshot (a survey of tour operators who share information about their clients), the regions and
“We consider carefully how people come into our course, their dreams, expectations and motivating factors” Petter Thorsen, Wild Norway
WTM Business 2017 33
destinations expected to see increased demand in 2018 are: ● New Zealand ● Australia ● South America ● Scandinavia ● Southern Africa ● Mediterranean Kyrgyzstan is also a destination to watch for adventure travel tour operators looking to enliven their portfolio with an undiscovered and future ‘it’ destination. With increased focus from the international aid community and a series of product and marketing initiatives undertaken in partnership with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, Kyrgyzstan promises to gain traction with adventure travellers in the coming years.
TRENDING ADVENTURE TOURISM ACTIVITIES When it comes to the activities currently looming large for adventure travellers, research indicates hiking, backpacking, trekking, kayaking, rafting, climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving, caving and camping are in the top ten. Adventure tour operators echo the interest in hiking and further share that activities most requested by their clients are hiking, ‘cultural experiences’, ‘eco-tourism’, and environmentally sustainable activities along with cycling, culinary experiences, safaris and snorkelling.
LINKED ADVENTURE ROUTES PROMISE DEEPER ENGAGEMENT Both mature and emerging adventure destinations saw the results of their product development efforts start to come to life in 2017 as a number of adventurous routes were promoted. In South America, the ATTA collaborated with the governments of both Argentina and Chile to promote Adventure Week
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“For years, adventure travel tour operators have heralded the benefits to communities and the environment of adventure tourism” Tierra del Fuego, drawing international media, tour operator and gear company attention to this undeveloped hiking and backpacking archipelago that spans two countries. Similarly, in Jordan, the 650 km Jordan Trail sprang to life with the help of numerous volunteers, along with government and private sector allies. Spanning eight regions of Jordan, the trail is accessible to both guided and nonguided adventure travellers, delivering unparalleled local hospitality and a surprising range of landscapes. In Europe, travellers may soon find themselves seeking out Slovenia’s easy to moderate Alpe-Adria trail which connects the three regions of Carinthia, Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in a total of 43 stages, or the “mega-mountaineering and hiking trail” known as the Via Dinarica. Traversing the Balkans, Via Dinarica was recognised by National Geographic Traveler in 2017 as one of the best destinations in the world. It connects the natural and cultural sights in Dinarides, and holds potential for development.
companies based in North America obtain the majority of their clients (58%) from North America. Adventure travellers originating in Europe make up the majority of clients for companies based in Africa (40%), Asia (37%) or South America (32%). Companies based in Asia find the majority of their adventure guests in Europe (37%) and Asia (32%).
ECONOMIC IMPACT PROMISES TO CATALYSE DEVELOPMENT For years, adventure travel tour operators have heralded the benefits to communities and the environment of adventure tourism: uniquely poised at the intersection of conservation, commerce and community, it has the potential to deliver important benefits to all three. Anecdotal evidence of adventure travel’s benefits to particular communities and wilderness areas are routinely shared at conferences and in destination
ADVENTURE TRAVELLER SOURCE MARKETS North America and Europe continue to lead as the primary source markets for outbound international adventure travellers. According to ATTA’s 2017 Industry Snapshot, adventure companies based in Europe find the majority of their clients (53%) in Europe. Similarly,
development and planning meetings. Yet a reliable, replicable model for gauging adventure travelâ€™s economic impact in a region has not been available. Until now. In 2017, the culmination of years of work in Jordan was released to the public from the USAID-LENS project. Using a model called Adventure Travel Local Analytics System (ATLAS), researchers discovered that in Jordan, for every dollar generated per tourism sector, adventure travel will drive five times more revenue towards local communities than
mainstream tourism. The recently formalised Jordan Trail, as an example of adventure tourism, is expected by economists to generate $7.3m total revenue per year, with 65% remaining in the local economy. Researchers compare this with Dead Sea tourism, as represented by hotel complexes which provide all services on-site: while these resorts bring in an estimated $101m in revenue per year, only 14% remains with local communities. ATTA and the team responsible for
creating ATLAS, can use it to help interested destinations estimate the revenue generated by different businesses and the number of jobs created by tourism, both adventure and mainstream. It can be applied within a local community, or nationally. The model promises to facilitate better informed tourism strategy and destination planning, allowing tourism investment planners a more refined view of the balance between mainstream tourism investments and adventure tourism investments.
ADVENTURE TRAVEL CONSERVATION The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) is a non-profit that provides funding, connections and an international spotlight on projects that protect the cultural and natural resources which underpin the adventure tourism industry. The ATCF [adventuretravelconservationfund.org] primarily focuses on providing funding to organisations and projects outside of the US and Canada. The Conservation Alliance [www.conservationalliance.com] and the European Outdoor Conservation Association [www.outdoorconservation.eu], exist to effectively serve a similar mission for projects within the United States and Europe.
WTM Business 2017 35
Photos: Hassen Salum for ATTA, AdventureWeek Tierra del Fuego
Adventure travellers are known to seek out tourism options that are environmentally conscious. Confirming what adventure tour operators are observing, a recent consumer study of more than 2,200 travellers conducted by Mandala Research, reports 63 percent of all travellers say they are “much more likely” to consider destinations where there is a strong effort to conserve and protect natural resources. Travellers expect experiences that are sensitive to local communities, the environment, and wildlife, and it is often the smaller-scale projects in remote and rural destinations that can make a direct impact. Not surprisingly, conservation tourism as a concept is becoming more understood and appreciated, and attracting support from diverse organizations around the world. As David Scowsill, former CEO of the WTTC, noted, “The next 20 years will be characterised by our sector fully integrating climate change and related issues into business strategy, supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy, strengthening resilience at a local level against climate risks, promoting the value of responsible travel, and greening entire supply chains.”
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Photo: ATTA, Jaichy Yurt Camp, Këk-Say, Kyrgyzstan
“Gain a new world perspective and test my physical and mental stamina in a non-traditional environment” Independent Adventure Traveller ADVENTURE TRAVEL STANDARD GAINS ACCEPTANCE A final marker that suggests adventure industry growth will continue in 2018 is the ongoing acceptance and uptake of the Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard. Developed by a volunteer industry working group made up of representatives from 15 countries, the standard documents the unique set of qualifications and performance levels required for excellence in adventure tourism. The standard [adventuretravel.biz/
education/guide-standard] was released in 2016 and has been overseen by a Governance Board chaired by Dan Moore, of Pandion Consulting. Since its release, awareness and acceptance of the standard has been growing. In 2017 numerous reports of national, state and municipal leaders from both industry and academia were received regarding the development of training programmes based on the standard. National governments from the MENA region to South America are initiating projects to link adventure regulations and training programs to this market-driven standard.
CONCLUSION In conclusion, the industry is poised for a flurry of new adventure development in destinations that may have been on the fence as a result of not having a firm grasp of the financial potential. Furthermore, plan on higher quality products as the increased attention on end-to-end traveller experience combined with greater focus and support for guiding standards and certifications continue to find traction.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | www.adventuretravel.biz
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FUTURE TECH Genesys Digital Transformation’s Paul Richer dusts off his crystal ball to look at how the travel industry is evolving as technological momentum drives new customer habits, behaviours and interactions.
he travel industry has always been technology driven. Why? Because travel is actually an information product at the point of sale. The majority of our products simply don’t exist when they are purchased. Our customers are buying for a period in the future. Whether it is a train ticket to be used in the next few minutes or a round the world cruise booked a year or more in advance, what is being purchased is pure information. Travel technology dates back to the 1960s. The airline CRSs of the period, spearheaded by Sabre, created great improvements in efficiency, saving travel agents and airlines from having to make use of the telephone to take bookings. This could now be done on computer terminals. Of course, these early systems were very primitive compared to today’s Internet driven world but they were true e-commerce, long before that word was even thought of. Travel is actually one of the most
charismatic of information products. Even though it is information when purchased, it is not like a bank account or pension. There is a massive amount of visual content that can be used to describe our products. Whether it is video, 360° or still photographs, our customers have a thirst to see what it is they are going to buy.
customers shopping habits, we need to understand where technology is taking us. Since the internet became commercialised towards the end of the 20th century we have been on an incredible journey that is affecting the way we do business and how we should be interacting with our customers. There is momentum to technological change and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. Those of us from the preinternet era are classed as digital immigrants. We were successfully running our businesses pre-internet but have now migrated to the digital era. As best we can, we have grasped the online world and moved with the times. However much we might like to, our businesses cannot survive using the practices of the past. The demographic of our customers has been changing. Millennials, born around the change of the century – Generation Y – and the younger consumers of Generation Z have never
“The Martini Generations Y and Z have also given rise to a new tech expression: frictionless technology” This is perfect for our modern world of broadband, wi-fi, 4G mobile and pervasive communications. Travel is a big part of the online world so we need to be aware of the changing technological environment and how our customers are interacting with it. In order to stay relevant and respond to our
WTM Business 2017 41
known a time when the online world and instant, global communication did not exist. As far as they are concerned there is nothing clever or new about this. To them, the flow of information in and out of their devices is no different and no more special than the flow of water from a tap. So whereas digital immigrants may still be in awe of the capabilities of the internet, the digital natives of Generations Y and Z take this absolutely for granted.
BE ONLINE OR BE IGNORED If a business is not online then it will most probably be ignored. If it is online but its website is not mobile responsive then it will most probably be ignored. (Mobile responsive means a website reconfigures itself to look as good on a mobile phone or tablet, as it does on a computer) With instant access to a digital world of information at high broadband speeds, you could imagine that Generations Y and Z may be less patient than their digital immigrant forefathers from the 20th century. They won’t remember the Martini adverts – ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ – but they are living the Martini life; at least as far as access to the online world is concerned. They expect instant access to information. No longer is it acceptable to close down your systems overnight for back-up or database rebuilds. You need to be always on, your systems cannot fail or go down. How might this be achieved? The best way might be to have dual systems that mirror each other so they are both always up to date and to locate
PAYMENTS @ WTM This year, the Travel Tech Show at WTM London 2017 will shine a spotlight on Payment Solutions, with an increase in exhibitors from the payment sector and conference sessions running alongside, responding to the growing importance of payments across the global travel ecosystem. Payment Solutions are relevant across all verticals and in all markets. Any consumer-facing travel business needs to have a payments solution in place which makes it easy for travellers to buy, especially with the shift to online and mobile. However, there is also a growing market for specific solutions which facilitate the way that suppliers pay each other, how intermediaries pay suppliers, or how suppliers and intermediaries pay commission to agents or affiliates. Over 2,000 attendees at last year’s WTM London expressed an interest in payment solutions. in the least bit interested in learning how to work something, they expect to just be able to do it. I call this ‘intuitive technology’ where the design of a PC application, website or mobile app is so good that the user doesn’t need to spend any time at all figuring out how to use it or what to do next – it is frictionless; the user experience interface (UX) simply ‘works’.
“Technology is continuing to take us on its journey towards ever-increasing convenience Paul Richer, Genesys Digital Transformation
them at two separate data centres that are far enough apart so if one is affected by a power cut the other is not. The Martini Generations Y and Z have also given rise to a new tech expression: ‘frictionless technology’. Some digital immigrants I speak to cannot abide the fact that digital natives no longer read instruction manuals. Gens Y and Z are not
42 WTM Business 2017
Is your customer facing web/mobile site frictionless? If not, you are going to be losing customers who have better things to do than think about what to do next to book your products. Unfortunately, the better thing to do will probably be to book with one of your competitors. If you think your online presence has too much friction, do something about it.
Perhaps get your website independently audited to find out just how good or bad it is. This is something that the big online businesses are very good at. They have learnt that improving your online presence, reducing friction, is actually a never-ending process. There is always something that can be improved whether it is a small incremental improvement such as changing the colour and size of the ‘Book Now’ button to a complete redesign – although you need to be very careful doing the latter as it might confuse your existing customers. The big online players can afford to invest in their technology. They can spread the investment over many more bookings than their smaller competitors. Hence, we see continual consolidation in the travel world as small but successful online players get bought up by their larger competitors. In fact, superlative technology and the amount of investment to achieve this is so large that one might think there is no room in the market for smaller companies. The good news is that, in fact, smaller travel businesses can still compete. I think it is very important that small companies
The Near Future... The inexorable pace of technological change doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon. So what can we expect in the years ahead?
focus on a particular niche, for example, sports such as wind-surfing or skiing destinations or holiday types such as honeymoons, adventure or adult only. I think we are reaching the stage where small generalist travel businesses will be seeing their customer bases dwindling in the face of competition from the large online travel agencies (OTAs).
In the next year or so, technology is going to become increasingly sophisticated. Artificial intelligence (AI) driven by big data will personalise and contextualise product offers and content, seeking to offer consumers just the products they are interested in. Chatbot technology will, to a significant extent, automate interaction with customers, answering their simpler questions without human involvement, freeing up call centre staff to deal with the more complex customer queries. Expect to see commodity products such as flights, taxis, car parking, etc., being sold via messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Consumer commercial transactions are already happening in China on WeChat so, for example, quite soon we may be speaking to our voice devices such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home and asking questions such as “get me prices and times for flights to Paris next Tuesday” and then booking by voice. Technology is continuing to take us on its journey towards ever-increasing convenience and ease of use. Luckily
for us in travel, our products remain the same and our customers love them. Just make sure you have the technology in place to remain visible and onsale, so that the digital natives of Generations Y and Z will find shopping with you an easy, pleasant and frictionless experience. If yours is a smaller travel company you probably won’t be able to afford to develop your own technology but that is where World Travel Market comes in. The Travel Tech Show at WTM has an almost overwhelming number of exhibitors. Where do you begin? Think about precisely what you need and take your time talking to exhibitors. Understand what they offer and think about what will make a real difference to you. Then follow up after the show. PAUL RICHER Paul is a Senior Partner at Genesys Digital Transformation. The Genesys Summit on Future Digital Thinking takes place on November 7, from 10.00-12.00 in Platinum Suite 4. | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.genesys.net
RIGHT PRODUCTS, RIGHT PRICES, RIGHT TECHNOLOGY If you are in a niche, if you have the right products at the right prices then you should be able to compete but you will need the right technology. Your products must be viewable and browsable online and your website must look fantastic however it is viewed. If you are able to offer online booking that’s great but I do know several successful travel companies that manage well by having an online enquiry capability rather than online bookability. Personal service still counts, it will enable you to compete and differentiate yourself from the large, highly automated OTAs; so, you need to be reachable and responsive: anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
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WTM Business 2017 43
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hat are the growth drivers and what are the risks and challenges that will – in the future – separate the wheat from the chaff in the travel industry? There are two phenomena that
continue to transform the way business is done in the travel industry within the last years:
A NEW TRAVELLER The so called millennial traveller constitutes the age group that is most exposed to technology and have an immense travel spending potential. They are demanding and far more adventuredriven than past generations of travellers. They want individual, customised, interactive travel experiences. For these travellers, it’s easier now than ever before to book trips online with more choice and more booking platforms, but although there are plenty of online travel giants to choose from, specialised and personalised service that provides unique
customer experiences isn’t always offered. As a result, offering an enhanced travel experience has become a niche market for tour operators. This leads us to the second growth driver: technology.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES Technology has led to exponential advancements in all spheres of life, travel included. It shapes the way of travelling and the interaction with travellers.
ABOUT KAPTIO TRAVEL Kaptio was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland with strong sales, support and development teams located in over 10 different locations and users in more then 20 countries. The company’s goal is to become the leading travel reservation platform provider for mid-market to large leisure travel businesses. Kaptio Travel is the next generation reservation system for leisure travel that places the customer at the centre of everything with the help of the world-renowned Salesforce platform.
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That said, travel companies that don’t invest in the latest innovative technology are not taking advantage of available tools like automation of repetitive tasks and online booking, maintaining accuracy and working smarter, while enabling the management of products and accounts in one system. In fact, 83% of companies in the travel industry still utilise traditional methods to manage daily operations. This, in turn, can make them invisible to the new, digitally exposed traveller who is looking for what they are offering online. As a result, five key success factors can be defined for tour operators to focus on:
1. Assure Online Awareness Today the travel industry is dominated by a handful of large players such as Booking. com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Kayak or Skyscanner. These companies have managed to build a huge brand presence. But there is plenty of room for everyone as
KAPTIO’S KEY CAPABILITIES
only about 53% of all bookings come through online channels.
2. Enhance User Experience The new traveller generation is looking for an end-to-end shopping experience. That means only tour operators who are able to configure a trip based on choice of activity, interest, or destination will be able to meet expectations. Follow-up e-mails should be automated to assure efficiency. 3. Achieve Customer Engagement & Retention
FOR ALL PRODUCTS, ALL SELLING CHANNELS
The travellers’ expectations when buying from a company like yours is that you can deliver unique personalised experiences that combine the travellers’ personal preference with your local insight, but also expecting instant access to your business at any time, on any device. Leisure travel companies need to provide the same omni-channel sales and service capability that consumers are used to from other industries.
4. Build Credibility & Trust The travel industry is a tough business to build trust. Human error often occurs when tour operators use outdated systems. This can lead to severe mistakes e.g. when entering important customer information. The use of a reliable CRM system can help avoid these mistakes and additionally allows to access the customer’s history.
5. Increase Work Efficiency Many tour operators still work with multiple systems that are often not fully integrated. Switching between platforms means more work and leads to delays in providing quick and accurate information to customers and partners.
THE WAY TO GROWTH WITH THE BEST OF CLASS SOLUTION IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY It is now time to change the way of managing your travel business. As customer buying habits have been reinvented, tour operators need to sell smarter, launch faster and deliver error-free bookings to their customers. They need to sell the right products, at the right prices across any channel.
So what can essentially help to improve the performance and keep up to date with the market development? Incorporating a next generation reservation system like Kaptio Travel that places your customer at the centre of everything will help travel companies to work more efficiently for leisure travel. Powered by the Salesforce platform, it frees travel businesses from legacy systems, equipping tour operators to embrace new ways of working and transforming the travellers’ experience while delivering operational efficiencies. Kaptio Travel brings customers and businesses together on one reservation platform for every product you sell and on every channel you sell. Tailored specifically for the needs of travel service providers, everything from managing transactions history to producing complex processes can be
achieved within minutes. The ability to manage all core business functions, including Configuration, Price, Quote (CPQ) on one platform has the added value of automatically providing statistical analysis that can help you understand your customers. What’s even better is that the Kaptio Travel API can be easily incorporated into a tour operator’s website. This, in turn, will give customers real-time online access to the latest deals and pricing, while keeping track of their search history in the CRM system.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | kaptio.com | email@example.com | +44 (0) 20 3859 7331
Global Distribution Bedbank
Exclusive dynamic Rates Easy XML integration 24/7 Multilingual customer service
Our Incoming Division
Tour operator Representation
Outstanding purchasing power Excursions, Transfers, Tour guides
WTM London Global Village Stand GV380
Find us at stand UKI351
HOSPITALITY | STADIUM TOURS & MUSEUM
For more information visit chelseafc.com/hospitality | chelseafc.com/stadium-tours
Come and visit us!
Euromonitor International’s Wouter Geerts explains how overcrowding is changing the perception of the benefits of mass tourism in many destinations.
here are many different definitions of sustainable tourism that have been developed over the last decade, but most tend to define it as industry activity that is sustainable at an economic, socio-cultural and environmental level over a long-term period. The United Nations World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as: “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” While tourism is important to many local and national economies, overcrowding is changing the perception of the benefits of mass tourism. Spain is a prime example of a country struggling with its popularity. Spain is immensely popular with visitors, especially as other sun destinations – for example Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia – have been hit by terrorist attacks, and perceived security issues. Barcelona’s relationship with tourism has been shaky for a number of years now. Locals fear that they will be priced out of the housing market, eventually resulting in Barcelona losing population diversity and character. The local government has stopped issuing licences for new hotels and has banned change-of-use permits required for holiday lets. Madrid is also struggling with sharp increases in tourist arrivals, and the city has taken the decision to ban short-term rental stays of less than 90 days. This year, Greek island Santorini took the decision to limit the number of cruise visitors to 8,000 per day, and local activists in Venice have asked the government to ban cruise ships stopping in its harbour, as cruise visitors have quintupled in the past 15 years. Cinque Terre on the Italian coast is capping the number of visitors to 1.5
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million per year and four islands off the coast of Phuket have drastically limited tourists. Popular attractions including Machu Picchu and Mount Everest are capping the number of visitors and requiring visitors to be accompanied by a recognised guide.
CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENTS BY TOP HOTEL COMPANIES Tracking sustainability is possible at the corporate level and there are many drivers for lodging providers to pursue environmental sustainability. It is clear that the business case for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is very strong, with many hotels implementing CSR practices to increase their profitability. There are, however, still people in the industry who believe that CSR has no discernible impact, or even a negative impact, on the profitability of hotels. However, investigating the impact of the sustainability practices implemented by hotel companies on bookings is extremely challenging, and at present most certainly impossible. Despite this, it is clear from global hotel companies’ reporting that sustainability commitments are becoming an important part of their business, whatever reason or end goal the company has to implement these commitments.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SHARING ECONOMY With short-term rentals growing strongly, Airbnb has argued that it offers a more sustainable product than hotels, although
BHUTAN INSIGHT The mountain kingdom of Bhutan, on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is seen as leader in implementing policies to avoid overcrowding. With a low volume, high value strategy. The country’s ecotourism and conservation expert, Karma Tshering, explained to the Sustainability Leaders Project how the nation had adopted a visionary policy for tourism based on the concept ‘high value, low volume’. This is implemented through a fixed pricing policy of a minimum of US $250/day (an all inclusive package) for each tourist in a group of three people and above. FITs [flexible independent travel arrangements] are permitted but with a surcharge to the minimum tariff. The regulations require all tours in Bhutan to be rooted through a local travel company. This mechanism ensures that all payments for tourism services remain within the country. with data available on hotel usage. It found that energy usage in Airbnb listings was 63% lower in North America and 78% in Europe per guest night. Similarly, greenhouse gases were 61% and 89% lower, respectively, and water consumption 12% and 48% lower, respectively, per night. It is difficult to know whether these claims are true, as they are based on assumptions and are not scientifically rigorous. Furthermore,
“It is clear from hotel companies’ reporting that sustainability commitments are becoming an important part of their business” the company has not published any specific commitments to help reduce its own travellers’ impact. In 2014, Airbnb released a study undertaken by Cleantech Group consultancy, which compared 8,000 survey responses from hosts and guests,
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BELOW: Himalyas, Nepal: gateway to Everest’s base camp
there is a large caveat to this research, which Airbnb fails to mention: a big difference between hotels and short-term rentals is the services provided by hotels, including swimming pools and restaurants, which increase resource usage, but are clearly perceived benefits
for their guests. Travellers staying in an Airbnb are likely to still eat out in a restaurant, but the study is not counting this as part of Airbnb’s impact. Nevertheless, it is interesting to consider whether renting a room from a person, rather than from a global business, increases travellers’ sustainable behaviour. It also puts into question whether hotels encourage unsustainable behaviour, for example through taxi ranks in front of hotels.
WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD? Technological innovation is likely to be one of the strongest factors impacting the development of more sustainable tourism in the near future. There is significant scope to reduce the impact of flying on the environment through the use of alternative fuels and efficiency improvements through innovation. In hotels also, the use of other fuels to heat and cool buildings, including renewable energies like solar, wind, and combined heat and power (CHP) are becoming increasingly common, and will have a big role to play in making the entire hotel industry more sustainable.
BELOW: Machu Picchu, Peru, South America
Operator Best Practice The Travel Foundation’s guide to concrete actions which you can take to motivate your staff to buy and sell more sustainable tourism products.
BELOW: Cruise ship near the island of Santorini
In the home, there is increased use of smart meters and the Internet of Things to improve energy efficiency and to reduce food waste in the refrigerator, to name just a few applications. The same is coming to hotel rooms, with some hotels already installing tablet-style consoles which provide guests with more control over the room’s heating and cooling, while showing the real-time energy usage. Electric cars are already changing land transportation, and this is likely to have an increasing impact. Virtual Reality can also have a significant impact, as it might eventually stop people from travelling. ‘Local’ will become more important, with hotels supporting local communities, becoming multi-functional spaces not just for guests but also for local communities, resulting in better integration of the business in the local community. Finally, we are likely to start seeing more “ultra-local” products in hotels, such as produce from hotels’ own (urban) gardens, beehives and chicken coops.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | www.euromonitor.com
The Travel Foundation [www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk] have produced a useful guide for outbound tour operators and their ground agents on how to scale up the sales of sustainable tourism products. Key points include: ● Consider reviewing your policies, so they clearly reflect the importance of sustainable tourism to your company; and show that you intend to source and sell more sustainable tourism products; ● Highlight the importance of sustainability to your company in your website, brochures, and other communications to staff, partners and customers; ● Discuss sustainable tourism with candidates during job interviews, and include sustainability-related tasks in staff job descriptions and contracts; ● Set a company-wide goal or campaign, related to sustainable tourism. Get staff actively involved; ● Set concrete, sustainability related goals for staff. E.g., to increase the percentage of sustainable products which are sourced or sold; ● Consult resources such as the Travel Foundation’s Greener Excursions Criteria to develop checklists for identifying and selecting more sustainable products; ● Develop a staff engagement programme, with fun games and quizzes, to increase staffs’ knowledge about your company’s sustainable tourism policies and initiatives; ● Organise interdepartmental, trainings and workshops, so that staff can share knowledge and pool skills to get more sustainable tourism to market; ● Monitor staff work and achievements, supporting sustainable tourism in your company; and reward performance, eg, offer a bonus, or opportunities to join interesting trainings, conferences and events.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM Breaking down the three key components for conserving long-term world tourism. Maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders.
Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism
Respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserving their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, contributing to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
WTM Business 2017 51
La Antigua Guatemala A secret of a hundred years that still alive and its walls tell stories without writing a word
Tikal National Park A secret where every inch is a world of astronomy, gods and dynasty.
is the secret Discover it!
SPECIAL FOCUS ON ITALY
ITALIAN INSIGHT At WTM London this year, Premier Partner Italy is launching its new marketing strategy. ENIT will take advantage of the opportunity to highlight villages, the theme of the year 2017, and the food and wine industry, the focus for 2018.
he partnership with WTM London is for Italy an important step in a new promotional strategy, representing a moment of great media visibility; of strong incentive to the tourist industry; of promotion of the diversified Italian tourist offer in cooperation with the many public and private operators present at this year’s event. Italy is every tourist’s dream: it has more UNESCO heritage sites than any other country (53); it is the first tourist destination in the Schengen area for long-haul (arrivals, Eurostat figures); it is regarded as the number one destination for Food & Wine Tourism (WFTA’s Food Travel Monitor); it is the most photographed country on Instagram with
64 million tags and according to Country Brand Index (FutureBrand) it comes first for Tourism & Culture. Italy is the fifth destination worldwide for international arrivals with 52.4million visitors in 2016 (+3.2 compared to 2015). This reflects positively on the country’s revenue generated by international tourism: Italy is sixth in the world with more than €36 billion. In 2016 – just measuring visitors who travelled to Italy for holiday reasons – foreign tourists generated about twothirds of the tourism revenue. Foreign visitors favour holidays in the main art cities (Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Naples, Turin…) generating revenue of around €14 billion. Also,
“However, with the new promotion work, Enit’s clear aim is to reposition and widen the Italian tourist offer beyond the traditional destinations”
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sea-side holidays, with revenues of €4.9 billion remain a strong area for Italy. In 2017, 342 Italian beaches were awarded a Blue Flag, representing 5% of all the ones awarded worldwide by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to promote the coastal resorts that best meet environmental criteria. However, with the new promotion work, ENIT’s clear aim is to reposition and widen the Italian tourist offering beyond the traditional destinations. For example, through the Food & Wine tourist offering, with its typical products and the artistic and cultural heritage of its Borghi, ENIT aims to promote the ‘Italian Way of Life’ as a tourist product spread throughout the national territory. An Italy
ABOVE: Trieste is the capital city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy.
that is always different in a way no other country can be, from north to south, from the mountains to the coast, by way of lakes and art cities: always different but also always authentic and unique.
FOOD AND WINE Italy has always been a synonym for ‘good food’ – offering an unmistakable mix of flavours and aromas. Aside from having one of the most famous cuisines in the world, it also offers an immense variety of different regional dishes and recipes from north to south. Visitors can enjoy fantastic culinary and wine itineraries – journeys through Italy’s gastronomic culture, in search of ancient recipes, genuine products, and simple food inspired by classic Italian cooking and innovative creations. World-renowned products such as Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, Parma and San Daniele ham, Modena balsamic vinegar, Genoa’s pesto, buffalo mozzarella from Campania, Alba truffles, and cured meats are just some of the many offerings that make Italy truly the land of good food. Italy’s wines are noble ambassadors of Italian excellence throughout the world. The pleasure of tasting a fine wine in its native environment is unique – a glass of Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, of Barbera or Barolo from Piedmont, of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene in Veneto, of Lambrusco from Emilia Romagna, or the Sicilian wines or the white wines in Friuli and Trentino-Alto
SUSTAINABILITY The new goal for hospitality providers in particularly popular areas, such as Tuscany, is to diversify supply and to design itineraries to make it possible to discover some of the more unknown parts of the region. And at the same time, to satisfy the ‘vertical’ demands of increasingly demanding and sustainability-oriented visitors, avoiding ‘overtourism’ in some places. During the summer months, for example, the ratio of inhabitants to tourists in Florence is 2:1, and three out of four tourists are concentrated in the Accademia, Uffizi and Pitti Palace, according to a study presented at the 2017 edition of Sharing Tuscany, a seminar on the main international tourism trends. Florence has been a focus because of the impact of tourism on its historic centre in recent years. Such insights are needed to understand how to organise tourism services.
FICO ‘THEME PARK’ One of the main attractions through 2018 will be FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina; Italian Farming Factory) a huge Agri-Food ‘theme park’ devised by the creator of Eataly, Oscar Farinetti, and located near Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region. FICO will officially open just after WTM London on 15 November 2017.
“Rich in monuments, churches, castles, museums, and historic dwellings, Italy’s cities of art are an ideal target for low-season tourism” Adige, or the great reds of the Valtellina, just to provide a few examples. Food and wine will be the focus of Italy’s promotional activities in 2018, a myriad of initiatives are scheduled for the year from traditional food and wine festivals to special events devised to make this year truly memorable for food and wine lovers.
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FICO will embody the wonders of Italian bio-diversity through: two hectares of open fields, 40 farming factories, 40 restaurants and refreshment points, a market space, areas devoted to sport, children, reading activities and services, six classrooms, six large educational ‘rides’, theatre and cinema facilities, a congress centre and a Foundation with
three universities. FICO aims to offer a unique experience to its visitors, who are expected to arrive from all over the world. Visitors can discover Italian agriculture by visiting the open-air fields and stables housing more than 200 animals and 2,000 producers, learn about the processing of meat, fish, cheese, pasta, oil, beer, sweets, etc., in the 40 farming factories, taste traditional Italian food in FICO’s 40 restaurants and refreshment points. They will then be able to jump on one of the educational rides dedicated to Fire, Earth, Sea, Animals, Wine and Future; learn and have fun by attending up to 30 events and 50 classes per day at one of the many facilities. Inside the park visitors can decide to walk or cycle on their own or be guided by FICO’s biodiversity ambassadors.
CULTURE AND ART CITIES Italy is a nation that hosts unique and fascinating events of international importance throughout the year, providing innumerable opportunities for experiencing intense emotions. Art exhibitions are inspired by over a
CLOCKWISE FROM BELOW: Tourist bus touring Rome; Urbino, in the Marche region; Trentino – famous for winter sports; Vernazza, one of the 5 centuries-old villages that make up the Cinque Terre; Matera [see box, below]
thousand years of heritage, and events such as the Venice Biennale, with its design and contemporary art focus, are flanked and alternated with theatre and ballet performances. For music lovers, the festivals and operatic seasons offered by Milan’s La Scala and the Verona Arena are unique. Italy is a synonym for music and art in every form. But that’s not all. It offers a wide range of traditional and modern cultural events, such as literary festivals or the many Carnivals held, most notably in Venice, but also in many other regions, and the various historical and religious representations that fill Italy with fantasy and vitality throughout the year. Italy is also a natural film set. Its beautiful scenery makes it the perfect background for every kind of film production: from its cities, to its Renaissance palaces, and amazing natural landscapes. The Italian art cities are some of the most-visited destinations in international cultural tourism. Rich in monuments, churches, castles, museums, and historic dwellings, Italy’s cities of art are an ideal target for low-season tourism. Almost all of them preserve an important historic,
artistic and architectural heritage that tells the story of century after century. Rich with resonance of the events of the people who lived in them over the years, Italy’s art cities were often the seats of governments and principalities, and the stages for the events that changed the course of history. More specifically these cities, due to their particular relationship with various centres of power, were made over and transformed several times – i.e. as residences of princes, dukes, popes, kings and emperors. They are open-air museums that can be enjoyed and admired on foot – these cities offer modern and inspiring itineraries for discovering shops and artisan workshops, markets and fairs, festivals and theatrical events that are a great blessed union of traditions, culture and excitement.
The city of Matera in the southern region of Basilicata in Italy will be European Capital of Culture for 2019. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Sassi di Matera do not identify with a monument, but, instead, with a way of life and a process of development lasting for millennia. The Sassi represent a unique urban settlement in the harsh territorial area of Murge in the Apulia region. Matera rises on a limestone plateau, showing a magnificent abnormality: a central fissure crossed by the Gravina torrent. The area of Matera has been continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic era. The specific districts of the Sassi were built in the late 5th century. The alternation of populations over time has left the intricate urban system seen today. The stunning locale of Matera has been the setting for many famous films over the years, both national and international, including Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’.
MOUNTAINS TO EXPLORE In all its territorial variety, Italy boasts a large number of beautiful and evocative mountain localities, ideal for visiting any time of the year, whether summer or winter. From north to south, the Italian mountain scene offers tourists a range of
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UK TRAVELLERS OVERSEAS TRAVEL TO ITALY 2016. Source – ONS DESTINATION ITALY Has continuously grown since 2010 and for the first time welcomed over four million UK visitors to the country in 2016. PERCEPTION OF ITALY AND DRIVING FACTORS A destination of quality with a large variety of products and services, thanks to the diversified and distinctive history, culture, traditions, heritage and fantastic climate. Well connected from all over the UK, Italy offers the possibility to combine products and services for a unique holiday experience! Most visited regions – ISTAT Veneto, Lazio, Lombardia, Toscana, Campani – combined represent 70% of the total arrivals in all types of accommodation in Italy. MARKET SHARE
UK VISITS 4,089,000
UK VISITS vs 2012
NIGHT STAYS: 32.55M +15% (MARKET SHARE) +4.5% AIR TRAVELLERS TO ITALY 3,790,000 AVERAGE STAY
92.7% 8 NIGHTS
SPEND PER VISIT
SPEND PER DAY
MAIN COMPETITORS Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal and United States NUMBER OF UK OPERATORS SELLING ITALY – Approx. 620
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“Lakes Garda, Maggiore, and Como, well-known throughout the world, have become ideal destinations for spending time in the sun” landscapes: lakes at high altitude, incredible forests, enchanting villages and hamlets (Borghi) rich in history, traditions and, of course, gastronomic pleasures. Italy’s mountain retreats invite visitors to experience a wide array of outdoor activities each season: skiing, snowboarding, trekking and Nordic walking, mountain biking; not to mention excellent facilities for ice skating, swimming, tennis, and horseback riding.
SEASIDE RESORTS With its approximately 4,660 miles of coastline, Italy is the ideal place for sea lovers. From North to South, East to West, the mountainous land slopes into the rocky, indented coasts of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas in the west and southeast respectively, and toward the softer, sandier shores of the Adriatic in the east of the country. From the elegant resorts in Liguria such as Portofino and the romantic Cinque Terre, to the fine sand beaches of Versilia in Tuscany. From the ever-popular Sorrento and Amalfi coast to the unmissable Taormina in Sicily. From the sun-baked beaches in Puglia to the calm of Sardinia. From the glamour of the Adriatic Coast in Emilia Romagna and Le Marche to the family-friendly resorts in
Friuli Venezia Giulia such as Grado, Italy is an ever-popular and renowned destination for sun seekers.
LAKES GALORE Italy’s more than a thousand lakes are renowned for their incomparable beauty and individual characterisics. Lakes Garda, Maggiore, and Como, well-known throughout the world, have become ideal destinations for spending time in the sun and in close contact with nature. Italy’s major lakes are fully equipped and offer a range of accommodation facilities. The beaches provide all the comforts and are suitable for bathing. In addition to relaxing, visitors can have fun testing their skills with a variety of outdoor activities. Several water sports are offered: water skiing, canoeing, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving, and even fishing, with national level competitions. Sports such as golf, horseback riding, and mountain biking are also offered almost everywhere. A lakeside holiday also allows tourists to discover the surrounding areas, which are full of history and traditions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | www.italia.it
WTM Business 2016
Battlefield tourism is thriving around the world. From Vietnam to the Western Front, tourists flock to the sites of major events. WTM Business investigates.
hen travel journalist Frank Barrett travelled to the Waterloo battlefield, in Belgium, for The Independent newspaper in 1994, it is fair to say he wasn’t exactly knocked out. ‘Pardon my ignorance,’ wrote Barrett,
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‘but I imagined that Waterloo amounted to nothing more than a couple of large Belgian fields, a few fading stone monuments, an interpretative centre with a worthy but tedious audio-visual presentation, and a grotty souvenir shop… [and] …I was right… about the
fields, the monuments, the centre and the shop.” He was also less than impressed with the laissez faire attitude to tourism he encountered, quoting Waterloo’s then information centre manager as saying: “Oh, tourism isn’t the most important thing for us. We have many firms here and a large – how you say? – industrial estate. Tourism ... pffff”. Jump forward 11 years, and now travel editor of the Mail on Sunday, and
Barrett returned to Waterloo for the 200th anniversary of the famous battle between the French and English, not to mention Blücher’s Prussians. This time he found a very changed situation. A new museum focussing on the medical side of war, sited in a farm that was used as a major field hospital during the battle, a brewery serving Waterloo beer, a new award-winning Battlefield Visitor Centre, the new British Memorial, exciting collections at the
Wellington Museum and much more. Succinctly, the town of Waterloo had woken up to the value of battlefield tourism and raised its game. Going back in history, battlefield, or war, tourism has been a defined sector of the travel market for longer than you might think. Waterloo’s casualties had barely been buried before English ‘tourists’ were stopping by to take a look. The poet Lord Byron was an early visitor, taking the time to charge across
the fields of the Hougoumont farm on a hired Cossack horse. As Barrett says, ‘making himself perhaps the first battlefield tourist’. Truth be told there are records that indicate there were visitors to the battlefields of the Iberian Peninsula during and following the Peninsular War, a decade earlier than Waterloo. What did change though, is that battlefield tourism developed post Waterloo, becoming organised and commercialised. For example, by the
WTM Business 2017 61
Both categories have very different needs when visiting attractions. And interestingly, Thi Le found that, even for the enthusiasts, battlefield tourism was rarely the main motivation for the visitors’ trips to Vietnam, ranking behind more obvious factors such as sightseeing and culture. Clearly the enthusiasts are looking for education and information; a factor no doubt behind the new visitor centre at Waterloo, inaugurated in time for the bicentenary. Whilst the opportunists needs are more general; the major factor for attractions, and operators, being the provision of marketing literature that lets them know what local sites and attractions exist.
THE HEARTLANDS OF THE WESTERN FRONT 1830s, early tourism entrepreneurs were advertising organised visits to the Waterloo Battlefield. Interestingly, Barrett, discovered that these early tourists ‘visiting Waterloo who discovered the neglected city of Bruges – largely derelict after its access to the sea silted up – and helped to finance its restoration’.
BACKGROUND TO BATTLEFIELD TORUISTS MOTIVATIONS’ The reasons for participating in what might be perceived as a slightly macabre form or tourism, particularly when memories, and even events, are fresh, are complex. Certainly, for the British, much was to do with the national psyche. Battlefields playing a significant role in the forming of national memories or creating a national identity. The University of Southampton’s background material for its online course on the Battle of waterloo notes, ‘A visit to Waterloo quickly became an expected part of a more general tour of Europe, part of the rites of passage of young men of means – the ‘grand tour’ was possible once again now that peace had returned to the Continent’. Battlefield tourism is by no means confined to Europe, and northern France and Belgium in particular. All the planet’s continents have experienced their moments of conflict, followed by an influx of visitors eager to learn more about the events that have so often shaped global history. From Vietnam to the southern states of America. From South Africa to St Petersburg, battlefields and their
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attractions draw in visitors numbered in the millions. Diem-Trinh Thi Le, for his Master of Tourism Management thesis at Victoria University of Wellington, explains: ‘Vietnam is an emerging tourist destination with rapid development in the tourism industry over the last decade. Well-known for the Vietnam War, it is expected that battlefield sites are among the country’s main attractions for international tourists’. Researching visitors, Thi Le identified five motivations for visitors to the former Vietnamese De-Militarised Zone (DMZ). Namely: personal involvement, interest in
As has been said, this tourism sector is active and developed around the globe. However, the battlefields of northern Europe are generally regarded as the birthplace of this industry. From Waterloo onwards there has been a growing interest, however it is the scale of the 20th-century conflicts – the ‘World’ Wars – that raged across the northern France, Belgium and Germany region that motivates the huge number of visitors to the battlefields, cemeteries and related attractions. Perhaps also it is the near memory of the events. Although no Great War combatants remain, most Europeans – and many other participant nationalities
“I imagined that Waterloo amounted to nothing more than a couple of large Belgian fields” Frank Barrett, Travel Editor, Mail on Sunday war related sites and exhibitions, education and exploration, location and convenience, and novelty seeking. Of these, two groupings are key to battlefield tourism operators in terms of travel decision-making. Namely, the ‘enthusiasts’, who had the highest interest in visiting battlefield sites in Vietnam. And the ‘opportunists’ who tend to visit sites based on location and convenience.
– will have direct memories of speaking to a survivor, be it a grandparent or parent. And many still make annual pilgrimages to their relatives’ graves. The current period of 2014-to date, and on into 2018, has been marked by a series of Great war centenaries that have seen renewed interest in the event of the Great War. All across northern France and Belgium, new information centres, museums – even cemeteries – have
appeared. And anniversaries of worldshaping events have kept the region in the news. Major centenaries, of the Somme, Passchendaele, etc., have been marked by dignitaries, royalty and world leaders. Whilst lesser known events have also motivated ceremonies and new attractions, for example the new Cambrai Tank 1917 information centre in Flesquières. This centre, due to be inaugurated just after WTM London, interprets the events of the Battle of Cambrai, the first-time tanks were deployed on a grand scale [see box right].
REGIONAL CO-OPERATION CAN BE CRUCIAL The DMCs of northern France and Flanders have long been active in developing this important tourism sector. The sheer quantity of sites, the shared memory that the Great War is the trenches of the Western Front – whilst firmly acknowledging that this is both simplistic and wrong – and the general sophistication of France and Belgium’s tourism infrastructure all combine to define an area that is genuinely ‘historic’ and where tourism products can be ‘easily’ developed. Clearly, the area has long been a major draw for battlefield tourists, but the centenary events were the motivation for a number of initiatives that brought together tourism regions, that may, truthfully, view themselves as competitors. The Great War 100 14-18 project, an EU-funded Interreg programme, was
MUSEUM WEALTH Northern Europe can boast some of the very best war museums on the planet. From world famous examples such as the Imperial War Museums in London, and its outposts in Duxford and Manchester. To smaller collections dedicated to a particular event, battle or subject. The Musée de la Grande Guerre, in Meaux, to the east of Paris, close to the pivotal Marne battlefields opened in 2014 and houses the largest collection of Great war artefacts in Europe. This remarkable collection was the life’s work of one man, Pierre Verney, a passionate historian, who, over a period of 50 years, collected objects and documents to tell the story of the First World War. Today, more than 65 000 items are on display telling the story of the conflict as well as the technical, military and human story. Pictured Right: Exhibits in the Musée de la Grande Guerre websites, etc. – produced. The aim being to ‘improve accessibility to the memory and heritage of the Great War for various audiences, more specifically young people and the people who live in the regions that fall under the scope of this project’. The goal being to ‘increase visitor traffic between the partner regions as well as providing innovative information,
“There were European funds to develop WW1 footpaths. Our Belgian partners used grants for interpretation centres.” Delphine Bartier, Nord Region, France conceived before the start of the centenary events of 2014, with the aim of co-financing cross-border co-operation projects. It brought together bordering regions Pas-de-Calais, Nord, L’Aisne, Westtoer, Somme, West Vlaanderen and Provincie Antwerpen in a project, primarily focused on marketing, that saw a vast range of material – maps, brochures,
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education and entertainment relating to this conflict and offering quality sites and memorials that work together in a network’. With the Western Front straddling the France/Belgium border, co-operation between the various regions was crucial. Reflecting, the perhaps obvious observation, that tourists visiting the
region for Great War attractions are unlikely to observe a national border with, for example, the major sites around Belgian Ypres being so close to their French equivalents around Lille. Other tranches of European funding were made available for many other projects across the region. Delphine Bartier, head of marketing for the Agence de Développement & de Réservation Touristiques du Nord, recalls, “there were European funds to develop WW1 footpaths – including the circular route relating to the poet Wilfred Owen near Ors and around Fromelles. Our Belgian partners also used grants to create interpretation centres. For example, the one near Ypres. Also, Pas de Calais developed cycling paths around the battlefields of Arras.” Unsurprisingly the region has seen strong visitor numbers uplift. More research is planned for 2018, but early testing indicated both significant growth and the fact that tourists were visiting more sites on each trip than had been recorded in pre-centenary research. A further finding was that lesser known sites were being visited more often.
Liberation Route Europe A new trail snaking across Europe will give walkers the chance to discover and experience the route that the Allied Forces took during WWII. WTM London will see the official launch and announcement of the Liberation Route Europe, a historical trans-national route which follows the path taken across Europe by the WW2 Allied Forces in 1944-1945, from Normandy to Berlin and from the Polish city of Gdansk to Berlin. It initially started out as a Dutch project, but has since developed into a transnational European partnership on various levels. Exhibiting on Stand EU460, the project also involves a Guide Programme to recruit and train battlefield guides to interpret the Liberation Route heritage to visitors from across the world. The Liberation Route Europe links the main regions along the advance of the Western Allied Forces, from southern England, to the beaches of Normandy, the Belgium Ardennes, the Netherlands, the Hürtgenwald and on to Berlin. The route continues to the Polish city of Gdansk, where a democratic revolution to overcome the division of Europe was launched nearly two generations later. The Liberation Route Europe and its international partners aim to make this core part of European history visible and accessible, not least with innovative and sustainable touristic products and offers. The project involves a consortium of leading European WWII museums and other partners with the support of the Dutch Foundation of Peace, Freedom and Veteran Support (vfonds).
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL GUIDING One well researched factor in the success of battlefield tours is the availability of qualified guides. Ironically, the reality is that even major war zones return to normality, often surprisingly quickly. To the non-specialist observer, a visit to a major battlefield not furnished with a visitor centre, essentially entails looking at a field! Whilst acknowledging that some interpretation can be gained with a good guidebook, an experienced guide is crucial in explaining the bigger picture. As Diem-Trinh Thi Le observed, ‘the [Vietnam] DMZ tour exhibits some similarities with the commercial tours to the Great War battlefield sites on the Western Front. Like tourists on the Western Front, DMZ visitors tend to encounter a landscape which now visually portrays comparatively little of the historical war events. Most of the pulverised and battle-scarred terrain has long since vanished under crop cultivation and urban development. Consequently, battlefield guides play a central role in the success of any battlefield tour’.
THE STORY OF ‘DEBORAH’ One of only seven surviving WW1 Mark IV tanks is set to be centrepiece of a new museum A fortnight after WTM London, the Western Front’s newest interpretation centre – Cambrai Tank 1917 – will be inaugurated in the village of Flesquières, approximately five kilometres south-west of Cambrai, France. Opening to mark the centenary of the Battle of Cambrai, the star exhibit will be ‘Deborah’, a Mark IV ‘female’ British tank, pictured below being moved in July. Historically important, Deborah – more properly known as D51 Deborah, is the only surviving tank of the 476 that fought during the Battle of Cambrai, the first time tanks were used en masse. And one of only seven Mark IV’s that survive from a production of over 1,200. Discovered by a historian in 1991, having been buried for over 70 years, Deborah is now a French National Monument. The new centre is located next door to the CWGC cemetery at Flesquières Hill, where the four crew members who were killed in action are interred. Deborah’s Remarkable story is told in historian John Taylor’s new book Deborah and the War of the Tanks.
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Successfully engaging with customers online is now more vital than ever. And for the airline industry there are particular challenges. WTM Business reports.
hat makes your customers choose you? What makes them choose you over other brands? And how can you ensure they keep choosing you? There are endless influences that lead travellers to make a purchase with a brand – or not. Their needs and personal preferences. Where they are at that moment in time. The device they are using. Even the weather that day. The list goes on, but all of these influences affect how consumers perceive the value of an offer at any given moment. So, how do you bring all of these real-time influences together to present the customer with something that is of value to them, right at that very moment in time they need it? We’ve entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era of datafication, constant connectivity and digital workforces. It’s an era where AI will complement staff, allowing the humans at the helm to benefit from more efficient and accurate outcomes, and where digital solutions are enabling businesses to serve customers in new ways. And it’s an era where there will be more potential than ever for brands to get closer to consumers, understand what they value, and use machine learning to drive better informed decisions about how to market to each of their customers. So, how is the aviation industry faring in comparison to others when it comes to harnessing the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to emotionally connect with
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AV IATI ON FOC US
travellers? Truthfully, aviation is a relative newcomer to understanding retail consumer techniques. Unlike brands outside the aviation industry – which have always had to engage with customers to compete in the market – traditional airlines often had a monopoly over regions and routes, and therefore were under less pressure to win over travellers and achieve brand loyalty. The story is slightly different with the low-cost carrier business model, and these airlines have been earlier adopters of sophisticated, competitive marketing techniques as a result. Now, however, airlines face saturated markets, where they have to fight to win and retain customers. And so, marketing strategies need to not only adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but to recreate the experience travellers have become accustomed to in other areas of their lives. It’s an exciting time. The aviation industry is early on in the journey, but airlines are starting to look beyond segmentation to understand what individual travellers value each time they make a booking, and bundling or
unbundling their offering appropriately to drive a sale. Technology providers and airlines have been working together to enhance their booking experience, and to follow a customer through their journey, offering relevant touchpoints and service enhancements along the way. When travellers search for a flight, unless the airline is able to convey how they differ from their competitors in terms of product, service or convenience, the customer will base their decision on the only variables they can see when searching online: price and flight schedule. This is a wasted opportunity to sell the customer something they want, and for them to engage with an airline’s unique offering. While online consumers have a variety of resources at their fingertips for comparing brands’ offerings – such as review sites – airlines that offer quality, first-hand information enable travellers to base their purchasing decisions on more than base price and schedule. Increasingly, airlines are recognising that their websites are
The Robot Age? Airlines and airports around the globe are currently trialling a number of robots as they look at ways to improve the passenger experience further. After more than three years of construction and programming, KLM’s ‘Spencer’ robot completed various tests at Schiphol, Amsterdam in mid-2017. In tests, Spencer [pictured right] scanned passenger's boarding passes and then guided them to the correct departure gate. Spencer then sets off automatically and the passengers follow the robot, which adjusts its speed to that of the group, avoiding obstacles and informing passengers of the remaining distance to their gate. When they get there, Spencer reports this via a screen.
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Robots have also taken the place of waiters. US company SoftBank Robotics has developed a 4ft tall humanoid robot called Pepper which was employed as a waiter at HMSHost’s Pyramid Ale Taproom in Terminal 2 at Oakland Airport in California. Robots can also be found at UK airports. Glasgow airport is trialling a robot called Gladys to provide passenger information. And over at Incheon Airport, LG Electronics is testing five airport cleaning robots and five airport guide robots to navigate the airport.
portals between their customers and their brands, embedding them with the data and content required to serve them in an increasingly data-driven marketplace. The fact that air travel consumers are continuing to seek advice from multiple sources highlights the importance of maintaining an omni-channel approach to customer service. This is particularly true when a customer is booking more than solely a flight during a transaction. Though only 14% of survey respondents may seek advice from traditional travel agents for flights alone, they are more likely to seek professional advice if they are planning a holiday or business trip – of which the flight is an important component. Of course, there will be certain members of the so-called Generation Z who may never set foot in a travel agent’s office, such is their affinity with technology. Millennials, on the other
WORLDWIDE AIRPORT TRAFFIC STATS
hand, are still turning to agents, depending on the context of their trip, as are the generations before them, because they value the personalised, empathic advice of another human being. Overall, it depends what value the individual consumer places on the product, service and convenience that agents can add to their travel planning. The progression of technology, if harnessed correctly, could dramatically boost the potential for agents to present consumers with personalised, niche travel experiences that they didn’t know they were looking for, and that are relevant and desirable. This experience would not only outperform the experience of searching online but would also add a new layer of value to the role of the agent.
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The Airports Council International (ACI) has released the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report. ACI’s flagship publication, representing over 2,400 airports in 175 countries worldwide, reveals that the world’s mega-hubs achieved passenger traffic growth of 5.5% year over year in 2016. There were 46 airports with over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) in 2016 as compared to 18 airports in 2006. After years of consolidation and capacity discipline
efficiency, especially at hubs in major city markets across the globe, the downside of airline capacity shifts is that a proportion of smaller regional airports have either stagnated or experienced a reduction in nonstop destinations between cities,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “It is important to highlight that the reason smaller airports remain in operation hinges on the fact that they contribute to the local, social and economic development of their surrounding communities. Strategies to ensure their sustainability are important if we are to have a robust aviation system.” In 2016, nine airports graduated to the 40 mppa category. ● Barcelona (BCN, +11.2% or +4.4 million passengers) ● Taipei (TPE, +9.9% or +3.8 million passengers) ● Kunming (KMG, +11.9% or +4.5 million passengers) ● Sydney (SYD, +5.2% or +2.1 million passengers)
“Strategies to ensure their [smaller airports] sustainability are important if we are to have a robust aviation system” on the part of many airlines, the mature markets such as Europe and North America experienced an important resurgence in air transport demand, particularly at large hubs. On the other hand, a relatively higher proportion of smaller airports with fewer than 1 million passengers in 2006 experienced a decline in passenger traffic by 2016 compared with other size categories. By 2016, 27.4% of airports that had fewer than 1 million passengers per annum in 2006 experienced a loss in traffic over that period. “Despite the net gains achieved in both traffic volumes and operational
Shenzhen (SZX, +5.7% or +2.2 million passengers) ● Orlando (MCO, +8% or +3.1 million passengers) ● Mexico (MEX, +7.7% or +3.1 million passengers) ● Newark (EWR, +8.2% or +3.1 million passengers) ● Shanghai (SHA, +3.5% or 1.4 million passengers) Atlanta (ATL) remains the busiest airport with 104 million passengers in 2016. Traffic was up 5% over 2015 at Beijing (PEK) with 94 million passengers. Third ranked airport, Dubai, stayed in the same position as 2015 with 84 million passengers. ●
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The future of passenger aviation Concerns over pollution, noise and efficiency are plaguing an industry where development costs are measured in billions and timescales in decades. With the aircraft industry expecting a seven-fold increase in air traffic by 2050, and a four-fold increase in greenhouse gas emissions, unless fundamental changes are made, it is clear that a revolution in design and technology is ahead. But what will passenger airplanes of the near future look like? What technologies will they incorporate? How will they be powered? Of course, predictions of this kind, looking ahead for two or three decades, are rarely precise. But in the case of the airline industry, where the development of new models usually takes just a couple of decades, experts may well be prophetic. ABOVE: Lockheed Martin's supersonic QueSST aircraft design BELOW: Nasa’s N3-X flying wing prototype
EFFICIENCY, AND SUSTAINABILITY Planes of the future must become less hazardous to the environment by reducing fuel consumption. Since the advent of the first jet passenger aircraft in the early 1950s, their efficiency has grown at a rate of 1-2% per year. However, the specifics of the industry bring often dictates the rates of change – for example, reduction of the fuel consumption happens in leaps and bounds, from generation to generation of aircraft. So, the Airbus A320neo 2016 burns 15% less than the original Airbus A320, operation of which began in 1988. By 2020 it is targeted to deliver a 20% reduction. These rates (15-20% as each generation appears — at around 20-30 years) are not enough to achieve the EU target for the year 2050 of a reduction of
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“Most aerospace industry insiders believe that the return of supersonic passenger aviation is inevitable” 75%, compared to 2000. The crucial next step towards ensuring the aircraft industry becomes greener is the full electrification of commercial aircraft. That’s zero CO2 and NOx emissions, with energy sourced from power stations that are themselves sustainably fuelled. The
main technological barrier that must be overcome is the energy density of batteries, a measure of how much power can be generated from a battery of a certain weight. Considering the average service-life of passenger and freight aircraft are around 21 and 33 years respectively, even if all new aircraft manufactured from tomorrow were fully electric, the transition away from fossil-fuels would take two to three decades. In the meantime, biofuel offers carbon emissions reductions of between 36-85%, with the variability depending on the type of land used to grow the fuel crops. As switching from one fuel to another is relatively straightforward, this is a low-hanging fruit worth pursuing before completely phasing out combustion engines.
Bombardier’s Vision Airplane manufacturer Bombardier has set out its vision for the airplane market over the next 10 years. With its own C-class offering set to lead the
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Speaking exclusively to WTM Business, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates, is looking to America as the airline continues to set the pace for expansion. The man in charge of the Middle East’s biggest airline, Emirates, told WTM Business he is pressing ahead with a global expansion that could include more U.S. routes despite opposition from American carriers who accuse the airline of having an unfair advantage. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ chairman and CEO, said in an interview that several American cities have asked Emirates to launch routes connecting them with its ever-expanding hub in Dubai.
He declined to name the potential destinations, citing competitive reasons and confidentiality agreements, but said the Dubai government-backed carrier is looking to accommodate the requests “in a very short period of time.” “We always learn we cannot stop, and this is really the direction of the UAE government and the Dubai government. The minute you stop, somebody will pass you,” he told The Associated Press. “In terms of expansion, we will continue.” Emirates plans to release its annual financial results Thursday. Sheikh Ahmed suggested that international currency fluctuations have offset some gains from lower oil prices but he said that overall “it’s been an excellent
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BELOW: Bauhaus Luftfahrt aims to develop innovative aircraft designs
Even though a biofuel-kerosene jet fuel blend was certified in 2009, the aircraft industry is in no hurry to implement change. There are minor technological hurdles and issues around scaling up biofuel production to industrial levels, but the main constraint is, unsurprisingly, price. Studies by NASA show that a lot can be achieved by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft — even while maintaining the usual design of a wing and fuselage. Most likely, exotic and still experimental ‘flying wing’ type designs (think of the American B-2 stealth ‘bomber’) or designs with recessed engines will not receive wide distribution. However, it is likely, according to experts, that aircraft with capacities of up to 100 passengers will see electric/hybrid powerplants.
SILENCE As is well known to any city dweller, airports are very noisy neighbours. If growth is going to match the predictions, with additional anticipated growth in helicopter traffic and, perhaps,
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“Planes of the future must become less hazardous to the environment by reducing fuel consumption” the return of supersonic passenger aircraft it is likely that noise pollution will continue to be a major source of conflict for the industry. Experts claim that the installation of engines manufactured from acrylics, and perhaps inside the fuselage, may reduce engine noise by 30-40 decibels. A flying wing design would also greatly reduce noise.
SPEED Most aerospace industry insiders believe that the return of supersonic passenger aviation is inevitable, the only question is when it will happen. One of the main problems, in addition to security and high operating costs, lies in reducing the force of the sonic boom that occurs when breaking the sound
barrier. NASA, in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, plans to demonstrate a prototype aircraft in 2019, which, thanks to the improved aerodynamics will reduce the sonic boom dramatically. If the experiment proves successful, the ICAO (international civil aviation organisation) and the American FCA will reportedly support proposals for the removal of the existing ban on the flight of supersonic aircraft over ‘land’ territory. (Famously, Concorde only flew supersonically over oceans and seas). NASA’s experimental supersonic X-plane can fly at a speed of 1.6-1.8 times the speed of sound. This is less than the speed of Concorde, but the power of sonic boom will be reduced by one third.
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FILM AND T V TOURISM Film tourism is a growing phenomenon worldwide, fuelled by both the growth of the entertainment industry and the increase in international travel. WTM Business takes a look at the impact a major film can have on visitor numbers.
ime and time again it has been shown that when a particular location is featured in a film or TV programme, there is an almost immediate impact on visitor numbers. An impact that can last for decades as film fans seek out locations associated with favourite films. From the obvious, British TV series Downton Abbey essentially saved Highclere Castle, the ‘real’ Downton Abbey, from ruin as tourists flocked to the Carnarvon-family owned stately home in Hampshire. To the more surprising, Rabun County in Georgia, where Deliverance was filmed in 1972, still welcomes an additional 20,000 tourists per annum, many taking whitewater rafting trips, bringing a gross revenue of around $4 million, as a direct result of the film being made there. VisitBritain estimates that almost half of potential visitors to Britain now say they want to indulge in ‘set jetting’ – exploring locations featured in films or on TV. Whilst a one-off film – see sidebar on
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Dunkirk – can have a significant and instant impact on tourism, the major wins come when locations are featured in ongoing film or TV series, particularly worldwide hits. For example, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – the
where Rowling wrote the first and last novels in the series, and finishing in Glen Coe, which forms the stunning backdrop to the movies The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. It also includes a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train, the real-life Hogwarts Express which can be
“We wanted to be ready, because a film like this [Dunkirk] can have an incredible effect” Onno Ottevanger, Dunkirk Tourism Office first of JK Rowling’s seven bestselling books about the boy wizard – which was first published on 26 June 1997, VisitScotland’s launched its first ever Harry Potter holiday itinerary. The online guide takes fans of the films on a four-day tour of Scotland, starting in Edinburgh,
seen crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highland Line in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The ‘Potter effect’ can be experienced all over the UK, with destinations such as Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts), Goathland station on the North Yorkshire Moors
NOLAN’S DUNKIRK FILM BOOSTS TOWN This summer’s blockbuster Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan, proved both a hit with the critics, garnering five-star reviews, and a box office smash with a global take of over $100million for its opening weekend. It also proved a major hit for the French town of Dunkirk, where Nolan had filmed much of the wartime evacuation story on location. The local Tourism Office distributed a questionnaire to visitors shortly after the film’s release and found that 93% of those surveyed had heard of the film, with 28% of respondents coming to Dunkirk specifically because of the film, to visit sites associated with the film and the Dunkirk ‘Operation Dynamo’ story. The Tourism Office also quickly realised there had been huge increases in actual visitor numbers. British visitors were up +176% in July – the film was released on 13 July – and up an astonishing +532% in August. In the same July/ August period, the Tourism Office welcomed an extra 52,000 visitors, over the previous year, to their own offices in the town. All attractions and hotels in the town recorded increased visitor numbers, with sites associated with the Dunkirk story and film – such as the Musée Dunkerque 1940 – seeing particularly strong growth, and, equally, unconnected attractions recording significant rises. What has also been striking is the impact on domestic tourism. Whilst the story of Dunkirk is ingrained in the British psyche, it is much more complex for the French. Britain’s great ‘victory’ in evacuating her army from the beaches was mostly glossed over in France at the time, as Petain’s Vichy government sued for peace with Germany. The story is not taught in French schools and, whilst the Musée Dunkerque 1940 regularly welcomes British school parties, French
Railway (Hogsmeade) and Leadenhall Market in The City (Diagon Alley) all regularly welcoming Potter fans and their wallets. Many DMCs have been quick to recognise the growth in film tourism and furnish information for potential visitors. In Sweden, ‘The Film Guide to Stockholm’, a sub-site to visitstockholm for visiting film fans, was established to allow visitors to walk in the footsteps of Ingmar Bergman, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo and more. “By visualising film on visitstockholm. com we are strengthening the link between the film and the destination. Visitors are no longer satisfied with just seeing a movie or television series, they want to experience the real settings,” explained Roger Mogert, Vice-Mayor of Stockholm. The sub-site is the first step towards a Fiction Tourism offer in the Stockholm region, for which Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy has already laid the groundwork.
visitors are a rarity. However, the success of the film has seen a steady increase in domestic visitors, a fact that the Tourism Office’s Onno Ottevanger clearly attributes to the film, and Nolan’s crucial decision to film on location, in itself a strange choice, given that one obvious repercussion of the Dunkirk story was the near total destruction of the town in 1940. “It was not an obvious choice for shooting because it was so heavily destroyed,” Ottevanger admits. The Tourism Office had realised early on that a high-budget Hollywood blockbuster would likely have a major impact on tourism and had been planning since shooting began. “We wanted to be ready, because a film like this can have an incredible effect. A study showed that shooting alone put €9m (£8m) into the local economy, and we hope the effects will be a multiple of that,” says Ottevanger. An optimism that seems to have been repaid for the town of Dunkirk, where Christopher Nolan is very welcome indeed. www.dunkirk-tourism.com
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WTM London exhibitor Croatia’s policy of encouraging the filming of blockbuster shows on its shores is paying off, with several high-profile films choosing the eastern Mediterranean destination as a backdrop – including the next James Bond movie and the Mamma Mia sequel. The country has implemented a favourable taxes policy to encourage production companies to film in the country – following the huge success of Game of Thrones, which is part-filmed on location in Croatia. Among the 16.6 million visitors from Europe to Croatia last year were ‘Throners’ – die-hard fans of the cult TV series, keen to see where the epic show was filmed. Such is the success that Game of Thrones-themed guided tours have sprung up in tourist hotspots such as Dubrovnik, which is the setting for King’s Landing and Blackwater Bay. Elsewhere, Lokrum Island, 600 metres off the mainland, is the setting for the city of Qarth; Sibenik serves as the city of Braavos, while Split doubles as Meereen in the show. Hollywood has also set its sights on Croatia as a backdrop for several movies. Such is Croatia’s popularity among film-makers, the destination has usurped Greece as the setting for the second Mamma Mia movie. Filming of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again – starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Julie
ABOVE: Fortified city walls in the old town of Dubrovnik LO-MO
ABOVE: Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
“For decades, holidaymakers have discovered the beauty of Croatia and what it has to offer” Ivona Grgan, Director, Croatian National Tourist Office
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Walters and Amanda Seyfried – started in autumn 2017 on the Croatian island of Vis, one of the farthest inhabited islands in the country. Meanwhile, James Bond’s next top-secret mission has been revealed. Actor Daniel Craig is heading to Croatia next year to film the 25th Bond movie, with a working title of Shatterhand. Furthermore, Stormtroopers and other aliens from galaxies far away were spotted on the streets of Dubrovnik last year as Lucasfilms worked on Star Wars VIII, The Last Jedi. Up-coming movie Robin Hood: Origins,
staring Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Taron Egeron and Eve Hewson, began filming in Dubrovnik this February. In what has been described as ‘the most ambitious Hollywood project to be produced in Croatia’, the film saw Dubrovnik’s city walls and Posat harbour doubling as Robin Hood’s home territory of Nottinghamshire. Not surprising, then, that Croatia has attracted a number of A-list stars on holiday recently, including John Malkovich, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact Brad Pitt is rumoured to be an investor in a planned luxury hotel in Zablace, on the Croatian coast. Ivona Grgan, director of The Croatian National Tourist Office, told WTM Business: “For decades, discerning holidaymakers have discovered the beauty of Croatia and what it has to offer. “Now, thanks to a huge surge in demand among the makers of blockbuster movies and TV dramas, our wonderful country has been projected into the cinemas, TV screens and mobile devices of a whole new audience. “We’re already seeing demand among fans who want to flock to Croatia to see where their favourite show was filmed. For example, thanks to Game of Thrones, visits to Split are up 120%.” “The Greek islands of Skopelos and Skiathos, where the original Mamma Mia was filmed, saw a 13% increase in visitors and Croatia is looking to achieve a similar increase once Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is released next summer.”
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www.indonesia.travel indonesia.travel @indtravel indonesia.travel WTM Business 2017 101
FOOD & DRINK EXPERIENCES
TOTALLY INVOLVING TASTES Authenticity and a sense of place are now the two main goals for travellers searching for their ultimate food experiences. The World Food Travel Association founder Erik Wolf looks at how the market is evolving.
fter a long day of stunning sights, unusual sounds, interesting smells, and at least 100 certainly never-before snapped pictures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we ended up for a late lunch at a café just off the Corso Italia, in Pisa. I ordered Pici Cacio e Pepe, a pasta dish renowned throughout Tuscany. I swirled the creamy, peppery goodness around my fork and placed the parcel in my salivating mouth. I could hardly wait. Heaven. It tasted just like I imagined. The fat pasta was unique to us,
meaning that we probably couldn’t find it at home, so we bought some to take back with us. Once home, we replicated the dish as best we could, using an authentic Italian recipe and the Italian pasta. It just didn’t taste the same. We had taken such pain to ensure authentic replication, yet the taste didn’t even come close to what we remembered. We wondered why, and then we realized, it’s because the sense of place was missing. I thought back to other similar situations I experienced with food and drink. The same thing happened with a
The World Food Travel Association is hosting a food tourism session at WTM London. This year’s session is entitled “Getting Food Tourism Right” and will take place on Tuesday, November 7, from 10.30-12:30, in Platinum Suite 3. The 2-hour session, hosted by WFTA’s Erik Wolf, will interview leading representatives from various tourism industry sectors and show different ways of “doing food tourism the right way”.
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bottle of Megas Oenos wine that we enjoyed at a lovely outdoor restaurant on the Greek island of Mykonos. I found the same wine on a menu at a restaurant in New York City. We weren’t impressed. The same thing with fresh strawberry juice blended at a juice stand on the streets of Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The version at home didn’t begin to taste like its Brazilian cousin.
THE ‘TERROIR’ OF FOOD A sense of place simply cannot be replicated. Reasons why the Tuscan pasta didn’t taste the same at home is because several items were missing from the equation, namely the Tuscan temperature, humidity, pollen and breeze; local water the pasta was boiled in; historic architecture surrounding us; and the Italian language and music we heard all around us. Such is the experience in situ – where these things are experienced natively. A winemaker refers to the terroir of
FOOD & DRINK EXPERIENCES
BELOW: Goslar, Germany
“The good news for destination marketers and food/drink business owners is that authenticity is extremely hard to replicate”
grapes; in many ways, we’re talking about a terroir for food. Winemakers use terroir in producing and promoting their wines. Destination marketers should be doing something similar with their local foods and beverages, and food/drink business owners should take note as well. The good news for destination marketers and food/drink business owners is that authenticity is extremely hard to replicate, meaning people must travel to get a “real taste” of something. Consider the quaint Austrian village of Hallstatt. A version was replicated in the town Luoyang, Boluo County, in China. While the Chinese version is purportedly quite well done, it’s just not the same. For starters, the villagers in Luoyang won’t be speaking the Austrian dialect of German.
THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN Once I enjoyed an Italian meal at a high-end hotel restaurant in Seoul, Korea. All the ingredients had been flown in from Italy and the chef, who was Korean, was trained in Italy. If you closed your eyes while eating, you would swear that you were being served authentic Italian food in Italy. That misperception would be corrected quickly, when your ears picked up the Korean language being spoken by diners at adjacent tables. Kudos to the hotel for replicating the authenticity of the Italian food. However, there was nothing that could be done to replicate the authenticity of the Italian experience. The same applies to travellers taking
their expectations with them. We’ve all heard stories about British travellers in Spain who want their fish and chips and pint of ale, or German travellers who want their sausage. Why travel and seek out the same food you can get at home? This argument does not work in favour of the chains, many of which are doing a much better job today to buy local and replicate authentic dishes for the masses. Still, why would one travel to Singapore and settle on drinking Starbucks? At the very least, the traveller should try a bubble iced coffee drink from the regional Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain (or even better, from a local stand in a hawker centre). One cause of this behavior is fear. We fear the unknown. Imagine that you’re in Moscow. You’re desperate for a coffee and you just found a café where the coffee smells fantastic. Unfortunately, the menu is written entirely in Cyrillic characters. You have no idea what’s what, and no one speaks your language so you leave. In the distance, you see the familiar Starbucks or Costa logo and you make a beeline. Why? Because you were scared to try something different, of making the wrong choice and of being disappointed. Destination marketers have a challenge to help the local food and beverage business owners see the experience through the eyes of a visitor. In this situation, a simple mention written in other languages at the bottom of the Cyrillic menu stating that a printed menu is available in five other languages would
ABOVE: New York food festival LEFT: Traditional taverna in Mykonos
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ABOVE: Rio night street vendor
ABOVE: Dining at the bay, Mykonos town go a long way to helping a visitor feel more comfortable and even adventurous to spend money in their establishment.
PROMOTE NEW EXPERIENCES Another reason why people don’t try new things is apathy. It’s simply easier to go with what you know. So you’re back in Moscow. You walk out of your hotel and instead of saying to yourself “I’m going to go find a great little Russian café,” you ask yourself, “I wonder if there’s a Costa Coffee here in Moscow?” Again, the onus is on destination marketers to find a way to get travellers to start thinking about local food and drink, rather than what they are used to. For example, banner advertising upon arrival in the airport, or while waiting at baggage claim, can get visitors thinking outside the box. The challenge is to get visitors information in a language they read. In both examples above, a printed menu in multiple languages or banner advertising in English (the international language of
ABOVE: Danilovsky market in Moscow, Russia
ABOVE: Dubrovnik, Croatia
ABOVE: Tuscan elegance travel), will help, but it only goes part of the way to finding a solution. Ultimately, the visitor should be using a smartphone app with information available in multiple languages to help them to discover new food and beverage experiences. That app should be faithfully represented in website form for when travellers research information in advance of their trip.
THE AUTHENTIC TRAVELLER Authenticity is the number one type of food experience that visitors prefer, according to extensive data from the 2013 and 2016 editions of the Food Travel Monitor published by the World Food Travel Association. Authenticity is just one of as many as 13 available PsychoCulinary profiles, which are like behaviours and preferences exhibited by food lovers. This behaviour has now been distilled down thanks to evidence-based science. Why publicise 180 different types of cuisines in your destination? Visitors
aren’t going to travel to India to eat French food, or to Japan to eat American food. Of course, we also like to eat different types of cuisines but from the perspective of marketing to visitors, the “authenticity” and “local” PsychoCulinary preferences are what gets noticed, remembered and talked about. The notion of defining a sense of place through local food and drink was first discussed in 2001 in a white paper published by Erik Wolf, who later founded the World Food Travel Association (WFTA). The WFTA’s mission is to create economic opportunities where food and beverage meet travel and hospitality.
BELOW: Japanese food... in Japan
FOOD TOURISM SESSION AT WTM LONDON WHEN: TUESDAY 7 NOVEMBER 10.30-12.30 WHERE: PLATINUM SUITE 3
FOR MORE INFORMATION | www.worldfoodtravel.org
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SEBATANA PRIVATE RESERVE Sebatana has been welcoming guests for the past 20 years and our experience and expertise in South Africa ensures our guests the best possible nature and safari experience. Located in the malaria free Waterberg mountains, just a short drive from Johannesburg airport makes it the ideal place for everybody from senior travelers to families with children of all ages. If you are interested in becoming a trusted partner please contact our world wide support staff.
See full video presentation, gallery and much more on www.sebatana.com.
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7 nights at our 5HHHHH lodge only 139 Euro per person* *Includes transfer to and from the airport, breakfast and basic activities.
Additional meal and tour packages can be added upon request. Contact our international support office below now to learn more or book a meeting during WTM.
Phone +45 7613 4048 . firstname.lastname@example.org . www.sebatana.com
MEE US A T T
IBEROSTAR spotlights Cuba
IBEROSTAR Playa Pilar***** Jardines del Rey archipelago – Cuba
IBEROSTAR is pleased to announce that its hotels in Havana, Varadero, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba are now fully operational and welcoming guests as normal. Following the disruption caused by Hurricane Irma, we have worked side-by-side with local authorities and private organisations to ensure that normal service is resumed in time for the high season. From the famous destination of Varadero to the majestic capital of Havana, our portfolio stretches from coast to coast, with a choice of four and ﬁve star hotels in seafront and town centre locations. As part of our expansion plan for the island, we will be increasing our portfolio to a total of 20 hotels by the end of 2017, and have set a target of 12,000 rooms by 2020. Wherever you stay with us during your visit to this unique island, you’ll be guaranteed the quality standards we’ve become renowned for since opening our ﬁrst hotel in Cuba over 20 years ago. Because at IBEROSTAR, we do everything we can to make your holiday perfect. SPAIN • HUNGARY • GREECE • BULGARIA • MONTENEGRO • TUNISIA • MOROCCO CAPE VERDE • JAMAICA • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC • CUBA • MEXICO • BRAZIL • USA
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Castle of La Hulpe
our Visit EU stand:
Lion’s Mound +32 10 23 61 08 – email@example.com
© JP Van Damme
Waterloo and beyond: a lot to experience just a few miles away from Brussels!
Villers Abbey Beers and Gastronomy
w w w.w a t e r l o o a n d b eyo n d. b e
Meet the Durban Tourism Team at SA Pavilion, Stand number AF260
DISCOVER DURBAN Durban, a dynamic, progressive city on the East Coast of Africa is fast becoming the refreshing destination to explore and experience in South Africa. A global city on the rise with new international direct flights, innovative product offerings and key tourism developments. The City is built around one of the busiest ports in Africa and its multi-cultural people are its pride and wealth. Durban has recently achieved the global status of being a New 7 Wonders City of the World. Travellers get to experience the sights and sounds of this typically African city which is both alluring and fascinathing, with a wealth of influences to intertain and enrich with authentic zulu tradition, unique culinary flavours and colonial heritage
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WEBSITE BEST PRACTICE
MEDIA WEBSITE APPEAL A well-thought-out website can be key to attracting media interest in your company, writes ATTA Adventure Media member Tim Leffel, and can be a key factor in attracting press and media interest in your business.
magine an influential adventure travel blogger or major magazine freelancer has just landed on your company’s website. She is working on a story and the deadline is today. Is what you’re showing her going to lead to exposure for your company and more business? Or will she move on to your competitor instead? Based on most of the websites I run across when conducting research for travel articles, few owners or CEOs have put any thought into what happens when a journalist visits the 24/7 face of their business — the company’s website. In general, the entire site tends to be a hard sell for consumer prospects or business partners only, with very little thought given to what other purposes it should be serving. There are several website mistakes and best practices sending clear signals to travel writers. If they poke around and don’t find what they need, there’s a good chance they’re just going to leave.
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Can you afford to have that happen over and over again every month? Can you afford to pass up media opportunities that will put your company’s name, messaging, and offerings in front of thousands or even millions of travellers? If you’re not getting much media attention, you probably need to take a hard look at what you’re doing to garner that attention. People working in public relations grapple for “earned media” — free publicity earned through channels other than paid advertising or owned media. They don’t call it earned media for nothing. If you don’t roll out a
welcome mat, not much will be earned. Running press trips or inviting bloggers on a tour may cost money, but many website improvements, however, are cheap to implement. Fixing your site navigation and adding a few pages should only require a few hours of tweaking from a staffer or contractor, and it’s likely to pay off in the long run.
MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION The most glaring problem on most tour company websites (and this is even true for some destinations and hotels) is there’s no point of contact for the
“If you’re not getting much media attention, you probably need to take a hard look at what you’re doing” Tim Leffel, award-winning travel writer
WEBSITE BEST PRACTICE
media. There may be a general email address or contact information for potential customers, but nothing for people working in the media who could send a hundred or more new customers to your company next month. We call the ubiquitous forms like the one here a ‘do not contact form’. We assume your lowest-paid employee receives the messages sent this way, and we will never hear from anyone. That assumption is based on experience. Instead of a generic form, provide a direct email address for media correspondence. If journalists or bloggers think their requests are going into a black hole, they won’t bother sending them at all. If they’re on deadline, time is money. It recently took weeks for me to hear back from one adventure tour company head I had contacted in Europe through one of those forms. The reply? “He’s hiking in the mountains and can’t be reached.” That’s a company that will never get into any article with a deadline. BAD: Having a generic contact form or a standard “info@____” email address. BETTER: Having a real email address and phone number for somebody in the company with reponsibility for marketing or PR efforts. BEST: Listing information on who the media should contact with an actual person’s name, appropriate title, direct email address, and phone number.
DEDICATED MEDIA SECTION If journalists see a ‘Media’ or ‘Press Centre’ tab or button in your website’s navigation, you are already ahead of most of your peers. It shows your company cares enough about us to at least give us equal weight with ‘Weddings’ or ‘Equipment’. This section of the website should not just be a rundown of where your company has appeared, however. That isn’t much help to writers or TV producers. What we need is the information that will get you the next appearance, and the one after that. Less is definitely not more in this case. Anything you can provide to make our job easier dramatically increases the chances of us writing about you. Throw up anything and everything that might spark an article idea or help a freelancer get a
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positive response from an editor. Make note of upcoming events and anniversaries — timely pegs are important, especially in digital publishing — and keep this listing constantly updated and relevant. Maintain a robust, dedicated media section with story starters, company bios, and updated news pegs. Wondering which companies do it well? The Banff/Lake Louise media section [www.banfflakelouise.com] is a very good example of best practice. The Travel Portland [www.travelportland.com] site is a travel writer’s dream site, and the only thing wrong with the Austin Adventures [www.austinadventures.com] media section is the pop-up ad for a catalog mailing covering up what I’m reading. BAD: No media page, no media contact, and no information for journalists. BETTER: A media section with contact information, a fact sheet, low-resolution photos, and a back story.
BEST: A robust media section with all of the above plus hi-res photos with credits needed (if applicable), video, sample story ideas (including timely events), past media appearances, news, key staff bios, and information on how to apply to travel with your company for longer feature stories.
UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP) OF THE COMPANY While the USP may be a marketing term, you can bet every travel writer landing on your website wants to know what makes you different. What’s the founder’s back story? Who works there, and what are their backgrounds? What is the company or destination doing differently than its competitors? How are your tours unique? What’s the community connection? A USP should entice writers to share your company’s story. For a look at how this is done right, check out the pages from ATTA members RED Travel Mexico, [redtravelmexico.com], O.A.R.S. [www. oars.com] and Vaya Adventures [www.
BAD: No social media accounts linked from your website. BETTER: Social media icons on the Home, Contact, and About pages. BEST: Social media links/icons on every page, a feed from your key account(s) displayed on the site, and someone responding to messages/comments.
vayaadventures.com]. These ‘About’ sections intrigue travel writers, encouraging them to learn more and talk to the interesting people working at and for these companies. BAD: A generic-sounding, dry account of your company’s capabilities. BETTER: A detailed About page with a story arc, a reason for being, and a clear demonstration of unique expertise. BEST: Founder stories, staff bios, past media appearances, core beliefs, and community ties or efforts.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS Many travel writers, especially bloggers, are going to check your company’s social media accounts to get a pulse on your business. Some might even message you through Twitter or Facebook if they’re in a hurry or their emails are not getting a response. Ask yourself, are you making that an easy task? Is someone within the company tasked to reply?
ARE YOU ACTUALLY SHOWING YOUR EXPERTISE? While every business owner dreams of a big narrative feature story in a major magazine, the more frequent press coverage is going to be more modest. You’ll get a mention here, a paragraph there, maybe a link from a blogger at the end of a post. Like it or not, many of the most-read travel stories are some kind of round-up, trend piece, or list. What the writers want from you in these cases is a nice quote or two, some expert insight, and confidence you’ll return their calls later if they need more. Many media mentions are likely to be in the form of lists or trend pieces. There’s a snowball effect when you start getting quoted, but you can help that along by putting a blog on your website and posting to it regularly. If you want to be viewed as an expert in your niche, the best thing to do is talk like one. Express opinions. Tell us a story. Highlight trends. Show us your delighted customers. Maybe even stir up some controversy
now and then. If you do these things, Google will notice and we’re much more likely to find you. Travel writers start with search engines too. BAD: No clear expertise on the website. BETTER: Your company’s representatives are invited on panels at conferences and quoted in the media, and your website positions you as an industry expert. BEST: All of the above plus you have a blog that is updated regularly with articles of substance. Getting into the media on a regular basis is not magic. Make it easy to write about your company and before long that list of media clips is going to be too big to fit in your expanded media section.
TIM LEFFEL Award-winning travel writer Tim Leffel is author of The World’s Cheapest Destinations and Travel Writing 2.0. He is also co-author of Traveler’s Tool Kit: Mexico and Central America and is editor of the narrative web publication Perceptive Travel. This article was originally published in Adventure Travel News, a publication of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | timleffel.com
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IT’S TIME FOR TOURISM TO SAVE NATURE GLOBAL VILLAGE PAVILION: Stand GV252
The beautiful rainforests Ecosphere+ helps protect include well known biodiversity hotspots important for tourism, like Tambopata Reserve and Cordillera Azul National Parks in Peru and the Guatemalan Caribbean coast.
ourism relies on natural beauty, yet climate change risks destroying it. Action is
needed to protect the cultures, people and natural wonders on which tourism thrives. To invest now in sustainability is to invest in the future of the industry, whilst also ensuring future generations can enjoy the world’s most vibrant ecosystems and cultures. Tourism generates around 10% of global GDP and tourist numbers are expected to grow 3-4% per year until 2030, adding 43 million international tourists every year; making sustainability measures even more critical. Ecotourism is the fastest growing area of the tourism industry, expanding by 20-34% every year, reflecting a shift in tourists’ interests. The travel and tourism industry contributes about 5% of global carbon emissions each year, which in turn help to drive the climatic changes that threaten the very nature and beauty on which the industry relies.
Regions disrupted by extreme weather; degradation of coral reefs and coastal areas; and the loss of habitat for animals and birds are all manifestations of our changing climate. We have the power to stop this, reducing risks for the industry. One of the biggest actions the sector can take to protect nature is to take control of carbon emissions and contribute to sustainable development. Ecosphere+ can help both travellers and companies to do this.
WHO ARE WE? Ecosphere+ is a positive impact company making rainforests worth more than the land they stand on. Forests act as carbon sponges to absorb the CO2 that we all produce, so stopping deforestation is the most natural solution for offsetting carbon emissions. l We help businesses get value out of sustainable choices. l We help businesses manage their carbon footprint through protecting rainforests. l We empower consumers to save some of the world’s most vulnerable natural ecosystems through their everyday choices.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? We connect people, nature and local cultures and believe ecotourism should be a key sustainable economic activity; one that supports protected areas and communities. That is why we helped
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AIDER create The Conservation Coast; a network of ecotourism sites and ecological reserves throughout the Caribbean Region of Guatemala. We are looking for tour agencies to help us promote this unique destination. l As consumers demand better environmental performance, we can help you accelerate your transition towards sustainability. Firstly, by offsetting your carbon emissions and secondly, by developing products and services that prevent deforestation – for example, offering climate-positive flying or selling deforestation-free coffee and chocolate. l We’ve got lots of innovative digital solutions so we can help you and your customers with online offerings. l We work with clients to design creative solutions that have a positive impact, and at the same time increase engagement with consumers, employees and investors through connecting to nature. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and visit our website: www.ecosphere.plus
GOLF PARADISE Golf tourism is particularly resilient to economic downturns, Sports Marketing Surveys Inc.’s Richard Payne gives some insight into this growing market.
s Brooks Koepka surged to victory in the US Open, golf in Europe received a boost from one of the most unlikely sources imaginable. The 27-year-old Floridian may have excelled this year on the fairways of the PGA tour, but he learned his trade on the European Challenge Tour and then the European Tour. As a young pro, Brooks Koepka toured round Europe, winning trophies in Scotland, Turkey, Spain and Italy. As Sports Marketing Surveys Inc.’s tourism
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research makes clear, the golf facilities in those countries offer more than enough to appeal to Europe’s amateur golfers, just as they did to a young golfer a long way from home. With increased and improved coverage of professional golf, including the European Tour, The Open, the Ryder Cup, and after a 108-year hiatus, the Olympic Games, Europe has a real opportunity to attract visitors from all over the world to visit venues and play golf at some of its 7,249 courses.
Attracting people to those courses with the right messages remains vital, especially in the face of a decline in the number of days of golf holiday taken over the last five years. When compared with the results of research in 2012, we can confirm that European golfers are taking shorter golf breaks than they were in 2012 with the biggest drop seen by French golfers who have gone from an average of 7.2 days of golf holidays a year in 2012 to 3.9 in 2017.
THE BOOKING PROCESS The decision to book package golf holidays or book independently is relatively unchanged compared to 5 years ago. In 2012, just over half of
golfers chose to book their golf holidays independently and in 2017 this stands at 57% of British golfers, 56% of French golfers, 53% of Swedish golfers and a generous 70% of German golfers. Age and gender do not tend to influence whether golfers are more or less likely to book independently or through a package. However, a split in preferred travel operators does emerge, with older golfers more likely to use a travel agent to book their golf holiday, while younger golfers are more likely to use golf specific holiday websites. As well as taking shorter golfing holidays, golfers are feeling a need to balance the golf with a variety of other travel activities. For French and German golfers in particular, golf trips are often planned around family time, and these visitors are making time for family activities and visiting local tourist attractions.
For British golfers, on the other hand, the focal point is golf, golf and more golf; taking shorter breaks but packing in an average of 4.1 rounds of golf. French and German golfers are the most likely to travel with family members when going on a golfing holiday (41% and 45% respectively), while British golfers and less likely to travel with family (21%) but are more likely to travel with golfing friends (76%); and are less interested in holiday extras such as spa and tourist site visits.
IAGTO Established in 1997, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ (IAGTO) membership comprises 2514 accredited golf tour operators, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, receptive operators, airlines, tourist boards, approved media and business partners in 97 countries including, at its core, 672 specialist golf tour operators in 65 countries. It is estimated that IAGTO’s operators control over 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and
“Golf tour operators themselves have impacted the market dramatically by offering great short-break deals” Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO
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turnover more than €2.1 billion per year. Speaking to Destination Golf magazine [destinationgolf.travel], Peter Walton, Chief Executive of IAGTO describes how the market has changed since IAGTO was formed in 1997. “We define a golf holiday as being a vacation where golf is the primary purpose of travel, so in many ways the basics have remained the same in that avid golfers are just looking for a great golfing experience at a price they can afford. Where they go, how long they go for and who they travel with of course changes with age and changing circumstances of each individual golfer. “However, in a recent survey, 56% of IAGTO member golf resorts, golf courses and hotels reported a significant increase in women golf travellers over the past three years, and with this we have seen a growth in couples and groups of couples travelling to play golf. How people book holidays has, of course, been the biggest change over the past 20 years. “Golf tour operators have immersed themselves in online technologies and emerged with at least as great a market share as they had in the brochure age, which was a surprise to many. On average, 52% of golf vacations are booked through golf tour operators, and this percentage increases the farther a
golfer travels and the less familiar the golfer is with their chosen destination. Golf tour operators themselves have impacted the market dramatically by offering great short-break deals that are easy to book and encourage people to take many more golf holidays than perhaps they would have done previously, due to the ease of booking.” Moving on to the state of the current market, Mr Walton explained, “Of course, golf travel is not immune to those global events that have a negative impact on tourism, from economic crises to safety concerns, from natural disasters to health scares, but golf tourism time and time again bounces back quicker than any other sector of the travel industry. “The global golf tourism industry has enjoyed four years of consecutive growth (2012-2015), at rates substantially higher than those experienced by general leisure tourism. This trend has continued through the first six months of 2016 but after some really significant strides that saw golf tour operator sales grow by 30-40% since 2011, we expect the rate of growth to slow somewhat but remain consistent.” Looking at this year, Mr Walton went on, “We expect Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Vietnam and South Africa to perform strongly, with the USA seeing a strong
growth in Asian golf visitors and the UK attracting more visitors from all markets due to attractive exchange rates. “There are many new golf destinations now on offer, including Slovenia and Bulgaria in Eastern Europe, Malmo in Sweden and even within Spain you can find intriguing new golf destinations such as Logroño in Rioja country, or even Costa Dourada which is doubling its golf visitors by the year. Oman, as a golf destination, has emerged from the desert, while the once-sleepy coastal town of Danang in central Vietnam is now a golfers haven in a
IGTM – International Golf Travel Market This year’s IGTM, the global meeting place for the golf travel industry, heads to the south of France, to Cannes, where glamour awaits the golf tourism community. The International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), now celebrating its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global b2b golf travel community. Over 500 golf tourism suppliers join 400+ pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM is organised by WTM London organisers Reed Exhibitions, in partnership with IAGTO, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. This combination of event and industry expertise brings significant benefits and opportunities to the world’s golf tourism professionals attending IGTM. With a long history of success, IGTM facilitates over 14,000 quality 1:1 meetings bringing together 1,300 golf tourism
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professionals from over 65 countries including golf tour operators who collectively control 80% of the world’s outbound golf tourism market. Since its inception, the event has taken place across nine countries including the Dominican Republic, France, Italy, South Africa, Spain (various locations), Mexico, Portugal, Turkey and the USA. Every year IGTM moves location, showcasing a different golfing destination and in 2017, the 20th edition of IGTM will take place in one of the most glamourous European locations: Cannes, France from 11-14 December. The gathering of international golf tourism professionals in Cannes, is set to be the prelude to the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris and will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase France as a highly attractive golfing destination. The event takes at the Palais
RYDER CUP BOOST FOR LE GOLF
lively beach resort and fantastic city. The construction of new highways between Punta Cana and La Romana in the Dominican Republic has, in effect, created one brand new destination combining all the courses from both destinations. In the USA, golfers are discovering great golf, aweinspiring mountain views and fly-fishing in Oregon and, farther south, there is now a virtual Central American Golf Trail with some tremendous golf resorts from Guatemala through Honduras, Nicaragua, established Costa Rica and Panama to Colombia’s Cartagena on the Caribbean coast.”
September marked the start of Ryder Cup qualification for team Europe, and with that, eyes will begin to shift to Paris, and Le Golf national. France is an established golf tourism destination but with the Ryder Cup taking place in 2018, and an Olympic Golf Tournament to host in Paris in 2024, the country has a chance to cement itself as a bucket list destination for golf tourists. Next year’s Ryder Cup will be held in Continental Europe for only the second time in its history. Le Golf National will be hosting the biennial match on its L’Albatros course. Situated around 20 miles south west of Paris, the course is one of the best in the world for spectators and is consistently ranked in Europe’s top 10 courses. Last time the event was held in Europe, at the famous Gleneagles course in Scotland, in 2014, the organisers claimed an economic legacy, which
continental Europe in Pau and 22 which are ranked in the 1,000 best courses in the world, making it an ideal destination for golfers. In 2016; 64% of French, 11% of British, 7% of German and 4% of Swedish golfers took a golf trip to France. Whilst the domestic golf tourism market is strong, a fact proven by the fact that French golfers rank France as the best golf holiday destination, above Spain, France has a chance to enhance its appeal worldwide. Currently France ranks as the 10th best golf destination for UK golfers,
“There can be little doubt that the 2014 Ryder Cup has an enduring economic impact” Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director showed the event attracted more than 63,000 visitors from outside Scotland and supported a spend in excess of £106m for the host country – including the event week and extended stays by Ryder Cup attendees, £22m of which was in the host region of Perth & Kinross. Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “There is little doubt that that The 2014 Ryder Cup has an enduring economic impact that will continue to be felt as tourists come to savour Scotland’s dramatic scenery and world-class golf.” France has over 730 golf courses, including the oldest course in
and the 14th best destination among Swedish golfers. Just as Celtic Manor provided a boost to Welsh golf tourism in 2010, a year of hype and week of stellar golf has the chance to put Le Golf National and golf in France in general at the forefront of golfers’ minds. France offers the chance to tie in a golf trip with either a city break or a sunny holiday in the south, with food, wine and cultural delights. Working out how to market these charms to the world’s golfers is the key challenge for France, just as it is for every country offering a golf tourism proposition.
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des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes. As well as the networking and business opportunities available through the one-to-one appointment experience, the various events throughout the four days provide unique opportunities for visitors to meet, network and develop their knowledge and understanding of the industry. IGTM has a programme of events that provide a show experience like no other. The event opens with the IGTM golf
tournament and official welcome reception, and for the 20th edition celebration concludes with the after party hosted by Atout France. Each of these events provides buyers and suppliers with less formal networking opportunities, along with the chance to experience the best of French cuisine and culture. The Cannes event features more than 20 new exhibitors from countries including South Africa, Cyprus, Japan, Portugal and Spain, as well as returning destinations such as Dubai, further highlighting the event’s global appeal. FAM trips at key golfing destinations in France, including Côte d’Azur, Normandy and Biarritz, will also be organised before IGTM for operators and press in the golf travel sector. Cannes and the wider Côte d’Azur is one of Europe’s most stylish golfing destinations with a wealth of golf courses, many of which are internationally renowned.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | igtm.wtm.com
The Golf Tourism Market Golf’s 2020 Vision, an HSBC report, looks in detail at the golf market, including predictions for tourism. While the global economy struggles with the aftershocks of the Euro-American financial crisis, golf’s positioning as an upmarket sport has meant that it has benefited from the continuing surge in spending by the top 10%. Simply put, golf tourists represent the top end of the tourist market. China’s Hainan Island, for example, is one of the areas being developed by the Chinese authorities as part of a planned tourism strategy, and there are plans for up to ten courses on it. Some of the demand will come from within China, but some will also come from elsewhere in East Asia. The proximity of many Chinese courses to Korea and Japan, and competitive prices (even after allowing for flights) mean that Korean and Japanese golfers are likely to head to China at the weekend. The boom in Asian golf tourism has not gone unnoticed at IAGTO, the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators. More than half of IAGTO’s 450 golf tour operator members sell Asian golf destinations. Typically, a golf tourism strategy links
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tourism with competition golf. Abu Dhabi, for example, is now a destination on the European Golf Tour, with three championship courses in the Gulf region’s top four. In turn, this means that they are able to promote tourist packages. “Golf tourism,” says Dayne Lim of the country’s tourism authority, “is a core pillar in Abu Dhabi’s long-term tourism strategy.” For the region, it is a sound strategy. Golf courses in the Middle East are more likely to be profitable than those elsewhere in Europe or Africa, according to research. Countries which have little in the way of a golf tradition have also started to invest in courses as a way of supporting their tourism strategy. Vietnam, for example, has constructed a number of luxury courses, including the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, which connects six luxury golf courses and resorts. St Andrew’s Royal and Ancient Golf Club estimates that worldwide, currently there are 556 new golf course projects in various stages of active construction or advanced planning, with more than half associated with tourism resort developments.
GOLF NUMBERS Although there are no official figures, there are an estimated 60-70 million golfers worldwide. Golf events are said to be worth close to $2 billion a year, and the golf tourism market more than $1 billion. As of year-end 2016, there were thought to be around 34,000 golf facilities in the world. With about 85 per cent of countries having at least one course. The USA leads the pack with 15,372 courses. Still, the sport is geographically concentrated, with 74% of the world’s courses located in the top 10 golfing countries: the United States, South Africa, England, Australia, Germany, France, Scotland, Sweden, Japan and Canada.
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GLOBAL WEDDING MARKET The global wedding industry is estimated to be worth over $300 billion, with wedding destinations accounting for a sizable percentage. Luxury Weddings Worldwide’s Susan Barone takes a look at some of the current trends.
he wedding consumer is a very different travel consumer because of their need for a wedding focus with their travel plans. A travel brochure or website is not enough. With more than 23% of couples choosing to get married away from home, there are no signs of this specialty niche market slowing down. The global wedding industry is estimated at $300 billion with destination weddings accounting for an estimated $16 billion and is predicted to keep growing. This increase also extends to food & beverage, florals, wedding dresses, jewellery, wedding planners and let’s not forget the cake!
THE MILLENNIAL WEDDING Creativity is very important to capture the hearts of the millennial wedding couple. The need to have something unique in a faraway location is building global awareness for weddings. Exotic destinations like Morocco, Dubai, Thailand and Japan are increasing in
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demand. It’s wonderful that destination wedding consumers now have new options to help design their special day.
FIVE TOP WEDDING TRENDS Not only has there been definite growth in the destination wedding business, there has also been a particular change happening that is surely bringing additional business to the travel trade. In recent years there has been a considerable increase in specialty groups, romance travel, and proposals, all of which provides great business opportunities to the industry. 1. Unique locations – beach weddings in a tropical location is what started this very popular trend, however, the new direction is very different. Innovative and unique locations are on the rise; medieval villages that allow their history to shine through, private Islands, offering total exclusivity, and castles, full of romance, are just a few of the new sought after wedding locales.
2. Personal customisation – couples today have total personalisation and unforgettable guest experiences front of mind. This is an ongoing trend as couples are, for example, adding local cultural experiences of the region to their wedding day. Customization also allows couples to add their own personal style to their wedding experience. 3. Traditions – This has become an important element to some couples. Adding their traditions, whether it’s getting married in a Catholic Church, or having two wedding ceremonies sharing two different cultures or an Indian Wedding with its many associated celebrations and important cultural traditions. 4. Off-Property Weddings – private villas, historical buildings, exclusive beach locations, private wine cellars or vineyards are currently very popular venue options and often take the wedding group off the hotel property. Off property weddings add
excitement and a very different element, allowing the guests to enjoy a unique and memorable experience. 5. Group Activities – adding unforgettable excursions during the wedding group’s time together is very popular and continues to build revenue for the suppliers and destinations. It’s not just good business for the hotels and airlines, this special market is also important to local Destination Marketing Organisations, that can often facilitate unique group excursions, transportation companies, local entertainment, local planners and design specialists.
TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Travel specialists wishing to succeed in this market need to do their research to ensure travel companies or host agencies are equipped to properly service the wedding group clientele. Technology such as a wedding website, with the couple’s travel and wedding information, is an
important feature, as well as ‘E-vites’ which can be sent out to all the guests, spreadsheets for guest count and an easy registration and payment format is useful. Social media is an easy and cost-effective method for advertising opportunities, especially during the wedding day; make sure you ask your couple to hashtag your business on their posts. Some couples
are now taking the technology aspect to new levels, with Destination Weddings Travel Group reporting instances of things like custom Snapchat geofilters and 3D printing. Website The Knot reports couples turning indoor venues into lush gardens with projection technology image mapping that allows couples to transform a space with lighting and moving pictures.
TAKING THE MARKET’S PULSE USA-based Travel Agent Central recently talked to key US-based personnel. When asked where couples are tying the knot? “Beaches are by far the most desired traditional wedding destinations,” said Jenna Mahoney, travel editor of Bridal Guide Magazine. More specifically, “the Caribbean and Mexico remain the most popular destinations,” by a wide margin. Beyond the beaches, “Italy remains popular and weddings at castles in Ireland have been picking up steam.” Uniqueness, one-upmanship and bragging rights also come into play. “Clients come to me not wanting to visit the same destinations that their friends went to on their honeymoon,” says Anna Yott of Dream Come True Vacations. “They want theirs to be unique.” These days, particularly with millennial couples, it’s not just about where to go, but also what there is to do at a given destination.
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THE TOP TEN In addition to searching for that one-off wedding destination, couples are also looking to push the boat out for a unique honeymoon experience. 1. Full-On Farm Honeymoons Booking volunteer trips through farm owners on the likes of Airbnb and Help Exchange. 2. Road Trip Honeymoons What’s more romantic than the open road? Think Pacific Coast Highway. 3. Intimate Boat Trip Honeymoons Smaller luxury vessels are a fun alternative to typical honeymoons. 4. Two Honeymoons More and more couples are taking a shorter (and usually less expensive) ‘mini-moon’ right after their wedding and a larger trip a few months later. 5. Adventurous Honeymoons Active couples, used to adventurous holidays, take that ethos on their honeymoons.
SMARTPHONES FOR PLANNING Couples are researching everything from wedding dresses to destinations on mobile applications. In 2014, the use of smartphones to access wedding planning websites has nearly doubled from 2011 (33%) to 2014 (61%). Last year’s WeddingWire report found that couples report conducting 50% of their wedding planning from a smartphone or tablet device, spending at least one to two hours a day planning from a smartphone with one third of couples using at least one wedding-related app.
NO AGE LIMIT And remember, weddings and honeymoons are not just for young newly weds. Operator Kuoni reported earlier this year that, according to the Office of National Statistics, marriage rates among the over-65s increased by almost a half between 2009 and 2014, and that has been reflected in the company’s honeymoon bookings, with those aged
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between 35 and 79 accounting for 26 per cent of all honeymoons in 2016. For the European market, Kuoni also found that, although the majority of couples get married in the summer, which doesn’t always match the best weather in some long-haul destinations, they are seeing more couples opting for a short, European stay after their wedding – with Italy and Greece the most popular – and then heading off for a longer holiday later in the year.
SUSAN BARONE Susan Barone is Founder and Director of Luxury Weddings Worldwide and InStyle Vacations. A regular contributor to bridal publications, Susan’s expertise is regularly called upon for workshops, seminars and trade shows related to travel and destination weddings.
FOR MORE INFORMATION | instylevacations.ca
6. Foodie Honeymoons We’re talking about seriously memorable culinary experiences. 7. YOLO Honeymoons Travel agents are reporting that they’re seeing longer, more exotic and more expensive trips to You Only Live Once destinations like Bora Bora, Thailand, the Maldives and Bali, Indonesia. 8. Volunteer Honeymoons Green trips have been trending for a while, and now, more newlyweds are carrying that same do-good attitude even further by adding volunteering to their itinerary. 9. River Cruise Honeymoons These inland cruises have all the conveniences of an ocean cruise but with serious cool credentials. 10. Eco-Tourism Honeymoons Eco-friendly resorts have proven that going green can still be totally luxurious. Source: theknot.com
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WTM Buyers’ Club members are some of the most travelled people on the planet. Lee Gavigan asked members to nominate their must have toys.
SAMSUNG GEAR 360 VR CAMERA The Gear 360 looks like something out of a futurist’s dream. Thanks to its dual 180-degree cameras, the Gear 360 is capable of shooting full 360-degree video footage – which gives you the chance to create your own VR photos and movies. Price | £349.00 | samsung.com
DALI KATCH PORTABLE AUDIO SYSTEM Setting fresh standards in portable audio, The DALI KATCH has two audio profiles: ‘Clear’ and ‘Warm’. ‘Clear’ is perfect for most listening situations and music genres. ‘Warm’ is for when your music just needs that little extra bass – which also works perfectly when playing larger rooms. The perfect way to listen to music on your travels. Price | £329 | dali-speakers.com
BLUESMART SMART SUITCASE Bluesmart created the world’s first smart luggage. Now the second generation is being crowd-funded. Not one, but four products: a Cabin, a Check, a Laptop Bag and a Passport Pouch. All connected to an app and featuring location tracking, digital locking, superchargers and much, much more. Price | £350 (cabin 22”) | uk.bluesmart.com
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MORPHIE JUICE PACK AIR The protective juice pack air battery case delivers up to 60% extra battery with enough power to extend the life of your iPhone 7 Plus to a total of 33 hours and features charge force wireless power. Price | From £89.95 | uk.mophie.com
SONY ALPHA A7II Fantastic pics from your travels – or even just for your marketing material – means that investing in a proper camera and ditching the smartphone for ‘real’ pictures is a traveller’s no-brainer. They don’t come much better than Sony’s Alpha A7 II. Think full frame sensor, 24.3-megapixel resolution, 5-axis image stabilization and a whole range of Sony’s well-reviewed lenses to choose from. Just a shame about the price! Price | £1,199 (body only) | sony.co.uk
THE NORTH FACE SURGE II CHARGED BACKPACK Super-charged for explorers looking for a versatile power management solution to get them through the day, the 32-litre Surge II is hooked up with a large-capacity Joey™ T55 power supply to recharge your electronic devices. Multiple internal pockets in the front compartment and the 17” laptop pocket all connect to the integrated cable system. Price | £175 | thenorthface.co.uk
APPLE WATCH AND MOSHI TRAVEL STAND A stylish and affordable option for your Apple watch is the Travel Stand from Moshi. While you have to add your own Apple Watch charging cable, once you do, you’ll have a more cost-effective option that can travel easily. The aluminum hinge can be adjusted to support your Apple Watch in Nightstand mode – hey presto an alarm clock! Price | Watch From £269.00 Moshi Stand £29.95 | apple.com | moshi.com
With little effort, this portable espresso machine helps you prepare amazing shots, with a quality close to that of traditional machine. No need for a barista when you need a lift, open your bag, sit back, relax and enjoy fresh coffee on the go anytime. Price | £49.95 | wacaco.com
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www.hotelindigolowereastside.com 171 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002 Phone: 212-237-1776 I Fax: 212-237-1777
EXPERIENCE LIFE AS A NATIVE NEW YORKER AT HOTEL INDIGO LOWER EAST SIDE : IN Inn Code Chain Code : NYCOS GDS Codes : 270715 Sabre : NYCC96 Amadeus 3222 Worldspan : Galileo : B0778
HOTEL INDIGO LOWER EAST SIDE features 294 well-appointed guest rooms, including four large luxury suites, and one spectacular Duplex Penthouse Suite on the 25th and 26th floors overlooking downtown Manhattan.
Guests will enjoy an expansive, elegant lobby with an inviting centrally-located lobby bar and grab and go café. Our rooftop restaurant Mr. Purple will offer a menu that focuses on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, from coffee and cocktails to fresh-made bread and artisan cheeses. All served in a vibrant atmosphere that guests and locals can enjoy.
Ideally located in the heart of downtown New York City sits the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, featuring spacious accommodation breathtaking Manhattan views and a refreshingly local hotel experience.
First, we recommend walking over to the home of downtown’s contemporary art hub, New Museum. It’s a L.E.S. Primary cultural hub, mounting contemporary art shows that draw interest form observers around the world. Then just one block away, grab a bite at the classic Katz’s Delicatessen where When Harry Met Sally was filmed for one of their legendary Pastrami or Reuben sandwiches. In addition, we are walking distance to the local hot spots and many iconic NYC areas such as Soho, Tribeca, Chinatown, Little Italy and West Village.
NEIGHBORHOOD STORY #UNIQUELY LOCAL
An electric community grown from immigrant roots, the Lower East Side supplies ample excitement around every corner! From classic must-see sights to insider top picks that stand out.
Suppose we told you about a neighborhood with some of the city’s best nightlife, along with outstanding restaurants and shops. Conveniently located in lower Manhattan. It’s vital and energetic, changing yet still completely New York City. It’s vibrant and full of art. Few other neighborhoods offer such a complete city experience.
From the moment you walk in, you will capture the exciting detail expressed through contemporary artwork and cutting-edge furnishings that reflect the vibrant neighborhood around us.
© 2015 - 2016 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.
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Brazil. Beauty that inspires the world.
Porto de Galinhas – Pernambuco
Foz do Iguaçu – Paraná
Rio de Janeiro
Manaus – Amazonas
Amazing and multiple natural beauties are waiting for you in Brazil. A different experience that you understand only when you visit. Florianópolis – Santa Catarina
Bonito – Mato Grosso do Sul
AROUND THE WORLD
WANDERLUST Working on WTM Business, it’s fair to say we all have our little moments of green eyed jealousy as endless photos of beautiful destinations drop into our inboxes. Here we take a look at some stories that have amused us over the last year. TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Space tourism? To be honest, here at WTM Business Towers, we’ve all become slightly bored with the constant chatter about trips to space in the near future. It’s the ‘near’ word that defeats us. Next year? Next decade? Next century? We’ve been hoarding spare coppers in our piggy banks for years now and we just can’t
Well, make that 18 months and 26 days, On July 24, 2015, 28-year-old American Cassie De Pecol departed on a trip to travel to all 193 Sovereign Nations plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Palestine, to break a Guinness World Record as the ‘Fastest Person (Female) to Travel to All Sovereign Nations’. And she did it. On February 2, 2017, Cassie completed Expedition 196 in Yemen, taking just 18 months and 26 days, breaking the previous record by one year and nine months. Congratulations!
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seem to find an actual date for when we’ll be able to don our spacesuits, go all Buzz Lightyear stony-faced and head for the launchpad humming Space Oddity. However, as viewer’s of Professor Brian Cox’s recent BBC documentary – The 21st Century Race For Space – will have seen, it may be time to dial down our cynicism and take a hammer to the piggy bank. Certainly Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America, in the New Mexico desert, looks like a not inconsiderable investment and that Elon Musk has a certain focus about his various projects. Maybe ‘near’ is becoming ‘now’?
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When Architectural Digest magazine asked whether Bali’s Bambu Indah Hotel was ‘the world’s most Exotic Hotel’, they were simply adding to the string of plaudits and awards that have come the way of this ‘eco lifestyle boutique hotel’ since it opened in 2005. Originally based around eleven antique Javanese bridal homes, which were brought to Bali, restored, and decorated with the finest details, the hotel has evolved into a resort that prides itself on combining the best of antique architecture and design, with modern and sustainable practices in a luxury environment.
A ROOM WITH A VIEW A treehouse. In the Arctic. It makes no sense! However, Finland’s Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, Lapland, offers a brand new way to experience the Arctic Circle and the beauty of the Northern Lights. With spectacular views over the treetops, the 32 Arctic TreeHouse Suites and five Arctic Glass Houses offer an exclusive combination of local tradition, Lappish heritage and modern Scandinavian design. And, of course, Santa gets in on the act too, with SantaPark Arctic World’s mix of Christmas fairytale, nature escape and cultural feast.
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CARE FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE. Helping the creative spirit of Jamaica shine on. The TUI Care Foundation finds smart ways to build on the positive power of tourism, to enrich the lives of local people and places. For example, in Jamaica, weâ€˜re working with the Travel Foundation and the artists and artisans of the Harbour Street Craft Market, where visitor numbers had started falling. Our programme helped local traders complement their considerable, creative talent with the customer service and business skills needed to bring back the crowds, and get the market buzzing once again. Find out more at tuicarefoundation.com
Official Business Magazine for WTM Buyers' Club Members