Page 1

Cover

2/6/09

17:11

Page 1


inside front cover

2/6/09

17:12

Page 1

The Tourism Society Trinity Court, 34 West Street, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1SH T 020 8661 4636 F 020 8661 4637 E journal@tourismsociety.org W www.tourismsociety.org Registered in England No. 01366846. ISSN: 02613700 Designed and produced by Wharncliffe Publishing Contact Tony Barry 47 Church Street Barnsley S70 2AS T 01226 734333 E tb@whpl.net W www. whpl.net Š Copyright 2009 The Tourism Society Tourism is the journal of the Tourism Society.The views expressed in Tourism are those of individual authors and not necessarily those of the Tourism Society. Whilst unsolicited material is welcomed, neither transparencies nor unpublished articles can be returned. The Tourism Society cannot be held responsible for any services offered by advertisers in Tourism. All correspondence must be addressed to the Editor. Tourism is only available to members of the Tourism Society and on subscription, it is distributed quarterly to 1500 professionals working in national and regional tourist boards, local government, travel agencies, and tour operators, visitor attractions, accommodation and catering, entertainment, information services, guiding, consultancies and education and training. Britain images Š www.britainonview.com


01 contents

2/6/09

12:53

Page 1

Contents

Editorial The Recession: Something to be endured or an opportunity No two recessions are alike; some have produced high inflation, unemployment, industrial unrest, debt and a devalued pound; others low inflation, limited debt and low interest rates. The normal response to inflation is to restrict the money supply by putting up interest rates. Historically, the Bank of England used to call for special deposits from all banks to reduce market liquidity. As a marketer, what type of recession have we got and what is its impact on our market? Within tourism it is a mixed bag.The positives are: a devalued pound, in some cases by 28%, making the UK a very attractive destination, not just flights, but the cost of living, dining and attractions are more affordable. Therefore we have a huge opportunity to attract inbound visitors. Other factors are: good (some would say over-zealous) security, an innovatively improved product, and the marcoms challenge is increasingly being made easier.Time to shift our emphasis and persuade the population to stay home? However, outbound agencies and operators and will be facing huge increases in costs due to the weak pound and its knock-on effect. For my family’s trip to Italy, I have found a good deal on the flights but the car hire is up 30% and although the accommodation costs are the same as last year, I will be suffering from the exchange loss on the Euro. This said, our marketing approach may seek to move from price to quality. People still wish to travel and many will just take the hit like me. We need to think of innovative ways to attract and retain customers this year. The increase in web use in the tourism market has been huge, but there is much to be said for letting the professionals find you the best deal. Therefore a second differentiator: compete on service. Finally, if you feel that your income is going to drop by 10% or 15%, work to secure the 85% or 90% you may get. Chris Lenton DipM, FCIM, FCCA, FCIS | Chairman,The Chartered Institute of Marketing

The Impact of the Recession on International Tourism 2 Professor Geoffrey Lipman FTS, Christel de Haan Tourism & Travel Research Institute,Victoria University, UNWTO The Impact of the Recession on Airlines Barry Humphreys, Chairman, BATA

3

Marketing the Capital out of a Crisis Carolyn Smith, Director of International Promotion and Visitor Economy, London Development Agency

4

Funding for Tourism in Wales John Walsh-Heron FTS, Managing Director,Tourism Quality Services Ltd, Chairman,Tourism Society Wales

6

Credit crunch marketing – Sri Lanka uses tried and tested “2for1” tactics 7 Sanjika Perera MTS, Director of Tourism UK and Ireland, Sri Lanka Tourist Board Reacting to a Recession: Tourism Marketing to the USA 8 Patrick J. O’Shea FTS CTC, Principle,TMS Reacting to a Recession: Tourism Marketing to the USA 9 Alan Waddell – Chief Operating Officer,Visit USA (UK) Ltd Small Businesses and the Recession – How are hospitality SMEs responding? 10 Steve Burns MTS, Senior Lecturer – Tourism Management, Liverpool John Moores University Recession Tool Kit for Travel Agents Casia Zajac, Head of Communications, ABTA

12

Recession Busting Marketing Ideas 13 Ashley de Safrin MTS, Business Link Adviser, Hospitality and Tourism, Business Link in London Making The Most Of Your Marketing Budget Chris Carter MTS, Business Development Executive, Carrier Direct Marketing

14

The Importance of Improving Skills in a Recession Susan Briggs MTS, Director,The Tourism Network

16

Book Reviews

18

Membership News

20

From the President’s Desk WHAT are we doing about 2012? Three years ago the Society’s most prestigious award went to the Olympic bid team, and very well deserved it was. How well I recall the euphoria of good old Britain winning a bid for an international competition – the international competition - and the joy of looking forward to what would be a happy showcase of British know-how. I took it as read that with the Government in full support we would be out there banging the drum and marketing our socks off to get the most out of this massive investment and all its potential for future tourism.This year is described in the VisitBritain strategic plan as “building momentum” which was always ambitious given the Treasury’s cuts in their budget. From recent conversations with a number of senior industry figures it is clear that momentum is not building fast enough. It

www.tourismsociety.org

seems to me that there should be a separate and clearly allocated resource for Olympic promotion; after all, which business would invest billions in a new venture and not give the marketing department a farthing extra? Mousing idly through the web site I found this: “DCMS 2012 Tourism Strategy” states that “we need to do all we can to ensure that overseas visitors receive a welcome second to none when they come to Britain.” This follows an observation from a survey of overseas visitors that rates Britain poorly for the quality of welcome. Not surprising. For many, the experience begins with the rigours of a less than sympathetic entry clearance officer to get an expensive visa, and continues with a pretty severe experience with immigration control at the airport - but these are attributes we share with a number of other

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

countries. Perhaps the worst is the outbreak of signs indicating that you will be arrested the moment you raise your voice when you have been treated like cattle. Aren’t efficient service and a friendly demeanour both the best protection and the best way to sell Britain? Someone tell the FCO. Lord Thurso MP FTS | President, Tourism Society

1


02

2/6/09

16:26

Page 2

Global tourism

The impact of the recession on international tourism ‘Typically, across the entire ‘travelism’ industry, we are seeing fewer trips, shorter booking lead times, restricted stays, closer destinations and lower expenditure’ Almost half way into 2009 and the best we can say about the global outlook for ‘travelism’ (tourism and travel) is “more of the same”. Continuing declines in most international markets and some resilience in domestic and close regional markets is the order of the day, based on actual results for the first quarter of the year and expectations for the second quarter and beyond. Three key underlying factors remain as they have been for the past nine months when the global downturn became evident. Added to this is the depressant effect of a possible influenza pandemic that emerged in the last couple of months with a clear potential to adversely affect travel. First and foremost, the macroeconomic signals are still unpredictable and we remain in the grip of the worst global recession since the 1930s. Global institutional forecasts from the World Bank, the IMF and the OECD show periodic downward adjustment, and as of writing the consensus seems to be that 2009 global economic performance will show a 1-2% negative growth. Second, business and consumer confidence is low and signals from the financial and stock markets are at best mixed and changeable. Each positive indicator – like a strong performance by a global IT company, or big board reaction to the US Bank stress test – eems matched by collapse of a car manufacturer, failure of another airline or continued spread of A(H1N1) influenza. Typically, across the entire ‘travelism’ industry, we are seeing fewer trips, shorter booking lead times, restricted stays, closer destinations and lower expenditure.

Third, industry performance remains poor in terms of traffic and economics. IATA predicts airline

performance in 2009 at -5.7% and UNWTO cautions that its forecast based on historical data shifts at -2% is more likely to be around -5% based on ongoing market changes and expectations. Only the cruise industry seems to show some strength in passenger levels, but like other sectors discounting makes yields less buoyant. And of course the drop in fuel prices from their early 2008 peaks is a major positive factor for all sectors, but particularly transport. The only real positive indicator – but it’s a potentially transformational one – is the roll out of stimulus packages around the world, based on the exceptional unity of G20 Members at the April London Summit.These are, of course, focused on domestic demand but there are evident international implications – particularly when coupled with open trade and development support strategies. It is too early to assess results even at the overall economic level but there are ‘green shoot’ indicators in some key markets like China and the US, and there are also deliberate points of focus on travel-related areas that are very

Professor Geoffrey Lipman FTS | UNWTO | Victoria University & The DeHaan Institute

2

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

promising. For example, Chinese Government targeted travel in its domestic stimulus package as well as declaring its support for the continued growth of outbound travel to help regional economies; the Thai Government took away visa taxes and the Dutch Government formally eliminated its airport departure tax. Sadly, the UK Government, with the most outrageous international departure tax, announced its intention to increase it. At UNWTO there has been a significant shift in activity to track these events in real time and to help develop response strategies for its Members and other stakeholders through timely information, sharing best practice and identifying strategic directions. Its Resilience Committee has been meeting regularly through the past year and it is working on a seven-point Roadmap for Recovery at its Assembly in October. A joint meeting with the Tourism Society in London on 14th July will be an important opportunity for reflection and input.

journal@tourismsociety.org


03

2/6/09

16:27

Page 1

Aviation

The impact of the recession on airlines ‘The recent weakening of the pound has meant that the UK has become a more attractive destination for some, but outbound tourism is suffering and operators have been forced to cut capacity’ The main cause for concern for airlines all over the world last summer was the spiralling cost of jet fuel, which approached the dizzying and unprecedented height of over $150 a barrel. Nearly twelve months on, with the price currently stabilized at around $50 $60, things have improved somewhat, but as we enter the summer period this year the sharp deterioration in the global economy that started in the autumn is having an even worse impact on aviation. The global recession is undoubtedly affecting the aviation industry, compounding the damage done by the higher oil price last year. In the UK we are also being hit by a range of other factors, including increased taxation and higher airport and air traffic control charges. And let’s not forget swine flu! This is not a good time to be an airline investor. The Dutch Government recently announced that it was abandoning its

www.tourismsociety.org

version of Air Passenger Duty (APD) from 1st July, recognising the damage this tax was doing to the overall economy. This should have been a wake-up call for the UK Government. Unfortunately, the UK Budget contained no words of comfort for the travelling public or airlines – indeed it seems that the ratcheting up of APD rates and the introduction of new geographical bands will go ahead as planned on 1st November, with a further substantial increase in November 2010. No other country in the world operates such a punitive taxation regime for air travel, and imposing even higher levels of tax on international trade and transport in a time of recession is madness. Don’t forget as well that tourism is one of the UK’s largest export industries. What other industry faces substantial taxation on its exports? The price of a visitor visa for the UK increased to £67 in April, the ‘e-Borders’ border management project is stuttering into life with associated increased costs for carriers flying into and out of the UK, but with no discernable benefit for them or the travelling public.The trial period for ID Cards for airside workers starts in November, again with no obvious benefits for anyone, and there are even proposals to charge the maritime and aeronautical sectors for using radio spectrum, something we use primarily to ensure operational safety. The recent weakening of the pound has

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

meant that the UK has become a more attractive destination for some, but outbound tourism is suffering and operators have been forced to cut capacity.The downturn in consumer confidence, the contraction in economic activity and the reduction in the size of the City of London have all led to a fall in demand for airline seats. The net impact has been heavily negative. As a response, airlines of all types have cut back on capacity and vigorously reduced fares in order to maintain load factors. Costs across the board are being controlled as much as possible, including significant staff reductions, wage freezes and the grounding of aircraft. Further consolidation in the industry is expected, continuing a trend apparent before the recession. Unfortunately, there will almost certainly also be more cases of airlines failing before this recession is over. The impact of the recession is significantly worse than that which followed 9/11. Aviation in the UK does not look to Government for bail-outs, unlike many other industries, but surely it is not unreasonable to expect the Government to resist actually making matters worse? The green lobby has been hugely influential with its anti plane and car rhetoric. It really is time for the UK Government to wake up to the damage it is doing and start to eliminate all these taxes on air travel and business and start to support one of the country’s most successful industries.

Dr Barry Humphreys | Chairman |British Air Transport Association

3


4&5

2/6/09

16:51

Page 2

The LDA Economic Recovery Campaign Marketing the capital out of a crisis Peter Drucker once wrote that, since the purpose of business is to generate customers, only two functions do this: marketing and innovation. We’ve taken heed and have ploughed resources into both in the last six months in order to support tourism in London and to stem any potential downturn. We started by funding a series of campaigns from December to March in the UK and Europe through Visit London – dipping our toe into ‘recession marketing’. They worked.The UK campaign, with £150,000 from the London Development Agency (LDA) and £20,000 from Superbreak, returned £1.75m in economic benefit. A tester campaign in Europe with £150,000 match funding from Ryanair generated a healthy return of £5 million. Researching this campaign we learnt that our European visitors were not actually aware, before they travelled, of the huge advantage of the exchange rate. On arrival, they suddenly found themselves spending much more than planned! The subsequent campaign from January to March with £300,000 from the LDA and with support funding from Ryanair and Easyjet, contained this exchange rate message loud and clear.

‘Only in London’ So what about the innovation? Our research also told us that visitors to London want to be stimulated by eyecatching opportunities and, particularly, unique experiences.The exchange rate

may be good but something quite special has to trigger a visit. The result is the ‘Only in London’ campaign, with £2 million LDA funding and developed by Visit London, highlighting the unique experiences that only London can offer. The campaign broke at the end of April in the UK with some highly creative stunts. We offered High Tea on the top of The Monument and gave ‘Little Ben’ at Victoria Station the chimes of its big brother for the day. For the first time ever the Evening Standard ran advertising on the front page of the paper. The editorial team gave us considerable support in kind. The excellent support of £100,000 each from the four central boroughs (Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and the City of London) and extensive partner support from British Airways, Ryanair, Heathrow Express and Radisson Edwardian, means the campaign is running with enabling price points and motivating offers in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada.

‘We offered High Tea on the top of The Monument and gave ‘Little Ben’ at Victoria Station the chimes of its big brother for the day. For the first time ever the Evening Standard ran advertising on the front page of the paper. The editorial team gave us considerable support in kind’

4

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

The full mix of advertising, promotions and PR is promoting tactical, exchangerate-driven value offers on transport, hotels and attractions, designed to generate immediate visits. London businesses can use ‘Only in London’ as an umbrella for their own activities. Indeed, they have been hugely enthusiastic in sending in ideas for London’s unique experiences and Visit London is happy to collect 1000 things if suggestions keep coming in. Public relations in all markets will use these to refresh the campaign and promote London in more depth.

Only in London Bring out your star qualities with some other famous London experiences …  Recreate the famous Beatles album cover on Abbey Road

journal@tourismsociety.org


4&5

2/6/09

16:52

Page 3

 See Pete Townsend's smashed guitar at the V&A’s new Theatre and Performance Galleries  Stay in The Dome Suite at Hilton London Hyde Park which was used in the 1972 Alfred Hitchcock movie "Frenzy" starring Marlene Dietrich  Watch a performance at the famous Brit School in Croydon – whose alumni include Amy Winehouse, Adele and Kate Nash

Measuring the impact Because of the nature of this campaign – both long term brand building and tactical – and because there are multiple calls to action and no single point of booking, we need to measure the results in terms of months rather than weeks. We also know that the time lag between visitors seeing a piece of promotion and acting upon it is about 3 months in the UK and 6 months overseas. So we expect the first results for the UK in July and for Europe and USA in December. Measurement will include response to partner campaigns, traffic to visitlondon.com, reader response surveys and other sources for each territory. Evaluation will follow the standard VisitBritain/National Audit Office endorsed methodology. Our estimate is that the campaign will deliver £66 million in incremental spend direct to London’s economy.

‘Because of the nature of this campaign – both long term brand building and tactical – and because there are multiple calls to action and no single point of booking, we need to measure the results in terms of months rather than weeks.’

www.tourismsociety.org

The LDA aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners – working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth. It is responsible for the development and promotion of tourism in London and majority funds VisitLondon to deliver the marketing for the capital.

LDA support for tourism Funding advertising campaigns is only part of our support for London tourism businesses. Over the next year, the LDA will continue to implement a range of activities as part of the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Action Plan, to help Londoners find a job, stay in work and emerge stronger despite the economic downturn. Business Link in London, which is

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

wholly funded by the LDA, offers a vast range of advice and support. For information see www.businesslink.gov.uk/london or call the helpline on 0845 6000787. We also offer workshops on a range of subjects including crisis management. Our popular free toolkit, Business As Usual, can be downloaded from www.lda.gov.uk/tourismsupport.

Carolyn Smith, Director |International Promotion and Visitor Economy | London Development Agency

5


06

2/6/09

16:30

Page 2

Domestic case study: Wales Funding for tourism in Wales Although facing challenges in the current economic climate, the tourism industry in Wales stands to gain as visitors in greater numbers consider a holiday in the UK this year. There are opportunities for operators to build customer loyalty from new visitors to Wales who are looking for the best quality they can afford. A £2.2 million Visit Wales UK marketing campaign aims to position Wales as a value destination where visitors can find real value and authentic quality. However, for those sectors for which advanced bookings are the norm, many operators are confirming what was expected to happen this year is indeed the case with our visitors postponing making a decision on their holiday plans until much nearer the time so continued marketing effort is vital. Specific Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) initiatives for the tourism sector in response to the economic downturn include:  Two tourism summits;  A pledge by the Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones AM, to continue working with the industry to protect business and jobs; and  Putting into place new industry and government partnerships to help resolve key issues raised by operators in the summits.VW in conjunction with the Wales Tourism Alliance have established three Task And Finish Groups to further specific projects. Go to: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/tourism/ne ws/taskandfinish/?lang=en for further information Tourism businesses in Wales have traditionally sought funding from the Wales Tourist Board to support product development. There has been industry confusion and misconceptions about where to go for funding following the Wales Tourist Board’s merger with the Welsh Assembly Government and the subsequent absorption of Section 4 tourism grant into the Single Investment Fund (SIF).This situation is now improving and since April

6

John Walsh-Heron FTS | Managing Director | Tourism Quality Services Ltd | Chairman, Tourism Society Wales

‘A £2.2 million Visit Wales UK marketing campaign aims to position Wales as a value destination where visitors can find real value and authentic quality’ 2008 Assembly Government grants of £2.8 million have been awarded to tourism projects generating £27.6 million of investment. With further grant applications this figure is expected to exceed £7.4 million potentially taking grant support some way over the historical £3.5 million annually available from the former Wales Tourist Board’s Section 4 tourism grant scheme. For further information about the Single Investment Fund see http://www.businesssupportwales.gov.uk/business_support/investment /single_investment_fund_sif.aspx or telephone 03000 6 03000. There is still a need for holistic thinking about tourism from the Welsh Assembly Government departments and coordination of effort. However the SIF scheme together with

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

practical actions to support individuals and businesses in Wales via the Flexible Support for Business website (which also includes a dedicated Leading Wales Out of Recession section, see http://www.business-supportwales.gov.uk/, or telephone 03000 6 03000), is to be welcomed, and the tourism industry in Wales is apparently outstripping other industry sectors in taking advantage of what is on offer from WAG. Useful links: Visit Wales marketing opportunities, see: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/tourism/ma rketingopps/?lang=en Finance Wales www.financewales.co.uk Tel: 0800 587 4140 Wales Tourism Alliance www.wta.org.uk

journal@tourismsociety.org


07

2/6/09

12:56

Page 1

Overseas case study: Sri Lanka Credit crunch marketing – Sri Lanka uses tried and tested ‘2 for 1’ tactics Like everyone else, the Sri Lanka Tourism industry had been going through a challenging period since the end of 2008 due to the global economic crisis resulting in a drastic drop in tourism arrivals to the country. Sri Lanka also had their own internal challenges of localised conflict not targeted at tourism and a long way away from tourist areas, but still evoking Foreign Office warnings enhanced in March by demonstrations in the UK. In March 2009 Sri Lanka’s industry representatives decided to launch a tactical offer to stimulate bookings for the summer period.This decision was based on forward bookings data reporting that, while the 2009 winter season looked promising, the immediate summer period looked very difficult. Sri Lanka’s travel trade associations (the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), the Central Cultural fund (CCF)) together with Sri Lankan Airlines supported the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) in creating a unique package based on a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer. The offer was channelled through the travel trade only in order to support them during this challenging period.The offer was for an initial booking period from 01 April to 30 May 2009 for travel up to the end of October. All participating hotels gave the second person sharing a room free accommodation and the same meal plan free. SLAITOl provided free transport for the second person and CCF provided one free ticket for every ticket purchased while the SLTPB paid for the second person’s ticket to visit key attractions Pinnawala Elephant orphanage and Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. Most importantly to make the offer a true ‘2for1’ the second passenger travelled for free, only paying for airport taxes, on Sri Lankan Airlines and / or Qatar Airways. A five-week £100,000+ advertising and

‘This decision was based on forward bookings data reporting that, while the 2009 winter season looked promising, the immediate summer period looked very difficult’ PR campaign was embarked on to create awareness of the special offer coinciding with the launch of Sri Lanka Tourism’s rebranding.The media mix, reach and the budgets for the advertising / PR campaign included 60% on display advertising in national and regional newspapers, 10% online and 6% on travel trade advertising. The main call to action used was a splash page on www.srilanka.travel/2for1 where each tour operator taking part was featured. A dedicated 0800 freephone number was set up giving a short explanation of the offer and the option of 10 operators to choose from including Mercury Direct,Virgin Holidays,Travelbag, Thomas Cook Signature, Kuoni, Bales, Cox & Kings, Dream Ticket, If Only and Hayes & Jarvis. All participating tour operators promoted the offer to their database and via their own communication / distribution channels to complement the Sri Lanka Tourism campaign. They were requested to submit a plan on their promotional activity for the ‘2for1’ offer, including emails, direct mail and classified

advertising. The main challenge was ensuring that everyone was validating their offers for the same period and to get the campaign off the ground in less than 2 weeks.The main concern was that the offer would devalue Sri Lanka as a destination. Instead, it was welcomed by the trade and consumer as an effort by Sri Lanka to help them to sell or take a holiday during difficult economic times.The strategic PR campaign was instrumental in achieving this. The campaign used one simple tried and tested message responding to the market’s need for ‘value for money’ not only increasing awareness of Sri Lanka but also generating a substantial number of direct bookings within the first month. At the end of April over 1,300 calls, 25,000 web hits and 3,000 bookings from the UK alone had been generated, and as a result the booking period was extended for a further month up to 30 June. Moreover, the PR campaign produced positive coverage in the Sunday Times, Sunday Mirror, South Wales Echo, Real Travel Magazine, timesonline, walesonline, and in numerous other online and trade publications including Selling Longhaul. Would we do this again? Absolutely. A good value proposition communicated with a clear concise message to the right targeted audience with call for action and delivery channels will give positive results for any product or service in any economic climate.

Sanjika Perera MTS | Director of Tourism UK and Ireland | Sri Lanka Tourist Board

www.tourismsociety.org

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

7


08

2/6/09

16:30

Page 2

Overseas case study: USA

Reacting to a recession: tourism marketing to the USA My current involvement in the Travel and Transportation industry is Mergers and Acquisitions. Mostly deals involving acquisitions of USA companies by European buyers and some of my comments will reflect that experience. Being in M&A, originally from the UK, and operating in the USA for 40 years, I have developed and had access to considerable data on US Tour Operators, and some small cruise companies Compared to the UK and Europe, the US industry is fragmented and more complex than the mass European market, with few companies able to market to the entire country, and no mega operators of the TUI/First Choice or Thomas Cook magnitude.The industry grew up regionally, with operators often specializing in a particular destination, related to a particular emigration group. For example, Scandinavian Americans residing in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin; Italian Americans in Chicago and Los Angeles; Greek Americans in Chicago and New York, etc. Regional companies concentrating on Ireland ‘grew up’ in the Boston, New York, Chicago or Los Angeles areas with clientele are from these areas and so on.That fragmentation has changed over time, but geographic and specialty fragmentation remains a key to the US market The large Visiting Friends and Relatives market, typical of an immigrant nation, seems more immune from the panics that often affect our industry. Also less affected are companies with a ‘focus’ (golf, cultural travel or events etc), where travel is an adjunct to the mission itself. General tourism is the most affected. A greater proportion of travellers fall within the above parameters than in Europe. We also have mountains, beaches and geographic diversity here in the USA, with many resorts and cruise destinations in and close to the USA.The movement of large numbers of Northerners to Southern beaches still happens, but within the country. During recessions people may reduce travel budgets in many

‘Travellers are ‘trading down’ cost-wise or doing domestic rather international trips. International travel is affected; however, the advantage of a strong dollar is making most overseas destinations 20-30% less expensive than last year’

different ways Travellers are ‘trading down’ cost-wise or doing domestic rather international trips. International travel is affected; however, the advantage of a strong dollar is making most overseas destinations 2030% less expensive than last year. Companies are showing 10-30% slowdowns in booking activity except in the low price segment and road travel. Bookings are coming in fits and starts consistent with moves in the stock markets. An anomaly of the US compared with European originating markets is that many older Americans (with the most stock investments) leave heavy international travel to post retirement years. As Europeans receive 23 times the holiday time of their

Patrick J. O’Shea FTS CTC | Principal | TMS

8

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

American counterparts this trend will continue. We were seeing a good recovery from the late 2008 and early 2009 booking slowdown until the latest media mania of Swine Flu, and once again bookings started slipping. I believe that, as this latest situation works its way through, there is a possibility for a last-minute booking surge, although annual sales will be reduced. Few US operators are vertically integrated, so reducing or increasing capacity and costs is done rapidly, by reducing payroll, the largest expense line. Airlines, cruise lines and hotels are using their full armoury of Frequency Programs, price reductions and other lures to energize the moribund traveller, and some are working. Price is a strong motivator and, combined with the improved dollar relationship, has made buying international travel the best deal in years.The easiest recovery will be in the cruise industry where the lines may discount their tickets, but can make up that revenue reduction on board. My experience of many other major recessions since 1970 is that US corrections are sharper and deeper than most markets, but recoveries happen more rapidly.

journal@tourismsociety.org


09

2/6/09

16:31

Page 1

Overseas case study: USA

Reacting to a recession … tourism marketing to the USA Whilst these are clearly difficult times for all of us involved in travel, equally it is clear that the British are still retaining a lively interest in their favourite long haul holiday destination, despite the credit crunch.Visit USA members are reporting that US bound travellers are still committing to their holidays Stateside, but that three distinct trends are emerging. Firstly, consumers are making enquiries much closer to their planned departure date than they have previously. Secondly, the number of enquiries is very high compared to the number of bookings, demonstrating that consumers are really shopping around, not necessarily to get the cheapest deal but to get the best value on offer in the marketplace. Finally, consumers are biding their time before actually confirming their booking. So the first conclusion is that, in these recessionary times, as far as the UK-USA is concerned, the underlying demand is still strong and any related marketing must be governed by the consumer’s changing needs. I.e.Very timely, rifle rather than shotgun and an efficient, targeted website is mandatory In the current economic climate, none of the above trends is unexpected, but it is good to know that the US still firmly features in people’s travel plans. And there are a number of positive factors working in their favour:  Travellers are still researching their holiday destination.The Visit USA website has never been busier and continues to be massively ahead of 2008 with site visitors +350% ahead of last year and brochure requests expected to beat last year's record total of 20,000.  Many Visit USA Tour Operator members bought the Dollar currency needed for their 2009 programmes in 2008, and therefore travellers can still benefit from last year's exceptional rates.  Back to reality, the Pound Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate is now running at close to $1.50, which is not so very different from the average exchange rates of the past decade, a period which saw

‘’By a very wide margin, the USA is still the UK traveller’s favourite long haul holiday destination, with a holiday to suit every taste and budget – which is why UK travellers will continue to return there in their millions every year – including 2009’ UK travellers to the USA grow from 3.8 million in 2002 to 4.6 million in 2008. ie. It is only the last 2 years that saw an above average exchange rate  As can be expected, US suppliers are not just sitting back waiting for the recession to go away.They are reacting very positively to the situation by creating travel bargains and added value offers to ensure that travellers stay with their US travel plans. Airlines, hotels, car rental, attractions etc have all been sharpening their pencils and travellers will really benefit.  Major US holiday destinations like Florida, New York and Las Vegas have embarked upon expanded promotional programmes to attract UK travellers to their cities and beaches. And specifically, California identified two main target markets to focus their media activity on in 2009 – the Cultured Explorer (ABC1 25-45) – and the Silver Voyager (ABC1 45+) and then designed their marketing to focus on these two key groups, having identified first of all that these groups are amongst the most recession-proof in the

UK.This multi-layered and integrated strategy also helped impart their value messaging through mass awareness of TV and press advertising.  In the USA, work continues apace to get the Travel Promotion Act through Congress and which, if enacted, should eventually result in a substantial increase in marketing activities to attract visitors to the USA.

Conclusion Clearly the USA continues to be high on the list of consumers’ long haul holiday destinations – despite the current economic backdrop. By a very wide margin, the USA is still the UK traveller’s favourite long haul holiday destination, with a holiday to suit every taste and budget – which is why UK travellers will continue to return there in their millions every year – including 2009. During a recession, the trick is to make sure that the supporting marketing is impactful, economic and matches the needs of the market, i.e. not a lot different from nonrecessionary marketing!

Alan Waddell | Chief Operating Officer| Visit USA (UK) Ltd

www.tourismsociety.org

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

9


10&11

2/6/09

16:53

Page 2

Small businesses and the recession How are hospitality SMEs responding? It is 15 years since Stanley Plog wrote about how our ‘extraordinary industry’ faced superordinary problems. In the face of almost continuous growth in international travel, many destinations were beginning to show signs of strain in accommodating more tourists. With increases in tourism had come problems, problems in Plog’s view that were “deep, severe and difficult to reverse”. Plog warned that the tourism industry was unsustainable, and there was needed a common action to reverse the effects of physical deterioration of destinations, environmental change and impacts on local cultures. However, I believe that it is now, in 2009, that our industry faces the most superordinary problems that it has ever faced, “unchartered waters” as the Tourism Society President put it in a

previous issue of Tourism. Students of tourism will recognise what all of us who work in the industry already know: that tourism is embedded in an exterior world of social, political, economic, and technological change. And there lies the rub. Whilst global changes, in technology for example, may provide catalysts for travel, other externalities (wars etc) may do the exact opposite. The current crisis is highlighting, in my view, even more clearly that tourism is one of the most fragile industries there is. I chose the word fragile carefully because despite periodic shocks to the tourism system, whether at local, national or international level, tourism has always seemed to manage to recover. However, who would have thought even two years ago that the sub-prime mortgage sector would have such a devastating effect on our industry in 2009?

When starting to write this piece, I decided to look through my old documents and industry articles back as far as the early 1990s, including copies of Tourism. I know that sounds really sad, but some of us academics tend to have a habit of keeping old books and articles, sometimes for posterity and sometimes afraid (as Sod’s Law tells us) that if we throw something away then we will need it the following week. From a review of my tourism industry publications over the last 15 years or so, downturns have come and gone. However, two things particularly appear to stick out regarding the current scenario.The first is the severity of the effects across our industry, and second is the speed at which the downturn has taken affect. What is also apparent is a need for an answer to the question ‘can we do anything about this?’ Some commentators appear to suggest that a weak pound and international events may bolster numbers by attracting more overseas visitors to the UK this year. However, as our industry is made up of mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), how are the smaller organisations faring and, more importantly, how are they responding to current trading conditions? I have recently undertaken a survey of hospitality SMEs in the North of England. These included some small chain and non-chain hotels, a number or organisations in the catering sector, and a cross section of leisure facilities and tourist attractions. Whilst it was only a relatively small sample, and not intended to be a large empirical study, it does give us a gauge on current responses of small hospitality companies to the recession. I have summarised some of the main findings.

General feeling about trading conditions This research found most respondents in a pessimistic mood. Across all sectors was evidence of reducing costs. Some respondents reported that they had

10

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

journal@tourismsociety.org


10&11

2/6/09

16:53

Page 3

‘ The current crisis is highlighting, in my view, even more clearly that tourism is one of the most fragile industries there is. I chose the word fragile carefully because despite periodic shocks to the tourism system, whether at local, national or international level, tourism has always seemed to manage to recover’ already introduced cost-savings during the latter parts of 2008 given that the recession was forecast. Others reported that they had deferred upgrading or refurbishment plans.There were disagreements in terms of staffing – some respondents had recently (in the last month) made redundancies, whereas others hadn’t; one respondent arguing that “we are already geared up to being very lean”. Some were not replacing staff when they leave, and are trying to introduce more job flexibility.There were some signs of optimism, even customer ‘loyalty’. One respondent reported that their hotel had noticed more business customers having dinner in the hotel restaurant, rather than venturing out into the city to eat. “If that change is replicated across the whole year, then that will translate into a very helpful financial boost for us”.

Response strategies However, it is in the response strategies that this study was particularly interested. Despite the variation in type of hospitality organisation consulted, there appears to be some consistency in the way that organisations are responding to the challenge. I have categorised them into four main areas:  Maintaining customer service.There was a resounding feeling that if small businesses are to survive current trading conditions then customer service must be maintained. One manager appeared to

www.tourismsociety.org

sum up feeling when they replied, “We must maintain and even try to improve our standards if we can”.  Improving effectiveness of sales and marketing. It was clearly articulated that most respondents don’t have the size of marketing budgets of the larger brands. However, many appear to be going on the offensive i.e. looking to market more but using cheaper methods such as mailshots and editorials in local newspapers to try to generate new business. A large number appear to be utilising technology more, particularly the Internet, to try to generate new business. One company reported new business after signing up for Google Maps and others reported new business after offers were placed on websites. One respondent reported a number of new customers (for meals) after placing a voucher for a free cup of coffee on their website.  Re-adjusting their target segments. It appears that pullbacks in both business and leisure spend are creating a need for the smaller, more local organisations to re-adjust. With the drop in international tourists during quarter one of 2009, the smaller businesses appear to be accepting that attracting the corporate and international tourist markets will be difficult in 2009. A number of organisations are responding by switching marketing strategies. For example, a number of organisations are more actively targeting local markets in two ways: one is introducing a more proactive

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

Internet-based marketing strategy (see above), and the second is through marketing diversity i.e. adjusting the product offer towards new local markets.  Greater focus on customer loyalty. Whilst organisations appear to be adjusting their strategies towards local markets, the strongest emphasis from respondents was a clear determination to both retain existing customers and incentivise new customer loyalty. A number of respondents reported further development in their customer loyalty schemes. For example, one organisation has developed an e-flyer particularly targeted towards recent new customers, and giving a “large discount” for repeat business in the following 6 months.

Conclusion Whilst only intended to be a snapshot of the current fortunes of small hospitality organisations, a picture of change is emerging.The respondents in this study appear to be placing a clear emphasis on the importance of customer loyalty in their response to changing market conditions. Facing a prediction of reduced business and leisure travel in the UK during 2009, there is movement in the strategies of the smaller hospitality organisations towards developing Internet-driven local business and greater adoption, or development, of customer loyalty programmes. Steve Burns MTS | Senior Lecturer | Tourism Management, Liverpool | John Moores University

11


12

2/6/09

16:33

Page 2

ABTA’s advice

Marketing out of a recession ‘A good example of PR at its best was the recent Tourism Queensland campaign about the search for a candidate for the best job in the world and is estimated to have obtained coverage that would have costs millions to provide by advertising alone’ 2008 was one of the tougher years our industry has had to deal with. Fuel costs at a record high of 150 dollars a barrel, wildly fluctuating exchange rates leading to surcharging and culminating with the collapse of XL, the biggest travel company failure for almost 20 years.This failure resulted in the largest repatriation in the CAA’s history and has had a profoundly negative impact on the Air Travel Trust Fund. On top of all this, newspaper headlines were dominated by the credit crunch, so we all hoped 2009 would bring better times. However, as we all know the economic situation has deteriorated drastically and we are living through the worst recession since the end of the Second World War. In difficult times trade associations must do everything in their power to assist their members. Earlier in the year ABTA produced its Recession Toolkit, an online guide to surviving the recession.The toolkit brings together all the services that ABTA offers to its members that can have a positive impact on business performance.The toolkit covers six key areas: recognising key risks, keeping staff motivated, adding value, saving money, other sources of advice and help and

marketing effectively. ABTA members all have access to one massive marketing advantage over their competitors – the ABTA logo – a business superbrand and by far the best recognised travel protection symbol. With a 74% recognition factor the logo is key and widespread use of it essential. Apart from their own websites where ABTA provides a DIY guide to Search Engine Optimisation, ABTA members can post details of their own specialisations and countries they sell on www.abta.com.This receives tens of thousands of unique visitors each month and any member that wants to publicise a particular offer can post these details on the home page of the site. When done well, Public Relations can provide free media coverage and be much more cost effective than advertising. A good example of PR at its best was the recent Tourism Queensland campaign about the search for a candidate for the best job in the world and is estimated to have obtained coverage that would have costs millions to provide by advertising alone. Knowing what the media want and how to provide it to your advantage is the secret to success. ABTA has also produced a PR

Casia Zajac | Head of Communications | ABTA

12

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

toolkit which unravels the mysteries of the PR world and explains how to make the media your allies. How to give good interviews, draft a professional press release and, just as importantly, what not to do, are all explained in detail. The toolkit also points out sources of free marketing advice such as the Royal Mail and the Direct Marketing Association, and how to access an extremely valuable and generally free source of expert advice and marketing resources, your local college or university. The Recession toolkit has already obtained favourable feedback from ABTA members, one commenting at a recent ABTA seminar that it had given her fresh insights and useful advice after she had already been through three recessions over 30 years in the industry. ABTA is continually investigating new ways in which it can help members’ businesses, with a raft of services on offer and access to years of experience and expertise contained in our new London Bridge offices. We are confident that ABTA members are in a better position than their competitors to get through the current economic crisis and will do everything in our power to help ensure that this remains the case.

journal@tourismsociety.org


13

2/6/09

16:34

Page 1

Business Link

Recession busting marketing ideas Despite the general gloom there’s still plenty of business out there to win. It’s very much a question of attitude, self belief and an active approach. So what’s the secret of survival in this economic climate? Quality Marketing. Marketing doesn’t have to be either complicated or expensive, but in a recession one has to do lots of it, focused and targeted at your niche. If you do not, it will be your competitors who will be sweeping up your customers. Prepare a new marketing plan and take the time to make the right strategic decisions for your business.Take an honest and careful look at your strengths and weaknesses from a marketing perspective. What is the client experience when they arrive? What will be good and what will be bad? Analyse each possible interaction with your client from the first contact to the end of the holiday or experience. Each one of those has the ability to enhance the client’s experience of your business or the opposite. Attention to detail is critical and great companies do it well. Look at the opportunities and threats. Are there new markets you could be exploiting or ones previously abandoned but are now worth trying? Do you really know the profile and requirements of your client base? Don’t try to please everyone. If you’re a smaller business it’s far better to develop a product in a specialist niche market rather than competing with the big players on price. Prepare a budget against which you can be measured, timed and, above all, regularly monitored. Build in some flexibility. Monitor your marketing activity, and if it’s not working change it. Always keep in mind your strategic aims. For example, if you’re targeting high quality

don’t mix this with budget or discounted business. So here are a few thoughts:  If you are a business owner, remember the passion that made you start up your business in the first place.  Make sure your product is up to scratch.  Update the customer proposition for the sophisticated but poor ‘Noughties’ and a new generation of buyers.  Remember your existing client base.  Go back to your customer records and search out those who haven’t used your services for over a year. Give them a killer offer to bring them back into the fold.  Put together attractive but not giveaway deals to attract new people.  Use the technology available to you.  Use the social websites to communicate with your younger customers. And keep up to date with the

‘Don’t try to please everyone. If you’re a smaller business it’s far better to develop a product in a specialist niche market rather than competing with the big players on price’

www.tourismsociety.org

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

latest social websites by speaking to youngsters and see what they use.  Offer the best service going because service is more important than ever and will often make the difference between success and failure when things are hard.  Don’t offer blanket discounts as it will take years to get back to previous pricing levels.  Offer short term deals and target them carefully.  Rather than discount, add value: upgrade rather than discount.  Think what new services you could be offering.  Partner with other organisations to offer packages which benefit both.  Use influencers: people such as travel writers, lawyers and accountants you work with.  Always think of the PR story opportunities.  Network extensively. There are lots of events so get yourself to some of these and talk to as many people as possible. Not everyone feels comfortable doing this but if there is someone outgoing in your organisation use them. There is always something positive coming out of a downturn. Aim to thrive not just survive. Ashley de Safrin MTS | Business Link Adviser | Hospitality and Tourism | Business Link in London

13


14&15

2/6/09

16:35

Page 2

Marketing Strategy Making the most of your marketing budget In these difficult and unpredictable economic times, the importance of ensuring best value for money and accountability has never been more important for any business. Marketing expenditure is often an early casualty of recessionary times, especially where its effectiveness is not measured and the returns unknown. It is crucial that businesses have set in place the procedures to measure results from marketing and that these results are used to improve future productivity.

Plan the work and work the plan First things first: What is your strategy? Have you set clear goals for your business, and targets for your marketing activity? Do you know who your customers are and how to reach them? Are there market segments appropriate to your business but which you aren’t addressing? Are your existing customers happy? Could you make improvements to your service or product? Are you exploiting those qualities which make you stand out from the crowd? A marketing strategy should focus on five key elements:  overall objectives  understanding your product and its position in the marketplace  market segmentation – understanding your customers  creating a mix of marketing activity to reach those segments  create a business plan with costings and timescales The key building block of any strategy must be understanding who your cus-

tomers are. Accurate customer information will enable you to reach them and even to source more like them. Profiling the customer database can be the key to more efficient and effective marketing campaigns. Accurate profiling techniques reduce wastage in direct mail campaigns and allow tailored messages to hit target audiences. A well organised customer database is fundamental to successful marketing. It will allow you to talk to your customers, secure repeat business, generate recommended business and implement research. Identifying the most efficient ways to reach your target markets is crucial in making a limited budget work hard. As we see a fragmentation of traditional media and the emergence of new media and social networking there are a bewildering number of options. Research and evaluation become increasingly vital in order to achieve media effectiveness. Market research including perception research and customer satisfaction surveys will help determine the appropriate messages to target specific audiences. Thorough measurement of media cost per enquirer combined with conversion research will help to inform which media produces the best results. It is estimated that 80% of visitors do some pre-trip research on-line. However, in our experience, demand for printed brochures has declined only marginally over recent years and print continues to be an important part of the marketing armoury, whether the motivation is for sharing, reassurance or convenience.

‘A well organised customer database is fundamental to successful marketing. It will allow you to talk to your customers, secure repeat business, generate recommended business and implement research’

14

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

Found on the web Any tourism company’s web presence is now crucial to survival and increasingly the battle is for search engine ranking – fighting it out with the big multinational players is tough but astute and strategic activity can produce good results, particularly in niche markets. Search engine optimisation is now one of the core activities of any web-orientated operator. Using the Internet to reach your customers is now established as a key tool in almost every marketing campaign. But, in a world that contains over 30 billion web pages, how can you be sure that people are finding your website and that your message is getting through? The answer to a large extent lies with two very different yet inextricably linked factors: your website’s ability to attract top search engine listings and its ability to convert those visitors into customers. With over 90% of internet users finding websites through search engines, prominence on the leading search engines is absolutely essential to the success of your web site. Once achieved, it is critical that the content of your website provides the information your visitors are looking for; without this, it is clear that even the most beautifully designed website is a waste of budget if it doesn’t generate enquiries. By implementing intelligent keyword choices, search engines appear to be responding to the flexibility and diversity of content that smaller organisations can provide enabling them to compete successfully against larger budgets. Of course, generating more enquiries and improving sales conversion not only requires considered website design and professional Search Engine Marketing. It also requires an understanding of your business and your market. Choose a supplier who will take the time to get to know you and your business with a view to building a successful long term relationship.

journal@tourismsociety.org


14&15

2/6/09

16:35

Page 3

Hit the in-tray Email marketing is a well established, low cost, direct and environmentally friendly way to communicate with your clients, promote your organisation and drive visitors to your web site. Almost uniquely, email marketing allows you to measure the success of your campaigns instantly through real-time statistical data. Over time, it is the analysis of this data that will help you deliver consistently relevant and targeted content to your audience. Critically, when preparing copy and creative for your campaigns, approach this as if you were one of your customers. When your email arrives in their inbox they are unlikely to read every word or marvel at its design. Instead, they will (subconsciously) ask themselves 3 very important questions: 1. Who is this from? 2. What’s in it for me? 3. What do I do next? If your e-mailer successfully answers these questions and stimulates a response you can be sure of an impressive return on your investment. With inboxes busier than ever, ensure you have a web partner with comprehensive skills and talent to deliver effective and dynamic campaigns that have the edge over your competitors.

Get social A proactive approach to social networking can be highly productive and is being adopted by a growing number of tourism businesses. Social networking can’t be

www.tourismsociety.org

‘Tourism operators now have the opportunity to participate within the global social networking sites, as well as the niche, special interest sites, to create interest and foster positive vibes for their own businesses’ ignored, it is now part of the fabric of life. Facebook alone has 200m users worldwide and some argue that Tripadvisor is becoming more powerful than official rating schemes. Tourism operators now have the opportunity to participate within the global social networking sites, as well as the niche, special interest sites, to create interest and foster positive vibes for their own businesses. It will bring viewers closer to your company or destination, for example by allowing ‘leaders’ or ‘experts’ to get close to the audience. Businesses can also locate and communicate with clusters and learn about visitor experiences. However, it is important to remember that trust comes from truth in these environments and overt manipulation could seriously backfire. Communications must be conducted openly and honestly. Social networking activity doesn’t come for free. It can require high levels of time input in research and participation, but it can be a very cost-effective means of generating new customers and developing customer loyalty and recommendation.

And finally The recession has brought extra pressures and demands to most tourism busi-

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

nesses. In a world where everything is changing so quickly it’s vital to keep apace with the new marketing opportunities that are emerging. Our conclusion is that marketing strength lies in having a clear direction and objectives for your business and to create a mix of marketing campaigns based on sound research and evaluation. The traditional methods of print and printed media advertising should sit alongside the development of on-line marketing. The core branding and positioning should be consistent, targeting of identified segments should be disciplined and all activity evaluated. Good luck! This article was written by Chris Carter of Carrier Direct Marketing and Ian Parkington of Carter Communication, both companies within The Carrier Group. Take a look at their websites or follow links from www.thecarriergroup.co.uk Carrier Direct Marketing are new corporate sponsors of the Tourism Society Chris Carter MTS | Business Development Executive | Carrier Direct Marketing

15


16

2/6/09

16:36

Page 2

Professional Development

The importance of skills and training in a recession ‘ We need to give much greater thought to what we say and how. We need more appropriate courses and approaches to training. We need to provide what businesses actually want. A recession is a chance for change for better but it has to be handled in the right way.’ Is there room for improvement in the UK tourism industry? Yes. Can training improve professionalism? Yes. Does the recession make it even more important to develop the skills of those working in the industry? Yes, in theory. Recessions can be times of great opportunity. Good businesses tend to survive. Bad ones fail. Innovations and good people can make all the difference. So far, so good. But what’s actually happening? Many of the official training and skills development agencies have pounced on the recession as an opportunity to convince businesses to invest in training in order to survive. Bad idea. The word “invest” implies spending cash – just when there’s little of it around. “Training” implies something a bit nebulous and without immediate return – exactly at the time when business want instant results. So the theory isn’t working.The language and attitude are all wrong. And this approach makes a basic assumption – that there is plenty of appropriate training out there. The Tourism Network was commissioned to run a generously funded project aimed at encouraging more businesses to take up training. It paid well, but the job satisfaction was zero. We started full of enthusiasm, armed with an excellent database of people who we knew wanted training and naively imagined it would be a simple job to tell them what was available and send them on their way. Wrong. An army of researchers tried to unearth every tourism and hospitality-related short course, workshop and master class in existence.The ones relating to legislation such as Health and Safety were easy to find. But look for anything on a topic that

businesses had actually asked for – marketing, sales training, CRM, management skills, search engine optimisation etc – and you won’t exactly be overwhelmed by the choice. Some national training companies offer fairly standard one day courses for around £450+ per day per person. Business Link offer some free courses. They are rarely tourism specific, and tend to be quite general – along the lines of “internet marketing is important” rather than “here’s how to do it”. Business Link is improving but history and reputation aren’t on its side. So the problem isn’t that businesses don’t want training.They do! The problem is that the sort of training they want doesn’t necessarily exist. How easy is it for accommodation providers to find practical, reasonably-priced training that slots appropriately into their window of time between mid morning check-out and late afternoon check-in? Pretty much impossible. In a recession it becomes even more important for them to find training that fits around the business they do have. There’s a glut of ‘initiatives’ to get us to ‘up-skill’ but a dearth of practical, relevant and reasonably priced training. I’ve rarely met a business owner who talks about their need to up-skill.Their focus is simple – they want more sales and bigger

Susan Briggs MTS | Director | The Tourism Network

16

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

profits.That is their starting point for doing anything. We need to give much greater thought to what we say and how. We need more appropriate courses and approaches to training. We need to provide what businesses actually want. A recession is a chance for change for better but it has to be handled in the right way. There are always calls from think tanks that we need to improve the visitor welcome.This is true in some areas but others are already doing well. Instead of wondering why no one hears the call, we need to look where the welcome is strong (one of the words most commonly used to describe Yorkshire in a year-long regional visitor survey is “welcoming”, another is “friendly”), and find out what they’re doing right. We also need to think what will encourage businesses to improve customer care. Many think they’re either already good at it or they don’t care so they don’t attend the courses (even if they are actually offered at a suitable time and price). We need to re-position what is on offer so it appeals to more businesses. “10 ways to increase your profits” is so much more compelling than “improve your customer care” but the content doesn’t need to be that different.

journal@tourismsociety.org


17 consumer ad

2/6/09

16:37

Page 1


18

2/6/09

16:38

Page 2

Book reviews Operations Management in the Travel Industry Edited by Peter Robinson CABI, 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84593 503 0 298 pages The book provides a good overview of Operations Management in the Travel Industry covering key areas including theory, concepts, frameworks and case studies. As the travel industry is very fragmented, there are many aspects to consider when looking at the management of operations within it such as logistics, marketing, strategy, staffing, finances, sustainability and culture, to name but a few. These key elements that comprise the complex relationships of all areas are mapped out in this book, giving an insight into the travel industry and providing a good grounding for students studying and entering employment in this sector. I think the book is a good source for those seeking knowledge about the workings of operations management The chapters are relevant to the subject and the structure is laid out well, with a good summary at the beginning explaining what the chapter will cover, guiding the reader through each topic, with practical information as well as discussion questions and guides for further study. Each chapter features case studies, which provide thought and discussion. However, some of the case studies would benefit from more detail and several of the illustrations of models could be made a little clearer. As the travel industry is so fragmented and rapidly changing, with many small to medium size businesses emerging and outnumbering the larger ones, I would like to have seen some more references made to the smaller businesses, as not all aspects of the Operations Management discussed in this book are significant to them. However, this is a useful book that gives a very good overview of what Operations Management entails and can used by students as well as people working in the industry. Kasia Chmielewska MTS | Director, Pure Alpine Tennis & Ski Holidays

18

Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management

Nation Branding – Concepts, Issues, Practice

D. Lee-Ross and C. Lashley Butterworth Heinemann 9780750684484 294 pages

Edited by Keith Dinnie Butterworth-Heinemann 2008 ISBN 978-0-7506-8349-4 264 pages

I have always been rather perplexed why areas such as entrepreneurship and small business management have not been explored more in tourism literature. After all, the tourism and hospitality industry is mostly made up of small firms. In some countries the ratio is very high; for example, this book argues that in the UK 98.5% of all hotels and restaurants employ fewer than 50 people. This volume has arrived at an opportune moment.The book consists of 11 chapters.The tone is set in the first chapter, which provides a firm foundation for the book through a conceptual discussion of key themes such as definitions of small firms, and the relationship between entrepreneurial activity and the economy. One point: some of the examples used are plainly for an English audience, for example Del Boy Trotter and Arthur Daley, and I wonder if these examples may be lost on an overseas audience. The book then embarks on a further 10 chapters which quite comprehensively explore this subject. I particularly liked the exploration of such themes as ‘indigenous and ethnic entrepreneurship: a cultural perspective’ (chapter two), and ‘creativity’ (chapter four).The problem with dealing with this topic is what to leave out. It is clear that this book is targeted at both an academic and practitioner audience.The introductory chapter identifies the aim of the book as “providing the knowledge and skills required to start a small business”. I therefore would like to have seen more exploration, for the budding entrepreneur, of both the financial and human resource intricacies of the small business. The incorporation of ‘reflective activities’ is a nice touch, as is reference to such great entrepreneurial luminaries such as Branson, Hilton and Ray Croc.This is a good book and would be a welcome addition to University LRCs. Steve Burns MTS | Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Leisure | Liverpool John Moores University

“Nation Branding” is a timely arrival on the scene. In the current context of economic upheaval, with concepts such as globalisation being scrutinised, allied with a feeling – or need – to return to simple, sustainable values, a book about nation branding can take on added importance. It is worth noting that the majority of the 29 contributors assert that nation branding is more likely to be successful when undertaken across many – or all – sectors of the economy, thereby helping the country’s image appeal to investors, students, workers and cultural audiences as well as visitors.This holistic approach, whilst logical, means that many groups of (domestic) stakeholders need to buy in to nation branding which in itself can be fraught with issues of self-interest and may lead to the watering-down of any suggested ‘proposition’. It takes some time to get used to this book’s structure. Each chapter starts with a short case study, usually from one specific country, and is followed by an article from a practitioner and one from an academic on various aspects of nation branding.These include references to the leading case study but also others throughout the book. Once the reader is used to this – and perhaps the layout could be clearer – it is an easier read. The list of contributors is impressive and many other well-known marketing and communication experts are cited throughout.The case studies are drawn from across the globe and it is particularly interesting to compare the approaches of countries as diverse as Egypt, Switzerland and Japan as well as more heralded examples such as New Zealand, Spain and Scotland. A fascinating and thought-provoking read for branding and marketing practitioners, but perhaps above all for all of us who care about how our own countries are portrayed and perceived! Jeremy Brinkworth FTS | Head of Industry Services,VisitEngland

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

journal@tourismsociety.org


19

2/6/09

12:59

Page 1

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2009 Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of The Tourism Society will be held at the Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regent's Park, London NW1 4LE on Tuesday 14th July 2009 at 5:30 pm for the following purposes: 1. The Executive Director to read the Notice convening the meeting 2. To receive apologies for absence 3. To receive and, if agreed, to adopt the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 19th June 2008, previously circulated 4. To receive and consider the reports of the Council and of the Sections Groups and Chapters for the year ending 31st December 2008 5. To receive and consider the Accounts, Balance Sheet and report of the Auditors for the year ending 31st December 2008 6. To appoint the auditors at a fee to be agreed by the Board 7. To elect members of the Board 8. To receive a report and vote on the proposal for the integration of the Tourism Society and the Tourism Management Institute (TMI) 9. To transact any other business By Order of the Board Flo Powell Executive Director 14th May 2009

TOURISM SOCIETY & UNWTO DEBATE travel and tourism: stimulus for G:20 economies Tuesday 14th July 2009 The Royal College of Physicians, London NW1 4LE This high-profile debate will look at the implications of the G:20 summit outcomes on the international tourism industry; what the governments of the world are doing to combat the global recession and in particular, what they are doing in terms of tourism. It is hoped that this exciting debate will herald a 'shift change' in attitudes of global governments who will finally take tourism seriously as a means to boost their ailing economies. The new Secretary General for the UNWTO, Mr Taleb Rifai will join the panel alongside Professor Geoffrey Lipman FTS (Christel De Haan Institute,Victoria University, UNWTO), Christopher Rodrigues FTS, Chairman of VisitBritain as well as other senior industry figures, the moderator will be Society President Lord Thurso MP FTS, who is current Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

PROGRAMME: 18.30: Arrival with refreshments 19.00: Debate in the Seligman Theatre 21.00: Networking & refreshments

TICKETS: Student/Retired: £25 Members of the Tourism Society: £30 Non-members: £50

Visit www.tourismsociety.org to book your place today or email daniel@tourismsociety.org for more information or call 020 8661 4636.

www.tourismsociety.org

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

19


20

2/6/09

12:59

Page 2

Membership News

As you can see from the following pages, the Society’s membership is growing. I would like to thank all new members for joining and welcome them to the Society, in particular Carrier Direct Marketing who joined as new Corporate Sponsors. We have our annual conference on 25th and 26th June in York, on ‘Tourism: Saviour of the UK Economy’ sponsored by Yorkshire Forward, if you have not yet booked you can do so online at www.tourismsociety.org.The Society’s 2009 AGM will take place on Tuesday 14th July at the Royal College of Physicians at 5.30pm; all Society members are welcome to attend at no cost. A high-profile debate with the UNWTO will follow the AGM at the same venue

from 6.30pm; tickets for the debate are just £30 for Society members. The debate will look at tourism as an economic stimulator for the G:20 economies. The new Society website has launched since the last issue of the journal and I am delighted that so many have been using the new features and new members joining online. If you have not yet visited it please take a look today at www.tourismsociety.org and login if you are a member to access the event reviews, member search, discount package and industry statistics. Flo Powell MTS | Executive Director| flo@tourismsociety.org

Events calendar JUNE 25-26 Tourism Society Annual Conference The Royal York Hotel, York

JULY 14 Tourism Society AGM & UNWTO Debate The Royal College of Physicians, London

SEPTEMBER 22 Tourism & Climate Change The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London

OCTOBER

From the Chairman’s Desk From a reality check to how to combat the recession this edition of the journal is certainly a useful read. We are very honoured to have Chris Lenton, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as our guest Editor. This is a direct result of a conversation at one of our Chairman's lunches initiated by the Tourism Society. Most of us are volunteers and many have not chaired an association or society before, these informal but informative meetings allow us to share knowledge and experiences on anything from VAT to Chartership or how to get our members involved in 2012. In fact most associations are wondering why they hadn't thought of the idea sooner. Let's make sure that as many of our members as possible can stay on the right side of this recession – those of you who have been unlucky enough to have fallen victim please do not forget to post

20

22 Tourism Society Annual Dinner The House of Commons, London

NOVEMBER 4 Annual Media Masterclass with TravMedia Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms, London 9-12 World Travel Market Excel Centre, London

DECEMBER 10 Tourism Society Wales Christmas Lunch Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff your CVs on the new and highly praised website – it's free for all members. The conference this year in York is a one day event having separated it from the AGM with cost cutting in mind so hopefully I will see many of you there at the end of June.

AUTUMN/WINTER PLANNED EVENTS Sales & Marketing Training The Visitor Experience Tourism & New Media Tourism & The Public Realm Tourism & Transport

Alison Cryer FTS | Chairman | The Tourism Society

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

journal@tourismsociety.org


21

2/6/09

16:38

Page 1

Membership News Congratulations to... Helen Beioley, Benjamin Carey, Penelope Viscountess Cobham, Geoff Le Page and Simon Woodward on their upgrades to Fellowship of the Tourism Society, to Sandie Dawe FTS on her promotion to CEO of VisitBritain, to Aviva Pearson on her new role as Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Moors & Coast Tourism Partnership and to Roger Goodacre FTS who has been appointed leader of a UNWTO team that will be managing the implementation of a tourism development master plan for the Indian state of Punjab. Welcome New Corporate Sponsors Carrier Direct Marketing T:01271 336000 www.carrierdirectmarketing.co.uk

Kenny Boyle MTS VisitBritain T: 020 8563 3340 E: kenny.boyle@visitbritain.org W: www.visitbritain.co.uk

Bob Carter MTS Carrier Direct Marketing E: bob@carrierdirectmarketing.co.uk Chris Carter MTS Carrier Direct Marketing E: chriscarter@carrierdirectmarketing.co.uk

John Briggs MTS Newark & Sherwood District Council T: 01636 655261 E: john.briggs@nsdc.info W: www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk

Ian Parkington MTS Carter Communication E: ian@cartercommunication.co.uk W: www.cartercommunication.co.uk Matt Pringle MTS Sputnik Internet T: 0870 742 5959 E: matt@sputnikinternet.com W: www.sputnikinternet.com Welcome New Group Members Oxford Brookes University T: 01865 483813 www.brookes.ac.uk David Bowen E: dbowen@brookes.ac.uk Jan Harwell E: jharwell@brookes.ac.uk Roberto Daniele T: 01865 484346 E: rdaniele@brookes.ac.uk Kate Varini E: kvarini@brookes.ac.uk Welcome New Members Amad Alazzawi MTS T: 0161 4828376 E: amadalazzawi@btinternet.com Angela Baines MTS Roundberry Projects T: 01827 897629 E: info@roundberry.co.uk

www.tourismsociety.org

Paul Brocklehurst MTS Mountain Sites UK T: 08454 192634 E: webmaster@mountainsites.co.uk W: www.mountainsites.co.uk Jean Burbidge MTS Wild Goose Leys T: 01487 773349 E: jean.burbidge@care4free.net W: www.wildgooseleys.co.uk Eddie Byers MTS VisitScotland E: Eddie.Byers@visitscotland.com W: www.visitscotland.com

Eileen Donnelly MTS Virgin Management Ltd T: 020 7313 5012 E: eileen.donnelly@virgin.co.uk Rachael Dyer MTS Lancaster City Council T: 01524 582813 E: rdyer@lancaster.gov.uk W: www.citycoastcountryside.co.uk Christine Fenley MTS French Government Tourist Office T: 0207 0616629 E: Christine.fenley@franceguide.com W: www.franceguide.com/uk Chris Fuzinatto MTS Brazilian Tourist Office T: 0207 3965551 E: ebt.uk@embratur.gov.br Christopher Gledhill MTS Future Directions T: 01874 638979 E: madogfechan@btopenworld.com

Anne Cumberlidge MTS Tourism Solutions E: anne@uktourismsolutions.co.uk

Debbie Hindle MTS BGB Communications T: 0207 902 2990 E: dhindle@bgb.co.uk W: www.bgb.co.uk

Heidi Dahl MTS Innovation Norway T: 0207 389 8800 E: heidi.dahl@innovationnorway.no W: www.visitnorway.com

Suzanne Holiday MTS Keene Public Affairs Consultants T: 02078392140 E: suzanne@keenepa.co.uk W: www.keenepa.co.uk

Gwyn Davis MTS Zoological Society of London T: 0207 4496275 E: gwyn.davis@zsl.org W: www.zsl.org

Pauline Jones MTS Black Country Consortium T: 01384 471132 E:pauline_jones@blackcountryconsortium.co.uk W: www.blackcountryconsortium.co.uk

Samantha Dodd MTS Newark & Sherwood District Council T: 01636 655719 E: samantha.dodd@nsdc.info W: www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

Ian Kirby MTS Talk-Tourism Ltd T: 0845 0508436 E: info@talk-tourism.co.uk W: www.talk-tourism.co.uk Continued on Page 22

21


22

2/6/09

16:39

Page 2

Membership News Continued from Page 21 Evelyn Lafone MTS Switzerland Tourism T: 020 7845 7688 E: evelyn.lafone@switzerland.com W: www.myswitzerland.com Marilyn Larden MTS Sustainable Travel International T: 0208 6309519 E: marilynl@sustainabletravel.com James Morris MTS Farm & Cottage Holidays T: 01237 479146 E: james@holidaycottages.co.uk W: www.holidaycottages.co.uk Daniel Moriss-Jeffery MTS The Tourism Society T: 020 8661 4636 E: daniel@tourismsociety.org W: www.tourismsociety.org Richard Morrey MTS Service Science Ltd T: 0207 0600 722 E: richard@servsci.co.uk W: www.servsci.com Ben Moxon MTS Amenford Ltd T: 01483 510310 E: ben.moxon@arkenford.co.uk W: www.arkenford.co.uk Jackie Parry MTS Institute of Tourist Guiding T: 0207 9531257 E: jacquelineparry@hotmail.co.uk W: www.itg.org.uk Sanjika Perera MTS Sri Lanka Tourist Board T: 0845 880 6333 E: sanjika@srilanka.travel W: www.srilankatourism.org

22

Luis Rendon Anguilar MTS Mexican Tourist Board T: 02074889392 E: luis_mexicotravel@yahoo.co.uk W:www.visitmexico.com Nabeel Shariff MTS Sri Lanka Tourist Board T: 0845 880 6333 E: nabeel@srilanka.travel W: www.srilankatourism.org Daniel Sheratte MTS W: dsheratte@ntlworld.com John Stone MTS Shiverpool Tours Ltd T: 0151 7092030 E: john@shiverpool.co.uk W: www.shiverpool.co.uk Brian Summers MTS Tourism West Midlands T: 0121 503 3391 E: briansummers@advantagewm.co.uk W: www.visittheheart.co.uk Sean Taggart MTS Albatross Group of Companies T: 01732 879148 E: sean@albatross-tours.com W: www.albatross-tours.com James Turner MTS Hidden Britain S.E. E: hiddenbritaindm@sercc.org.uk W: www.hiddenbritainse.co.uk Nick Way MTS Historic Houses Association T: 020 7259 5688 E: nick.way@hha.org.uk W: www.hha.org.uk Graham Wilkinson MTS The Coppermines & Lakes Cottages T: 01539 488264

E: gwilkinson32@hotmail.com W: www.coppermines.co.uk John Williams MTS Tourism South East E: john@williamsnetwork.com W:http://industry.visitsoutheastengland.com Robert Woodford MTS London Black Cab Sightseeing Tours Ltd T: 0208 5238555 E: woodford19@btinternet. com W: www.londonblackcabsightseeingtours.co.uk Miriam Wright MTS Swale Forward T: 01795 417456 E: miriamwright@swale.gov.uk W:www.swale.gov.uk Gregory Yeoman MTS The Tourism Society T: 020 8661 4636 E: gregory@tourismsociety.org W: www.tourismsociety.org

London South Bank University Sheila Nabasuma LTC College Dinya D’Silva Middlesex University Hans W. Dorr Napier University Jessica Beattie Oxford Brookes University Ehinoman Eliboh Thames Valley University Christentia Oldham University College Birmingham Leslie Griffiths Hristo Yanev

University of Surrey Beverley Sabbioni

Students Anglia Ruskin University David Dhannon Bournemouth University Maeve Marmion Thanasis Spyriadis

Quarter 2 Issue 140 Summer 2009

Leeds Metropolitan University Rebecca Forsman Elizabeth Jane Hough

University of Bedfordshire Kristine Anoska

Welcome Overseas Members Gabor Galla MTS Tourconsult Ltd T: +361 2247670 E: galla@tour-consult.eu W: www.tour-consult.eu

Guildford College Elena Georgiou

Kings College London Sebastien Dujardin

University of Greenwich Caroline Doherty Blerton Hyseni Ramiz Lotfalla Amar Pokhrel Sanaz Oskuiefar University of Westminster Aleksandra Misaika Teodora Moneva

journal@tourismsociety.org


Corporate Member

Corporate Member

Corporate Member

Corporate Member

F


Corporate Sponsor

Corporate Sponsor

Corporate Member

Corporate Member

24 corporate members 2/6/09 16:40 Page 1


18 Geoffrey lipman

8/12/08

12:14

Page 1


26 central hall

2/6/09

16:41

Page 1


Tourism Society Journal  

The Journal for the tourism industry.

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you