Sharing Economy & Tourism

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More and more destinations around the globe gradually become aware of the influence that the growing start-ups of the sharing economy have upon them. We refer to a fascinating thematic area, which involves so many different issues such as the changing perceptions of new demographic groups about the nature and quality of travel-related services, the reaction of destination authorities according to the cultural and political context of each place, the regulations that could contribute to the establishment of a level playing field for all stakeholders involved, and several others.

In fact, About-tourism has been monitoring this trend for quite some time and today we are ready to announce the conduct of a research concerning the influence of the sharing economy in tourism and hospitality industry in Europe. Our key objectives are to explore what trends and factors have led to the emergence and expansion of this new phenomenon in the field of tourism as well as to emphasize on those opportunities and challenges international destinations are facing in trying to integrate such activities into the economic and social fabric of their areas.

Accordingly, we are excited to invite members of the start-up community in the field of tourism along with tourism industry leaders and destination authority officials to provide their valuable insight through the online questionnaires of About-tourism. This integration of viewpoints will allow our research team to expand the scope of research and made valid statements about current trends and future prospects.

We estimate that it takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete the survey, so if you feel you can to contribute to this project please click on the link below that corresponds to your group of stakeholders, or cut and paste the respective URL into your browser to access the questionnaire.

1st Questionnaire – Sharing-Economy Start-Ups:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/startupssurvey

2nd Questionnaire – Tourism Industry Associations & Private Sector Leaders:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tourismindustrysurvey

3rd Questionnaire – Destination Authorities:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/destinationauthorities

Your input is very important to us and will be kept confidential. Furthermore, we will send you a report of the main findings and conclusions after completion of the project hoping to stimulate a vivid debate about ongoing development in Europe and elsewhere. Stay tuned!

We’re Hiring!

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@boutourism is an international, boutique destination development & marketing consultancy offering specific solutions & implementation support in every stage of the destination’s development, management and marketing process. Our elite team of destination experts and tourism professionals combines extensive experience as practitioners, managing operations, with many years of consultancy experience working for DMOs and related organisations around the world.

By recently becoming a business unit of the ATCOM group, @bout tourism can also provide integrated marketing solutions, ranging from Marketing strategy and planning to Web Design and development and a full suite of Digital Marketing services, for Destinations, Tourism Associations, OTAs and Travel/Hospitality Organizations around the world.

We are now looking for an Integrated Marketing Manager to play a key role in the expansion of the company  in new markets and new services. The Integrated marketing manager should have experience in destination & travel marketing, be acquainted with digital marketing and social media and have a passion to grow at an international level.

 Desired Skills and Experience

Corporate Development

  • Assist in strategic planning, implementation and delivery of the corporate marketing plan that complements the overall corporate strategic direction and brand.
  • Build new and maintain corporate relationships with key international and national industry players.
  • Liaise and network with a range of stakeholders including clients, colleagues, associates and partner organizations;
  • Locate/propose potential business deals by contacting potential partners;
  • Handle corporate communication with company associates, partners and clients, according to needs.
  • Monitor competitor activity.

Campaign Management

  • Manage the development and implementation of integrated marketing programs for the @boutourism clients.
  • Develop e-tourism platforms, including websites, and constructing business databases by liaising with Web Designers,  developers and UX experts
  • Work with all travel/tourism-related clients to explore and identify ways to integrate offline and online media into business strategies and marketing campaigns.
  • Develop online content for clients’ social and digital platforms, including messaging, posts and other editorial content.
  • Manage the production of online/offline marketing materials
  • Manage marketing budgets & evaluate marketing campaigns;

Events & Workshops

  • Run training courses to encourage networking and economic growth in the tourism industry.
  • Set up and attend tourism fairs and travel trade workshops.
  • Organize and attend events such as conferences, seminars, receptions and exhibitions;

Desired skills

  • Bachelor/Masters Degree in Tourism or Marketing
  • 3-5 years in Tourism/Destination Marketing ideally working with Digital media
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Proactive mindset
  • Ability to work with international clients on various projects

Please apply via linked @ http://linkd.in/WHac3q

Tourism on the Rise Globally

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International tourism continues to grow above expectations, supporting economic growth in both advanced and emerging economies. International tourism generated US $1.4 trillion in 2013 while tourism arrivals at an international level also grew by 5% reaching 1087 million last year. Growth in international tourists last year was equal to growth in income generated by over one billion tourists that traveled the world in 2013, for business, leisure, visiting friends and relatives or other purposes.

Among the 25 largest international tourism earners, receipts saw double-digit growth in ten destinations: the United States (+11 percent), Macao (China, +10 percent), the United Kingdom (+18 percent), Thailand (+28 percent), Hong Kong (China, +21 percent), Turkey (+13 percent), India (+13 percent), Japan (+23 percent), Greece (+15 percent) and Taiwan (+12 percent), according to UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

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The U.S. specifically is on track to exceed the tourism goal of 100 Million Visitors by 2021, as unveiled in the nation’s first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy (NTTS) by President Obama in May 2012.

Two years later, the United States is on pace to not only meet its goal, but to exceed it, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which last month published an NTTS progress report showing that in the past two years the nation has achieved a 5.5% annual growth rate in international travel and tourism. Given the president’s target, the United States should have added 6.2 million new international visitors in the last two years; instead, it’s added 7.1 million.

Despite a slow but steady economic recovery, it wasn’t until last year that Americans picked up the pace of their leisure travel, according to a new consumer travel report from PhoCusWright.

It’s “U.S. Consumer Travel Report Sixth Edition” found that consumers have finally moved on from the recession. 65% of consumers took at least one leisure trip in 2013, compared to 63% in 2010, 62% in 2011 and 61% in 2012. In the pre-recession year of 2008, some 70% of consumers took leisure trips.

The two market segments that registered the biggest spikes in travel were families with children under age 18 and travel parties of two adults, couples or otherwise. Family travel grew to 36% last year, up from 31% in 2012, while travel by two adults rose from 53% to 57% last year, according to the same report.

Europe

In Europe, the world’s most visited region, international tourist arrivals grew by 6% led by above-average results in Central and Eastern Europe (+7%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%). This growth exceeds the initial forecast for 2013 and is double the average growth rate of international tourism in Europe since 2000 (+2.7% a year between 2000 and 2012) according to the UNWTO.

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Considering the most important markets for Europe, the European Travel Commission’s ETC latest report ‘European Tourism Portfolio Analysis’,  reports  5.4% growth in foreign visitor arrivals to Europe in 2013, a positive result on top of 4 years of sustained growth.

Traditional European markets remain the key source of international travel, but some emerging markets have recently become important as well.

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As to the growth forecast for the next 3 years, Europe is expected to reach a 3.8% annual growth in foreign visitor arrivals.

The UK, Germany & USA are expected to retain lead positions, accounting for a total of 27% of European travel demand. Russia is forecast to make the 3rd largest contribution to total growth in the next 3 years, while China is less likely to emerge as a big player as an origin market for Europe.

Sources: ETC, UNWTO Tourism Barometer, PhoCusWright

Global Travel Trends 2013/2014

Despite ambivalent global economic development, international tourism reached a new record high in 2013, according to the recently released IPK International’s World Travel Monitor® report on Global Travel Trends 2013/14 .

IPK’s World Travel Monitor® recorded a +5% increase in outbound travel to 952 million for the 2013 international travel year. The number of foreign overnight accommodations increased by 4% (7.6 billion nights) and, at 989 billion Euro, international travel spending even rose +6%.

This positive development will continue on a world-wide scale in 2014 and now also extend to numerous “advanced economies.”

Europe – still positive

On the outbound travel of the Europeans in 2013, IPK’s study showed that they took more trips in 2013 than in 2012. Altogether the number of European outbound trips rose three percent in 2013 to 432 million, following a two percent growth figure for 2012. While the number of overnight accommodations remained stable at 3.5 billion nights, travel spending for outbound trips rose by two percent to 368 billion euros.

In terms of the types of holidays the Europeans took during the past year, beach holidays were the most frequent, chalking up +4% growth. In contrast, the number of tours only rose by 1% but, conversely, stronger growth (+5%) was noted for city trips and winter holidays.

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According to IPK, in regards to Europe’s most important source markets in 2013, Russia again dominated the European growth figures with an increase of 13 percent.

The German market

The Germans took 335 million domestic and outbound trips in 2013 (+2 percent), and at 1.7 billion, the number of overnight stays also came in twi percent higher.

According to IPK, there was still no change with respect to the top holiday destinations of the Germans: Austria continued to hold first place in 2013 (17 percent market share), followed by Spain(16 percent) and Italy (12 percent). Austria and Spain were able to hold onto their market shares with single-digit growth rates while Italy’s negative growth resulted in the country losing one percent market share. Other popular German outbound holiday destinations last year were Turkey (eight percent), the Netherlands (six percent), France (six percent) and Greece (three percent).

Outlook for 2014

Although the global economy seems to be heading toward recession, IPK anticipates a five percent worldwide growth in tourism for 2014.

Social media will continue to gain more and more relevance, including for the tourism sector. Nearly every second European outbound traveler is part of the social media community and 16% of them already use social media as a source of information for planning and realizing their trips.

View the full report here

Social Media & a Conference Kick-off at 35.000 Feet?

Wondering in what new ways can social media, a conference and a plane be connected?

While the latest surveys show that about half of airline passengers are interested in booking destination-related services while flying,  the airlines’ ability to take advantage of the extended in-flight touchpoint with Wi-Fi implementation, provides even further marketing opportunities to reach flexible, spontaneous travelers and not only. Still, there are definitely more opportunities that remain untapped.

Take for example the case of the world’s first conference kick off on an airplane! 

The Social Media Tourism Symposium, known as #SoMeT14EU, is making its debut in Europe by aiming high – 35,000 feet above ground.

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It will actually be very interesting to see if this could be the start of new perceptions in conference organization and the entire MICE industry.

On April 8, SoMeT and Finnair kick off the conference at Helsinki Airport and then take to the skies aboard a Finnair plane.

Conference delegates arrive at the Helsinki airport in time to connect with Finnair flight AY429 to Rovaniemi, where the conference continues on April 9 and 10.

Finland’s airport operator, Finavia hosts a welcome reception in the airport at ‘Wine & View’, where delegates can check in and collect their SoMeT name badges. The first keynote presentation begins on the inflight entertainment system once the plane reaches cruising altitude.

SoMeT is the only conference of its kind that provides an opportunity for destinations and tourism businesses to share ideas and learn more about how to leverage social media within the tourism industry.

“As an airline connecting Europe and Asia and seeking growth especially in the quickly growing Asian market, we’re constantly looking for new ways to utilize social media. We hope to learn from the speakers as well as provide inspiration for the attendees in return. I’m sure the airline conference will be a fun event, and we’ll make our outmost to make our guests feel welcome in Finland, the coolest destination there is at the moment,” Aku Varamäki, Social Media Manager from Finnair, says.

Rodney Payne, CEO of Think! Social Media, the digital marketing agency that produces the SoMeT conferences says: “We’re very excited about this world-first conference launch on a plane. SoMeT is already one of the most progressive marketing conferences for destinations around the world, and now we’re taking SoMeT to new heights.”

We cannot wait to experience this first hand, as abouTourism will be amongst the speakers at the #SoMeT14EU!

Learn more about SoMeT at:  sometourism.com &  fb.com/SoMeTourism

Tourism Meets Social Media at SoMeT14EU

On April 9-10, the Social Media Tourism Symposium (SoMeT) is coming to Europe for the first time. This is the premier event for tourism boards and destination marketers who are interested in how social media has created new marketing opportunities and challenges for destination marketing organizations.

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SoMeT has run for four years in the USA and after recently expanding to Australia, SoMeT is coming to Europe in April, 2014 too. This is an amazing opportunity for destination marketing professionals to attend a world-class event.

At ENTER2014, we caught up with the CEO of Think!, the company behind the event. Apparently, there’s a very big development in the works for this year’s event.

This year, we’re excited to be holding SoMeT Europe in Rovaniemi. We’ve got a very exciting development in the works, that’s going to be a world-first involving an airplane and a lot of social media!’

AbouTourism will be there, as Manolis Psarros is one of the SoMeT14EU speakers and we look forward to seeing you there as well.

Stay tuned for more information in the next few days.

Past Event Snapshots:

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More information can be found on the website: www.sometourism.com

and the SoMeT fan page: facebook.com/sometourism.

Top 5 AbouTourism Articles for 2013!

As we wrap up 2013, it is time to take a look at some of your favorite and most read articles from this past year.

During this past year, abouTourism offered insights on destination marketing and the latest developments, highlighted the latest trends to shape the industry and shared best practice cases showcasing successful destination development, management and marketing strategies.

It’s been an amazing year and we want to thank each and everyone for your trust and support as we are getting ready for an even more exciting 2014!

These are the Top 5 abouTourism blog posts that we loved most in 2013!

1. Destination Marketing: Social Media Campaigns that Work

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Slovenia, through the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) has a well developed digital presence promoting the country as a tourism destination. In order to raise awareness of Slovenia as a high class and attractive winter destination, STB launched an innovative winter campaign with the support of abouTourism and Mindworks, and we are excited with the results!

A simple and to the point campaign with easily spreadable content, creating word of mouth, while involving multiple user segments, including locals, professionals, potential travelers and social media influencers.

2. A New Kid on the Block: Black Sea Region & Cruise Tourism

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What does it take for emerging sea cruise destinations to establish themselves in a highly competitive market?

A response provided by abouTourism consultants, as part of a report prepared for the ‘United Nations Development Programme – Black Sea Trade and Investment Programme’ (UNDP BSTIP), is that individual destinations, physically coupled in a large geographical zone, are not going to benefit from cruise passengers visiting these localities unless they set common targets and coordinate their efforts.

3. Integrated, Multichannel Tourism Marketing: Gadgets, Books, Films & more

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When content is king and there are multiple channels to distribute various types of content, how can we make sure that the right message appears at the right people at the right time?

Today that travelers are using a combination of offline/online sources and platforms throughout the travel buying cycle, it is crucial to develop integrated, multichannel marketing campaigns as a result of proper strategic planning. Right content at the right time means appropriate messaging per channel, smartly using available tools which will all come together to complement the overall destination brand.

DMOs are called to utilize any given opportunity to pull their audience deeper into the destination’s brand, by being active content distributors, combining traditional promotional tools and marketing activities in smart ways which place excellent content where their target market is.

4. Destination Marketing: Use Your Babies, Bananas & more

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As a fact, major events can have a major impact on the visitor economy of their host destinations, but it is up to the destination tourism authorities to set how much. It is also up to the destination to think outside the box and try to capitalize on every single – or set of- strength and assets it has to support its tourism marketing efforts. In a few words….Go bananas…

When the royal baby was born, we took a look at how UK tourism agencies approached this special event to capitalize on the world wide interest, marketing the royal birth and the whole destination at the same time.

5. Effective B2B Destination Marketing-Travel Trade Workshops

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A case study of destination-focused travel trade Workshops organization for the City of Athens.

Within the framework of the City of Athens’ development and tourism promotion action plan aiming to highlight Athens in the international tourism market, the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) reached a cooperation agreement of strategic importance with the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA)The agreement sees to the establishment of a series of annual B2B workshops under the name Travel Trade Athens.

The agreement signed with ETOA, has a dual purpose for the tourism product of Metropolitan Athens and the destination’s efforts to strengthen the international image of Athens in the global tourism community. Firstly, this is the first intervention of such scale and importance after many years and with partner one of the most dynamic institutions in the European market, who trusts the city and its formal structures, such as the ADDMA. Secondly, it makes evident that Athens, as a city break and business destination, continues to be a very interesting and attractive option with promising growth prospects.

Stay tuned for more!