DMOs AND THE SHARING ECONOMY: Taking the leap

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This report discusses the role of the sharing economy in city tourism. While it’s easy to see the sharing economy as a cluster of challenges, in reality it can be a useful tool for city authorities to manage destinations effectively, connect visitors with local experiences and bring economic benefits to local people. However it also has to be regulated in a way that is fair to all stakeholders.

The more the different segments of the tourism sector realize the dynamics of the sharing economy the more we expand the scope of our work on practical aspects and implications. TOPOSOPHY has produced this free discussion paper for DMOs to help understand their role, and plan the way ahead. The paper includes:

  • Analysis of recent trends in the sharing economy, and consumer motivations for using sharing economy services
  • Discussion of how DMOs can update their regulations on sharing economy activities
  • Practical tips on building a sharing economy impact assessment, and monitoring systems
  • Step-by-step guide to making the sharing economy work in favour of the destination and local residents

Visit our new website or Click here to download the full report (free)

OUT NOW: STEPPING OUT OF THE CROWD

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Encouraging visitors to leave crowded hotspots and go in search of more enriching experiences has never been more important for destinations looking to capitalise on the rising tide of visitors from Asia’s emerging outbound markets. This is especially the case in Europe, where local residents in some of the continent’s most popular tourist hotspots have already started calling for restrictions on visitor numbers and outright bans in some neighborhoods.

While better visitor management is clearly needed in some cities, we believe that not all solutions to this dilemma have to involve clamp-downs, restrictions, bans and penalties. Just as forward-looking cities are learning to integrate the sharing economy into their tourism ecosystem (something we’ve talked a lot about recently in countries such as Portugal and Croatia), they are also finding creative ways to spread visitor spending further away from the city centre, or even to surrounding towns and villages.

This is something that we make clear in the report ‘Stepping Out of the Crowd, Where the Next Generation of Asian Travellers is Headed and How to Win a Place on their Travel Itinerary’.

This comprehensive 150-page report draws on unique consumer research carried out among Asian Millennials, as well as expert opinion, case studies from leading travel brands and data from PATA’s own forecasts on cross-border travel. It also gives practical recommendations on where to start when putting a dispersal strategy in place.

Main features of the report:

  • Unique consumer research from Millennials in 13 outbound markets across Asia on their attitudes towards trip planning, city visits and going ‘off the beaten track’.
  • Data from the PATA five year forecast to show how international arrival arrivals will affect APAC destinations in the coming years
  • Expert opinion from 14 market-leading tourism organisations, travel brands and influencers on how to set out an effective dispersal strategy.
  • Recommendations to public and private sector organisations on how to create more effective and rewarding products that encourage dispersal for Asian Millennial travellers.

How to get the report:
Full report – PATA Store (free for PATA members, US$100 for non-members)
Executive Summary (free download)
PATA press release

Video & Case Study

TOPOSOPHY makes the best of what every place has to offer

As a destination marketing and management agency whose long-term commitment is to help destinations to ‘make the best of what every place has to offer’, TOPOSOPHY is delighted to have been part of such a groundbreaking project. We believe in smart planning that understands market dynamics, combined with innovative marketing that makes use of creative technological solutions. We also know that ‘hidden gems’ are what can put your place on the map. So if you’re interested to learn more about how to make the best of what your place has to offer, just drop us an email or come and meet us at our forthcoming events. We’d be pleased to talk with you!

Click here to watch the case study video 

MEXICAN TOURISM UNCOVERED

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To build a tourism strategy that lasts and that works for all, you have to be realistic in analysing what works and what doesn’t. In the second of this ‘‘Uncovered’’ series of reports, experts at TOPOSOPHY lift the lid on tourism trends in Mexico and make an honest, frank assessment of the top priorities for government and business in the country today.

Domestic and international tourism in Mexico is continuously growing. The tourism industry growth continues to ride higher than the average national GDP growth and investment in the tourism sector is pouring into the country as the main source market, the United States, recovers from the global financial crisis.

Nevertheless image remains the main concern as incidents relating to organised crime continue to affect parts of the country and Mexican citizens have mobilized to demand more security as mid-term elections approach (Summer 2015). As this report will explain, the media often reports a distorted view of the reality of daily life in Mexico. Furthermore, Mexicans’ views of their own country can often be subject to an inferiority complex or over-influenced by current events.

Discover TOPOSOPHY’s take on the current state of Mexican Tourism in this candid report that aims to provide an external view and an independent perspective on how a tourism industry with high potential can deliver for the country in the future.

DESTINATION MARKETING TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2015

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Here at TOPOSOPHY we believe that you can only take the best decisions when you can see the bigger picture – so we’re starting the New Year with in-depth analysis of the biggest trends emerging in global tourism and
marketing.

Will the Apple Watch break new ground where other tech wearables have failed to do so?

Will this be the year when we see Airbnb take the leap and merge with a major online travel agent?

Will we ever reach ‘peak selfie’?

Will DMOs take more initiatives in community and economic development?

Discover our top 15 travel trends for 2015…

Want to know more about TOPOSOPHY? Find out here.

THE SHARING ECONOMY IN TOURISM AND THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR

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LESSONS FOR TOURISM DESTINATIONS AND BUSINESSES

In recent years, the sharing economy has begun to transform many aspects of life. It is enabling individuals, companies and communities to re-imagine how they live, grow, connect and operate sustainably. Tourism has emerged as one of the leading sectors for growth in the sharing economy as visitors and residents share homes, cars, boats, four course meals and a whole lot else.

As the sharing economy has ballooned to attract users and providers of all ages and walks of life, it’s clear that sharing someone’s apartment or car isn’t always just about saving money. A multitude of drivers have pushed sharing to become the mainstream practice that it is today and there are many lessons that tourism destinations and businesses can learn from that as they grapple with reforming laws to keep consumers safe, and competition fair.

In the coming weeks you’ll be able to learn more as TOPOSOPHY’s experts release a groundbreaking report called The Sharing Economy in Tourism and the Hospitality Sector with lessons to be learned on all sides and many opportunities to share opinions as TOPOSOPHY plans Sharing Economy Workshops across Europe in 2015.

Here’s a sneak preview of the report. Enjoy!

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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!

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

Big Data & the Travel Industry

Big data has the potential to transform how travel companies deliver services to travellers, according to the latest study by Amadeus.

Big data is arguably the biggest opportunity in a generation for travel businesses to embrace the changing structure of data and maximize its use. It offers the potential for a vast shift for all travel companies, empowering them to enhance both the business and experience of travel. As with any generational shift in technology, however, the opportunities arrive hand-in-hand with the potential for significant disruption, which naturally bring many challenges – competitive and creative – for the travel industry to consider.

Amadeus Big Data Report
Amadeus Big Data Report

“At the Big Data Crossroads: turning towards a smarter travel experience”, an independent study just published by Amadeus, explores the impact of large volume, unstructured data known as big data on the global travel industry.

The study finds that travel companies are at a crucial big data crossroads: big data has a vital role to play in delivering a more efficient and tailored travel experience with benefits to both travel companies and travelers alike. However, its potential is still confined to early adopters in the travel sector, and it calls for more widespread consideration across the industry about how new approaches to big data can yield significant opportunities.

Big Data- means for Travel
http://www.amadeus.com

Here is an overview of the major points:

Big data offers significant benefits for all travel companies
The benefits of big data for travel providers and travelers are explored, including:
• Better decision support
• New products and services
• Better customer relationships
• Cheaper, faster data processing

Big data in the travel industry is currently being driven by early adopters

The diverse ways in which big data is being used by early adopters in the travel industry are investigated, with a focus on:
• Optimizing revenue management
• Customizing travel distribution
• Transforming corporate travel
• Enhancing internal operations
• Boosting financial performance

Challenges need to be overcome so the industry can realize the potential of big data

The study acknowledges the technical and operational challenges associated with big data adoption in the industry, namely:
• Creating an integrated data source
• Working in a hybrid technological environment
• Overcoming the data skills shortage (an issue in all industries adopting big data)
• Maintaining competitive advantage

Finally, here is a series of recommendations for travel companies preparing to embrace big data:

  • Research big data
  • Strategize about big data 
  • Don’t just explore big data technology – look at the changes you will need to make to business and operational    processes too
  • Start assembling big data skills 
  • Work with partners

Find the Full Report here

View this and all the latest Tourism & Travel Trends and Developments in Trendspotting 2013.