International Tourism & Travel Trends

The WTM Global Trends Report 2013 was just launched during London’s WTM 2013, in association with Euromonitor International and highlights the emerging trends from around the world.

A global overview presents the following key findings:

  • The global economy is expected to record 3.1% growth in 2013, a stable performance compared to 2012.
  • The IMF predicts global GDP to grow by 3.8% in 2014, thanks to positive growth in the Eurozone, the economy picking up in the US and a further increase in emerging markets.
  • The long-term economic potential of the BRICs and other emerging markets remains solid and is expected to drive positive performance of the global economy over 2015-2017.
  • Global tourist arrivals and inbound spending are predicted to continue to be vital over the 2012-2017 period, boosted by increasing demand from emerging markets.
  • Advanced markets are recovering after the difficulties experienced since the crisis with tourism flows and spending from the US, Japan and Europe returning to growth. 
  • Online travel agencies are growing in importance, with Expedia and Priceline dominating this space. Players from emerging markets are also gaining ground, like the Chinese online travel agency Ctrip.
  • Mobile travel bookings are becoming significant globally, reaching double-digit shares of online sales for some key players in the online travel agency and hotel categories in 2012.

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The Global Trends Report 2013 reveals how travel players are differentiating and innovating their products and services, all while embracing social media.

Non-traditional demographic groups are emerging with PANKs ‘Professional Aunt, No Kids,’ a new target market in the US, while child friendly and multi-generational safaris in Africa are growing more popular.

We see that business models are adapting to suit customers’ needs, where low-cost carriers are going upmarket in the Middle East and hotels offer microstays. Peer-to-peer continues to make inroads despite legislative hurdles. The lure of the East grows apace with cruise operators diving into the Chinese market.

Social media channels are important to improving the customer experience, as seen with the emergence of the mobile concierge, while in India, social channels are giving online travel companies’ sales a welcome boost.

Here are the main identified trends per region:

  • AmericasPANKs – A New Demographic

The travel industry is starting to cater to the ‘Professional Aunt, No Kids’  demographic.

  • UK: Travel Happiness Index

Routehappy.com provides a unique measurement of customer satisfaction via its happiness scores for airlines.

  • Europe: Next Generation Peer-to-Peer Travel

Peer-to-peer travel services are recording strong growth in Europe,  offering authentic experiences at affordable prices.

  • Middle East: Low-Cost Goes Upmarket

Middle Eastern consumers have a penchant for luxury, which has led LCCs to introduce business class-style services.

  • Africa: The Big Five with Your Little One

Child-focused safaris in Africa are becoming more popular, driven by demand for multi-generational holidays.

  • Asia: Fight for Cruise Control in China

China is set to become a key market for cruise companies as this new type of holiday rises in popularity.

  • India: The Travel Social Shake-Up

Indian online travel players are using social media more effectively to target young urban consumers.

  • Global Village: Vacancy on Demand – Chasing the 24-hour Traveller 

Microstays have emerged as an attractive means of boosting hotel revenues, by targeting business travellers on the move.

  • Travel Technology: Mobile Concierge

Travel companies are increasingly using mobile channels to satisfy customers’ needs before, during and after the trip.

You can find the Full WTM Global Trends 2013 report here

and check out TrendSpotting 2013 for all the latest Tourism & Travel Reports

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

Having concluded the Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop which took place in Athens on 10-11 October 2013 offering great insights by top international and regional tourism experts on Black Sea Region tourism developments and international trends, we would like to share with you the key insights from the study on Cruise Tourism in the Black Sea Region prepared by abouTourism on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme – ‘Black Sea Trade and Investment Programme’ (UNDP BSTIP).

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

That was a key debate during the 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, especially with respect to the Black Sea Region (BSR) which has only lately appeared in the geography of cruise industry.

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.

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A straight explanation is that cruise lines do not only examine the local availability of adequate infrastructure, low tariffs, or a plethora of on-shore activities for their clients while building a destination portfolio. Much depends as well on security terms, reinforcement facilities, and the combination of different types of attractions. The latter factors are assessed by cruise lines at a regional scale, which explains why the cruise industry is usually divided into large zones, among which the Caribbean and the Mediterranean have traditionally had the lion’s share in port calls and cruise passengers.

Thus, there is much at stake for emerging destinations in the BSR not merely because of the industry’s capacity to sustain trends of positive growth throughout the emergence and escalation of the economic crisis and its potential to penetrate in new source markets, among which are included the countries of Russia and Turkey. In considering the industry’s consolidated structure, with four companies accounting for 86% of global market, the incorporation of the BSR in future deployment trends depends both on private sector strategy and the flexibility of authorities at a regional and local level to upgrade their territories, promote them in a consistent manner, and effectively negotiate partnership terms with cruise lines.

This argument is consistent with the recent experience of a series of regional practices from the Southeast Asia, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean discussed in the report. In terms of developing new itineraries, investing in port facilities, undertaking place marketing, and assessing the visitors’ impact, these examples illustrate the usefulness of supranational bodies and international associations as flexible networks with a clear agenda and a visionary mission founded on shared values. Without ignoring challenges that arise from the current economic climate, geopolitical conditions and the lack of a well-established brand for the whole area, intra-regional collaboration in the case of the BSR is examined as a means to foster sound policies aimed at enhancing cruise tourism product quality, competing for market share, and increasing mutual benefits for all countries and parties involved.

The countries that surround the inland sea and compose a cultural mosaic of various traditions have had their own distinctive approaches to policy-making for mass and alternative tourism, with some of them recording substantial, if not drastic in some cases increases of international tourist arrivals over the last decade. It is a fact, however, that the BSR has not yet capitalized on its proximity and close relationships with Mediterranean destinations, maintaining a cruise tourism market share consistently less than one per cent within the whole Mediterranean.

It can also be said that partnership building may be difficult, when territorial variations shape the ways in which each member state of the BSTIP tackles the debate of cruise tourism. Most of the member countries of UNDP BSTIP are basically preoccupied with the expansion of their sea cruise destinations (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Greece), some countries are gradually making their path to the market of river cruises (Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine), while others can only examine how they can gain secondary benefits from the expansion of cruises in the BSR (Armenia and Azerbaijan).

Nevertheless, there have also been encouraging signs. From an institutional perspective, this report has come at a time of ongoing deliberations among the Black Sea port authorities and other stakeholders, especially with respect to a recently established project under the brand name ‘Cruise Black Sea’ (CBS). With the explicit aim of strengthening cooperation between the participants in the field of cruises development in the BSR and promoting the regional ports internationally as a united cruise destination, the CBS project appears to provide an adequate framework for conducting marketing research with a regional focus and playing an industry-specific, yet by no means negligible role in cultivating or stabilizing bilateral relationships.

Interestingly, the CBS initiative has not only been associated with an increasing awareness across the BSR of the importance of multiculturalism as a term that captures conceptually both the essence of the region’s history and the major source of tourist attraction for cruise passengers. More importantly, it has also coincided with a pattern of growth for 2013, with more cruise lines arriving at the BSR in order to take advantage of ongoing improvements in port infrastructure, the relatively short sailing distances among the Black Sea ports, and the wealth of cultural and natural attractions allocated among 20 destinations.

Undertaking a detailed analysis of these issues, the report has set a thematic agenda for a vivid dialogue between UNDP-BSTIP and the main parties involved in cruise tourism, basically including port authorities and cruise lines. The time is appropriate for such a dialogue because of late signs of growth in the region’s overall tourism sector and particularly in cruise tourism. Multiculturalism is not merely a concept that summarizes what makes the BSR a composition of attractive tourist destinations. People in cruise industry need to deal with this condition in a daily routine, because doing regional business means doing regional partnerships. Port authorities are right to believe that a unified brand will help the cruise industry regionally, but this could be part of a greater strategy incorporating in a systematic manner the concerns and interests of various localities and stakeholders .

What the examples of other regions show is that complex problems can rarely be understood without collaboration, let alone solved. On these grounds, the report also draws the industry’s attention to a few more issues that will shape the future of cruise tourism in the BSR.

  • The special role of Istanbul especially in the light of new infrastructure investments and the growing expansion of Turkish Airlines;
  • Connection between ports and airports across the BSR; development of itineraries, fly-cruise operations, homeports, and the future role of Odessa;
  • Legislative framework and funding sources of the important investments that currently take place in many ports (e.g. Burgas, Sevastopol, Sochi, Batumi, etc); exchange of views over the experience of concessions;
  • Integration of infrastructure investments with urban regeneration plans;
  • Development of a common tariff policy;
  • Visa arrangements;
  • Development of shore activities on the basis of common quality standards and with the aim of promoting further the tourism product of each locality and country;
  • Influence of Mega-events such as the winter Olympics and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014;

Check out the Presentation below for full information: 

International Tourism on the Rise Boosted by Europe

Demand for international tourism remained strong throughout the first eight months of 2013, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Between January and August, the number of international tourists worldwide grew by 5%, driven by strong results in Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle EastUNWTO’s Panel of Experts confirms this positive trend. Its evaluation of the May-August period shows a significant improvement in confidence, while prospects for the last four months of 2013 remain upbeat.

In the first eight months of the year, international tourist arrivals grew by 5% to reach a record 747 million worldwide, some 38 million more than in the same period of 2012.

After a solid start of the year, demand for international tourism maintained strength throughout the Northern Hemisphere peak season. The months of June to August have shown sound results – in absolute numbers, international arrivals topped 125 million in both July and August, while in June the 100 million arrivals mark was exceeded for the first time.

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“While global economic growth is in low gear, international tourism continues to produce above average results in most world regions, offering vital opportunities for employment and local economies,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai at the Opening of the European Tourism Forum in Vilnius. “This is particularly important for Europe, where unemployment is a major concern in many destinations and where the tourism sector has been a source of job growth in the last decade. Furthermore, through its value chain, tourism creates businesses and jobs in many other sectors and produces significant export revenues which contribute favourably to the balance of payments in many countries,” he added.

International tourist numbers grow in all regions

Europe (+5%) benefited the most from the growth of tourism in the first eight months of 2013, with an estimated 20 million more arrivals in the region. Given that Europe is the world’s largest tourism region with many mature destinations, a 5% growth rate is very positive. Central and Eastern Europe (+7%) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%) performed particularly well.

Asia and the Pacific (+6%) continued to show robust growth bolstered by South-East Asia (+12%) adding some ten million arrivals.

The Americas (+3%), which gained four million additional arrivals in the first eight months of the year, reported comparatively weaker results, with North America (+4%) in the lead.

Africa (+5%) where growth was by led by the recovery of North Africa (+6%), received two million extra arrivals, while in the Middle East arrivals rebounded by 7% after two years of decline.

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UNWTO Panel of Experts confidence up

World tourism performed better than expected in the period May to August 2013 according to the confidence survey conducted among UNWTO´s Panel of Experts this September. The survey revealed a sharp increase in confidence among destinations and businesses, in particular among experts from advanced economies in line with the better than expected performance in world tourism. For the last four months of the year the Panel continues to be rather optimistic.

Growth in tourism receipts trails arrivals

With very few exceptions, the positive results in arrivals are also reflected in the international tourism receipts reported for the first six to eight months of the year. Among the 25 largest international tourism earners, receipts grew by double-digits in Thailand (+27%), Hong Kong (China) (+25%), Turkey (+22%), Japan (+19%), the United Kingdom (+18%), Greece (+15%), India (+14%), Malaysia (+12%) and the United States (+11%).

Emerging economies continue to drive international tourism spending

Emerging economies continue to lead international tourism expenditure, with all BRIC countries except India, reporting double-digit growth. China posted an extraordinary 31% increase in spending, while the Russian Federation (+28%) and Brazil (+15%) likewise saw a sound increase during the period.

Tourism spending was slower in the advanced economy source markets of Canada (+4%), the United Kingdom (+2%), France (+2%), the United States (+1%) and Germany (0%), while Japan, Australia and Italy saw declines in expenditure.

Source: UNWTO

Find all the latest Tourism & Travel Trend Reports in TrendSpotting 2013

Study: European Business Travel on the Rise

Business travel spend in Western Europe sees largest annual growth since global recession as it is set to grow 3.4% in 2014.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, announced the results of its latest GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Western Europe report, a semi-annual analysis of the five most critical business travel markets in Europe: Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain. These five markets together form the lion’s share of business travel in the region, nearly 70%, and act as a good barometer of the health of the entire European business travel market.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Business travel spending among the five markets is expected to hit $183 billion USD, (€144.7 billion) 3.3% growth over 2013. This projected gain would be the largest in Western Europe since the Great Recession.
  • Germany remains the largest business travel market in Europe reaching $50.5 billion USD in 2012. This is expected to increase 5% in 2013 to $53 billion USD.
  • The UK has the second highest level of spending on business travel in Western Europe – $40.6 billion USD in 2012 – expected to advance 1.6% in 2013 to $41.3 billion USD.
  • Spain, Italy and France will all see their business travel markets contract in 2013 by -6.7%, -3.9% and -2.3% respectively.
  • In 2013, domestic business travel will fare better than international outbound in all five markets except for the UK.

“After six consecutive quarters of decline, Europe has finally turned the corner. Challenges remain but we cannot ignore the economic progress that has been made and the impact that this will have on both domestic and international travel across Western Europe. Next year we can expect to see the largest annual growth in business travel spending in more than 6 years”, Catherine McGavock, Regional Director for Europe for GBTA.

“The upsurge in business travel spending, as noted by the BTI™, reinforces the fact that the Western Europe economy is stabilizing,” said Tad Fordyce, head of global commercial solutions at Visa Inc. “Although the recession took a toll on these markets, we are very optimistic this upward movement will continue the momentum into 2014.”

North South Divide Still Very Evident

European economic growth remains a two-speed story with the Northern markets showing positive growth that has not yet been enough to compensate for the still-negative performance of the Southern tier.

Last year proved to be a challenging one for the Western European economy and for business travel. Business travel policies were tightened and budgets were reduced or frozen. Total travel spend across all five key country markets combined to register a decline of 2.2% in 2012, to $177.4 billion USD. However, while Germany and the UK eked out small positive growth rates for the year, negative performance in Italy, Spain and France overwhelmed the slight growth in the North. The Southern countries are expected to continue to decline for the remainder of the year and into early 2014, but with Germany and the UK gathering momentum, the region will see a return to growth in 2014. The GBTA Foundation expects travel spending to be essentially flat in 2013 then rise by 3.4% the following year.

Eurozone Corporate Profits

Business travel is very closely tied to corporate profit performance, another indicator that is beginning to turn around in Europe.Corporate profits in Northern tier countries are beginning to show positive growth over year-ago levels.Theexpectation for the rest of 2013 and 2014 is for operating surpluses to stabilize and begin to improve, driven finally by some top-line revenue growth to combine with cost-cutting programs that have been in force since 2011. All of this bodes well for both domestic and international overseas business travel.

Country-Level Business Travel Outlooks

Germany

  • GBTA forecasts growth in total business travel spending to hit 5% in 2013. 2014 will be another strong period for German business travel, which will grow 6.1% to $56.3 billion USD.
  • Spending on domestic business travel is expected to end the year up 5.7% over 2012. Even more growth is in store in 2014 as domestic business travel spending is projected to surge 7.7% to $46.4 billion USD.
  • GBTA expects international outbound travel to increase 2% in 2013, but fall again slightly in 2014.

United Kingdom

  • GBTA expects total business travel spending to hit $41.3 billion USD in 2013, up 1.6% from 2012. Spending will continue to pick up pace in 2014, advancing 2.9%.
  • Domestic spending is projected to grow 0.8% and 4.0% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
  • International outbound business travel is likely to outperform domestic spending in 2013 but that trend will reverse in 2014, mostly due to exchange rate effects. Total international outbound business travel spend is projected to grow 3.0% and 0.8% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

France

  • GBTA forecasts total business travel spending to fall by -2.3% in 2013 to $34.9 billion USD. Business travel spending will see small gains in 2014, expanding by 2.7% to $35.8 billion USD.
  • Domestic business travel spending continues to stagnate in 2013 with annual growth of 0.3%. 2014 is expected to be a much better year for domestic business travel in France where spending is projected to grow to 4.6%.
  • International outbound spending will fare significantly worse with expected declines of -6.7%. Losses are expected to slow in 2014 with total international outbound spending falling -0.9%.

Spain

  • Spanish business travel spending is set to decrease in 2013 Q2 – its ninth straight quarter of decline, falling -6.7%. Quarterly growth will resume by the last quarter of the year and continue through 2014 with total business travel spending expected to grow by 1.6% in 2014 to $17 billion USD.
  • Both domestic and international outbound business travel will see significant declines in 2013, falling -5.8% and -9.9%, respectively. Domestic business travel will lead growth in 2014, rising 2.1% as international outbound travel falls another -0.6%.

Italy

  • GBTA expects a business travel spending loss in Italy amounting to -3.9% in 2013 with total spending gains for 2014 projected at 1.2%.
  • Spending on domestic business travel in Italy will fall -3.6% in 2013 before expanding 1.4% in 2014.
  • Spending on international outbound business travel will fall -7.2% in 2013 and another -0.3% in 2014.

Find the latest Tourism & Travel studies in TrendSpotting 2013

The Changing DMO Landscape: 2013 DMO Organizational & Financial Profile Study

Investment in official destination marketing organizations (DMOs), continues to grow at strong, sustainable levels according to a new study just released by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).

The new 2013 DMO Organizational & Financial Profile Study shows the average DMO budget broke the US$3.0 million mark in 2013, a 3% increase over 2012. The study covers detailed findings from nearly 220 U.S and Canada-based DMOs.

DMAI 2013 DMO Organizational & Financial Profile Study
http://www.destinationmarketing.org

A significant percentage of this growth can be attributed to an increase in public investment, which grew an average of 4% to US$2.4 million. More than three-fourths (79%) of destination marketing organizations receive public investment in the form of hotel taxes, averaging 75% of all DMO revenue. As travel demand increases, hotel demand follows suit; data from Smith Travel Research supports this story, indicating back-to-back years of record demand in 2011 and 2012 for the U.S. hotel industry.

However, not all of the increase in DMO budgets can be attributed to growth in hotel taxes. Increasingly, destinations are implementing new mechanisms to augment their investment in destination marketing and travel demand to reap greater returns for their communities. One out of seven destinations reported increased investment through a Tourism Improvement Districts (TID), Marketing District Assessment (MDA) or voluntary marketing fees.

Community leaders from a wide range of markets are recognizing the benefits of marketing their destinations and upping the ante in promotional efforts in places like Dallas, TX; Hilton Head, SC; Indiana Dunes, IN; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; the State of Florida and Washington, DC.

In terms of private investment, 42% of DMOs generate revenue through membership dues while 35% report new partnership revenue streams. Destinations are rethinking their structures to better align member and partners goals with consumer needs. The San Francisco Travel Association, the official destination marketing organization for San Francisco, has completely redesigned its partnership structure, allowing partners to choose the level of services being provided and the markets they wish to target.

The bi-annual study from DMAI focuses on critical topics — revenue sources, program expenditures, organizational structure – and provides DMOs the opportunity to benchmark themselves with industry norms and other DMOs in their budget category, and identify opportunities for improving their performance.

The report is available for purchase at DMAI’s Product Store.

See previous DMO Profile studies by DMAI:

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

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.

Let’s have a look at a variety of recent destination marketing initiatives across various channels and mediums:

First Google Glass Tourism Campaign

Tourism authorities at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel have become the first to use Google Glass technology for a tourism marketing campaign,  wanting to give visitors a hands-free way to capture their vacation.

The Floridian beach area saw 1.3 million people create 17.9 million social media impressions in four days earlier this month when five bloggers, writers and authors visited the area under the #FindYourIsland hashtag, with the new glass technology to test whether this could actually be a new way of visitors’ destination experience.

Google Glass can show users various information through the lenses while it allows the user to take photos and video and share them on social media platforms by voice command. New way of experiences on the way?

Google glass

The five ambassadors showed the region’s natural beauty, history, outdoors, art and culture and culinary offering through a series of challenges. Potential tourists participating had the chance to win a holiday to the area or a pair of Google Glasses when they become available in 2014.

Tweets included the #throughglass hashtag to maximize the spread of all the images, videos and blogs.

Tourism Ireland Launches Online Foodie Films

Tourism Ireland has launched the first in a series of new online short films, with the intention of enticing foodies across the globe to visit Ireland.  For the first short, online now and available to view here, Cobh and Cork are in the spotlight.

Tourism Ireland aims to tell the story of our indigenous food, to capture the attention of foodies worldwide. The short videos, called Flavours of Ireland, aim to whet the appetites of those interested in a culinary journey on their holiday or short break.

at the same time,

Florida Tourism is Getting into Reality TV

The chief marketing officer for Visit Florida recently announced that the state’s quasi-public tourism marketing agency is supporting three new reality TV shows with three cable networks.

VF realityshows

The shows on the Golf Channel, Telemundo and BET will feature Florida settings and start running next year.

It’s the first time Visit Florida is getting into the reality TV business, although the agency has supported other television ventures, including a Florida cooking show with Emeril Lagasse that will have a second season.

Meanwhile, going beyond movies,

Hong Kong Tourism Marketing through Books

In its latest marketing drive, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has collaborated with bestselling Indian author Durjoy Datta to write a romantic novel set in the city, “Hold My Hand”.

hktbwriter

The HKTB firmly believes that the passion of Indian consumers for books and Datta’s popularity in the market will generate huge interest in Hold My Hand and Hong Kong, the city where the love story in the book takes place.

HKTB Executive Director Anthony Lau said, “India, with its rapidly growing outbound tourism, is one of Hong Kong’s five key new markets. Seeing Indian’s passion for books, we decided to go for an unusual way this year to attract more Indian visitors to Hong Kong.  We hope that our ground breaking PR initiatives, including the book, will help us consolidate Hong Kong’s presence in the market and attract more Indian visitors to Hong Kong.”

Leveraging the novel, the HKTB will collaborate with major attractions and other trade partners in Hong Kong to develop a special “Hold My Hand” Travel Package that features the romantic places visited by the novel’s protagonists. It will also partner with Macau and Indian travel agents to promote multi-destination itineraries to Indian travellers.

Sources: Hong Kong Tourism BoardVisit FloridaTourism IrelandThe Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Global Competitiveness Survey: Arabian Peninsula Destinations Image

Based on a survey carried out among international travelers, TCI Research reports that Dubai achieves the highest scores both in awareness and positive image, compared with the other destinations from the Arabian Peninsula.

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With 93% of prompted awareness and 3 out of 4 travelers having a positive image of Dubai, the Emirate surpasses its competitors in the region. However Abu Dhabi and Qatar also enjoy strong levels of awareness but still need to improve their image to rival Dubai, especially on female travelers.

More “emerging” destinations in the region like Ajman and Sharjah are known (even only by name) by around 1 out of 4 travelers and still have opportunity to build a stronger awareness and consolidate their image.

Commenting on the results, TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “While the overall image of Arabian Peninsula destinations may be often challenged by travelers, Dubai remains the most known destination in the region enjoying a solid brand capital. However the competition within the region and at international level is intensifying with both mature and new players: in this context, beyond awareness and image, actual visitors’ experience remains an essential factor of success for keeping a competitiveness advantage”.

Technical note:
Flash online survey based on 300+ international travellers from 30 different markets, aged 18-70 years old.
Data collected in July 2013.  Source: TCI Research traveller panel.

About TCI Research
TCI Research is a Brussels based leading independent research agency specializing in tourism destinations’ competitiveness evaluation. It carries out the UNWTO Innovation Award Winning TRAVELSAT Index, a reference global benchmarking survey benchmarking countries, regions and cities’ competitiveness based on visitors’ experience.

abouTourism is the exclusive representative of TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index in SE Europe/Eastern Med Destinations. For more information you may contact us at: info@abouTourism.com or  (+30) 210 8941610.

Check out previous International Competitive Survey results by TRAVELSAT:

Tourism Competitiveness Survey: Beyond Sun & Sea

Film Tourism & Travel Motivation

BRIC Visitors & Shopping – Global Competitive Survey

Global Tourism Survey: Visitors Expect Better Digital & Mobile Experience

Market Segmentation: Who’s your Target?

It’s time to take advantage of the available data to get to know your target audience! Segmenting your market will give you the information you need to reach them all with relevant messaging both on traditional and on social, local and mobile media.

In this post we see three new destination marketing campaigns targeting specific market segments. So, based on your tourism product mix and brand positioning, whom is your destination marketing activity targeting? Is it for example the perfect match for the fabulous 40+, the LGBT market or the hip people?

Philly for LGBT Travelers

In 2004, Philadelphia broke ground with an advertising campaign aimed at LGBT travelers.

That campaign — “Get your history straight and your nightlife gay” — won accolades in the travel industry and generated business.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. has now introduced a follow-up campaign. A 30-second commercial spot, “Miss Richfield’s Selfie Tour,” follows the exploits of the character Miss Richfield 1981 as she snaps pictures of herself and friends at Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Rocky Steps and other sites. Miss Richfield is a flashy drag queen character created by Minnesota native Russ King.

Philly“Ten years ago, Philadelphia was proud to officially ‘come out’ as a gay-friendly destination when we invited LGBT travelers to visit,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of GPTMC. “With our new commercial, we’re going beyond our history roots and reiterating our invitation, celebrating both the city’s evolution into a premier destination and the LGBT community’s progress over the last decade.”

Starting next month, the commercial will air on the Bravo and Style networks in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and on Logo TV nationally. It will also run on advocate.com, out.com and outtraveler.com. GPTMC says it’s only the third major campaign of this kind, behind Philadelphia’s own 2004 effort and a 2011 campaign done by Key West, Fla.

Destination D.C. is Cool- or is it?

Destination D.C., the city’s official convention and tourism corporation—has announced the “D.C. Cool.” campaign, aimed at luring visitors away from only seeing traditional tourism spots, like the National Mall, monuments and Smithsonian museums, and getting them to visit various other cultural landmarks and neighborhoods outside of downtown D.C. .

The campaign will launch in February, in order to coincide with an installation the Portrait Gallery is doing that month called “American Cool,” which will feature mostly black-and-white photos of American icons that define, well, cool: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Miles Davis, which is where the organization got the idea from, according to Destination D.C. .

D.C Cool

The D.C. Cool campaign will also use Destination D.C.’s partnerships with Cultural D.C., the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, in order to introduce visitors to the the city’s vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene.

“So many people think of D.C. as big government, and money men, and serious history, and that’s all good. But there’s such a bigger piece to the city,” Maciejewski said. “D.C. Cool is all about getting them off the National Mall to experience the nightlife, and the neighborhoods, and the restaurants. To get a feel for the cool side of the city.”

The key pillars of D.C. Cool are the words “bold, original, unique, dramatic and inspiring.” The vibe the city is trying to portray is highlighted in a short video that attempts to embody cool: There’s deep-voiced narration that sounds suspiciously like Morgan Freeman, there’s the oh-so-trendy fish-eye camera shots, there’s jazz in the background.

While the campaign’s title may attract haters, since after a recent presentation about D.C. Cool to stakeholders and press not everyone was impressed, Destination D.C. is relying on the people of the city to tell visitors what’s cool, which is actually pretty cool.

Thailand:  The Health & Wellness Destination for the 40+

As part of its international “Find Your Fabulous” wellness and medical tourism campaign, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is unveiling a friendly global competition intended to salute ladies who are still fit and fabulous after their 40th birthdays.

The Fabulous 40+ Photo Contest invites women from around the world to submit images showing off their fabulous form, and the contestant showing the most youthful, age-defying appearance will be rewarded with an exclusive 3-day Find Your Fabulous trip to Bangkok.

Candidates become fans of ThailandMedTourism and the Find Your Fabulous campaign; then, they submit their most fabulous photos. The winners of the Fabulous 40+ Photo Contest will be determined by the number of “votes”. The one with the most votes will be the winner, followed by the first and second runners-up respectively. The winner will receive a 3-day/2-night exclusive health and beauty package for herself and one friend.

The TAT hopes that the Fabulous 40+ Photo Contest will further illuminate Thailand’s thriving medical & wellness industry and the wealth of top-quality, convenient, and affordable aesthetic treatments on offer for international tourists of all shapes and sizes.

Sources: Destination D.C.Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)www.bizjournals.com