abouTourism’s TrendSpotting 2012 is Here!

abouTourism brings you a compilation of the latest Tourism and Travel Trends to shape the industry

Moderate growth is expected for the tourism industry in 2012, despite the uncertain global economic outlook. Factors such as rising incomes in emerging markets and stable unemployment and disposable income in mature markets are expected to drive demand this year. We have entered a period of drastic change and the industry is reinventing itself to meet changing expectations, rapid technological advancements and a shifting world economic environment.

Visit our TrendSpotting 2012 Page to see all the key trends to influence the global tourism and travel industry in 2012. The list keeps growing as it is frequently updated with all the latest tourism and travel trends. Enjoy!

AbouTourism announces official collaboration with TCI Research

24/03/2011, Athens, Greece: aboutourism, the international destination management and marketing consultancy announced its collaboration with the Brussels-based research company, TCI Research, as the exclusive representative of TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index in Greece & SE Europe/Eastern Med Destinations.

TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index, a key product of TCI Research, is an unrivaled benchmarking tool that offers tourism industry professionals vital information based on independent global feedback of tourists on over 80+ Satisfaction Indexes for over 100 destinations and markets.

“TravelSat Competitive Index, is an essential instrument for tourism destinations and fills a long sustained gap in qualitative tourism benchmarking in the region. We are optimistic that tourism decision makers seeking to enhance their marketing and competitive edge will incorporate it as part of their destination’s development, management & marketing process”, said aboutourism Managing Director & Founder Manolis Psarros.

TCI Research Founder & Managing Director Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “With aboutourism joining the network of regional TRAVELSAT partners, tourism organizations and stakeholders can combine the benefits a global standard survey with customized local expertise. Benchmarking is essential for SE Europe/Eastern Med Destinations to improve further their competitiveness.”

TRAVELSAT© is the only global professional survey offering: A reference global norm measuring tourists’ satisfaction; Independent data collection; Benchmark instrument designed for tourism stakeholders; 80+ competitive indexes reporting visitors’ experience; 100+ markets and traveller segmentsLarge and relevant benchmark (geographical & motivational); Standard methodology (2 years of validation process); Customised reporting (all destinations’ needs and sizes); Multiple applications such as marketing, policy making, communication.

More specifically, TRAVELSAT© answers questions such as:

Which accommodation types generate the highest and lowest satisfaction levels vs competitive destinations?

Do satisfied visitors envisage coming back to the same region or exploring other areas?

Who are the segments spreading good reputation of my destination vs other destinations?
And who are my detractors ? Which competitive destinations delight them today?

How do I perform on quality criteria related to sustainability and environment vs Euromed norms? And who is best-in-class in these areas?

And many more…systematically benchmarking results of destinations in their specific competitive environment.


How it Works

A scalable service fitting each needs & resources

  • Customized Snapshort Report “on demand”
  • Annual subscription fee – 24/7 dynamic online data reporting
  • Quarterly data update
  • Added value Report & Presentation by your local expert

Optional Services

  • Exclusives questions
  • Domestic module (TRAVELSAT© applied on domestic visitors)
  • Support for data based promotional actions (PR, Lobbying…)

Report example for destination: Greece


aboutourism is an Athens based, newly-formed destination development & marketing consultancy with a regional focus on South Eastern & Eastern Mediterranean Regions. A one-stop-shop for tourism boards, destination management organizations and tourism professionals associations, our passion is to help destinations succeed by providing specific solutions & implementation support in every stage of the destination’s development, management & marketing process. Further info at: http://www.aboutourism.com.

TCI Research is an independent research company based in Brussels, specializing in survey-based evaluation in the public and private tourism sectors. The company assists tourism stakeholders improve their performance and competitiveness through a better understanding of the traveller’s opinion and behaviours. The company collects reliable data based on surveys and observations to provide independent and professional analysis, with a special focus on the competitive environment of their clients.They develop a unique range of methodologies measuring travellers experience, destination performance and reputation, branding and communication. Further info at: http://www.tci-research.com.

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Love is in the air – again!

Love-themed campaigns seem to be back in fashion this year. Following its legendary predecessors “I♥NY”(30yrs old) and “Virginia is for Lovers”(40yrs old) campaigns, Philadelphia has launched a new, $1.4 million advertising campaign following last summer’s “With Love” campaign. In the same line, Washington DC Tourism officials launched a $200,000 initiative for the month of February that includes tapping  Dr. Ruth, the celebrity sex therapist, as the city’s honorary secretary of the “Department of Love and Relationships.” Many similar campaigns took place in the past (I LoVermont, Love it Hong Kong, Fall in Love with Luisiana just to name a few) as Alan ‘Brand’ Williamson successfully points out proving that the “Love” concept is a strong promotional tool with powerful messages which last in time. Take a look on the best ever love campaigns and take a moment to vote for your favourite one!

Virginia is For Lovers Campaign

Virginia is for Lovers wins Walk of Fame

Virginia’s Live Passionately Campaign

I Love New York Campaign

I Love New York Campaign is Back

I Love New York – 1980s

Mega Events for Destination Development & Marketing

2010: a year which highlights the invaluable role which Sports and Mega Events can play in destination  development & marketing

Mega events exert their influence on a whole region, entailing the cooperation of that region but yielding considerable returns. Such events include world exhibitions, international sporting events, carnivals, cultural festivals, anniversary celebrations, political events, agricultural and business shows and exhibitions. The effects of mega events are seen as numerous and often conflicting. Positive as well as negative aspects need to be taken into account, whether they are of an economic, social, political, commercial, cultural or touristic nature, and all eventualities prepared for.

Mega-sporting events can transform a city. Forgotten neighborhoods get desperately needed makeovers. Massive clean-up efforts curb smog and pollution. Transportation upgrades enhance mobility. Yet for every story of a city cleaned up, there is another of lingering debt and disrepair. Only a few large-scale events live up to their full potential. Even fewer deliver the promised long-term rewards. However, for cities and nations that focus on both the immediate and the longer term, they do more than simply host an event, they build a legacy.

As a reflection of the importance of the Travel & Tourism sector to unlock the growth potential of nations, and the role of major sporting, business and cultural events to re-inspire Tourists to travel to global destinations, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the South African Government announced that the T&T world’s first international Tourism, Sport and Mega-events Summit will be held in Sandton, South Africa from 24 to 26 February 2010.

South Africa – Diski – South African Tourism 2010 TV Advert

In 2010, a year which highlights the invaluable role which Sports and Mega Events can play in destination growth and development, the summit will provide a forum to consider the impact of mega-events – particularly sport, culture, exhibitions and entertainment – from a tourism perspective.

Recognising the proximity of events such as the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa; the 2010 World Exhibition in Shanghai, China; the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Canada, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, and the 2012 Olympic Games in the United Kingdom (read the Department of Culture. Media & Sport report:  “Winning: A Tourism Strategy for 2012 and Beyond”), the Summit will focus on the growing numbers and effects of events at a global and regional level, the economic, social and environmental consequences for host nations, and the massive multimedia opportunities for nation branding and export promotion. See below a collection of TV events’ features & tourism commercials.

2010: Year of China World Expo: A Great Opportunity for China’s Tourism

Official Dubai & UAE Tourism Commercial [UAE Expo 2010]

Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010

Tourism Whistler 2010 Olympics Commercial


New Zealand Rugby World Cup 2011

Study Snapshot: Passport to Adventure, Industry Trend Report 2010

There is expected to be 70% increase in participation in adventure travel over the next 3 years, while demand for ethical and environmentally sensitive travel will quadruple in the same period, according to a study – Passport to Adventure, Industry Trend Report 2010* – commissioned by seven of TUI’s adventure-oriented travel companies.

Here are just a few selected highlights from the consumer trends report:

How did the credit crunch affect the market?

Adventure Travel was affected by the global economic slowdown with a reduction in consumer spending over the last 18 months. This is a function of the relatively high cost of this type of holiday and the aspirational nature of many of the journeys.

In 2009, passenger numbers and revenues were down on the previous year across the market.

The nature of adventure travel, however, attracts committed enthusiasts who are now coming back for more, as evidenced by much stronger early bookings for 2010 departures. The recessionary environment has created demand for:

Value driven destinations

• Non Eurozone destinations, Turkey (+40% year on year), Poland and Slovakia

• Mid haul growth in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco (+80% year on year)

• Longhaul growth in Cambodia, Nepal, India (+40% year on year) and Kenya

More content and memorable experiences from holidays

• From our research 80% of activity holiday consumers cite their holiday as memorable (vs only 54% average for all holiday types) Returning back to the list of ‘must dos’

• Clients who delayed their ‘once in a lifetime’ list of iconic destinations are now back in earnest; in demand destinations include Kilimanjaro, The Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, India’s Golden Triangle, and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.

A Growth Sector

The YouGov survey shows a predicted 70% increase in participation in adventure travel over the next 3 years. Based on our survey responses, compared to the previous three years,

• Participation in either Activity Holidays or ‘Off the Beaten Track’ Holidays or Special Interest Holidays to nearly DOUBLE over the next three years • Similarly, participation in either an Adventure holiday or Eco friendly/Ethical holiday or ‘Discovery’ holiday is predicted to TREBLE over the next three years

• Small Group travel is forecast to increase to nearly eight million adults over the next three years. Although this includes all small group travel types, it is strongly indicative of the popularity and acceptance of holidaying with like minded travellers.

•   The Adventure Companies’ own brand data shows an increased interest and confidence from
consumers’ booking patterns: in December 2009 forward bookings for 2010 are trending solidly ahead
year on year for the same period. Customers have ‘bucket lists’ of ‘do-before-you-die’ iconic trips, and
although stalled for a year, they are now back with gusto.”

Decline in Self-Packaging

5% more consumers will choose tour operators for adventure travel in the next three years because:
-Customers don’t have the time or inclination to organise trips themselves with ease of booking cited as being the most important factor

From our research we know that those bookings through a tour operator in the next three years there will be:
-30% increase in the importance of Comfort; growing demand for active days and comfortable nights
-40% increase in the importance of the Security offered by a bonded tour operator
-40% increase in the importance of Destination Knowledge

*The report has been commissioned by The Adventure Company, Exodus, Imaginative Traveller, Peregrine Adventures, Geckos, Quark Expeditions and Headwater, referred to in the recently released report as “The Adventure Companies”. Sources include YouGov market research, tour operator booking figures, tourist office figures and Google search trend reports.

Storytelling for Destination Marketing goes mainstream!

More and more Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) tend to adopt 1st person storytelling marketing campaigns instead of traditional one way communication with uninspiring slogans & boring promotional texts. Peer 2 Peer Web applications seems to create viral effect much faster & more efficient than conventional media applications. Aussies show us the way with the Best Job in the World Campaign & now more and more destinations are following the trend. See examples below.

Only VegasWhat’s Your Excuse!

Bharat Nalluri Introduces The Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge

Stories of HawaiiThe People of Hawaii Would Like to Share their Islands with You

Thailand – Ultimate Thailand Explorers Video

California Calling – BE IN OUR AD AND BE TREATED LIKE A STAR


Presentation: Destination Marketing Accreditation Program

The Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) has reached a major milestone and now has more than 100 destination marketing organizations (DMOs) that have earned accreditation. Developed by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), this industry-wide accreditation program is designed to recognize DMOs that meet or exceed industry standards.

DMAP has accredited DMOs throughout the United States (35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), Canada, and Europe. The latest DMOs to achieve it are:

• Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (New York)
• Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau (Wisconsin)
• LA Inc. (California)
• Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau (Illinois)
• Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Corporation (Alabama)
• New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (Louisiana)
• Porter County Convention, Recreation & Visitors Commission (Indiana)
• Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau (New York)
• Tourism Saskatoon (Canada)

To become accredited a DMO must successfully complete a rigorous application process, requiring evidence of compliance with 54 mandatory standards and 33 voluntary standards. The standards set by DMAP cover a wide variety of topics including governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research/market intelligence, innovation, and stakeholder relationships.

For more information visit DMAI’s special website section for DMAP, read the DMAP web brochure or watch the DMAP Video Presentation