Film Tourism & Travel Motivation

A new global survey comes to confirm that encouraging film shooting in a destination proves to be a very efficient driver for attracting new visitors!

According to the global benchmarking survey TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index, last year around 40 millions international tourists chose their destination mostly because they saw a film shot in the country.

The survey also reports that regions and cities can widely benefit from this driver for attracting first time visitors, young travellers and city breakers in particular.

In average and depending on the destination and market, 1 to 10 visitors of 100 would choose a destination mostly thanks to movies. Moreover BRIC markets tend to be especially sensitive to this channel. The analysis extracted from the global TRAVELSAT Competitive Index Survey is based on 25.000+ representative international travellers (leisure, MICE and VFR).

Commenting on the results, CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “Supporting film shooting in a destination can offer higher ROI than traditional communication campaigns and may offer an indirect yet efficient promotional media for destinations as part of their marketing mix. DMOs have therefore all interest in tightening their relationship with the cinema industry if they wish to rival better vs international competition”.

As for destination marketing, the latest example comes from India where the government has launched a tourism campaign aiming to take maximum advantage of the worldwide popularity of “Life of Pi“, which has been partly shot in the beautiful locales of Puducherry and Munnar in Kerala.

The “Land of Pi” campaign will be launched across all media, including print, online, electronic and outdoor, to promote Puducherry and Munnar as tourist destinations in the country.The Tourism Ministry has already announced special National Tourism Awards for Ang Lee, Director, and Yann Martel, author of the book “Life of Pi”, for promoting India through the film.Recognising the importance of cinema as a powerful tool for development and promotion of various tourist destinations, the ministry has undertaken several initiatives for promoting film tourism through films shot in India.

As per the campaign plan, “Land of Pi” posters will be displayed worldwide through India tourism offices overseas. They will also organise road shows to promote Indian destinations in China and Taiwan, where the film has been very well received. T-shirts and caps branding the two destinations of Pi will also distributed as per the massive campaign. Luxury buses plying between Chennai and Puducherry and Kochi and Munnar will be branded with “Land of Pi” creatives; Special “Land of Pi” tours and walking trails will be organised for tourists visiting Puducherry and Munnar. Also, short films on the tourist attractions in Puducherry and Munnar which have been depicted in the film have been created and being put on Youtube and other social media networks.

Source: India Today

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New Sustainability Criteria for Destinations

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announced the second phase of its new Destination Criteria.

Overseen by GSTC’s Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International, the GSTC is once again soliciting input and comments from all travel and tourism stakeholders on this exciting project, ensuring diverse feedback is collected.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Criteria for Destinations are designed to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses toward the steps that are needed to sustain their natural and cultural assets, while benefiting local communities. The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become a worldwide standard for tourism businesses.

Based on the results of the first phase of this project, which included an international public call for feedback and pilot testing of the criteria in six Early Adopter Destinations around the world, the GSTC has revised and improved the Destination Criteria.

The new draft version is available for public consultation and input until February 15, 2013.

These comments, along with feedback received via early-adopter destinations, will inform a final version of the Destination Criteria.

More info:

Survey Shows Increased Demand for Destination Specific Offers and Info by Business Travelers

Sabre Travel Network has revealed some of the results of its biannual mobile survey of business travelers.

According to Sabre, the results confirm that the explosion of mobile travel services over the past several years has single-handedly “consumerized” business travel. Tomorrow’s travelers will expect even more convenience and functionality from their mobile devices, and corporations and travel management companies must meet those needs or risk being left behind.

“Our survey shows that business travel today is personal,” said Chris Kroeger, senior vice president of Sabre Travel Network. “Travelers want the same functionality and convenience from their business travel tools that they have in their daily lives. People use travel services on their smartphones everyday and for every trip – before, during and after they travel. The corporate travel industry needs to keep pace with the services and apps that travelers can access in their personal life and incorporate those into the world of managed business travel.”

According to the Sabre’s survey, 63 percent of business travelers want to receive destination specific offers from local businesses – an 85 percent increase from 2009 – and 47 percent of business travelers use their smartphone daily to view or receive advertisements, a 95 percent increase from 2009. “One of the biggest trends we see in the survey data is travelers’ desire for local business information and offerings based on their location via their smartphone or tablet,” said Kroeger. “Travelers will look for this information from suppliers, travel management companies and technology resources such as online booking tools like GetThere. Smart and savvy travel management companies will use technology as a way to fill this need and improve customer support and solidify customer loyalty. ”

Sabre’s survey also found that business travelers increasingly want to access navigational tools and maps on their mobile devices. Seventy-two percent of business travelers are interested in having the ability to view hotels on a map, an increase of 26 percent from 2009. Forty-three percent of business travelers reported daily use of their smartphone to access navigation services. And 71 percent want to receive driving directions to a specific location via their smartphone. “Consumers already rely on their mobile devices to help them navigate their way through cities around the world,” Kroeger said. “In the future, they’ll look for mobile services that are not only location-based but contextually-aware such as airport navigational tools with the ability to find in-airport businesses but also have deals and offers pushed to their smartphone.”

Sabre’s survey showed that nearly three-quarters of business travelers are interested in shopping and booking air options. More than two-thirds want to shop for and make hotel reservations via mobile devices and 66 percent of respondents reported interest in the ability to add a hotel reservation to an existing itinerary. But the highest growth was seen in the ground category. Sixty-two percent of respondents are interested in booking rental cars via their smartphone, a 32 percent increase from 2009, and 60 percent of respondents want to shop for car rentals using their smartphone, a 33 percent increase.

 “Today’s business travelers expect transactional capabilities from their mobile devices including buying air extras and in-flight amenities,” Kroeger said. “Tomorrow’s business travelers will move from physical passports, wallets and credit cards and will expect their mobile device to fill those needs as continued advancements in mobile payment, commerce and banking make it easier to electronically transact via mobile devices.

Online Marketing Survey Reveals Mobile Among Top Priorities for Hoteliers

According to TripAdvisor’s latest Accommodation Owners Survey, owners cited online marketing: SEO, SEM and banner advertising (63 percent); social media (39 percent); mobile (27 percent); email marketing (22 percent); and paid listings on user-generated review sites (17 percent) as the top areas in which they would prefer to increase spending.

With mobile marketing a major focus for owners, 84 percent of survey respondents said it is important to offer a program that allows travelers to book their inventory using mobile devices. However, the results varied by property type: 92 percent of hotel owners, 77 percent of B&B owners and 77 percent of innkeepers said a mobile marketing program is important.

Marketing Budgets Stable or Growing

Of the survey respondents with a marketing budget, 34 percent said their overall marketing budgets have increased this year, 49 percent said their budgets have stayed the same and 17 percent said their budgets have decreased.

What are accommodation owners’ greatest marketing expenses? Online marketing: SEO, SEM and banner advertising (31 percent); dues and subscriptions (16 percent); and online travel agency (OTA) commissions (12 percent) were lodging businesses’ top expenses, according to the survey.

Owners Use Social Media to Reach Travelers

Of the survey respondents with a social media program, the majority (60 percent) said that TripAdvisor is the most effective social media site for marketing their properties. Facebook (22 percent) and Twitter (16 percent) were the next most effective sites for marketing their properties, according to owners taking the poll.

The top reasons owners cited for using social media were posting deals/special offers (54 percent), answering customer care questions (48 percent), promoting events (40 percent), sharing general industry news (26 percent) and promoting contests (18 percent).

Survey respondents cited industry research/reports (46 percent), competition (30 percent) and marketing from social media sites (24 percent) as the top three factors in their decision to use social media as a marketing tool.

Top Deals and Distribution Tactics

According to survey respondents, most owners (76 percent) use their property website to market deals to potential guests. Email (52 percent) and social media (44 percent) were the next most commonly used methods for marketing deals, followed by user-generated review sites (25 percent) and online travel agencies (21 percent).

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Study Snapshot: Business Travel budgets increase but corporations focus on cost savings

GetThere announced the results of the 11th annual GetThere Corporate Travel Benchmark Survey. The survey revealed that while business travel is increasing, corporations are still heavily focused on reducing travel expenses.

While 2010 saw signs of recovery for corporate travel programs, in 2011 the industry should see a greater increase in business travel, according to the survey results. The report reveals that 61 percent of respondents expect their travel budgets to increase up to ten percent in 2011 and nearly a third expect their travel budgets to increase up to five percent. Yet corporations continue to drive down travel costs by achieving higher adoption rates of online travel booking tools.

“Even though the economy is rebounding and business travel is growing, corporations are using the lessons learned during the recession to continue to push for cost savings in their travel programs,” explains Suzanne Neufang, general manager of GetThere.“Online adoption rates continue to rise in every region, representing significant savings for corporations.”

Average online adoption rates increased for the tenth consecutive year. In North America, responding companies reported an average of 78 percent online adoption in 2010, up one percentage point from 2009, and GetThere’s top 10 performing customers reported an average high of 95 percent online adoption. GetThere’s online adoption remains well above the industry average of 51 percent, according to PhoCusWright’s U.S. Travel Distribution 2009 Report.

As a result of higher online adoption rates, respondents reported the following savings:
– An average savings of 70 percent on agency fees
– An average savings of 18 percent and 24 percent on domestic and international airfares, respectively
– An average savings of 12 percent and 31 percent on domestic and international hotel rates, respectively.
– Average rental car rental savings were 4 percent domestically and 18 percent internationally

Corporations Wrap Ancillary Fees into Travel Policies
In 2011, more corporations are addressing ancillary fees in their travel policies as airlines continue to introduce extra fees. In general, most companies are reimbursing travelers for their first checked bag. However, the survey showed a 16 percentage point drop in companies that reimburse travelers for a second bag. Companies reimbursing for on-board food and beverage and Wi-Fi increased by 13 and 20 percentage points, respectively.

“Ancillary fees are here to stay and corporations are developing smart, thoughtful travel policies for these extras that maximize travel budgets and meet employees’ needs while on the road. On-board Wi-Fi is clearly viewed as a valuable productivity tool by more and more corporate travel managers,” said Neufang.

Mobile Space Continues Growth in Meeting Traveler Needs
As corporations continue looking for new technologies and methods to save time and money when it comes to travel programs, mobile tools are invaluable. The mobile space continues to be a growth space for the travel industry, and for the second straight year, respondents ranked obtaining flight information as the most important feature of a mobile solution, while booking flights and hotels ranked second and third, respectively.


Study Snapshot: Japan quake: How hard do disasters hit tourism?

The devastation in Japan will have long-term consequences. But research suggests crises often have a short-term impact on travel

The world has looked on in horror at the accumulating disasters in Japan and a death toll that must surely rise over coming days, weeks and – if there is a nuclear disaster – years.

Japan is no stranger to catastrophe, of course, or to recovery from it. This is a country that has survived not one but two nuclear attacks. The capacity of its people to deal with disaster is astonishing.

The UK outbound travel market will be largely untouched, albeit none of us can be untouched by the scale of the suffering. The disaster will have unpredictable consequences for the world economy. The shutdown of Japanese industry may trigger both a fall in the oil price and lay-offs at manufacturing plants dependent on imported parts from Japan. The markets fell immediately amid forecasts of a renewed downturn.

Consumer survey

The usual lines about the British desire for a break and “the resilience of travel” appear out of place in such circumstances, but they do capture an essential truth about attitudes to holidays.

By chance, research analyst TNS examined precisely this issue for Travel Weekly in a consumer survey in early February. The study followed the overthrow of the government in Tunisia but was conducted while Egypt remained in turmoil.

More than half (55%) of adults said they would be deterred by a terrorist attack from booking a destination, 44% by civil unrest or riots, 37% by a natural disaster, and 28% by government collapse.

However, almost nine out of 10 (87%) of the more than 1,600 people surveyed had never changed, postponed or cancelled a holiday because of concerns about safety or security.

One in 20 had cancelled a holiday, one in 25 had changed a destination and the same proportion had postponed a trip.

To put these concerns in context, holidaymakers’ two biggest worries were falling ill overseas and losing their passport.

Concerns fade

Presented with a list of destinations and asked whether they would consider visiting in the next three months, 62% said they would avoid Egypt and 33% Tunisia.

However, this was at the height of the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. By last week, the Egyptian tourism ministry was sufficiently confident in recovery to launch a campaign to woo tourists back.

At the same time, the survey found only 8% would avoid Thailand, where there was serious social unrest last May, and 7% Mexico, where an outbreak of swine flu dominated the world’s media in April 2009.


Our best wishes lie with all the people affected by this catastrophe, hoping that the worst days have already passed.