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


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


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

VF realityshows

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

VL page

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


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!

Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop

The Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop taking place on October 10-11, 2013 in Athens, Greece, is organized by the City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and the United Nations Developmental Program Black Sea Trade & Investment Programme (UNDP BSTIP).

The Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop will host selected tour operators, travel trade representatives and tourism suppliers from all 12 countries of the Black Sea region as well as top selected buyers of the European travel market aiming to become the platform for effective tourism collaboration amongst all countries involved.

This two day trade event features a dedicated B2B workshop day and a full networking & educational day for suppliers offering plenty of marketing opportunities.

The event is supported by top international organizations and associations, such as WYSE Travel Confederation, the International EcoTourism Society TIES and the Adventure Travel Trade Association ATTA as well as by national travel associations from the Black Sea countries such as: the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies TÜRSAB, the National Association of Travel Agencies of Romania ANAT, the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies HATTA , the General Pan-Hellenic Federation of Tourist Enterprises GEPOET, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels HCH and the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers HHF amongst others to be confirmed.

Check out the event’s program here

Find full event & registration details here

abouTourism destination consultancy is responsible for the concept development and technical coordination of this travel trade event.

ARGO II Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop

The UNDP Black Sea Trade and Investment Programme (BSTIP) is pleased to present the ARGO II Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop to take place in Nafplio, Peloponnese, Greece, on 3 and 4 May 2012, at the “Vouleftiko”. The two-day event is brought to you with the support of the Region of Peloponnese, the Municipality of Nafplio and the Argolida Chamber, with the cooperation of AbouTourism International Destination Consultancy.

Aiming to enhance tourism business partnership in the Black Sea Region, the ARGO II Black Sea Tourism Forum & Workshop will host selected Tour Operators and National Airlines representatives from more than 12 countries of the Black Sea Region introducing them to the unique Region of Peloponnese and its selective range of tourism suppliers. The Forum includes a workshop with a series of pre organized B2B meetings between the Black Sea representatives and the suppliers from the Region of Peloponnese, as well as a Conference day with sessions on digital tourism and destination management offered by leading experts.

Mr Barry Kolodkin, BSTIP Programme Manager commented on the importance of the ARGO II Forum: Travelers are becoming increasingly sophisticated; seeking destinations that will appeal specifically to their wants and emotions. The Peloponnese in Greece, like Tuscany in Italy or Provence in France, is such a destination. This forum will enable the Peloponnese to display its prodigious offerings to tour operators from the Black Sea region, a region with growing disposable income, where travelers seek new and exciting destinations.

-Click here to download the Programme to the event for Greek companies (EN)

-Click here to download the programme to the event for Greek companies (GR)

-Click here to download the programme to the event for Foreign companies (EN)

-Click here to download the Application Form for Greek companies (EN)

-Click here to download the Application Form for NON-Greek companies (EN)

-Click here to download the Application Form for Buyers (EN)

BSTIP is a unique initiative jointly co-financed by the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Turkey, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization). The main objective of the programme is to promote the regional economic integration process among the BSEC Member States.

AbouTourism International Destination Consultancy ( is an international destination development & marketing consultancy with a regional focus on South Eastern Europe & Eastern Mediterranean Regions.

For further information, please contact:

Mrs Daniela Drone


Tel: +30-210-7701661



Mrs Daisy Modiano


Tel: (+30) 210 8941610





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.

Study Snapshot: Working in the Travel Industry 2010 Report

Despite the recession and hardships facing the trade, agents remain relatively upbeat about working in the travel industry, according to a Travel Weekly survey.  While job satisfaction remains high and the love of working in travel is still strong, there is concern about the future of high-street agencies, pay and job security.  The Working in the Travel Industry 2010 report, carried out in association with destination marketing firm Fox Kalomaski, surveyed 168 agents during December last year. Click here for the full article.

Will the number of traditional high street agencies decline over the next 5-10 years?

on-line destination marketing toolkits for tourism professionals

Many Destination Marketing Organizations  offer online toolkits, featuring everything from copywriting tips to images and downloadable ads promoting the destination. US destinations seem to lead the way in on-line promotional tools for meeting professionals while the European destinations are heavily investing in  B2B web tools for the leisure trade.

Take a look on these benchmarks below before start building your own destination marketing toolkit for tourism professionals.