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

Fresh Destination Marketing Initiatives

A selection which we find representative of the current global tourism and travel market trends.

UK focuses on GREAT “Holidays at Home”

Wallace and Gromit, the Nick Park-created animation duo, are to star in a £4m UK tourism campaign, appearing in a TV advert designed to inspire Britons to take holidays in their own country.

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The pair, who will also feature in cinemas, will be seen on their travels, discovering what tourist chiefs describe as “the best of the UK”.

The campaign forms part of “Holidays at Home are GREAT“, a pan-UK Government-funded strategy which launched last year.

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Designed to boost domestic tourism, the campaign aims to raise £80 million in additional tourism spend and more than a million overnight stays.

The £4m integrated campaign, led by VisitEngland, and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see Wallace and Gromit take to the road exploring the country and discovering the best of the UK (including some top spots for elite cheese tasting).  The Government funded campaign, ‘Great Adventure’, aims to inspire Britons to book a holiday through their local travel agent.

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VisitEngland is working with a number of high street travel agents and operators across the country who will be putting together exciting British holiday packages for Wallace and Gromit and the rest of their customers.

More: www.visitengland.com 

New York Launches its Largest Tourism Campaign ever

At the conclusion of the first New York State Tourism Summit, where hundreds of tourism experts gathered in Albany to discuss ideas and new ways to bring tourists to every corner of the state, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the states largest tourism campaign ever.

923122_10151607775704169_1178330672_nAfter discussions with tourism experts and hearing the concerns and ideas of local and international tourism officials, the governor announced a series of initiatives designed to make New York the tourism capital of the world:

Highest Level of Tourism Funding in Decades: Cuomo announced the state would invest nearly $60 million in tourism funding – the highest level of tourism funding in decades.

New I Love NY Marketing Campaign with Port Authority and MTA to Promote Upstate NY Tourism Destinations: Under the partnership announced, The MTA and Port Authority will provide $2 million worth of advertising space on subways, bus and commuter rail systems and at airport arrival points and kiosks to promote Upstate tourism.

  • The MTA/I Love NY Partnership will result in more 7,000 advertising spaces throughout the MTA subway, bus and commuter rail systems. In addition, the MTA and I Love NY will co-brand railroad destination and getaway packages to Long Island and Hudson Valley beaches, wineries, parks and attractions.
  • The Port Authority/I Love NY Partnership will result in advertising at the Port Authority’s most important travel hubs and services and more than 20 indoor and outdoor print/digital advertising resources at the Port Authority bus terminal, including high-visibility column wraps.
  • Additional Airline and Airport Partnerships: As the first entry point for many travelers and tourists, the governor announced new initiatives to welcome visitors to the Empire State and inform them about the state’s many assets and attractions. This will include on-site greeters and welcome centers at New York’s airports. The governor also announced the state’s airports will feature Taste NY. Additionally, Delta Airlines will start featuring I Love NY advertisements in its in-flight magazine starting this month.

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NYS Sports and Special Events Commission: The state will create a sports and special events commission. The commission will be charged with recruiting sporting and other special events to venues across the state – and competing for part of the $600 billion global sports tourism industry.

New Welcome Centers at Border and Interstate Crossings: The centers will serve as hubs of information about the state’s tourism assets and attractions. New signs showcasing local attractions will also be strategically placed at these border and interstate crossings.

New Taste NY Marketing Efforts: As announced, Taste NY products will be sold at strategically located rest stops across the state.

International Tourism Campaign: From Asia to South America: The governor announced an international tourism campaign – I Love NY Asia / I Love NY South America – that will invite people overseas to the Empire State and have a presence in emerging markets such as China and Brazil.

New Tourism Information for Decision-Makers: Empire State Development will be a clearinghouse for tourism metrics, offering New York’s businesses a place to go for information on how to best market to visitors and attract tourists.

I Love NY in Times Square: The Times Square Alliance has agreed to give the state space at the Visitors Center to help market state attractions to the millions of tourists who pass through Times Square every year.

I Love NY LGBT: The governor announced an I Love NY LGBT niche tourism initiative to market New York to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, which accounts for approximately $70 billion in tourism spending in the U.S. every year.

More: www.iloveny.com

Chile’s New International Campaign

A new campaign for the international tourism promotion of Chile was launched by the Subsecretaría de Turismo and Turismo Chile, the institution responsible for the promotion of Chile in international markets, as part of the events at World Travel Market (WTM) in Latin America.

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Geographical, climatic and cultural contrasts play a fundamental role in this campaign, which promotes the diversity of activities in which to take part in Chile, such as trekking in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine national park, one of the best nature destinations in the world, rafting down rivers surrounded by ancient forests and towering volcanoes, skiing the best slopes in the continent with the Andes as a backdrop, or experiencing the ancient culture of Rapa Nui on the remote Easter Island.

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The images within the new promotional materials seek for a way of communication that is more focused on the traveler’s experience of the landscape and use, in addition, messages with humor and irony in order to engage a more diverse audience, conveying the essence of the local culture. Furthermore, it is based on the framework of the plan to promote Chile abroad, which has six experiences: Natural Inspiration, Adventure and Sport, Culture and Heritage, Flavors and Wine, Health and Wellbeing, and Urban Life.

The new images will start to be exhibited in all the markets that have been established as priorities: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, England, the USA, Mexico and Australia.

More: chiletourism.travel

UK Global & Domestic Tourism Marketing Approach

Going Hostile Externally – Collaborating Internally

Going Global

Very soon “right across the world, there will be no escape from the message that Britain is great” as a new phase of the GREAT Britain campaign will see the New York Subway, Paris Metro, and 100 taxis across Delhi draped with the Union flag.

A series of GREAT images with also form part of the campaign, designed to encourage more international visitors to the UK.

The initiative will be rolled out in New York from Monday. It will see the inside and outside of a New York subway train wrapped in the GREAT branding, and adverts blitzed across key transit hubs including Grand Central and Stamford stations.

VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign aims to attract an extra 4.6 million extra visitors to the UK over the next four years, securing an additional £3 billion in visitor spend, targeting the 14 biggest and most lucrative tourism markets around the world.

The international reach of the campaign will be strengthened by a global partnership between VisitBritain and Yahoo!. As their largest ever online campaign, it aims to drive over five million views of VisitBritain content on the Yahoo! network and help drive 3.5 million visits to VisitBritain’s own online platforms.

Going Local

At the same time, tourism businesses across the UK are urged to Get Involved and join the new “Holidays at home are great!” campaign, the biggest domestic marketing campaign launched in the UK.   It is a partnership approach led by VisitEngland with Visit Wales, Visit Scotland, Northern Ireland Tourist Board and London and Partners as part of a wider initiative to use the London 2012 games to boost domestic tourism across the UK.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and the regions of England are putting significant resources behind recruiting businesses to the campaign with a 20.12% off or other great offers initiative, meaning that holidaymakers booking a UK short break before the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games will be eligible for a money off discount or value-added offer.

It seems like a necessary initiative against the issue of high prices in London and the UK in general during the Olympics, especially when Asia and travellers from China and Japan are reportedly avoiding travel to the UK during that period mainly due to the increased costs.

The reach to all types of tourism businesses and the guidelines are simple. To Get Involved, be prepared to offer money off discounts or other value added benefits such as:  20.12% off hotel stays, meals, and other goods and services; Offers and deals like three nights for the price of two at hotels, or two-for-one entry at attractions; Value-added offers, where the customer pays the usual price but receives something extra for example a free lunch or a special meal for £20.12, a free bottle of wine, a guided tour, or a pampering spa add-on.

All these offers will then be displayed together on the campaign website, to create a ‘one-stop shop’ where visitors can browse and select the offers they like best. On choosing an offer, they’ll be taken to the offer supplier’s site, where they’ll be able to sign up.

Sources: www.visitbritain.comwww.visitengland.org

Trend Snapshot: The booking and buying habits of UK, German & French travellers

PhoCusWright presented at ITB Berlin in March 2011 key findings of its European Consumer Travel Report which provides an overview of the status of consumer travel in three individual markets – the UK, France and Germany.

Their research uncovers some surprises and important differences between these three markets. The European travel markets are extremely varied in nature.  The report highlights include the following trends:

– Traffic Forecast: A strong ratio of French consumers plan to travel more versus those who intend to travel less. The German outlook is also positive, though more moderate. UK travellers, in contrast, show a very slight growth trajectory for the upcoming year.

– Proliferation of the Internet in making travel plans: Among those with internet access, just 6% of French travellers, 9% of German travellers and 5% of UK travellers plan and book their trips completely offline.

– Search engines hold the key: When shopping for leisure travel options, the majority of French, German and UK travellers typically use general search engines, which rank first among website categories.

– Price is merely a hygiene factor: Even in today’s price-sensitive environment, the most commonly cited reason to visit a website is a prior positive experience. This was indicated by 38% of respondents in France, 50% in Germany and 51% in the UK.

– Hotels are not the main draw: Only 38% of French travellers surveyed enjoy staying in hotels, compared to 72% of German travellers and 82% of UK travellers.

– Smartphone adoption reaches critical mass: Over a third of travellers now carry mobile phones with web browsing capabilities; 38% do so in France, 37% in Germany and 47% in the UK.

– Mobile travel is small, but growing fast: Fewer than 10% of travellers have performed travel-related activities on their mobile phone in the past year. Yet intentions show that the mobile travel audience will be likely to double in the next 12 months.

Other findings show that the age group with the most leisure time in Europe were the 18 to 24 year-olds who are a very tech-savvy generation.

Source: www.newmediatrendwatch.com

Check out other tourism and travel trends at: aboutourism.wordpress.com/trendspotting-2011/

CAPITAL GAINS: POST OFFICE REVEALS CITIES BEST FOR A POUND-STRETCHING BREAK

• Prague pulls ahead of rivals as the cheapest city for a bargain break
• Lisbon is the eurozone best buy – under half the price of Paris or Rome
• Dublin could be 2010’s dark horse after prices drop in the Irish capital
• New York is most expensive in new Post Office® City Costs Barometer

Prague has pulled ahead of its Eastern European rivals to emerge as the cheapest city for UK holidaymakers to take a bargain break this spring, according to Post Office Travel Money’s City Costs Barometer (www.postoffice.co.uk/cityreport2010). However the survey by the UK’s largest provider of foreign exchange also revealed price falls in some eurozone cities, with Lisbon and Dublin rating as best buys. Click here for the full report.

Destinations team-up with airlines to attract more tourists: The VisitBritain’s Case

Airlines, especially the national carriers, play a major role and assume the most important component in boosting a destination’s visitor flow. There is no doubt the airlines’ role is important not just because they will transfer the passengers but also due to their fundamental role as destination ambassadors. Further to this direction, National Tourist Organizations & DMOs are now launching joint marketing schemes with major airlines to further promote its destinations and increase their air traffic. Visit Britain seems to lead this trend by launching strategic alliance & joint promotional campaigns with all 3 major airlines flying from/to UK.

National tourism body VisitBritain is partnering with airline brands British Airways and EasyJet to encourage visitors to travel to cities across the country. As part of the tie-up, British Airways and EasyJet will offer discount flights to 10 cities in the UK from 12 European countries. The cities include Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-Gateshead and Oxford. The campaign microsite, www.visitbritain.fi/cities, will depict two contrasting selling points of each city. For instance, Glasgow will be promoted with the line “trend-setting vs traditional”, highlighting the Scottish city’s style credentials as well as its historical attractions.

Almost a year ago VisitBritain and Virgin Atlantic Airways have invested $1 million in a joint campaign guerilla marketing, online advertising, media relations and travel trade outreach to help consumers uncover the best of Britain. The co-branded website www.getmorebritain.com is an online resource with regional destination guides, a ‘top 25 showcase of must-sees,’ a Virgin Atlantic Airways booking engine for roundtrip airfare, and a diverse selection of hotel and tourist attraction deals to plan a vacation in England, Scotland and Wales. As destinations’ revenues continue to decline and consumers remain tight-fisted with their leisure budgets, national tourism boards and airlines should join their efforts to attract tourists.