Monday, October 27, 2008

ITB Asia exceeds exhibitor and visitor targets

Exhibitor space selling out in just nine months.

After three years of meticulous planning and research, Messe Berlin launched the inaugural ITB Asia at Suntec Singapore, “comfortably exceeding our initial 500-exhibitor target,” said Messe Berlin CEO Mr. Raimund Hosch. The final count was 651 exhibiting companies and organizations from 58 countries and territories worldwide -a far cry from the 12 exhibitors who took part in the first ITB Berlin 42 years ago- with ITB Asia exhibitor space selling out in just nine months. The number of buyers was announced at 812 carefully-selected, hosted buyers. In addition, there are more than 1,000 trade visitors.

ITB Berlin, which is held annually in March, is the world’s leading international travel show, attracting some 11,000 exhibitors in 2008 from 186 countries and territories. Exhibitors at ITB Berlin this year utilized 160,000 square meters of floor space. ITB Berlin focuses primarily on the European and North American markets. Messe Berlin’s intention, in launching ITB Asia, was to take its trade show expertise, contacts, and technical skills and diversify its well-known brand into a completely new space.

Why Asia? “Because it has a track record of offering impressive economic growth rates,” said Mr. Hosch, “and it also offers a massive population, youthful demographics. and amazing cultural diversity.” Will it work? “All we know at this stage is that buyers and exhibitors have turned out in mass to attend ITB Asia. We have had virtually no cancellations attributed to the new economic crisis. This tells us that in good times or bad, the travel and tourism industry is committed and resilient. In fact, Messe Berlin believes that the global economic crisis has added impetus and importance to the first ITB Asia. We believe ITB Asia delegates correctly saw this week as their chance to come together from all corners of the industry to discuss proactive policies and plans for the recovery to come.”

Both Messe Berlin and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), its strategic partner in the new venture – “without whom we could never have hoped to achieve such fantastic support across the whole of Asia” – believe the staging of ITB Asia has proved timely. As the first international travel trade show in Asia to be held after the tumultuous events of the past couple of months, ITB Asia is being seen as a barometer of business confidence in the future of travel and tourism demand. The strategic partnership between Messe Berlin and STB covers a minimum of three years, but Messe Berlin fully expects it to continue in the long term, attracting strong growth in exhibitors and buyers/trade visitors year on year.

Whether or not ITB Asia will also be opened up to the public is yet to be decided. “This will depend on what our exhibitors want,” said Mr. Hosch.

Source: Travel Daily News.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tourism and the Financial Crisis - 84th Session of the Executive Council of UNWTO Madrid 15 October 2008

UNWTO’s Executive Council (Madrid 14-15 October) agrees to create a “Resilience Committee” to support its Members with accurate economic analysis and response mechanisms. The tourism sector is suffering from reduced consumer demand – business and leisure – and tourism businesses are already feeling the credit crunch.

International tourism registered solid growth in the first half of 2008 – at around 5% between January and April, compared to the same period of 2007. The slowdown began with the summer holidays in the northern hemisphere.

The Panel of Experts of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which up until then maintained favourable views of the sector's situation, now shows a perceptible loss of confidence regarding the short-term outlook.

Addressing the Executive Council, UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli said that “Experience teaches us that tourism is resilient, but there is no denying that there is a certain stage of deterioration of the situation beyond which tourism too will begin to suffer.”

Early in 2008 signs of en economic downturn emerged. Although demand still produced solid growth figures in that period, UNWTO commissioned a study of the impacts of economic scenarios on the sector. An outline of “Global Imbalances and Structural Change in World Tourism” was discussed during the Executive Council:

* The economic shocks and crisis of the current year.
* Analyzing of the impacts on world tourism.
* Identifying key factors of change.

In considering these matters, the Members the UNWTO Executive Council confirmed the deterioration in their own markets, while maintaining the long-term confidence in the resilience of the tourism sector.

The challenge lies ahead – late 2008 and the first half of 2009, when the economic slowdown is expected to be more widely felt and consumers might decide to cut back further on their travel expenditures. The Executive Council therefore agreed:

* To create of a Resilience Committee open to all of its public and private sector Members.
* To support this work with state of the art information with special focus on air transport and major origin markets.
* To provide its Members with ICT-based up-to-date information on these impacts and emerging response initiatives.

Source: World Tourism Organisation

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First international tourism online & marketing conference in Sharm El-Sheikh

Recognizing the growing importance of online marketing, leading Middle East tourism organizations endorsed the

Electronic Union of Travel Industry (EUOTI) online marketing conference. Speakers represent leading companies such as Google and Microsoft, leading international universities, the UN World Tourism Organization and Canadian e-Tourism Council.

Dr. Bandar Bin Fahd Al-Faheed, President of the Arabic Tourism Organization (ATO) notes the ATO’s care about spreading the E-culture and teaching the E-Industry in Arab Countries and the Middle East. Consequently, the “ATO is sponsoring EUOTI’s International Conferences in the Middle East to support this booming international marketing platform.”

Similarly, Mr. Amr El-Ezaby, President of the Egyptian Tourism Authority “supports EUOTI in its international mission to train those who work in E-Travel and E-Tourism to enhance their performance and increase their sales through the Internet.” As Mr. Mohammad Almehaizae, EUOTI Chairman confirmed, “The union’s main mission is protecting and developing the E-travel industry and providing professional training to those working in the E-field to enhance their performance and increase their productivity.”

E-tourism is increasing even faster than E-commerce and should reach 55% of the E-Commerce Sector during 2008. The phenomenal growth in E-Tourism is due to the growing reliance on the Internet, e-mails, cell phones and recently, Web 2.0 applications such as TripAdvisor and Yahoo Travel, and meta-search engines such as Kayak or Sidestep. EUOTI’s International Online Tourism Conference, featuring industry and academic experts, gives Arab and Middle-Eastern operators the chance to learn and take advantage of the latest E-tourism trends.

EUOTI has organised the 15-19 December 2008 conference in conjunction with the world’s leading academic body dedicated to tourism and technology, the
International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism and tourism (IFITT). Conference attendees will benefit from a range of activities, tailored for both beginners and advanced online marketers, including workshops, panels and presentations.

EUOTI conference will be managed by the international organization of IFITT together with the collaboration of the Arab travel Organization and under the supervision of the League of Arab states and The Egyptian ministry of Tourism authorities.

EUOTI conference main objective is to create awareness, educate and update Travel industry producers and concerned people with the latest E-travel, E-marketing and E-commerce strategies to enable them to achieve best sales and profits with the minimum effort and human power, as recently proofed that around 52% of the world wide E-commerce is covered by the E-travel industry.

Conference Outlines and important Topics:

* Web Development
* Web Designing
* Online Sales Techniques
* Online Marketing technologies
* Mobile Marketing strategies
* Online Hotel Reservations systems appliance
* Video online Marketing
* Hotel & Restaurants E-Marketing
* Travel Companies business promoting
* Duplicating Investments aspects
* Broadening The Horizon of E-Travel business

EUOTI, herewith extend a sincere invitation to all Travel business concerned individuals, corporations and properties to attend its booming international conference event and to get an official certificate approved from the leading world wide travel organizations of attending this unique in the middle east event , which will take place 15-19/12/08 in
Sharm el-Sheikh – Egypt.

Source: Travel Daily News.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

U.S. Hotels To Bottom Out In 2009

PKF Forecasts Two Years Of Declining Lodging Demand

A new study released today by PKF Hospitality Research reveals that demand for U.S. hotel rooms will contract for the next two years. Compounding the negative impact of declining demand is a projected concurrent increase in supply. PKF-HR is forecasting a combined net increase in 2008 and 2009 of nearly 275,000 new hotel rooms compared to year-end 2007. This represents a 6.2 percent jump in accommodations over this two-year period.

With supply and demand levels moving in opposite directions, occupancy rates are projected to decline in both 2008 and 2009. Considering the 0.3 percent occupancy decline reported by Smith Travel Research in 2007, the result is three consecutive years of fewer accommodated roomnights for the average U.S. hotel.

These findings are based on the recently released third quarter 2008 edition of Hotel HorizonsSM, PKF-HR's quarterly forecast report for six U.S. chain-scales and 50 major markets. The forecast was released at The Lodging Conference 2008 in Phoenix this morning.

'Because of the extended slowdown of the U.S. economy, compounded by the negative consequences stemming from airline capacity cutbacks, we are now forecasting a 0.2 percent decline in lodging demand in 2008, followed by another loss of 1.1 percent in 2009,' said Mark Woodworth, president of PKF Hospitality Research. 'According to data from Smith Travel Research, this is the first time since 1988 that the U.S. lodging industry will experience two consecutive years of decline in lodging demand.'

Source: Hotel News Resource