Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New extra charges for your next flight

Enjoy it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

USA ranked in top 5 preffered destinations in the world by European buyers

A major European Meetings Industry report presented at EIBTM 2008, by The Right Solution MD Sally Greenhill revealed that the ‘Mood of the Market’ was optimistic and upbeat, yet acknowledges there is a challenging year ahead for the sector. The research, conducted by The Right Solution in conjunction with Reed Travel Exhibitions, organisers of EIBTM, and AIBTM, sister shows across the globe, surveyed 700 meetings industry professionals, including association and corporate in-house organisers and PCO’s, from a range of countries across Europe.

When asked which country in the Americas they held events in the past 12 months, The results showed that 40% of respondents organised events and meetings in the USA, with the next most popular being Brazil with 15%. The USA came in 5th as the most popular destination chosen by 40.3% of the respondents for events with 284 out of 700 selecting the country. It was the leading destination outside of Europe with France, Italy, Spain and Germany above.

The results showed that 64% say the economic climate and pressure to reduce costs are the key factor of influence for next year. However, 25 per cent of respondents were set to organise more international events in 2009, 9 per cent to organise more national events and 35 per cent set to keep events about the same as last year. In terms of the number of delegates attending events in 2008, the research showed that they had either remained the same or increased over 2007.

When it came to budgets, 39% already see a decrease in budgets for next year yet a total of 61% of respondents anticipated their budgets to either increase 20% or remain the same (41%).

Despite the economic issues taking precedence 86% stated that CSR and environmental policies would be extremely or somewhat influential over the next ten years, with nearly half (46%) believing that their CSR policies impacted on all aspects of event organisation

Although location was the top factor influencing venue selection, followed by price/value for money, quality of service is the next most important factor highlighting the importance of retaining service levels even when costs are under pressure.

The research showed that respondents rated the content of an event and the cost of attending a meeting as less important than the appeal of the destination and the venue. These results may reflect the many different types of events that respondents were responsible for, which include incentives. Celebrity speakers were considered far less important to delegates, perhaps down to the potential cost of engaging them.

Commenting on the ‘Mood of the Market’ research Paul Kennedy, MBE, Group Exhibition Director, Meetings and Incentives Events, Reed Travel Exhibitions said: “There is no doubt that 2009 will be a challenging year for everyone in the meetings industry. This report provides a realistic snapshot of how meetings and event organisers are feeling about the industry and the extent to which events and business levels may be affected in the future.

“The mood is one of optimism despite concerns, reflecting the astonishingly upbeat mood of EIBTM (December 08) which itself broke all records with 50,000 pre-scheduled appointments taking place over the 3 days. It will be vital for events to offer a valuable and worthwhile use of time, which is also enjoyable and stimulating, for all those attending, yet perceived as neither extravagant nor too exclusive in its appeal. It will require careful consideration of all options for destinations, travel methods, venues, content and speakers to achieve an appropriate balance.

“Seeing how the USA has performed for the European meetings industry in particular shows what value for money, service and choice the country provides even if the $ has be strong compared to the Euro and UK sterling. We are launching AIBTM in Baltimore 2010 at a time when the USA is now once again even more competitive and attractive as a destination. Equally this research shows there is still potential to grow the USA as both a domestic and international destination for the meetings industry and AIBTM will provide that platform”.

Source: Travel Daily News

Monday, January 12, 2009

Consumers reject Eurozone and USA in favour of cheaper destinations and UK holidays

Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service and an Experian company, reveals that UK Internet searches for flights have fallen by 42% over the last 12 months. January is a key month for the travel industry, as UK consumers' thoughts turn from Christmas shopping to booking their summer holidays, but the economic downturn means that consumers are being more cautious when booking flights abroad this year. As a result of the weak pound, people are switching from holidays in the Eurozone or USA and considering cheaper destinations such as Turkey and North Africa, or considering taking their holidays at home.

UK Internet searches for flights increased by 58% between the weeks ending 27/12/08 and 03/01/09, but they were down by 42.4% when compared with the equivalent post-Christmas week last year (i.e. the week ending 05/01/08). Flights to the USA experienced the biggest annual fall in searches of 52.2%. Searches for flights to countries that use the Euro fell by 44.8%, while searches for flights to the UK and the Rest of the World also fell, but at a smaller rate.

Change in searches for flights to different geographical areas between 05/01/08 and 03/01/09:
USA: -52.2%
Global average: -42.4%
Rest of the world: -34.4%
UK Domestic: -32.7%

"It looks like the weak pound is putting people off flying to the Eurozone and the USA, and they are looking at destinations with more favourable exchange rates instead," commented Robin Goad, Hitwise's Director of Research. There have been big falls in searches for flights to all of the most popular European holiday destinations over the last 12 months: France is down 45.4%, Spain 42.8%, Portugal 41.7% and Italy 41.2%.

Change in UK Internet searches for flights to popular destinations between 05/01/08 and 03/01/09:
Turkey: -24.6%
Dubai: -27.1%
Thailand: -32.2%
Australia: -32.8%
South Africa: -32.9%
Caribbean: -34.6%
Italy: -41.2%
Portugal: -41.7%
Spain: -42.8%
France: -45.4%

Of all the major holiday locations favoured by Britons, Turkey experienced the smallest decline in flight searches over the last 12 months - a fall of 24.6% compared with an average of 42.4% for all destinations. At the same time, Turkey overtook Canada and Thailand to become the second most popular non-Euro/Dollar destination for British tourists.

Robin Goad commented: "UK Internet users are becoming more sophisticated in the way they search for Turkish holidays. Increasingly they are searching for particular towns and resorts, such as Dalaman, Bodrum and Antalya, rather than generic terms like 'flights to Turkey' or 'Turkish holidays'. This is similar to the way people search for Spanish or Portuguese holidays, and illustrates how Turkey has become a mainstream destination for British holiday makers".

Australia remains the most popular non-Euro/Dollar destination for British tourists, accounting for almost a quarter of all searches for flights to destinations outside of the UK, USA and Eurozone. Searches for flights to Australia have fallen by 32.85% over the last 12 months, but this is at a lower rate than for many other destinations. The recent release of the Nicole Kidman film "Australia" has had an impact on this behaviour. For the week ending 05/01/08 the Dubai based airline Emirates, which is currently running a joint marketing campaign with Tourism Australia, ranked 11th in Hitwise's Commercial Airlines category, up from 17th during the equivalent week in 2008.

Only five destinations have experienced an increase in flight searches over the last 12 months: Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Morocco and Cuba. Robin Goad commented: "The two areas that have benefitted most from the Pound falling against the Euro are Scandinavia and the cheaper sunshine destinations. The Scandinavian countries may still be expensive by global standards, but in relative terms their cost for UK consumers has fallen compared with other European countries. In terms of warmer destinations, the weak pound is encouraging people to look further afield for bargains, with places such as Brazil, Morocco, Cuba, Kenya and India all moving up the rankings over the last 12 months.

Destinations with the biggest increase (or smallest decrease) in flight searches between 05/01/08 and 03/01/09:

1. Norway +30.9%
2. Denmark +20.3%
3. Brazil +19.5%
4. Morocco +2.1%
5. Cuba +1.2%
6. Kenya -7.8%
7. India -12.7%
8. China -12.8%
9. Hungary -13.7%
10. Singapore -14.6%

Source: Travel Daily News.