UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit to Address Destination Branding | World Tourism Organization UNWTO

UNWTO logoThe 2015 UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market London will put a spotlight on destination branding and how it has become an increasingly complex challenge (WTM London, Tuesday, November 3, 2015).


Destination management organisations are re-evaluating their structures and strategies to adapt to new market trends created by social media and new business models, such as the so called “sharing economy” and the growing  empowering of consumers.

Moderated by CNN journalist Richard Quest, Tourism Ministers and private sector leaders from around the world will discuss Destination Branding: new challenges in a changing market.

The 2015 edition of the UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit will focus on:

  • What makes a successful destination brand in today’s globalised media landscape?
  • The links between nation branding and destination branding
  • The role of social media and consumers’ engagement in destination branding
  • Reputation management and crisis communication
  • The changing role of destination marketing organisations; and
  • The contribution of the creative economy to destination branding

Confirmed speakers include;

  • Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism, Bulgaria
  • Mauricio Ventura Aragón, Minister of Tourism, Costa Rica
  • Darko Lorencin, Minister of Tourism, Croatia
  • Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive Officer, Eurostar International
  • Noah Tratt, Global Senior Vice President, Expedia, Inc.
  • Lee McCabe, Global Head of Travel, Facebook
  • Nayef H. Al-Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan
  • Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister of Tourism, Malta
  • Magali Silva, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Peru
  • Issa Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority, Qatar
  • Frantisek Palko, State Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Slovakia
  • Derek Hanekon, Minister of Tourism, South Africa
  • Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe

The discussion will be further enriched by the participation of more than 150 Ministers and aides poised to attend the event.

“The rise of the new technologies, coupled with the global economic downturn, has brought a paradigm shift as power moves from governments to citizens and from companies to consumers. This change is having a huge impact in the tourism sector and both destinations and companies need to adjust to new challenges”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “The UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit is a fixture in the calendar for ministers and private sector to debate the key issues facing the industry. Destination branding is becoming even more complex challenge as consumers empowered by new business models such as the sharing economy and social media have an impact on a destination’s brand and reputation. I am delighted WTM is again able to facilitate such an important conversation.”

Now in its ninth year, the UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit is part of the World Travel Market London Ministerial Programme, bringing together Tourism Ministers and leading tourism experts to debate each year key issues affecting the sector.

Source: UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit to Address Destination Branding | World Tourism Organization UNWTO

You’ll Never Guess Which Travel Site Americans Are Most Loyal To (Hint: It’s Not Priceline) | The Motley Fool

You’ll Never Guess Which Travel Site Americans Are Most Loyal To (Hint: It’s Not Priceline)  Steve Symington

With the advent of online travel sites, it’s never been easier to book a quick vacation, business trip, or even a spontaneous jaunt for almost anywhere in the world. Though the online travel industry is relatively young, it’s still growing quickly, with dozens of viable sites ready to make your trip happen.

The sites with the most loyal customers stand to grab the biggest share of this market as Internet usage increases around the world. But maintaining customer loyalty is even more challenging in markets like the United States, where online travel is becoming second nature as nearly 90% of the population is already online.

Thanks to online travel sites, resorts like this are just a click away.

This of course begs the question, which travel site are Americans the most loyal to?

Thanks to prominent advertising campaigns, several incorrect names might immediately come to mind. Take the various sites operated by Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), for example, which notably include priceline.com, KAYAK, booking.com, rentalcars.com, and — thanks to a $2.6 billion acquisition last year — even restaurant reservations specialist OpenTable. Since it was founded in 1997, Priceline has enjoyed the charisma of spokesman William Shatner talking up its negotiating skills, while KAYAK earns business by comparing the prices of “hundreds” of travel sites at once.

Collectively, these businesses helped Priceline Group achieve $50.3 billion in total gross bookings last year alone. And with a market capitalization higher than $61 billion as of this writing, it’s no surprise Priceline regularly calls itself the “world leader in online accommodation reservations.” But “world leader” or not, none of Priceline’s sites are tops in customer loyalty.

Or how about Hotwire? Specific financial details are scarce for the privately held site, but Hotwire earns customers by selling off unsold travel inventory at a huge discount, saving people planeloads of cash on all their travel needs from airfare to hotels, rental cars, and comprehensive travel packages.

Unfortunately, though, even Hotwire’s approach doesn’t translate to the most loyal users. It’s not Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE), either — though we’re getting closer.

Travelocity’s roaming gnome, Credit: Travelocity

Love for the Roaming Gnome

According to the 19th annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, American consumers are most loyal to a travel site acquired by Expedia less than two months ago: Travelocity.com. On January 23, 2015, Expedia paid $280 million in cash to buy Travelocity from travel-technology specialist Sabre (NASDAQ: SABR), which itself was a subsidiary of American Airlines until being spun off in 2000.

According to Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff, 2015 was Travelocity’s first year atop its category in loyalty. And this year’s results were driven by the brands’ abilities to “identify customers’ expectations and address them via authentic emotional values.”  So why do Americans specifically love Travelocity so much?

A little focus goes a long way

First, keep in mind that Travelocity signed a strategic marketing agreement with Expedia in mid-2013. Per the terms of that deal, Expedia agreed to take the reins of the technology platform powering Travelocity’s U.S. and Canadian websites. In exchange, Expedia received performance-based marketing fees that varied based on the amount of travel booked through those Travelocity-branded sites.

Travelocity’s #IWannaGo campaign was wildly successful, Credit: Travelocity.

While this meant less revenue for Travelocity at the time, it also greatly improved the site’s profitability by drastically lowering operating costs. In its most recently reported quarter as part of Sabre, for instance, Travelocity’s adjusted revenue fell nearly 45% year over year, to $89 million, while adjusted EBITDA skyrocketed 116% to $16 million. Without the need to focus on maintaining its technology platform, Travelocity was free to redirect those resources toward promoting its brand — something it arguably did more effectively than any of its deep-pocketed rivals, anyway.

Take Travelocity’s “Roaming Gnome” mascot, for example, whose offbeat TV spots have been at the heart of its viral advertising efforts for more than a decade. But starting in 2013, Travelocity also began using the gnome to engage consumers on a personal level with a wildly successful social media campaign centered around the hashtag #IWannaGo.

By following the @roaminggnome handle on Twitter or Instagram, then using the hashtag to tell Travelocity where you wanted to go, you were automatically entered to win a chance to make your travel dreams come true. Then. last year, Travelocity built on that momentum by combining the hashtag with its new “Go & Smell the Roses” tag line.

According to Travelocity chief marketing officer Bradley Wilson: “‘Go & Smell the Roses’ is more than a tag line in an advertising campaign, it’s a rally cry. […] We are using our most powerful asset, the iconic Roaming Gnome, to inspire and instigate people to get off the couch, to go and smell the roses.”

If Brand Keys’ latest Loyalty Index is any indication, Travelocity’s efforts to connect to customers on an emotional level are obviously proving effective in its core American market. If it can translate that good work under Expedia’s wing to inspire people around the world, something tells me Expedia’s $280 million purchase price will look brilliant in the end.

via You’ll Never Guess Which Travel Site Americans Are Most Loyal To (Hint: It’s Not Priceline) | The Motley Fool.

The Travel Market Digest February 2015

The Travel Marketing Digest 11th February 2015 – Volume V, issue 2

Welcome to the latest edition of The Travel Marketing Digest and some of the top travel marketing stories over the last few weeks.

In this edition….

  • ReboundTAG’s innovative microchip baggage tracking solution: and a cool corporate giveaway…
  • Marriott’s GoPro marketing campaign
  • Hotelplan to buy Kuoni Switzerland?
  • City visitor rankings report by Euromonitor
  • How Google Now is improving travelUNWTO reports a 4.7% growth in travellers, 1,138 million arrivals in 2014
  • The survival of travel agents
  • World Marketing Group to promote Destination Asia in North America
  • Expedia acquires Travelocity
  • Marketing travel to US Affluent
  • iBeacon technology and travel marketing

The Travel Marketing Digest

Shaping the Future of Travel in the GCC – a landmark FREE Report from Amadeus

Shaping the Future of Travel in the GCC – a landmark FREE Report from Amadeus.

It has been an absolute privilege today to take part as the moderator in the launch of a landmark study and event organised by Amadeus.  Their new report on the Future of Travel in the GCC is undoubtedly one of the best ever and most important travel industry related reports conducted in the region.

Drawing on the expertise of industry leaders across 22 travel brands and insights from over 1,000 end travellers this report describes the key effects that will shape the future of travel for this exciting and important part of the world.

amadeus new logo on blueThe headline “Big Effect” is that rapidly changing demographics will fuel a major shift in GCC travel over next 15 years.  The coming-of-age of the GCC’s youthful population will reshape the travel industry in the region over the next fifteen years, as digital natives instinctively turn to mobile technologies and social media to plan, book and manage travel.

Today, nearly 25% of the GCC population is under 15 years of age, and as this demographic becomes tomorrow’s decision makers, it will shake up traditional behaviours to become increasingly self-directed. As outlined in the Amadeus-commissioned new report, Shaping the Future of Travel in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Big Travel Effects, additional unfolding demographic forces such as a steady inflow of expatriate workers, robust natural population growth and a growing middle class, will combine to drive a new and divergent set of travel behaviours and needs in the region.

The report, written by Frost & Sullivan and Insights and commissioned by Amadeus, examines and contextualises the various ways a new travel landscape will develop in the Gulf region over the next fifteen years.

“The Gulf region is poised for a new era of travel as investment in infrastructure, new tourism sectors, and governmental initiatives to ease intra- and extra-regional movement make the GCC more attractive to leisure and business travellers,” said Antoine Medawar, Vice President, MENA, Amadeus. He added, “The travel providers who address the nuanced needs of the region’s population stand to thrive in the coming decades. At Amadeus our people, our technology and our innovation are dedicated to helping our customers and partners to shape the future of travel in this region.”

Further key findings include:

Economies in the GCC are diversifying beyond oil, and specialist tourism sectors such as cruise, meetings and conferences and medical tourism play a prominent role in this diversification. As a result, GCC countries have maintained an average GDP growth of over 5% in the past decade, with a greater increase expected in the future.

Tourism will have a trickle-down effect into other sectors, furthering economic growth and diversification. Hospitality and construction in particular will benefit as the number of travellers entering or passing through the region increases -Qatar expects 3.7 million tourists in 2022 due to the FIFA World Cup and is investing $20 billion on tourism infrastructure and $140 billion on transport.

The GCC is working to make travel easier, both within the region and outbound. The difficulty of obtaining a visa has been the main reason for 33% of travellers surveyed not taking trips as often as they would like. By improving accessibility within the region and abroad, the number of intra-regional travellers is expected to increase four-fold by 2030.

“Travel in the Gulf region is changing. Economic diversification and a move from oil is an important driver, but there are many more subtle factors also at play. Changes in population and geopolitical pressure to open borders and make movement easier are also impacting the future of travel here,” observed Mona Faraj, Managing Partner, Insights.

The report was informed by a survey of some 1,000 travellers from the region as well as interviews with thought leaders in the travel industry. It highlights the technologically savvy and growing population of the GCC and predicts a travel landscape will develop in the region that is highly connected, personalised, and sustainable.

To download a free copy of the report “Shaping the future of Travel in the GCC: Big Travel Effects” please visit:


The Travel Marketing Digest

In this issue:

  • Global travel industry set for decade of sustained growth according to new report from Amadeus
  • The Travel Marketing Directory is launched
  • Why TripAdvisor and Priceline wish Facebook Ads performed better
  • Leading travel E commerce sites struggle with digital marketing data quality
  • With licensing deal Google looks to dominate online travel market
  • GuestLogix secures 3 year deal with priority travel group
  • Airport strategy and marketing selects SabreFlybe targets rail and road competitors in new strategy
The Travel Marketing Store

The market place for travel marketing services.

via .

Understanding NextGen Travellers Crucial to Shape The Future of Travel

amadeus new logo on blueNext gen Traveller Panel 2Adults who travel frequently, are tech-savvy, and are substantial Internet and social media users are poised to be the heavy travel consumers of the future. But how can the travel industry enrich the experiences of this digitally native generation?  Next gen Traveller PanelThat’s the question we sought to explore at our recent panel discussion in Dubai – entitled ‘Trending with NextGen Travelers’, which brought together some of the region’s top travel players to discuss this incredibly empowered traveller type. Building off the Amadeus NextGen research report– the event aimed to focus not on the technology itself – but rather where it can and will make the most difference.Moderated by Duncan Alexander, Head of Pacific Asia Travel Association, West Asia, the panelists included, our very own Antoine Medawar; Alana Witte, Director, Middle East and Africa, Revinate.com; Ali Draycott, Director, YouGov; Mohamed Al Rais, Deputy Managing Director, Al Rais Holidays; and Abdullah bin Omeir, Deputy CEO, Omeir Travel.

via Understanding NextGen Travellers crucial to Shape The Future of Travel.

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WestJet’s Christmas Miracle, Amadeus invests in the hotel sector, UNWTO on tourism economic development, Expedia Media support the Philippines, PhoCusWright on European OTA market

christmas 3WestJet’s Christmas Miracle, Amadeus invests in the hotel sector, UNWTO on tourism economic development, Expedia Media support the Philippines, PhoCusWright on European OTA market.

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The Travel Marketing Digest: Congratulations to Dubai for EXPO 2020, New findings from Facebook, “The 21st Century Traveller” report from Euromonitor, BCG & TripAdvisor report on Chinese Tourism

Dubai Expo CongratulationsFirstly, we would like to congratulate Dubai and its premier sponsors and bid supporters from around the world for their successful bid to host the EXPO 2020. This edition draws attention to three insightful studies: Facebook have released some new findings on their impact on travel plansEuromonitor have released a report on the trends of \”The 21st Century Traveller\”Boston Consulting Group and Trip Advisor have released a report on the explosion of Chinese Tourism and how to capitalise on it In addition, Amadeus announce a new travel start up venture fund, Twitter announce their first entry into advertising and we provide a summary from CMOs InTravel, our blog site.

via Congratulations to Dubai for EXPO 2020, New findings from Facebook, “The 21st Century Traveller” report from Euromonitor, BCG & TripAdvisor report on Chinese Tourism.