Travel Compositor completes its next round of funding

TravelC have announced a €1 Million funding round with Caixa Capital Risk, and with it the integration of hotel booking management provider Hotelerum.

TravelC have created a unique set of unique booking engines that are licensed and branded for Online Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Destination Marketing Organizations and Hotel Groups. The platform has already been has been sold to more than 70 companies across 25 countries.

The product enables the creation of multi-product, multi-destination itineraries through a patented dynamic packaging engine.

TravelC LogoTravelC is based in Palma de Majorca. The company was started in September 2014 with founders Manuel Aragonés and Vicente Rosselló who both have vast experience in the tourism and technology sectors. In 2015 Travel C won the Emprendedor XXI award for the like best Spanish start-up.

This funding enables TravelC to strengthen market deployment in the United States and consolidate the commercial actions in Europe whilst developing new product and content features.

As part of this transaction TravelC will integrate Hotelerum which was founded in 2010 within the accelerator Inspirit. Hotelerum provides an integral part of the overall TravelC solution by providing contracted hotels to be entered into the platform plus expanding TravelC’s value proposition and addressable markets. The former owners of Hotelerum are also now shareholders of TravelC.

http://www.travelcompositor.com/

The Travel Marketing Store is assisting  TravelC with its go-to-market activities and has already established a highly experienced and well connected business development team on their behalf.

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Selling to China via ‘social travel marketplace’, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

A team of five Singaporeans has created an online platform for small travel service providers here and worldwide to sell directly to Chinese travellers.

It is led by Internet pioneer and serial entrepreneur Wong Toon King, 49; and former chief executive of financial solutions company Melioris Mak Chee Wah, 48.

They unveiled their plans last month for Wegogo, a “social travel marketplace” on social media platform WeChat.

Businesses can go to Wegogo to sign up for a free account, which will create a microsite on WeChat for them. They can then list their company information, products, contacts and promotions on it.

Upon registration, a QR code that links to the microsite will be generated, which they can use for their marketing collateral.

More than 3,000 providers both here and abroad have signed up thus far, including Raintr33 Hotel Singapore.

EMPOWER AND ENABLE

The Chinese don’t have Facebook or Instagram. What we want to do is empower (operators) to have the ability to talk to them socially. The next step is to enable the commerce.

WEGOGO CHAIRMAN WONG TOON KING, on the “social travel marketplace”.

The platform allows travel operators to tap into the Chinese travel market through WeChat – the most popular messaging app in China – without needing to invest heftily in marketing or IT, said Ms Reene Ho-Phang, 46, Wegogo’s strategic adviser.

She is also managing director of travel marketing and representation firm BrandStory. Also in the team are Mr Yue Yew Hoong, 48, and Mr Richard Tan Boon Piew, 48.

Wegogo chairman’s, Mr Wong, added: “The Chinese don’t have Facebook or Instagram. What we want to do is empower (operators) to have the ability to talk to them socially. The next step is to enable the commerce.”

WeChat supports payments and money transfer. It also has a micro-blogging function where users can post photos and video and share articles.

For a start, the team will highlight operators that offer “authentic local experiences” – for instance, a chilli crab-cooking lesson or home-dining service – through videos focused on people behind the business.

“We have seen a shift in Chinese traveller profiles from sightseeing and only visiting iconic attractions, to engaging in experience-seeking journeys across the world to learn different cultures and to immerse themselves locally,” said Mr Mak.

The team has ambitious plans to cater to the needs and wants of this burgeoning group of travellers.

In 2014, the Chinese made 109 million trips abroad, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimated. It predicts that this figure will hit 200 million by 2020.

Singapore, too, has been impacted by the growth. It welcomed 2.1 million Chinese visitors last year, up 22 per cent from the year before.

In future, the team hopes to build an artificial intelligence-based system that tracks online activities of Chinese consumers – what they search for, post and buy – to get a picture of what they want when planning trips.

The team will then match the consumers to the relevant travel service providers. Over time, the goal is to allow businesses to tailor products to match these needs.

“It’s a big idea and it takes time to evolve,” said Mr Wong, who led a group of private investors to back the venture with an angel funding of $500,000.

The idea for the start-up was inspired by the huge potential of the China market, said Mr Mak.

Ms Corina Chong, director of Raintr33 Hotel which opened in December 2014, said: “We all acknowledge that China is a huge market that we can’t ignore. For a relatively new hotel, we’ve reached the stage where we want to look at bigger markets like China. Wegogo gives us an avenue to do that.”

Source: Selling to China via ‘social travel marketplace’, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Online paid search and display ad marketing spend down in travel

A major analysis of the leading websites in the US has painted an interesting picture of some significant changes taking place in online travel.

Web audience metrics provider SimilarWeb examined five categories in the industry – airlines, cruise, accommodation, intermediaries and review/recommendations – to try and understand what is happening around areas such as digital marketing, traffic flows and device usage.

Before the individual sector results, here are some of the overarching findings from the study:

  • Mobile market share has grown year-on-year overall, although some sectors have seen a slight fall.
  • Decrease in spend on paid search, as well as display ads.
  • General fall in social media traffic to travel websites.

SW accomm 8

For each of the sectors under examination, SimilarWeb looked at the top 25 brands in each from an overall traffic perspective.

Accommodation

The top 25 websites account for just over half (54%) of all traffic in the sector, although their combined traffic has decreased by 18% between March 2015 and March 2016.

SW accomm 1

SW accomm 2

Airlines

SW accomm 3

Intermediaries

SW accomm 4

Cruise

SW accomm 5

Review/recommendation sites

SW accomm 6

SW accomm 7

Source: Online paid search and display ad marketing spend down in travel

Under Brexit cloud, travel leaders share experiences of Asia – WIT

The timing of the first WIT Europe in London held last week could not have happened at a more poignant time in the city’s history and travel industry leaders, while grappling with uncertainty, agreed there couldn’t be a better time than now to seize the Asia opportunity.

Every speaker expressed their dismay at the UK decision to leave the EU, with the consensus that the implications will be felt globally, including Asia.

Kenny-Jacobs-photo-websiteKenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer of Ryanair, who had to cancel his appearance at the event citing “having to deal with the fallout of Brexit”, sent this message, “Ryanair, as with all airlines, are disappointed with the referendum result. For the next few months it’s business as usual as Europe and Britain will go on their holidays. After the summer we could be facing a long period of uncertainty as UK politics is in turmoil and the new UK government will have to negotiate the exit with the EU, the single biggest issue for the entire travel business will be maintaining the single market. “If the UK stays in the single market then things should continue as normal and the UK will stay part of open skies, if the UK leaves the single market then we have a lot of complications”.

“We are hopeful and we expect both sides will find a way to maintain the free movement of people. But while the is uncertainty and currency fluctuations businesses including ourselves will be slow to make additional investments in the UK. We have 50 new aircraft joining our fleet next year and we now don’t expect to deploy any of these in the UK market at this stage, instead we will focus on markets that are part of the single market like Italy, Spain and Germany.

“This is not the end of the world but it is a period of unprecedented uncertainty. The UK will be in recession and the UK consumer will travel less and spend less, that is a certainty. On the flip side, a weaker pound will mean Europeans travel to the UK more as their euro goes further and they may want to say goodbye to a wonderful country and fantastic people before Boris and Nigel pull up the drawbridge”.

Hugo Burge

Hugo Burge: “Our mission remains to open our world.”

Hugo Burge, CEO of Momondo Group, said there were too many uncertainties currently to predict the future but called on the industry to be positive and work together to ensure travel’s interests were heard by those in power. Short-term, because of the devaluing of the pound, companies like his are gaining but it is clear they are more concerned with long-term impact and what this could mean for the European Tech Alliance of which it is part.

He said that Momondo’s DNA Journey Youtube video, which has gained more than 120 million views and released in June, could also not have happened at a more poignant time. “Our mission remains to open our world,” he said.

He said, as a geographer, he was blown away by the sheer size and scope of Asia’s potential and that the group would be expanding the cheapflights brand in the region. “It’s a name that works,” he said. “While Europe remains our main focus, the group is now ready to expand beyond and grow in Asia.”

Bobby Healy, CTO of Dublin-based the CarTrawler, while saying Brexit meant opportunities for Dublin – which is positioned as a tech hub and already there are talks by companies in London to move there – said it wasn’t good for travel in general.

Speaking about CarTrawler’s experiences in Asia, he said its focus has been on China, where it’s seeing 180% growth and the mainland is now among its top 14 markets. He admits China is tough to penetrate and private equity-run companies are disadvantaged in that it cannot make the necessary investments necessary to make a dent.

Bobby Healy:

Bobby Healy: “We should have got product and market first before we entered Asia.”

“Create a start-up and get the cash to run,” he advised the audience of close to 100 who turned up to learn about the Asia growth story at the Tate Modern.

To enter China, CarTrawler bought Finland-based Cabforce in 2015 to acquire the necessary technology for the market.

On hindsight, he said of CarTrawler’s Asia strategy, “We should have got product and the market right first before we entered Asia. Our other mistake is not investing enough.”

On Skyscanner’s part, Andy Sleigh, who ran the APAC region out of Singapore for two years before returning to Edinburgh, said between 2013 and 2015, Skyscanner saw rapid growth in average APAC Unique Monthly Visitors and is projecting £30m revenues by 2016.

It’s been hair-raising ride and Asia today is a total turf war, with Sleigh likening it to the TV series, Game of Thrones. He advised companies against spending money on marketing when you do not have the right product and user trust.

Andy Sleigh:

Andy Sleigh: “It’s a commitment that pays you back in spades.”

Japan is one market it’s had good success. Said Sleigh, “Japan is the third largest travel market in the world, with 2015 bookings estimated to rise to $71 billion. The establishment of Skyscanner Japan provides both partners in the joint venture (with Yahoo Japan) an opportunity to accelerate their growth in this important market and offers millions of consumers comprehensive travel options for free. Visitors to Skyscanner’s Japanese site grew 40% in 2014,” said Sleigh.

For China, it bought Youbibi and its founder Steven Pang now runs Skyscanner’s China operations. “Getting the right people is key,” he said, with Healy agreeing. Healy said he had been advised to hire only Chinese women and “you cannot run a business in China by hiring people who look like me”.

Sleigh advised against “seagull management” – “where you fly in, s… on everyone and fly out”.

Skyscanner ran “Immersion” programmes where visiting executives from head office would be given truly immersive experiences in Asia markets.

Leading a team in Asia is all in. “It’s a huge commitment that pays you back in spades. It’s personal hypergrowth, long hours, huge amount of travel. But you make great friends and have unbeatable experiences.

“The Asia travel tech community is incredibly friendly, we need more European businesses to take the plunge.” 

Source: Under Brexit cloud, travel leaders share experiences of Asia – WIT

The Boomers Will Dominate Travel for 20 Years | TravelPulse Marketing Author Brent Green:

Millennials are getting more and more attention in the media, and arebabyboomerso no doubt a rising force in the travel industry.

But Brent Green, an expert on marketing to the baby boom generation and author of Generation Reinvention and Marketing to Leading Edge Baby Boomers, says that the baby boom generation will continue to be the main driving force in the travel industry for the next two decades.“For the next 20 years,” said Green, “baby boomers are without question the financial force behind leisure travel.

”What Green calls the “sweetest of the sweet spot” in that market is the market segment he identifies as “leading edge baby boomers,” those born between 1946 and 1955. In 2016 they are between 61 and 70 years of age.

This demographic, says Green, is “where the opportunities are” for travel agents and tour operators. Quoting AARP, Green says that the 50-plus demographic, which includes five years below the baby boomer age group, is a $120 billion-a-year market. AARP says that 97 percent of that group expect to travel domestically on at least one trip this year, and at least 45 percent anticipate taking some type of international trip.Green also referred to a study done by British Airways, which found that the generation boborn between 1946 and 1961 have a newfound interest in seeing the world as they enter into retirement, though not everyone’s prepared for long-haul travel.

“There is a strong propensity and desire to travel and see the world,’ said Green, “a lot of pent-up demand. But it is a surprisingly small percentage that have gone overseas and view that opportunity as a realistic next step.”

The leading edge boomer generation “feels under-satisfied with the amount of travel they’ve done up to now,” said Green, and the generation has a strong propensity to travel, though some of them are feeling they are not going to be able to afford it, which may or may not be accurate.

According to Green, the “silent generation,” those born from 1925 to 1945, have dominated the industry for the last 10 years as retirees, but now they are moving into their twilight years and their travel interests are waning. Baby boomers are now entering retirement and are becoming a more powerful force than ever.

Not only are they reaching their heavy travel years, the generation also has a particularly pronounced propensity for travel. The generation is also a large demographic and is in control of a lot of wealth and discretionary income. In addition, that demographic has been a trend setter for its whole life. All of these factors converge to make the market a veritable gold mine for the travel industry.

“The leading edge boomers set up a lot of the trends that became mainstream,” said Green. It was the generation that was in college during the Vietnam War and led the protest against it. It was the generation that championed women’s rights and the generation in which women entered the workplace in larger numbers than ever before.

And it was a generation that pushed the frontiers of travel, with hitchhiking in America and backpacking in Europe during their youth. Now as they reach retirement age, they are eager to get back to traveling, though in a more catered manner than when they were young.

The later baby boomers, aged 52-61, are less of a force in the travel industry now because “they are still actively in their careers, some in the peak demands of their careers, still dealing with college kids or with caregiving of their parents. They will age into the travel sweet spot within 10 years.”

Leading edge baby boomers, between 61 and 70, “are prime time for travel right now,” said Green. “And they have the economic capability of higher end travel. Many are retired, semi retired or within a few years of retirement.”

For those travel agents and tour operators who want to maximize the opportunity presented by the entrance of the leading edge baby boomers into the retiree travel market, Green presents several overarching themes that can help travel marketers target that sweet spot.

1. Creative Experiences. “Leading edge baby boomers are looking for something outside of cookie cutter travel experiences,” said Green. “They want immersive activities. They don’t want to just eat pasta, they want to make it. They don’t want to just make it, they want to see where the wheat is grown that makes the pasta. That’s immersive experience and creative experience. Travel companies that get it and are at the leading edge are doing it already.”

2. Authenticity. “They value experiences that are as close to being culturally consistent with where we’ve travelled as possible,” said Green. “You don’t want to go to McDonald’s in Paris. If you think about why people like to get off the beaten path, it is that they are searching for authentic experiences. They want to see the horse-drawn wagon hauling milk or whatever. They want to travel to destinations that are not over travelled.”

3 Focus on Health and Wellness. “People who fit profile of heavy travellers also tend to be people who are very interested in managing their health and wellness,” said Green. “They travel actively. They rent bicycles and go on a 40-mile day trip. They hike 10 miles in Paris. They want to eat well but don’t want to eat globs of cholesterol. They want a healthier diet.”

4. Community and Family. “They value travel that gives them a sense of community, whether it be a university affiliation, an age affiliation or their families. The leading edge boomers are heavily motivated to travel with their children and grandchildren.” Family travel is a market that will continue to grow.

5. Personal Development. “The leading edge boomers desire to have travel enrich them by increasing their depth of understanding of history, culture or what is involved in a place that makes it significant in history,” said Green.

6. Sustainability and Eco Responsibility. Boomers, as well as other generations, are increasingly concerned with environmental responsibility. An important part of this motivation is the desire to be involved in philanthropy or giving back. “They want to tie the travel experience to doing something meaningful to help others. It may include simply travel with philanthropic organization. Or it may be something like going to Peru to build houses or going to Everest but helping to clean up the trails below. Even if it is a superficial level of contribution, if added to the travel experience it can inspire people who don’t have time to give back if they can combine it with a great vacation.”

Within the leading edge baby boomer demographic, there are many opportunities for development, such as increasing multigenerational travel opportunities; celebration vacations, recognizing rites of passage; solo vacations, 40 percent of the generation is now unmarried; girlfriend getaways, more women are traveling with other women; dating vacations, single people want to meet other single people; and spirituality, as people get older they get more interested in spiritual matters.

Another important trend for travel professionals to note is the growing demand for professional travel services. “The boomers can afford more catered travel,” said Green, “and appreciate professional support. They want someone to help plan their trip so they don’t have to worry about anything but showing up.”

Source: Marketing Author Brent Green: The Boomers Will Dominate Travel for 20 Years | TravelPulse

WEGOGO connects travel hosts with Chinese travellers on WeChat

A Singapore and Shanghai-based travel startup has created a business platform on WeChat to enable global tours operators and travel hosts to connect with mobile-savvy Chinese consumers.

Founded in January last year, WEGOGO has launched its services to businesses in Gili Islands and Singapore so far. It is slated to launch in China by the third quarter. Described as a “social discovery AI (artificial intelligence) travel platform for sophisticated Chinese travellers,” WEGOGO focuses on the use of AI to match users with relevant travel hosts, marketing their services directly to them. It uses contextual cues (such as a user’s search history) to model their unique ‘digital imprint’. This information can then help to predict what type of ‘experience’ a traveller is likely looking for. By doing so, WEGOGO hopes to connect smaller tour operators with the booming Chinese outbound travel market (with 200 million outbound travellers predicted by 2020).

“We’re trying to build a platform for understanding the Chinese traveller… anyone (an operator, a guide) should be able to tap into this and make yourself more relevant,” said Wong Toon King (TK), chairman of WEGOGO. It is an attempt to “level the playing field” between smaller operators and bigger players, as strategic advisor Reene Ho-Phang highlighted the reality that many local hosts do not have “the muscle and technology to aim at a global market”.

WEGOGO is backed by a group of private investors led by Wong, who is the managing director of FarSight Capital, and has provided the startup with US$500,000 in angel funding.

WEGOGO Platform | Startup | WIT

WEGOGO will not solely rely on AI to identify what users want. To address the shift in Chinese traveller preferences from being ‘destination-centric’ to ‘experiential tourism’, it will create video content to engage consumers on an emotional level.

Richard Tan Boon Piew, co-founder and COO, emphasised the importance of using storytelling to encourage consumers to go out and discover these unique places.

“We need to go in and find the story to tell… different operators can express their love for that they do. We’re trying to find gems, we don’t need a laundry list of operators.”

WEGOGO also has a “Pathfinders Programme” where bloggers and influencers share their experiences on the platform.

Registration is straightforward and free for travel hosts. Then they are issued a QR code that directs consumers to their micro-site.

Travel hosts can also take charge of their own marketing and promotions on WEGOGO, communicate with prospective customers directly, and conduct all payments online via WePay.

Therefore, virtually every stage of travel (with the exception of ‘experiencing’) can occur within the realm of WeChat.

WEGOGO earns a service fee from providers, but the initial sign up is free. They also use sponsored content.

One critical consideration is how WEGOGO plans to provide quality assurance and a sense of security for its customers, especially as the number of businesses on the platform increases.

Ho-Phang suggests that it can largely be left up to the operators who sign on to WEGOGO, as they are able to share tips and important information with customers before they travel. “This is their area [of expertise]…so they can inform travellers what to look out for.”

Mak believes that the existence of a rating and review system can help customers make their choices. “We can also give some providers WEGOGO verification,” Tan added.

While there are over 630 million users on WeChat (and counting) in China, one potential stumbling block could be how aware international travel hosts are of the social networking app in the first place, as WeChat has struggled in its efforts to go global.

Wong remains optimistic that hosts will readily adopt WeChat once they understand the benefits of WEGOGO for their business.

Source: WEGOGO connects travel hosts with Chinese travellers on WeChat

Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

Google logo.jpegThe giant search engine, Google, will roll out a new advertising program, which will help to offer more local adverts to consumers using the popular GPS-based Google Maps app.

Under the new program, various adverts of relevant companies that are nearby a user will be provided at the bottom of the apps navigation interface on the users smartphone. Destination marketing businesses are likely to welcome the new feature. The new advertisement program is expected to bring consumers with ads which will include businesses such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, tour companies etc.

The tool is designed to provide local businesses with more exposure to potential customers by providing localized adverts to the consumers based on the location. However, it is also expected to have a huge positive impact on travel and tourism-related businesses, and destination marketing sector, given the fact that a huge portion of location queries using Google Maps are related to travel and tourism.

In addition to providing localized search based on the location of the users smartphone, Google also intends to personalize the adverts based on the users preferences and interests, which will have been acquired from past search requests using the service, as well as online behaviour of the user. This will be of a great benefit to travel related brands, as the personalized advertising will help to target potential customers who have a higher chance of paying for the service being offered.

Google has already started testing the advertising program on some of the Google Maps users. People wishing to advertise their businesses will be able to highlight their locations on Google Maps, which will then be shown to the users through what is being referred to as “promoted pins”. The pins will highlight the exact location of the business, and will also include other details such as company logos to help in easier identification of the brand. As such it is likely that destination marketing companies will make use of the tool extensively.

In addition to the localized ads using Google Maps, the search engine will also extend the reach of the Google Display Network Remarketing campaigns. This will offer businesses advertising on Google with a broader reach to a more valuable target market, which will help to increase the chances of lead conversion, thus increasing the revenues.

Source: Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

Luxury travel outpaces the rest of the travel industry, according to new Amadeus report

Global consumers are increasingly spending their disposable income on experiences rather than material goods. And consumers’ desire for these life experiences is spurring a growth in luxury travel that is outpacing the rest of the travel industry, according a new report commissioned by global travel technology company, Amadeus.

The report, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel, reveals the fresh challenges and opportunities that the luxury travel market will face over the next decade. Some key findings from the report include:

  • We have entered a new age of luxury travel, where luxury is curated, real-time and experience-led
  • North America and Western Europe account for 64% of global outbound luxury trips, despite only making up 18% of the world’s population
  • From 2011-2025, Asia Pacific’s luxury travel market will see faster overall growth than Europe’s, but this growth will decelerate from 2015-2025
  • India’s luxury market CAGR of 13% is higher than any of the other BRIC nations, and is the highest of the 25 countries explored in this report
  • A human desire for more rewarding experiences provides an essential catalyst to evolve and improve travel industry quality and service standards
  • A hierarchy of luxury travel needs is identified, ranging from 5-star quality and service standards to exclusive VIP privacy and security

The report was developed with data from Tourism Economics and with dozens of expert interviews with global luxury travel experts across specialist travel concierge agencies, airlines, hoteliers and intermediary suppliers through Connections, a global networking event organizer for luxury travel providers.

In 2015, Amadeus released a report called Future Traveler Tribes 2030, which identified six “traveller tribes” based on consumer behaviour, recognizing that purchasing patterns change depending on the circumstances of each trip. Using similar methodology, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel, identifies six luxury traveller tribes to help travel companies better target and serve the luxury customer market:

  • Always Luxury: luxury is a minimum requirement rather than a perk
  • Special Occasion: luxury travel is a treat, not a given
  • Bluxury: their trip has a business objective, but they will extend it to enjoy a luxury leisure experience
  • Cash-Rich, Time-Poor: likely to seek and pay for third-party travel planning assistance
  • Strictly Opulent: seek the most glamorous experiences and will likely share on social media
  • Independent Affluent: often solo travellers seeking luxury travel to pamper themselves or try something new

“Luxury means different things to different people and this is especially true today. As emergent middle classes seek the material aspect of luxury travel, more mature markets are craving a new, evolved kind of luxury. This is why offering luxury customers a relevant personal and exclusive experience will become even more crucial than it is today – it will be a differentiating factor between old and new luxury,” said Rob Sinclair-Barnes, Strategic Marketing Director at Amadeus IT Group.

“For travel companies, understanding their role in delivering an end-to-end luxury experience for a traveller is key to improving collaboration, and reinforcing an industry-wide push for consistent luxury service. Exploring the latest technologies and innovations for making the industry work better as a whole is key to achieving a new level of luxury that has never existed before,” said Sinclair-Barnes.

You can download a free copy of the Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel report here.

Source: Luxury travel outpaces the rest of the travel industry, according to new Amadeus report

Free Whitepaper: Cross-Cultural Marketing in a Digital Age, Eye for Travel & SDL

SDLWith the right website, content and SEO strategy any travel brand can have a global presence that generates bookings.

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London welcomes over 30 million tourists for the first time ever – London & Partners

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed new figures that show the capital has set a new tourism record after more than 30 million visitors came to the city last year, drawn by global sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup and blockbuster exhibitions at its museums and galleries, according to new figures released today.

A record 31.5 million Great Britain residents and international tourists came to the city in 2015 – which is an increase of 20 per cent when compared to five years ago.

London keeps setting new tourism records. Every year since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games there has been an increase in the number of international visitors coming to the city.  Figures released today (20th May) by the Office for National Statistics, International Passenger Survey, show there were 18.6 million international visits in 2015 compared to 17.4 million in 2014, a previous record year. (seven per cent increase) Separate data from the Great Britain Tourism Survey carried out by UK tourism body VisitEngland reveals that GB residents made 12.9 million visits to London last year, another new record.

International and GB visitors also spent £15 billion on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions – an increase of 35 per cent compared to 2010.

Source: London welcomes over 30 million tourists for the first time ever – London & Partners