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.

View their entry in The Travel Marketing Directory

If you want to find out more about their excellent solution please contact us:

The Travel Marketing Store

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.

However, this is easier said than done as each diverse marketplace requires attention to detail and consistent quality across the brand. History is littered with examples of embarrassing cultural mistakes and slogans that didn’t translate.

This white paper examines why content is important and how companies can get it right for every single target market.

Provided by localisation business SDL it does raise our awareness for the need to consider a localisation strategy for your travel business.

WHEREISWHERE LAUNCHES LIVE DEMO FOR TRAVEL MARKETERS

WhereIsWhereWhereIsWhere.com, a location-marketing tool for businesses in the tourism industry, has unveiled its demo microsite, allowing travel marketers to check out its content and features before it goes live to consumers mid-2016.

The live demo can be accessed at: preview.whereiswhere.com

The microsite is a sample demonstration of the end-user experience, as travellers explore the interactive map to find out where everything is, and what each location has to offer, in the form of rich media content – videos, pictures, promotions and more.

Preview.whereiswhere.com currently features only London and Singapore, with more travel destinations to be added later. On WhereIsWhere’s interactive map platform, travel marketers can zoom in from country to area to street level; and within each category – Attractions, Lodgings, Activities and F&B, select filters according to their interest types. Speaking about the newly launched demo site, Terence Mak, the CEO, noted that “WhereIsWhere enables travellers to learn more about different destinations easily, straight from the industry itself; this way of direct marketing in Travel is a change from what travel marketers are currently doing.

ABOUT WHEREISWHERE

As an interactive world map, WhereIsWhere.com functions as a location-marketing tool, enabling businesses including hotels, attractions, icons and tourism authorities in the global tourism industry to show the world where they are, and what they have. Travel marketers claim their pins on WhereIsWhere’s map platform; and under their pin, they can upload media in the form of videos, pictures, or even their latest promotions, to entice travellers to visit.  Mid-2016 will see WhereIsWhere launch to travellers, offering them the latest information from the travel industry, as they explore the world.

For more information, visit www.whereiswhere.com.

Contact us at pr@whereiswhere.com

Source: WHEREISWHERE LAUNCHES LIVE DEMO FOR TRAVEL MARKETERS

Prepare for ‘book now’ on Instagram! It’s the social platform taking travel by storm | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

When Instagram launched back in 2010, it seemed like a great idea. By September 2011 it had 10m users and it wasn’t long before Facebook had spotted this fast-growing visually driven opportunity. By April 2012, Instagram had been drawn into the Facebook-fold and has been pretty unstoppable ever since.

According to EyeforTravel recent research, the fast-growing social platform has 400 million monthly users, up by around 25% on the previous year. Another stand out number of the research is that 60% of travel companies today are including Instagram in their marketing mix, putting it behind only Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn.

60% include Instagram in their marketing mix

95% the number of marketers using Facebook

75% of brands incorporate social content directly onto their brand website

Source: EyeforTravel

Given how much travellers love to take snaps and how shareable Instagram had made this, not to Facebook’s vested interest, this isn’t surprising.  However, there are some interesting developments on the horizon. According to James Quarles, Global Head of Business and Brand Development at Instagram: “Inspiring people to ‘Book Now’ on Instagram is already being adopted by the industry, including major hotel brands and airlines.”

The results, he adds, “are promising”.

Battling it out for marketing dollars

While it comes as no surprise that Facebook is the clear winner in the battle for marketing dollars (95% of marketers today use it), a number of newer networks are making inroads – Pinterest, Vimeo, Foursquare and Tumblr all make the top 10.

“Imagery is a critical part of the travel decision-making process and our research, which shows the rise of a number of sites specialising in photos and video, bears this out,” says Alex Hadwick, head of research at EyeforTravel.

How brands are spending their marketing dollars

Looking ahead, this points to growing opportunities for travel companies to engage in more direct marketing to consumers through social media channels. “They are also now able to close the loop, with several of these sites adding ‘buy buttons’ that can redirect to a brand’s booking pages,” says Hadwick.

The incorporation of travel companies onto social media is also happening in reverse, with brands placing social media directly onto their brand websites. Over three-quarters of those surveyed report that they incorporate social media content onto their websites already, and nearly half host blogs and videos.

Source: Prepare for ‘book now’ on Instagram! It’s the social platform taking travel by storm | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

Link

Mount your headsets and get ready. Virtual reality (VR) is fast-tracking its way to possibly reinventing the way travel is marketed and sold.

The highly engaging, interactive VR environments that are already taking the tech and gaming industries by storm offer the travel industry an entirely new platform for selling travel as the technology is rapidly becoming more accessible to the masses.

“The travel industry is going to be one of the industries that will be most impacted by the onset of virtual reality,” said Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of YouVisit, which helps create and distribute VR video content for various companies, including numerous travel suppliers such as Carnival Cruise Line and destination marketing organizations.

“How do you give somebody a sense of what it’s really like to be somewhere without principally being there?” Mandelbaum said. “Why do people go on TripAdvisor? Because they want to get a better feel for the place. We see [VR] as a very natural evolution that has taken place [in travel marketing], from text to photos to videos to virtual tours to virtual reality. The main thing that makes the virtual experiences unique is that they’re interactive. That interactivity leads to immersion, and that immersion leads to conversion.

“YouVisit was among the growing number of VR vendors showcasing their products at the Consumer Electronics Show #CES# in Las Vegas earlier this month, where VR content creators and hardware manufacturers were inundated with attendees hoping to experience the latest in VR technologies.

From the much-buzzed-about, Facebook-owned Oculus to the impressive upstart HTC Vive, from companies selling live-event VR capabilities to outfits hawking the 360-degree cameras and contraptions necessary to create VR video content, the VR arena was where the action was at CES. And according to industry insiders, tuned-in travel companies should be just as amped about the exploding technology.

Sean Whitmore, a senior analyst for San Francisco-based VR intelligence gathering and consulting firm Greenlight VR, said, “We’re seeing strong interest by Generation Z [people currently ages 10 to 17], who are likely to be early adopters of virtual reality-enabled headsets for travel-based experiences. However, as we’ve seen in the data for our upcoming 2016 Virtual Reality Consumer Report, Baby Boomers [people ages 51 and up] are also very interested in the concept of experiencing travel destinations through virtual reality, with 38% saying they are likely to try it.”

According to Whitmore, travel companies would be smart to start experimenting with different kinds of VR marketing efforts in order to see what works best for them and to begin to get a better sense of the level of investment required and what the potential returns will be on that investment.

“It’s important to recognize that the industry is in the early days of VR as a medium for brand advertising, and as such, measurability remains a challenge,” Whitmore said. “Despite the challenge of measurability, some marketers are achieving impressive organic reach and millions of earned media impressions, while consumers are reacting very positively.”

Source: Virtual reality check: Travel Weekly

Shazam can be a neat marketing tool, but travel brands aren’t listening: by Kevin May, Tnooz

Many travel companies claim to be “joined-up” with their marketing efforts these days – but still they appear to forget there is more to it than showing a fancy ad.

A case in point is the latest run of Christmas-New Year TV and online ads from some of the UK’s most high profile travel brands.Tour operators have traditionally seen the December break as the ideal time to showcase their latest marketing campaign, often with a slick new ad to be shown during key commercial breaks in the Christmas TV schedule.

Nowadays, such campaigns have taken on considerably more importance as they are also created for the web market.

True to form, UK rival tour operators Thomas Cook and First Choice unleashed their latest efforts in the days before Christmas, with slickly produced TV and online videos.

British Airways was another.

There are two common themes running on the clips.

The first is the importance of music.

The second is, despite that importance, two of the brands have missed out on connecting the audio in their ads to the biggest music recognition platform on the web.

In June last year, Shazam started a new initiative whereby brands could link their advertising campaigns to the platform so that users who “Shazamed” a piece of audio could obtain more information about a product or service.

Brands were encouraged to place the Shazam logo (a small but recognisable “S”) somewhere on the creative and then link the track on Shazam for details about the song and what the ad is promoting. Subtle, but potentially rather effective.BA and First Choice didn’t think about this.Marketers might shrug and claim it’s a wasted effort.

But perhaps not when they realise that, according to media and marketing publication The Drum, their campaigns were some of the most “Shazamed” songs of the Christmas period.

Still, hats off to Thomas Cook for thinking more laterally.Thomas Cook provided a small link on the YouTube version of the ad so users can download the song on SoundCloud, but although it didn’t use the “S” in the clip it did connect the dots back to Shazam so that the newly released song has “From Thomas Cook Advert” as its title.

Source: Shazam can be a neat marketing tool, but travel brands aren’t listening

New Dublin brand looks beyond city centre for ‘must-visit’ appeal – Independent.ie

Dublin is being re-branded as more than just a “party town” in an effort to secure its long-term future as a tourism destination.

The new brand and logo – ‘Dublin – A breath of Fresh Air’ – were unveiled as key elements in a new tourism marketing campaign.  The €1 million campaign described as “a new expression of a rare auld thing”, seeks to change perceptions of Dublin “from a weak and one-dimensional image to that of a city pulsing with life,” according to Fáilte Ireland.

The logo was inspired by “the old, the new, and one Dublin resident in particular,” the tourism development authority said..   ”This is the first Dublin-dedicated tourism campaign in many years,” said Shaun Quinn, Fáilte Ireland CEO.

“It is necessary as Dublin is in danger of allowing its brand to become a bit stale while our competitor cities overseas have actually been reinventing themselves.”Modern tourists enjoy a huge range of city break options across Europe, with destinations like Amsterdam (“I Amsterdam”), Berlin (“visitBerlin”) and Stockholm (“This is Stockholm”) marketing themselves dynamically in recent years.

Visitor numbers to Dublin have grown by 12% in what could be its busiest ever year, but there is a recognition that the city needs to “future-proof” itself as a destination that will continue to appeal even if external markets or currencies fluctuate.

The ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ tag encourages visitors to look beyond the City Centre, positioning Dublin as a coastal city with mountains and sea on its doorstep.“What we have here in Dublin is unique,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sports, Paschal Donohoe TD, who launched the campaign.

“There is no point, however, in being Europe’s best kept secret, and I very much welcome this new campaign to reposition the city and county and ensure that its unique appeal cuts through in the international marketplace.”

The new Dublin brand, unveiled as part of a new tourism marketing campaign by Fáilte Ireland.  Campaigns will also run in Ireland, as well as in France and Germany, with an emphasis on digital and social media marketing.€1 million has been earmarked for the first phases of the public/private initiative – funding provided by Fáilte Ireland, the four Dublin local authorities and a collection of private-sector partners including city hotels, Brown Thomas, the Guinness Storehouse, Irish Ferries, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and daa among others.

The campaign was co-ordinated by the ‘Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance’ (GDTA), a group established by Fáilte Ireland to develop the plans set out in Destination Dublin – A Collective Strategy for Growth to 2020.  It aims to grow visitors numbers to the city to 6.2 million by 2020, and to grow tourism spend from a base of €1.4 billion to €2.5 billion in the same period.

“All of us around the table – tourism businesses, retailers, representative associations and State agencies – feel that this new brand captures the essence of what makes Dublin different,” said Michael Carey, Chairman of the GDTA.

Other differentiating factors include the vibrancy of Dublin’s population, its “ever evolving culture and curiosity” and “a spontaneous openness”, Fáilte Ireland says.“Tourists aren’t aware of what Dublin has to offer and what makes it distinct. Compared to other European cities, Dublin is seen as ‘dusty’ and old-fashioned,” Carey added.”To compete with other cities, we need to reposition Dublin to encapsulate its dynamic and bustling personality,” he said.The GTDA today also published its Grow Dublin Tourism Alliance Progress and Action Plan, which identifies access and transport, accommodation and food and the cruise passenger experience as “core parts” of the Dublin visitor experience for prioritisation.

Source: New Dublin brand looks beyond city centre for ‘must-visit’ appeal – Independent.ie

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

The Iranian Tour Continues in Tabriz

Duncan Alexander from The Travel Marketing Store has been delivering a keynote address as the 5th Conference on Digital Marketing in Tourism in Iran.  The four city conference has been held in Terhan, Mashad, Tabriz and will be held in Banda Abbas on Thursday 3rd September.

The topic of Duncan’s presentation has been “The Impact of Technology on Travel Marketing and the opportunity for National Tourism Platforms”.  Speaking in Tabriz today Duncan stated that Iran had a unique opportunity as a nation to develop a single source, multi-language distribution platform for its tourism products.   “Should the right public private partnership be created”, he stated, “Iran could build a new generation distribution platform for its magnificent tourism products”.

P1030486Following a moving visit to the  Holy Shrine of Iman Reza in Mashad earlier this week Duncan today visited another UNESCO site, the Bazaar of Tabriz which is the largest covered Bazaar in the world. He commentated “This again, like most of the experiences we have had in the country so far, was amazing.  The Bazaar was a sensual feast of sights, sounds and smells and should be in every persons bucket list for Iran” .

The Digital Marketing in Tourism Conference, organised by media company Kaspid, has been attended by nearly 2,000 delegates so far.  “The thirst for knowledge sharing is so evident from the enthusiasm of the delegates who are keen to learn how to develop their visitor economies through studying international best practices”, stated Duncan.  “There are certainly new partnerships to be forged in this culturally and historically rich country”.

International tourist arrivals up 4% in the first four months of 2015 | World Tourism Organization UNWTO

International tourist arrivals up 4% in the first four months of 2015 | World Tourism Organization UNWTO.

UNWTO logoInternational tourism demand continued to be robust between January and April 2015 with tourist arrivals increasing 4% worldwide according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Almost all regions enjoyed strong growth. Prospects for the May-August period remain upbeat, with close to 500 million tourists expected to travel abroad during these four months.

Destinations worldwide received some 332 million international tourists (overnight visitors) between January and April 2015, 14 million more than the same period last year, corresponding to an increase of 4%.

This result follows an increase of 4.3% in 2014 and consolidates the upwards trend of international tourism in recent years (+4.5% international tourist arrivals a year on average since 2010).

By region, the Americas (+6%) led growth, followed by Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East, all recording 4% to 5% more arrivals. By subregion, Oceania and South America boasted the strongest increase (both +8%), followed by the Caribbean and Central and Eastern Europe (both +7%), the latter rebounding from last year’s decline. In Africa, demand weakened in 2014 after years of solid growth, affected mainly by the Ebola outbreak among other challenges. Limited data currently available for January-April 2015 points to a 6% decline, as African destinations struggle to recover from the misperceptions affecting the continent.

“It is encouraging to see the tourism sector consolidating its excellent results despite security concerns and unrest in many parts of our world”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “This underscores that tourism is a surprisingly resilient economic sector which increasingly contributes to development in many countries around the globe. For national governments, it is a reminder that tourism can be part of the solution to foster socio-economic development and job creation”, he added.

Strong results across many destinations with a rebound in Central and Eastern Europe

In the Americas (+6%) all four subregions continued to enjoy significant growth in January-April 2015, led by South America (+8%) and the Caribbean (+7%). Strong outbound demand from the United States fuelled results as 20 million US tourists travelled abroad through April, 7% more than during the same period last year.

Asia and the Pacific (+4%) consolidated its growth of recent years, with Oceania (+8%) and North-East Asia (+5%) in the lead. South-East Asia (+3%) recorded moderate results this four-month period as the rebound in Thailand (+25%) was offset by declines in other destinations.

Europe, the world’s most visited region, enjoyed continued strength with international tourist arrivals growing by 5% through April. Arrivals in Central and Eastern Europe increased by 7%, rebounding on the poor results of 2014 following the conflict in Ukraine and the slowdown of the Russian economy. Southern Mediterranean Europe (+5%) maintained strong growth, though for many destinations these are low season months. Western Europe and Northern Europe both enjoyed a solid 4% increase in arrivals, partly due to good results in traditional winter sports destinations.

International tourist arrivals in the Middle East are estimated to be up by 4% through April, further continuing the region’s recovery which started in 2014 after three consecutive years of declines. Africa’s international tourist numbers, on the other hand, declined by an estimated 6% as a consequence of the decrease in arrivals to North Africa (-7%) as well as to sub-Saharan Africa (-5%). Figures for both Africa and the Middle East should be read with caution, as they are based on limited available data for these regions.

“The Ebola crisis in West Africa and the security concerns are serious challenges for Africa’s tourism and for the international community as a whole. We must work together in managing and overcoming these challenges and in supporting destinations for a prompt recovery. It is important to remember that tourism is the lifeline of many communities around the world and that we face today a global threat that affects all our societies”, said Mr. Rifai.

Optimistic prospects for the coming months

Close to 500 million tourists are estimated to travel abroad between May and August 2015, the Northern Hemisphere holiday peak season, a total that accounts for some 41% of all international tourist arrivals registered in a year.

According to the latest results of the UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index, prospects for this period continue to be bullish and are the highest for this period since the pre-crisis year 2007. The sentiment is positive among all regions and areas of activity.

Business intelligence tool ForwardKeys also shows healthy growth in international air travel reservations for May-August 2015. Overall bookings are up 5% thanks to strong demand for domestic air travel (+7%) and continued growth in international travel (+4%). By region, air reservations increased most in Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Europe, while reservations to and from Africa and the Middle East are weaker.

According to the forecast issued by UNWTO in January this year, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 3% to 4% for the full year 2015, in line with UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% a year for the period 2010 to 2020.

Please note that results presented here reflect preliminary data reported to date and are subject to revision.

Relevant links:

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, including excerpt with tables on international tourism arrivals per world region for free download

UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2015 Edition (free download)

Infographic: International Tourism in 2014 (International Tourist Arrivals and International Tourism Receipts) (pdf)

Infographic: Why Tourism Matters (pdf)