Online and mobile travel booking is often perceived as being a young man's game, with some companies understandably targeting the more youthful demographic that seems to be constantly attached to their smartphones; however, research shows that 23% of the total internet population is over 55, a sizeable portion of users that shows that senior travellers are heading online more readily than the tourism industry may have suspected.
There is a new trend emerging in Germany of visitors spending the night in hotels over the weekend rather than during weekdays. Data for room occupancy in German hotels from the MKG European Hospitality Report shows that rates rose to 67.6%, putting the country only marginally behind the European average of 67.9%.
The travel company Amadeus was recently commissioned to carry out a study into future growth within the industry and the results have been published by Oxford Economics. Shaping the Future of Travel: Macro Trends Driving Industry Growth Until 2023, as the title suggests, it is a report on the factors that will contribute to growth in the global travel industry and the issues faced. The key finding is that growth is estimated at an impressive 5.4% a year. This would be faster than world GDP, which is only predicted to be 3.4% over the same ten year period, and in line with global trade flows of 5.8%.
The number of the booked cruises in Europe reached its all-time high of 6.4 million in 2013. That corresponds to an increase of 4 percent as opposed to 2012 and a doubling of the European cruise ship market in only eight years. The source market Austria – with an absolute emergence of more than 134,000 passengers in the previous, not at all considered a giant – evolved even stronger.
The forecasting index indicates a more marked progression in the second half of this year. In 2014, the Italian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by 1 percent with business travel following suit. This is what is shown by the figures of the business travel sector revealed by the Uvet Travel Index, the statistical model developed by the Uvet Group with the scientific back up from The European House – Ambrosetti.
Technology is a vital resource for tourism brands and companies need to embrace it to stay ahead of the competition and encourage new business: that is the message that has been sent out across the global industry for months following reports and forecasts but it seems some travel agencies are still ignoring the potential of social media. Because the market is so saturated, companies need to establish their niche and clientèle and social media is the ideal way to create an individual, online presence and build on successes;
The problem with creating forecasts for sector growth for the year to come and predicting global travel trends is that any event, big or small, can have an potential effect and positive and negative outcomes can come from unlikely sources. Events that seem so far away and inconsequential to American business travel could have a bigger impact that first imagined but, at the same time, situations much closer to home may not have been as damaging as suspected.
Europe has done studies that show that potential Chinese tourists are currently found to be around 100 million people, and experts believe that they will reach 220 million by 2023. Chinese tourists have a special preference for France and they are “obsessed with Bordeaux wines,” a recent analysis done by The Economist indicated.
The Chinese market is a big deal for European tourism because of the potentially high visitor numbers and revenue; however, attracting these visitors to the continent's cities and attractions requires more than your average, simple promotion. The Chinese mentality is different to that of Europeans and they have different expectations and needs when it comes to travelling that often go unfulfilled. It is vital to look at the problem from different angles; online promotion, such as blogging, is still important for reaching this market but businesses need to go further, such as showing potential visitors that they can communicate with them in Chinese on their arrival or highlighting an appreciation of their cultural needs and cuisine.
For years, the seas around the Balearic Islands have evoked images of calm, clear waters with frolicking dolphins and offered the perfect destination for holidaymakers that want to swim, explore or simply relaxing by the shore. The problem for these frequent visitors, and the locals that rely on their trade, is that a Scottish energy group is also keen for a little exploration of their on in the Gulf of Valencia to search for oil, a proposal that has led to worries that these tropical waters and their playful inhabitants will be harmed.
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