Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Travel Industry Responds to President Obama’s National Tourism Strategy Announcement

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Travel Industry Responds to President Obama’s National Tourism Strategy Announcement

by on January 20, 2012 in Marketing, This Just In, Tourism

Yesterday, in Orlando, FL, President Obama announced new initiatives that will significantly increase travel and tourism in the United States. According to a White House statement, yesterday’s announcement calls for a national strategy to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination, as part of a comprehensive effort to spur job creation. The number of travelers from emerging economies with growing middle classes – such as China, Brazil, and India – is projected to grow by 135%, 274% and 50% respectively by 2016 when compared to 2010.

The U.S. tourism and travel industry is a substantial component of U.S. GDP and employment, representing 2.7 percent of GDP and 7.5 million jobs in 2010 – with international travel to the United States supporting 1.2 million jobs alone. The travel and tourism industry projects that more than 1 million American jobs could be created over the next decade if the U.S. increased its share of the international travel market.

Key components of the President’s initiative include the creation of an interagency task force charged with developing a National Travel & Tourism Strategy, shortening visa wait times, expanding Global Entry, promoting our national parks and working to expand the visa waiver program.

Tourism advocates are touting this groundbreaking announcement as a major victory, and rightfully so, but the question remains, how will this strategy affect and assist American place marketers in the years to come?  We welcome your thoughts here.

Here are some snapshots at what some of your colleagues are saying about the announcement:

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority:

LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter, who was in attendance for the announcement, commended the President’s actions. “Tourism is the No. 1 economic driver in Southern Nevada and one of the leading forces in our national economy, so to have a national effort to increase tourism supported by the White House is tremendous,” Ralenkotter said.

Visit California:

“International visitation remains an untapped pot of gold when people cannot get here,” said Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California and Vice-Chair of Brand USA. “With an abundance of visitor experiences and a brand loved worldwide, California has a tremendous opportunity to benefit from efforts to improve the entry process for foreign visitors and remain the number one tourist destination in the United States.”

North Carolina Department of Commerce:

“Today’s announcement marks a turning point for our industry and provides us with unparalleled opportunity to work toward a national travel and tourism strategy,” said Lynn Minges, Assistant Secretary of Tourism, Marketing and Global Branding in the N. C. Department of Commerce. Minges said. “These efforts to make it easier for international visitors to get here will have a positive impact on North Carolina’s economy because their spending supports jobs and adds to tax revenues in the state.”

The addition of Charlotte Douglas (CLT) to the Global Entry program, created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, makes the airport more inviting to international travelers. The airport, which ranks seventh in the world in takeoffs and landings, has nonstop direct service from more than 30 international cities.


About Brittani

Brittani Wood is a Senior Account Executive and Digital and Social Media Manager for Tourism. Since joining DCI in 2008, she has worked with destinations from Finger Lakes Wine Country to New Mexico to Tasmania, creating traditional and digital communications campaigns that increase awareness of travel destinations among media and consumers.

Small Businesses Expect Revenue to Improve This Year

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Small Businesses Expect Revenue to Improve This Year

Cherry Hill, N.J. (January 5, 2012)
By Michael Cohn, Accounting Today

A growing number of small businesses anticipate their revenues will either improve or stabilize this year, according to a new survey.

The survey of 300 small businesses on the East Coast, by TD Bank, found that 74 percent believe they will meet or exceed revenue projections in the first quarter of 2012. This indicates increasing confidence, as 61 percent of the survey respondents said they either met or exceeded their revenue projections during the last quarter of 2011.

Forty-eight percent of the small business owners polled said they are optimistic about the U.S. economy, and most are committed to investing in their business. Eighty-five percent of the small business owners surveyed said they plan to keep their staffing levels the same over the next quarter, with 20 percent looking to hire at least one employee, and 80 percent planning to maintain or increase capital investments up to 15 percent or more.

“The words ‘cautious optimism’ are what we’ve been hearing from our small business customers when discussing their early 2012 outlook,” said Fred Graziano, head of commercial regional banking, government banking and small business at TD Bank, in a statement. “Despite feeling somewhat uneasy about the U.S. economy, many are hopeful that they are in a position to boost their revenue stream and possibly invest in their business in the upcoming months.”

Aside from economic uncertainty, 25 percent of the small business owners surveyed said they believe cash flow management will be the biggest challenge in the first half of 2012, while 19 percent cited lackluster sales, 15 percent cited expense management, and 12 percent were concerned about increased competition. The remaining concerns were debt management (9 percent), working longer hours (9 percent), access to credit (7 percent) and employee layoffs (3 percent).

Study shows U.S. travelers are pressed for time, eager to relax

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Study shows U.S. travelers are pressed for time, eager to relax

Peter YesawichPeter Yesawich, president and CEO of Ypartnership, talks to members of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association recently about trends in the travel industry. (Steven Graffham, Winter Park Photography / July 24, 2011
By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel7:54 a.m. CDT, July 25, 2011

The latest snapshot of U.S. travelers reveals them to be a stressed-out bunch who remain sensitive to price and continue to suffer from a syndrome known as “time poverty.”

That could prove to be a challenge for Central Florida’s tourism industry, but there is good news as well in the newest research by the Maitland travel research-and-marketing firm Ypartnership. For one thing, the number of people who say they are planning to take a leisure trip in the near future is rising, a sign that demand is returning.

When asked about their travel intentions, 61 percent of those surveyed said they planned to take a vacation by October, up from 56 percent at this time last year. About 14 percent of travelers said they plan to take at least one business trip during the same period, on par with a year ago.

“It’s pretty obvious that the destiny of the travel industry is listing toward leisure,” Peter Yesawich, the company’s chief executive officer, told hoteliers recently during a gathering of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association.

Yesawich drew his conclusions from two sets of data: the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American Travelers and a quarterly poll of traveler intentions.

When it comes to finances, travelers say they’re more concerned this year about just about everything: the cost of gas, the cost of airline tickets, the economy in general. More than a third say they’re using coupons more often, and 31 percent say they’re waiting for sales more frequently.

That reluctance to pay higher prices has manifested itself at Orlando hotels, where occupancy is rebounding more quickly than average room price. Hoteliers managed to raise rates 5.1 percent during the first half of the year, but average daily room rates in Orlando are expected to remain below their peaks in 2007 and 2008 through the end of next year, according to Smith Travel Research, which surveys the hospitality industry.

“We’re still seeing people looking for the best deal,” said Scott Tripoli, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal. “A lot of shopping going on out there, a lot of third-party bookings.”

To lure price-sensitive travelers, some in the industry have turned to time-sensitive discounts — also known as flash sales — that encourage consumers to make quick decisions when booking.

A full 20 percent of leisure travelers said they have purchased a travel service through a flash-sale email, up from 14 percent last year, according to Ypartnership. Private sales and collective buying, on websites such as Sniqueaway.com or via companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, are also catching on.

At the Mona Lisa Suite Hotel in Celebration, flash sales are a part of the marketing plan, used to drive demand during slower months such as August and September. The hotel recently offered a two-night stay in a suite, with complimentary breakfast, for $184.99 a person on Overstock.com‘s vacations website.

The short-term sales, generally good for a few hours to a few days, create a sense of urgency and are effective in helping consumers focus on a purchase decision, said Deborah Farish, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

“As long as you have a wonderful offer, something that is intriguing, something the consumer perceives as added value, … you can get great success,” she said. “If you put the flash up, you often see immediate results.”

While flash sales are gaining speed, Yesawich says the “long-form vacation” is losing ground. Pressed for time — something Yesawich terms “time poverty” — travelers are abandoning the weeklong escape and looking instead for close, quick getaways.

Orlando appears to be capitalizing already on that short-haul market: Last year, the destination drew more than half of its 38.3 million domestic visitors from within the Sunshine State, according to data from Visit Orlando, the area’s quasi-private tourism-marketing agency.

When they do arrive at their quick getaway, travelers want to be able to relax as soon as possible. That’s one reason the hotel spa is one of the hottest amenities in the industry, Yesawich said.

And with no time to spare, even during a vacation, consumers expect to have their expectations met.

“Tolerance for anything going wrong today is zero,” Yesawich said.

Use the Power of Packaging to Sell Your Rooms

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Use the Power of Packaging to Sell Your Rooms

by Sandy Soule

Although the economy is gradually improving, and both leisure and corporate travel is on the upswing, we continue to operate in a highly competitive environment where consumer purchasing is primarily value-driven.

Innkeepers are under increasing pressure to think creatively about different ways to keep their RevPar (revenue per available room) maximized; effective use of packaging is certainly worth considering. After all, it’s more feasible to increase revenue per available room than it is to increase your room count. In general, there are two types of packaging — all-inclusives and add-ons. We’ll be discussing both in this article, along with some survey results from both innkeepers and consumers.

Survey results: Innkeepers

After the second quarter of 2010, we surveyed both innkeepers and consumers to determine packaging preferences. We asked innkeepers:

Do you offer packages to potential guests?

* On BedandBreakfast.com & other B&B sites: 55%
* On my own website: 77%
* Telephone inquiries: 45%
* After arrival at the inn: 13%
* On other travel websites: 28%

Comment: Many innkeepers think that packaging is synonymous with discounting, and avoid it for that reason. Others realize that value-added packaging can increase income and reservations, and can be an excellent alternative to discounting.

Suggestion: About 20% of innkeepers aren’t taking the few minutes required to cut and paste their package information from their own websites to their directory listings. Give it a try — you never know what will attract a potential guest to your listing, your website, and your inn!

If you don’t offer online booking of packages, why not?

* No guest interest: 21%
* Don’t want the extra work: 25%
* No package components available: 22%
* Technological/website limitation: 32%

Comment: Of approximately 600 respondents, 400 skipped this question, 200 replied, and 118 commented. Responses included many who said they don’t need or want online packaging; some misunderstood, thinking that packaging involved either discounting or high commissions; and a number were interested, as soon as a new website was ready; others had PMS issues that either didn’t allow for packaging or the setup made it overly complex.

Suggestion: Both packaging and rate discounting are viable strategic marketing techniques, each with different advantages and disadvantages. Investigate them both to decide which approaches will work best for your property during different dates and seasons. When testing pricing levels, be sure that you understand both the fixed and variable costs of renting a room (or having it sit empty), so that you can balance the cost of an unsold room with one that is booked.

If you do offer online booking of packages, what has been the effect on sales?

* Increased: 39%
* Decreased: 2%
* No change: 59%

Comment: The fact that almost 40% of respondents found that online booking of packages increased sales makes it well worth testing.

Survey results: Consumers

Have you ever booked a package at a B&B or inn?

* Yes: 56%
* No: 44%

Comment: Many consumer comments ran along the lines of “it depends on whether it’s a good value,” while other remarks reflected confusion about what constitutes a package. Several mentioned singles as a neglected group. Some samples:

* “If the packages are a good value, I like to book them, but if it’s just a way to increase the price, then no.”
* “I especially like packages that include a reasonable price for fine dining nearby.”
* “We booked a wedding package for our small ceremony; it was wonderful!”
* “I love getting away on my own, but packages are always for families or couples. Change that, and I’ll be there!”

What kind of package add-ons interest you?

* Food: 73%
* Activities: 50%
* Romance: 35%

Comment: Food was clearly the most appealing add-on. Consider offing a dinner certificate as a profitable extra on busy weekends, or make it a freebie to build occupancy midweek. In either case, work with high-quality locally owned restaurants, and negotiate a discount with the owner. To test this, contact local restaurant(s) and offer to pay $40 for a $50 gift certificate for two entrees (or whatever amount is appropriate for your area; excludes tax, tip, drinks). Guests get the dining certificates at check-in. You pay the restaurant the $40 when/if certificates are redeemed. The restaurant owner is happy because of the added covers on a slow night; their 20% discount softened by extras (alcohol, dessert). You get a two-night midweek reservation for a cost of $40. Some guests won’t use the certificates, costing you nothing.

“Activities” was the second most popular add-on; work with local outfitters to offer bike, kayaking, fishing, riding, and other experiences. They should offer you a commission or discounted price that you can incorporate to make your package attractive to potential guests.

“Romance” packages generally include some combination of roses, chocolates, champagne or sparkling cider, and often, two wine glasses with your inn’s name. Purchase these elements as needed for your packages at discounted rates, so that you make a small profit when offering them to guests.

Packaging online: all-inclusives and add-ons

The Castle in the Country in Allegan, Michigan effectively promotes and books both all-inclusive and add-on packages on its well-designed website, giving potential guests the choice of telephoning or reserving online. Their all-inclusive Celebration Package, for example, makes it easy for guests to enjoy a special occasion escape while generating significant additional income for the inn with relatively little effort. Use of the RezOvation Booking Engine makes it easy for guests to read reviews, check pricing, and select the room of their choice for their preferred dates. If a potential guest is not interested in an all-inclusive package, add-on upsell items like a massage, flowers, etc. are also presented as part of the checkout process; this makes it easy for guests to pick these extra items. Innkeeper Ruth Boven was exceedingly generous in sharing some of her advice on how packaging works for them:

“We sell a lot of packages because they are a great way to give guests exactly what they really want in a getaway experience. Value is created not only by the package components, but also in the service we provide by bundling together the best of what our inn and area offers. Here are our primary packaging objectives:

* “Sell multiple night stays: Potential guests must view us as a destination getaway location, allowing us to compete with other lodging alternatives such as casinos and resorts with multiple activities/attractions, plus more centrally located B&Bs. Our all-inclusive packages make it easy for the guest to understand how much our area offers for them to do, despite our slightly out-of-the way location.”
* “Increase revenue: We want to make money on our packages because they cost us money to implement. For long-term sustainability, we aim for a profit of at least 30%. We prefer bundled packages so we can recoup our costs over several components. We sacrifice this profit only when we need to increase reservations with specials.”
* “Brand our unique selling proposition: Not only do our packages make the guest experience different from a stay at a competitive property, but the take-away package components continue to remind them of their experience here.”

Castle in the Country Special Packages

Celebration_Package

Packages increase SEO

If travelers wanted to find a country B&B in which to celebrate Thanksgiving, they might enter a term like “thanksgiving bed and breakfast” into Google. If you have such a package, you might end up with a three-night reservation from folks who would never have found you otherwise.

Promoting your packages: In describing and promoting your packages, keep these goals in mind:

* Keep the descriptions concise, clear, and appealing, with the focus on WIIFM (what’s in it for me, the guest).
* Enhance your written description with great photos relevant to your packages.
* Work with state/local chambers/tourist offices to promote your packages and your property.
* Send press releases to local media about your packages, especially those with a timely theme and/or a news hook.
* List your packages prominently on your website, directories, state B&B association, CVBs, etc. and ensure that your staff is well informed about this as well.

Social Marketing: Use your blog, Facebook and Twitter pages to attract potential guests possibly looking for package options. Younger guests often use social marketing sites as an alternative to email or telephone when doing research. Take a look at the Castle in the Country’s Facebook page to see how they are using it to promote their engagement, wedding, and anniversary packages; another excellent example is the Empress of Little Rock.

empress-wed

Take-away: In conclusion, bear in mind that packaging is not for every property. Test packages that will grow income by increasing RevPar and/or occupancy, while avoiding packages that require too much time or money with no guarantee of success. Offer simple up-sell packages online in your checkout to increase revenue risk-free.

Dr. Peter Tarlow’s Tourism Tidbits

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Encouraging people to give the gift of travel

For many people the Chanukah & Christmas season is a time of giving. One of the great gifts that a person can give to another is the gift of travel. Travel serves as a perfect gift in that it allows the receiver to use it at a time that works for him/her. Travel gifts open up new horizons and provide memories that can last a lifetime. Encouraging people to provide the gift of travel is not only good business, but acts as a subtle form of marketing. To make travel the perfect gift, however, some preplanning is also needed. In this special edition of Tourism Tidbits we provide you with ideas as to how to make your travel experience the least hassle free possible, either as a giver of travel or as a receiver.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to showcase your community and/or attraction. It is also a time when if things go wrong there will be a great number of people with and for whom you will need to do damage control.

-Do not overcharge. Everyone understands that during the holidays prices will rise a bit, but gauging is never a good idea. The few extra dollars that you will make by raising prices unfairly will be more than offset by negative publicity. Instead, offer holiday specials. Consider these to be part of your advertising campaign. Nothing promotes your industry better than good word-of-mouth advertising.

-Remember that your employees are people too. These are people who are giving up their holidays for others, and while they may be receiving extra pay, no amount of money can compensate for lost time. Treat your employees with extra respect; prepare them for longer than usual hours and visitors who are tired, frustrated or even angry.
-When in doubt smile! The holidays are supposed to be about fun, family, and memories. Travel should also be about those very same things. Even when people have had to deal with the hassles of travel, train your employees to go out of their way to smile, be cheerful and do something extra nice for people.
Making travel a personal gift item.

Another good marketing tool is to encourage your local citizens to consider travel to your locale as a personal gift option. Even in these difficult economic times, may of people will be spending a great deal of time trying to find new and innovative gifts and travel gifts not only provide for friends and family to see each other but also aid your local economy.
There are numerous ways that you promote your locale as a travel gift. Many travel agencies will be more than happy to work with you. Before promoting the gift of travel to your locale remember the following:
-Make sure that you locals check with the people receiving the gift to determine which dates will work for him/her/them and which dates will become a problem. Help locals to know when airline prices are reasonable and promote travel to your location when the hotels are in their low season.
-Make sure that the person giving the gift is aware of about how much the gift will cost the receiver. It is not helpful to give an airline ticket or a free night stay at a hotel if the person cannot afford to get to the destination and/or stay at a destination’s hotels. Make sure to match the gift with the receiver’s ability to pay for the other parts of travel.

-Encourage people to give travel gifts to your community that create positive memories and a desire to return. It does not matter what giver likes or may think the other person ought to like, rather make sure that the travel gift reflects the receiver’s lifestyle and shows off your community in the best light. Know if the person to whom you are giving the gift likes adventure travel, urban travel or perhaps countryside travel. You will get the best results from gift travel if you can encourage the givers to match the travel experience to the receiver’s psychological profile.
-Do not be afraid to encourage the people who live in your locale to use air miles as a way to bring people to your community. Once the person is in your community, s/he will be spending money and adding to the local economy. How the person gets to your community is less important than what the person does once there. Although many airlines charge for transferring miles, but allow you to “purchase” a trip for another person for free. Do not transfer miles but rather purchase the trip for the person who is to receive the gift. Remember that paid airline tickets usually are not refundable and charge for date transfers, most tickets bought with air miles are much more flexible.
-If inviting friends and relatives from another country, make sure that the person has a passport and meets all visa requirements. If you are dealing with US citizens, remember that all US citizens need a passport if they are traveling by air or sea. That same requirement is true of many other nations.
-Purchase the gift around the other person’s likes and dislikes. If giving an urban travel gift, provide a special add-on. Travel is about memories. When encouraging your local citizens to give the gift of travel, aid them to turn these trips into special memories. Make sure that your citizens understand that special memories need not be expensive. For example, a bottle of wine or a fruit basket will set the stage. Lots of communities have local theaters or sporting events that are fun and add a bit of local color. Always remind people to chose events for their guests that fit the receiver’s lifestyle.
-Make sure that the person receiving the gift has an opportunity to let your local tourism office know what he or she thought of your community. Feed back from gift travel is especially helpful in knowing your community’s strengths and weaknesses. When people come to your community make the gift of travel more than merely seeing and doing new things, make it about sharing memories and a desire to return again and again.

Holiday travel: 29% will cut trip short or shack up with relatives, poll says

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Holiday travel: 29% will cut trip short or shack up with relatives, poll says

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

The economy may not keep holiday revelers at home this holiday season, but odds are high that if you are traveling, you”re probably eager to save a buck or two.

A new poll, in fact, says that 29% of holiday travelers say they’ll cut their trip short or even shack up with family and friends to avoid a hotel bill.

* TWITTER: Follow Hotel Check-In
* ALSO ONLINE: 60% use social media to stay in touch from road
* ALSO ONLINE: What’s on your hotel ‘wish list’ – Apple TV? iPad?

Other holiday travel patterns highlighted in AOL Travel’s new poll of 1,001 Internet users who will travel for the holidays this year:

* 40% say the economy is “somewhat” affecting their plans, while 18% believe the economy affected them “very much.”
* 55% say they’ll cut back on expensive activities due to the economy.
* 70% say they’ve had their holiday plans disrupted by airline delays and cancellations with almost 7% never actually making it to their destinations.

Regardless of the money saving strategies that many travelers will deploy this year, travel experts still expect a big holiday travel season this year.

Holiday travel spending is expected to increase by nearly $4 billion this year vs. last year to near pre-recession levels, USA TODAY has reported. Another poll by Maritz Research Hospitality Group says that 28% of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and New Year’s – that’s up from 23% last year. And despite the desire to save money, the Maritz poll said these travelers plan to spend an average of $349, or 41%, more on their holiday travel vs. last year.

The AOL Travel survey was survey conducted by Data Specialists between Nov. 2 and Nov. 5.

Readers: Are you trying to save a few bucks when on the road this holiday season? If so, what’s your strategy?

Examining Current Industry Trends

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

EXAMINING CURRENT INDUSTRY TRENDS

Dear Travel Colleague:

The summer ended much as it began, with the economy slowing and the travel industry on the cusp of an incipient recovery. Recent economic news does little to restore our confidence, but bright spots in industry performance suggest better days ahead.

Sharp Spike in Imports Drags Down Economic Growth

The U.S. Department of Commerce slashed its estimate for Q2 ’10 U.S. GDP growth from a 2.4 percent annual rate to 1.6 percent, confirming fears that economic growth has slowed significantly. In Q1, real GDP increased 3.7 percent, following a 5.7 percent growth rate in the final quarter of 2009. This deceleration in economic growth was caused primarily by a sharp acceleration in imports. Further, economic entrenchment that began in the second quarter spilled over into the summer, reflecting ongoing troubles in the nation’s housing sector (sales of existing and new homes in July hit record lows), continuing high levels of unemployment (stuck at 9.6%) and first-time unemployment claims, a continuing losing streak in the stock market and a rapidly rising trade deficit (which spiked 16 percent in June). Bright spots included corporate investment in such big-ticket items such as new machinery and computers, corporate profits from current production (they surged 4.6% on the quarter and were up 39.2% year-on-year), gains in U.S. home prices and an improvement in real personal consumption (+2.0%).

Some consumer attitudinal measures have also improved modestly in recent days. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) showed a slight gain of 2.5 points in August to 53.5, reflecting an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook. Nevertheless, consumers’ assessment of current conditions was less favorable as employment concerns continue to weigh heavily. Consumers remain apprehensive about the future and, overall, are about as confident today as they were a year ago (August 2009 CCI = 54.5). The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index also posted a slight uptick in August, but this too remained well below levels seen during the prior six months. The data indicate a slowdown in the pace of growth that will last into 2011 but that outright declines in consumer spending are unlikely. Nonetheless, consumer finances remain weak, and any additional erosion could quickly reduce consumer spending even more.

Further, Gallup’s most recent discretionary spending data (for the week ending August 29) show essentially no improvement from a year ago. Even the well-to-do aren’t immune. “A lot of people who are in the lower-income affluent & from $100,000 to $250,000 & – have dropped out of the luxury market,” says Pam Danziger, whose firm Unity Marketing regularly surveys the top fifth of income earners in America. “They’re back to the middle class.” Most economists expect economic recovery to continue at a similarly weak pace through the rest of the year and some have even upped the prospects of a double-dip recession to 30-40 percent.

Airlines Turn a Profit in Second Quarter

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger traffic worldwide grew 9.2 percent in July, reflecting a slowing of growth seen earlier (June +11.6%), but still reaching a level 3 percent higher than pre-crisis levels of early 2008. A July capacity increase of less than half the demand growth (5.1%) pushed load factors higher. IATA says it is clear that the recovery has entered a slower phase but has been faster than anticipated. But, the pace of recovery is expected to slow towards the end of the year.

Reflecting increasing demand, 47 major airlines worldwide reported a cumulative $3.9 billion net profit for the second quarter, reversing the $900 million net loss in the prior-year period. North American airlines earned $1.74 billion in the quarter to lead the world’s regions, turning around from a $514 million deficit in the three months ended June 30, 2009. A $2.5 billion profit is anticipated for global airlines in 2010.

Capacity is starting to return as aircraft have been ordered or taken out of storage. Some say there is even a threat of excess capacity but published schedules suggest capacity growth will remain in line with demand. IATA reports that passenger fares have not rebounded in line with volume. Economy fares on average are 5 percent below early 2008 peaks and premium fares remain some 20 percent below.

In the U.S., airline revenues grew for the seventh consecutive month in July (+20%), passenger demand fell slightly (-1%) and there was a 17 percent increase in the average price to fly one mile, according to the Air Transport Association (ATA). Recently, the ATA released its 2010 Economic Report – When America Flies, It Works, reporting that the air sector remains fragile and its outlook for profits uncertain.

On top of these ongoing financial pressures, airlines are being hit with increasing landing fees, facility rentals and passenger taxes from airports struggling to survive as well as facing depressed passenger demand. Further, Americans’ general displeasure with the airline industry continues to haunt airlines for a fourth straight year, with 41 percent viewing this sector negatively and 30 percent viewing it positively, according to Gallup. Asked to rate 25 business and industry sectors, Americans gave the airline industry a net rating of -11, putting it toward the bottom of the pack. One reason – all the new fees which have proven highly unpopular.

In the face of such uncertainty, airlines continue to introduce new sources of ancillary revenue, such as an Express Seats option (coach passengers can pay for the roomier bulkhead seats or those closest to the front and be among the first to board), as well as increases in bag check fees and fees to transport unaccompanied minors. They are also attempting to raise fares. According to American Express Business Travel’s North America Business Travel Monitor (BTM), overall airfares rose substantially during the first half of 2010 to the highest levels since the first half of 2008. Mid-year international and domestic airfares increased 8 percent and 9 percent, year-on-year, respectively. Carlson Wagonlit Travel North America forecasts that domestic and international coach airfares will increase 3-5 percent in 2011. Domestic first- and business-class pricing, however, is expected to decline 2-7 percent while international business and first classes increase 3.5 percent and 4-6 percent, respectively.

U.S. Travel Outlook Dashboard
U.S. Travel Outlook Dashboard
U.S. Travel Outlook Dashboard
U.S. Travel Outlook Dashboard

To view the monthly data for these and other current indicators click here.

Hospitality Industry Results Increasingly Positive

In July, hotel demand continued to be well above 2009 levels (+9.0%), and signs of room rate recovery had begun (average daily rate +1.3%), especially in the higher end of the market. Five top markets experienced increases in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of more than 15 percent: Oahu Island, New Orleans, Detroit, New York and Denver. This improvement continued in August. During the week ending August 21, the industry’s occupancy increased 8.2 percent, the average daily rate (ADR) rose 1.5 percent and RevPAR increased 9.8 percent. In the coming months, Smith Travel Research (STR) expects to see more balanced RevPAR growth as operators begin to accelerate room rate growth. STR also expects stronger performance in the extended-stay market. The main reason for this is that extended-stay room construction was the lowest in 15 years at the middle of 2010 and it is heading lower.

Hotels continue to look for creative new ways to spur weekend and leisure business, such as an offer by hotel companies such as Kimpton Hotels and chains run by InterContinental Hotels Group to reimburse guests for the checked-baggage fees charged by some U.S. airlines.

Hotels are also reporting resurgence in group and business guests. According to InterContinental Hotels Group, its group and corporate business rose 10 percent in the first half of this year. The Rubicon Perspective reports that committed business on the books for the current quarter through the first two quarters of 2011 is now up 4.6 percent versus the same time last year. Group commitments are up 5.2 percent, while the business segment (which Rubicon considers to be weekday guests booking retail or negotiated rates) is up 10.7 percent. ADR is improving as well, albeit far more slowly than desired.

STR has updated its forecast again to become even more positive, projecting the hotel industry to end 2010 with increases in most performance measurements: supply (+2.2%), demand (+6.6%), occupancy (+4.4%), ADR (-0.1%) and RevPAR (+4.3%). “Room rate growth trajectory will determine the magnitude of recovery,” said Mark Lomanno, president of STR. “We’re still a little bit worried about the ADR part of the equation. The industry is currently facing a lot of challenges, and there are all kinds of pressure on that ADR number: the OTAs, and still rebounding group business to name just two.” STR projects the following for the hotel industry in 2011:
supply (-1.1%), demand (+2.5%), occupancy (+1.4%), ADR (+3.9%), and RevPAR (+5.3%). PricewaterhouseCoopers has revised its forecasts in similar ways. Colliers PKF Hospitality Research forecasts that the average U.S. hotel will achieve a 2.3 percent increase in net operating income during 2010. This follows a 37.8 percent cumulative decline in profit experienced from 2007 through 2009 and is the first annual uptick in forecasted net operating income since 2007.

Just as the lodging industry has begun to recover, it is being hit with yet another challenge. Beginning October 1, per diem lodging rates in 310 of the 378 so-called nonstandard areas (higher-cost areas where federal employees most frequently travel) will decline, according to the General Services Administration (GSA). For federal government employees visiting places like New York City, where lodging per diems will shrink by as much as one-third, in Chicago and Las Vegas where they will decline 21 percent for part of 2011, and in Boston where per diems will fall 18 percent, it could be tough to find affordable hotel rooms. GSA calculated these per diems based on hotels’ ADRs from April 2009 to March 2010, which was the heart of the recession when rates were at their lowest. With rates now beginning to stabilize and projected to rise in 2011, these lower per diems will likely not be sustainable and will put additional pressure on both hotels and on government travelers. U.S. Travel is engaged in trying to correct this situation with the federal government.

Business Travel Continues to Fuel Industry Recovery

Airlines, hotels and car rental companies in the United States all reported good to excellent results as business travel hit a more sustainable stride in the second quarter of 2010. Data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation show an increase of nearly 22 percent in worldwide travel agency sales during the first half of 2010, reflecting 7.5 percent more domestic transactions and 11 percent more international transactions when compared to the same period last year.

The exhibition industry, however, continues to struggle. The Second Quarter 2010 CEIR Index marked the ninth consecutive quarter of underperforming the previous year, down 1.4 percent. Measures of net square feet and revenues continued to decline, but at a much slower rate. Net square feet of exhibit space sold showed a decline of 3.0 percent, with exhibitors declining 3.0 percent. While overall declines continue, the exhibition industry is not performing as badly as it did in 2009 when it had its worst year ever, declining 12.5 percent. Optimistic indicators included a 4.5 percent increase in attendance. It is anticipated that slow growth will continue through 2010 with the fourth quarter of 2010 and first quarter of 2011 likely to show the beginnings of a true recovery for the exhibition industry.

After a tumultuous 24 months, the meetings industry seems to be on the mend, according to travel buyers, 60 percent of whom said they feel the meetings market is stable, according to the latest poll by Maxvantage’s (an alliance between American Express Business Travel and Maritz Travel). Much greater shares of buyers are now reporting that it is more challenging to find available meeting space and harder to negotiate lower rates than did last year. Good news for travel suppliers but bad news for meeting planners and the companies they work for.

Virtual Could Overwhelm Future Meetings Market

Other new developments will also continue to challenge the meetings segment of our industry. A new study by Bernstein Research concludes that “telepresence” or virtual meetings could replace 70 percent of internal travel and 10 percent of external travel over the next 10 to 15 years, leading to an aggregate reduction of 21 percent in corporate travel spending. The U.S. telepresence or virtual meeting market could be worth $30 billion in 10 to 15 years. According to Forrester Research, 17 percent of U.S. business travelers have used either videoconferencing or virtual presence in the past year to reduce their business travel, and 48 percent expect their employers will have policies in place by the end of this year for the use of videoconferencing and virtual presence to reduce demand for business travel.

Leisure Travel Posting Mixed Results

According to the results of Ypartnership’s just-released 2010 Portrait Of American Travelers, the U.S. leisure travel market has finally stabilized. The average American leisure traveler took an average of four trips during the past year and spent more than $3,500 on travel services, and the research suggests that the industry can expect a modest increase in demand in the year ahead. But “value” will remain in vogue and consumers have developed a “new resourcefulness,” allowing them to accommodate many of the unexpected constraints on their travel spending and adopt new shopping/staying techniques so they can satisfy their desire to travel for leisure but in a more affordable manner. This new resourcefulness has altered travel behavior in several interesting ways. Fully eight out of 10 leisure travelers now identify “the ability to check the lowest fares/rates” (83%) and the “lowest price/rate guarantee” (82%) as the two most important attributes in a website that promotes travel services. And a remarkable one out of seven (14%) has purchased a travel service as a result of getting an unsolicited e-mail.

But this nascent recovery in leisure travel seems quite vulnerable. Rural arterial vehicle-miles (a measure of non-local highway travel) remain soft (up less than 1% through June), although Amtrak continues to show strong performance (see Dashboard). In addition to benefiting from increasing business travel, Amtrak reports that third-quarter sales of its vacation packages were up 51 percent from a year ago.

Travel agents report that those postponing vacations last year are making modest vacation plans this year. But with it has come a new level of austerity as vacationers seek frugal ways to get away by juggling their finances, taking shorter trips, visiting less expensive destinations and even staying with relatives. The National Park Service, for example, expects about 285 million visitors this year, and visitor numbers at parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and Death Valley are running above levels a year ago. Special offers and incentives are continuing to be offered by hotels, resorts, cruise lines, etc., to attract the more reluctant leisure traveler of today.

AAA projected that Labor Day holiday travel would increase 9.9 percent this year over last, with 34.4 million people to travel at least 50 miles from home. But some were skeptical as to whether hotel performance would follow those traveler increases predicted. Reserved occupancy for the Labor Day weekend was up 3.6 percent, according to Rubicon. And, TripAdvisor®’s annual Labor Day travel survey found that 28 percent of Americans expected to travel over that holiday, down slightly from 30 percent one year ago. And Hurricane Earl didn’t help, causing leisure travelers along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Maine to cut short their end of the summer season vacations.

The TripAdvisor survey also looked outward to travel during the next few months, finding that 86 percent are planning leisure trips this coming fall, compared to 73 percent that said they took trips last fall. Nearly half (45%) plan to spend more on travel this fall, while 41 percent expect to spend the same amount. One-third intends to spend more than $3,000 on fall leisure trips. Traveling in the fall is getting more popular with married couples in the 55-plus demographic, according to a recent study by Ruf Strategic Solutions for Travel Guard North America.

Destination Performance Mixed As Well

Nevada industry reps are guardedly optimistic about this year, reporting clear signs of improvement – visitation is up and sales tax, one of Nevada’s main revenue sources, appears to have reversed a more than four-year slide. Convention bookings remain strong, with convention room nights for 2011 about 20 percent ahead of pace. But gaming revenue, Nevada’s other major revenue source, is less certain. For those looking to attract the gaming market, you might check out a new customer segmentation model developed by Market Metrix. The purpose of this model is to identify critical behaviors and trends of casino customers that will help casino management better understand and connect with their target customers.

In Orlando, Walt Disney World recently reported that its attendance has slipped as it cuts back on discounts. Attendance fell 2 percent during the three months that ended July 3 and occupancy at Disney World hotels dropped eight percentage points to 83 percent. But some of that lost attendance is being offset through higher average prices. Per-capita spending inside Disney World’s four theme parks climbed 3 percent during the quarter; per-room spending in its hotels rose 4 percent. Elsewhere in Orlando, the opening of Wizarding World of Harry Potter in mid-June – said to be the hottest opening in Orlando this year – has reportedly given many of the area’s hotels and resorts a much-needed summer business lift. The number of visitors expected in Orlando in 2011 is forecast to increase 3 percent compared with this year, according to Global Insight.

New Orleans seems to be heading in the right direction after having its tourism industry crippled by Hurricane Katrina five years ago. The number of visitors to New Orleans – a city in which 35 percent of jobs were reliant on tourism before the storm – dropped dramatically in the weeks and months that followed. Today, New Orleans isn’t quite back to what it once was, but tourism is said to be on the rebound. In 2004, the year before Katrina, slightly more than 10 million visitors came to the city and spent close to $5 billion dollars. In 2006, the year after the hurricane, the numbers dropped to 3.7 million visitors. Last year, despite a nationwide recession and cutbacks in corporate business travel, the number of visitors to the city edged back up to 7.5 million. These tourists, in turn, spent $4.2 billion – just below the pre-Katrina peak.

And, of course, many destinations along the Gulf of Mexico suffered tourism losses this summer because of the BP oil spill. For example, in Beaches of South Walton on Florida’s Gulf Coast, summer occupancy was down 30 percent, and in Alabama’s Dauphin Island, 90 percent fewer people booked summer rentals compared to last summer. June was particularly bad when, for example, lodging receipts tumbled nearly 40 perent and retail sales fell 22 percent in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Similar losses were expected in July. Other communities had deceptively high occupancy rates because BP and federal officials were stationed nearby. They may have filled the hotels but were not spending money in other attractions and retail establishments like tourists do. Further, although the BP well has now been capped, some destinations in the Gulf Coast region may still be suffering from misperceptions, fueled once again by yet another oil platform explosion that threatened further damage as well as re-igniting concerns among potential visitors about the area’s potential vulnerability.

Two surveys conducted by Ypartnership on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA clearly demonstrate these misperceptions, reinforcing VISIT FLORIDA’s argument that the state needs more money from the British oil company BP PLC to continuing promoting the fact that most of Florida’s coastline is untouched by oil. Interestingly, in the face of this crisis, Florida relied on social media, mounting a PR blitz to show beachgoers that Florida’s surf had been spared an oily disaster. On May 11, about three weeks after the spill, the state tourism agency launched a marketing campaign, using the same social media tools that the media used to spread information about the spill. VISIT FLORIDA created a website called Florida Live to provide real time information about how the spill was – or wasn’t – affecting the coast. It increased their website traffic by 46 percent compared to the same time last year, and bumped up its Facebook page traffic about tenfold – now the site has more than 8,000 fans. U.S. Travel synthesized the good online work of state tourism offices affected by the oil spill with creation of the portal site GulfTravelUpdate.com, giving travelers a one-stop source on news from this region.

Activity Trends

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is reporting some optimistic signs. A total of 13.4 million people cruised on CLIA lines in 2009, up 4.8 percent more than 2008. Two-thirds (8.9 million) embarked from U.S. ports. But to achieve these numbers, cruise lines offered attractive fares and other incentives, reducing cruise lines’ total gross revenue by 11.4 percent. The North American cruise industry continues to expand its presence throughout Europe, a source of new passengers. And cruise lines are reporting positive statistics for 2010 and beyond, citing improved revenue yields for the first time since 2008, strong booking volumes for the second half of the year and the effectiveness of cost-control measures.

Interestingly, as the cruise industry continues to shake out, some U.S. ports will benefit and others will lose. The hardest-hit U.S. cruise markets are on the West Coast, such as the ports of San Diego and Los Angeles, but also others like Norfolk, Virginia. Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, Alaska’s two largest cruise operators, have significantly reduced their Alaska capacity. Some ships are being redeployed to Australia and New Zealand to tap new markets and create new itineraries. Others will go to Europe. But several U.S homeports are doing well, such as Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades (homeport of the world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas), Miami, Baltimore and Galveston.

And, as travelers plan their trips, there seems to be a move back to traditional travel agents by some who are becoming increasingly frustrated by travel websites, according to Forrester Research. The number of travelers who would consider using a traditional offline agency increased 26 percent in 2009. Further, 15 percent fewer travelers enjoy using the web and the number of online travel hunters who believe websites do a good job of presenting travel choices has dropped to one in three as more travelers believe their business is taken for granted by websites.

As leisure travel continues its rocky recovery, it will remain challenged by our entrenched work ethic and reluctance to take off vacation time. As explained by John de Graff, Executive Director of Take Back Your Time, U.S. adults who receive only an average of 13 vacation days per year, typically leave three days unused. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are approximately 153 million employed Americans, meaning that each year an average of 459 million vacation days are going unused in the United States. A recent survey suggests that close to half (45%) of working Americans let hard-earned time away go to waste in 2009; furthermore, three-quarters (78%) anticipate leaving as many as 10 vacation days on the table in 2010. Why? Many say coordinating schedules with family and friends is too difficult (51%) or they are not able to afford a “real vacation” (40%). Others admit it is less about personal situations and more about work-life being too busy to enjoy time away (47%). While consumers express pessimism towards the possibility of a work escape, adults who choose to go on vacation feel reconnected with the family (53%), more productive and positive about their jobs (34%), as well as the health benefits of being rested and rejuvenated. You will find more Benefits of Travel data and resources on U.S. Travel’s website.

International Inbound Travel Continues to Contributes to Trade Surplus

International inbound travel is on the mend. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international visitors spent an estimated $11.1 billion on travel to and within the U.S. during the month of June – $1.4 billion more (15%) than was spent in June 2009 – marking the sixth consecutive month of growth. International visitors have spent an estimated $64.6 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through June), an increase of 7 percent compared to the same period last year. During that same period, Americans have increased their spending on outbound international travel only slightly, spending nearly $50.6 billion abroad year to date (up 2%) – resulting in a $14.0 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism.

But problems remain in some of our key inbound markets. Mintel says the U.K. holiday market will take five years to recover. Value Added Tax (VAT) increases and higher fuel costs will make holidays from the United Kingdom more expensive, which could cause a further dip in the market. Overall spend on overseas holidays is forecast to rise by 17 percent over the next five years, which is significantly more than from 2005 to 2010, but the rise will be driven by higher holiday costs. In constant price terms, expenditures on holidays will decline by 1.6 percent between 2010 and 2015. Overseas city breaks and holiday homes are the two markets that would be most affected. While beach and family holidays will continue to dominate the market, more diversification will be seen in holiday types. Niche products/destinations will see the fastest growth, according to Mintel.

So, How Do We Reach ‘Em?

Social network advertising is getting renewed attention in 2010. Ad spending on social destinations in the U.S. will reach $1.7 billion this year and cross the $2 billion mark in 2011, according to eMarketer. The company driving most of the growth is Facebook, while MySpace is diminishing in importance. Twitter, which finally launched its ad business earlier this year, captured less than $50 million in ad spending in 2010 but its potential in 2011 and beyond could be substantial.

According to the PhoCusWright Consumer Technology Survey, users of social networks, micro-blogs and mobile early adopters are significantly more likely to use the Internet to select their leisure travel destination. But, despite advanced mobile devices like the iPhone making headlines almost daily, the majority of travelers are not using their phones to visit travel-related mobile websites or make travel reservations – not just yet. Further, travel reviews were found to have a significant impact on booking decisions, and, for now, are cited as influential more often than any other type of social media, but their location and content have an effect on how influential they ultimately are. The most popular methods for online travelers to share their leisure travel reviews, however, involve “technologies” that are rarely mentioned these days – in person, phone and email.

And mobile applications are proliferating rapidly. According to Ypartnership/Harrison Group, nearly a third of all cellphones in the U.S. now are so-called smartphones (Web-enabled devices that make surfing the Internet for information easy for people on the go). And nearly 20 percent of travelers have downloaded one or more travel-related applications to their smartphones: 47 percent of these have used GPS functionality to find their way to a destination, 46 percent have searched for flight updates, 29 percent compared airfares or hotel rates, 18 percent booked air travel or lodging, 15 percent viewed virtual visitor guides, and 11 percent downloaded and/or redeemed coupons. Watch for U.S. Travel’s new report Use of Mobile Travel Services by Destination Marketing Organizations, to be published soon. The report reveals significant use of mobile social networks by destination marketing organizations and high ratings for their effectiveness in meeting organizational goals. However, the survey on which the report is based also finds a need for better understanding of mobile travel services and how they can be used for marketing purposes and, most importantly, how best to measure the return on investment on such services.

Four Months and Counting

Now more than halfway through 2010, the economic picture is still a bit fuzzy and a nudge one way or the other may result in either a fairly robust or only “so so” 2010 for the travel and tourism industry. The remaining four months will help determine how we view 2010 from the perspective of 2011. But from whatever lens one is using, we should applaud ourselves for surviving 2009 and taking advantage of lessons learned in 2010 as we approach 2011.

Last Chance to Save Money When You Register for Marketing Outlook Forum!

Time marches on and we are now less than two months out from our 2010 Marketing Outlook Forum (MOF). This year’s dynamite program – an event that you won’t want to, and really can’t afford to miss – will be held in Las Vegas, October 26-27 and will be followed by the Travel Marketers Continuing Education Workshop, brought to Forum delegates once again free-of-charge by the Acxiom Corporation. The Early Bird deadline is Friday, September 10, so register today! In this very uncertain environment, the market intelligence, expert analyses and forecasts, marketing insights and networking opportunities with your peers and industry leaders make this the one must-attend event this fall. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,
Dr. Suzanne Cook
Suzanne Cook, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, U.S. Travel Association and
General Manager, Marketing Outlook Forum

Summer Tourism Ideas

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

TOURISM & MORE “TOURISM TIDBITS” for July 2010

Summer Tourism Ideas

Many tourism locales see the summer months as high season. Prices rise, at times the service is a bit less, and many tourism attractions, hotels, restaurants or transportation systems know that the summer’s receipts will determine the success or failure of the entire year. Furthermore, many locales take the position that once spring has passed, marketing may be a waste of time, as summer vacation plans have already been made. Certainly some areas of the world are heavily dependent on the summer traffic patterns. For example, many beach communities (especially those located in cooler climates) may receive up to 90% of their gross revenues from summer sales. Even non-beach resort locations see the summer as a time of great opportunity. For example, urban areas may view the summer as a time when local residents flee to cooler climates, but may also benefit from visitors seeking a cultural experience (especially with their children) at a time when big city life may be a bit less scary. This summer may also be a challenging one for many locales. The economy is still shaky in many parts of the world, and some people may simply put off a summer vacation or skip this year’s vacation. To help you prepare for summer and turn the year into a great season here are a several ideas;
Tout Being Affordable. No matter where you are realize that people will be looking for bargains this summer. Push everything from summer coupon books to places where one can spend a bit less. Be careful not to push too hard, as that can drive down prices to the point that local tourism agencies cannot afford to stay in business. The trick is to give value mixed with good service. In fact in a down economy service becomes an all-important aspect. Our guests, many of whom are struggling to afford a vacation, do not want to feel that they are anything but honored guests.

Teach all front line people to smile! Closely related to good service is a sense of caring and an open friendly attitude. This is the year to remind all front line people that no job is ever guaranteed. We have to earn our jobs with each guest. All too often the tourism experience has been anything but joyous. There is no better advertising or marketing campaign than a friendly smile.

Do not be afraid of visitors from another country. Follow currency exchange rates, for example, if the euro is expensive against the dollar than Europeans tend to flock to the USA. If however, there is a rise in the value of the dollar, Americans may return to Europe. Remember foreign travelers tend to spend a lot more money in a locale than does the local population. The trick is to make their travel as easy as possible. Offer easy locations in which they can exchange money, print multi-lingual maps and guides and encourage restaurants to have menus in more than one language.

Do not be afraid to promote the long weekend. Not everyone may be able to afford in both time and money a two -four week vacation. These people may be looking for weekend get-aways that start on Friday and end on Monday evening. The other alternative is to have creative midweek special. A may prefer to sell its rooms at 50% or the rack rate than not at all. If the economy is shaky, then focus on attracting people from nearby states.

-Be creative in offering not only stress-free summer vacations but also de-stressing vacations. The current economic situation has placed a great deal of stress on lots of people. Think through how you can facilitate hotel check-in and out, help people to locate locations around the community, and not get lost. One of the reasons that people are often stressed out after a vacation is that travel is no longer fun; be it in a car, airplane, boat or railroad car. Develop ways to make your transportation terminals feel more “homey” and less stress inducing. Do not forget to watch gas prices. While gas prices traditionally rise in the summer months, watch for trends and if they become too expensive use this expense as a creative marketing device.

Market even in the summer months. Not everyone has made summer plans, and there are always those people who are seeking a last minute get-away. Remember that creative marketing this summer may provide you with a list of potential new customers for next summer. Remember that good service is the best form of marketing. Seek the time when media prices are lowest and then blitz selected markets that may become new niche marketing zones.
Create a summer marketing web campaign. The web is a great took especially for last minute travelers. Consider such things as:
– Special summer itineraries
– Special summer web specials
– Divide your attractions by style, location and price
– Directions from any place to any point in your locale
– Lists of what is near-by each attraction, from hotels to restaurants to clean rest rooms



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