SA Tourism Should Use Opportunities in U.S. Market – Expert

South Africa can benefit from the American travel industry by looking online to reach this internet-savvy market, according to Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, owner of Destinate, a destination marketing agency.

“Americans have little to no annual leave. An annual survey by Expedia in 2014 showed that 54% of the US population feel ‘holiday-deprived’. The new American Dream is, therefore, to work less and play hard,” explained Du Toit-Helmbold.

“Forward-thinking US companies have begun recognising the need for time to refresh, but for now, US holiday-makers of working age are likely to take last minute and package holidays.”

She said experience is everything and travellers are looking for instant and total immersion. Trips by US tourists are likely to be spread throughout the year and the current rand exchange rate can have a positive impact too.

The Stellenbosch Experience, is an example of a campaign that will focus a large part of its efforts on the American market in 2016, using online engagement to educate American holiday-planners about the non-safari side of South Africa through experiential story-telling.

Globally, travel continues to outperform other sectors despite uncertain global economic growth, rising geopolitical unrest, volatile oil prices and rising interest rates, according to Du Toit-Helmbold.

She was recently at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London to represent Stellenbosch. WTM is considered the industry’s top showcase of travel products. Du Toit-Helmbold shared some of the global tourism trends she picked up at WTM.

Global tourist arrivals exceeded 1.1 billion in 2014, up by 4.3% with growth for 2015 forecasted at 3.7%.

Trends include mobile bookings that have gone main-stream, accounting for some $96bn of travel sales globally in 2014, expenditure being on the rise and emerging markets like China showing significant increases in disposable incomes.

At the same time the tourism market is becoming increasingly competitive, according to Du Toit-Helmbold and there are a number of key drivers at play.

Tourists are opting for active holidays over relaxation focused holidays.

“In 2014 it was already revealed that cycling is the new golf with the rise of MAMILs (middle-aged-men-in-lycra),” explained Du Toit-Helmbold.

“In 2015 we saw a considerable increase in bicycle tourism offered by destinations and in August 2015, sustainable transport charity Sustrans estimated that cycling tourism adds over £650m to the UK economy each year.”

She said in Stellenbosch the hunger for cycling tourism is “insatiable”.

“Cyclists and other active travellers wanting to invest in healthy living and healthy holidays, want a balance of challenging, beautiful terrain and fine lifestyle, food and wine experiences,” she said.

Source: allafrica

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Technology boosts African tourism sector

Technology hubs start-ups across Africa aim boosting the continent’s economy and to present a new perspective for international tourists. The increase of business tourism due to the tech hubs is expected to have an increasing effect on the local traveling industry. The data was released by WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor…

Technology hubs start-ups across Africa aim boosting the continent’s economy and to present a new perspective for international tourists

The increase of business tourism due to the tech hubs is expected to have an increasing effect on the local traveling industry.

The data was released by WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International, at the World Travel Market London, on Monday. Also, according to the World Bank data, total investments in African tech hubs have doubled last year, up to US$27 million.

Business investors from US aim to support Africa’s entrepreneurs and tourism market leaders. Hope City in Ghana and the Konza Technology City in Kenya have plans for hospitality development, infrastructure, transportation and education for increasing their traveling potential.

According to Euromonitor International, business air traveling is expected to have a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5% for South Africa and 6% for Kenya over the next 4 years.

“The introduction of technology hubs in Africa can have a massive knock-on effect for the whole continent. Not only do they provide a huge increase of jobs and boost economy but it benefits the whole travel industry with increased flights and hotel bookings”, World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press declared.

Source: africanbrains

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#DidYouKnow: Today is World Responsible Tourism Day

Now in their 12th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded by Responsible Travel in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism. The Awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, during World Responsible Tourism Day, the world’s largest event for responsible tourism,  which this year takes place on Wednesday 4th November.

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 Finalists

A worldwide campaign to end canned hunting, a tour operator offering locally-led alternative city tours and a mangrove conservation and education project in Madagascar are among the organizations included in list of finalists for the 2015 World Responsible Tourism Awards at World Travel Market.

After intense debate by the judging panel, 37 organizations have been chosen across 12 categories, recognizing achievements from animal welfare campaigns to accessible tourism practices in one of the most diverse lists of finalists the World Responsible Tourism Awards has ever seen. The organizations, which range from tourism industry giants such as TUI Travel UK & Ireland, to tiny individual enterprises such as Cnoc Suain in Ireland, or Felin Talgarth Mill in Wales, UK, are based in 20 countries worldwide, with Cyprus, Hong Kong and Finland represented for the first time ever.

Here are the finalists:

Agri Tourism Development Company Pvt Ltd
Aruba Tourism Authority
Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
Campaign Against Canned Hunting
Cnoc Suain
Connemara Wild Escapes
Coral Cay Conservation
Cyprus Tourism Organisation
Endeavour Safaris
Felin Talgarth Mill
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Hetta Huskies
Hong Kong Airport Authority
Honko Mangrove Education & Conservation
LooLa Adventure Resort
Loophead Peninsula
Lotus Travel AB
Matava Resort
North Island Seychelles
North Sailing
OneSeed Expeditions
RuralSuite Hotel-Apartamentos
Shangri-La’s Vilingili Resort & Spa, Maldives
The Donkey Sanctuary
Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge
Travel for Wildlife
TUI UK & Ireland
Turtle Bay Beach Club
Uakari Lodge
Ullswater Steamers
Uncornered Market
Urban Adventures

Source: capitalfm

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WTM London 2015 Responsible Tourism Programme asks how destinations can best benefit from tourism

In a year where destinations from Barcelona and Venice to Pattaya and Easter Island have struggled with the impacts of growing numbers of tourists in their destinations, a considerable focus of this year’s WTM Responsible Tourism Programme looks at how the industry might best address these issues.

On Tuesday 4th November, the panel Increasing the local economic benefits of tourism explores ways of shifting away from the focus on boosting visitor numbers towards ensuring more direct local benefits. The panelists are Jane Ashton, the Director of Sustainable Development at TUI; Jenefer Bobbin, Founding Director at JUSTreport; Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism consultant and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University; and Cillian Murphy, Chairperson Loop Head Tourism Ireland. Together they will look at four different examples of initiatives to measure and/or increase the local economic benefits of tourism that focus on wages, local procurement and yield.

Earlier that day another panel meets to discuss the question: What is the role of Government in Managing Tourism in destinations? Speakers are yet to be confirmed, but they will explore issues such as how can local communities and their governments maximise the benefits of tourism while minimising negative impacts; and how can local people feel they are using tourism to make theirs a better place to live in, rather than that their place is being used by tourism?

Last year WTM London expanded its responsible tourism programme across all four days of the event. So popular was the inaugural Monday event, that the format is being repeated for WTM London 2015. This year, therefore, a high level panel will meet on Monday afternoon to discuss Destination Partnerships, and they will be focussing on the examples of iconic destinations Barcelona & Venice. The panel is chaired once again by Martin Brackenbury, the Director of Classic Collection Holidays; and it includes Gary Wilson, Managing Director, Product and Purchasing at TUI Group and Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability, at ABTA. Using the examples of these two cities, the panel will discuss how positive change can be achieved for the benefit of destination communities, their natural and cultural environment and the tourists who visit them.

“The management of tourism by destinations is a controversial subject at the moment with many high profile and hugely popular tourism destinations and attractions introducing caps and restrictions to manage tourism flows,” said Goodwin. “The responsible tourism programme at WTM London will explore how destinations can benefit from tourism while also minimising the impact.”

Beyond the focus on destinations, WTM’s Responsible Tourism panels continue to discuss the tourism issues making headlines. None more so than the Tuesday panel on Taking Responsibility for Wildlife and National Parks, which with the recent shooting of Cecil the Lion has taken on added significance. And as the Paris climate talks take place just a few weeks after World Travel Market London, it is fitting that this year’s flagship debate and keynote speech both address tourism and climate change.

Other topics covered during the four days of debates and seminars include Child Protection, Gender and Tourism, Snowsports, Cruises and Food Tourism. More information on the details of these events and their speakers will be released shortly.

Source: traveldailynews

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WTM Africa 2015 announces new raft of delegates

WTM Africa 2015, the leading business-to-business tourism event in Africa, has added an array of new International exhibitors, including destination hot-spot Abu Dhabi and a number of major players from the hotel, travel technology, cruise and airline sectors.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.58.03 AMThe new exhibitors at WTM Africa 2015 – which will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from April 15th-17th – signed up following glowing publicity and positive feedback that resulted from the hugely successful inaugural WTM Africa last year.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority is the latest destination to sign up to WTM Africa 2015, while, from the global accommodation sector, International Hotel Group, Best Western and Hotel Verde are new exhibitors.

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director, destination promotion department, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “We followed with interest the success of the inaugural WTM Africa exhibition in 2014 and we are excited to be exhibiting this year at what has already established itself as a major trade must-attend event on the continent.

“Our delegation of leading hotels, tour operators and national airline Etihad Airways will showcase the very best of Abu Dhabi’s tourism opportunities while also highlighting the culture and heritage of the emirate.

“Airlift to Abu Dhabi will substantially increase from March when South African Airways begin flights direct to the UAE capital, joining Etihad Airways’ seven flights a week to Abu Dhabi, and this is an ideal opportunity for us to increase our inbound visitors from the African continent.”

From the airline sector, fastjet, the low-cost pan-Africa airline – part owned by easyJet – will be highlighting new opportunities following its newly launched routes to South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe from its Dar es Salaam base.

From the world of cruising, Pullmantur Cruises is aiming to raise awareness of its fleet of five ships and its wide selection of destinations.

The company has long served the Spanish market, but is now keen to establish itself as an international brand.

Finally, two new travel technology companies will be exhibiting for the first time this year: booking system provider Traveltek and All In Travel, which provides travel agents with an online reservation system that integrates hotels’ inventory and direct contracted products.

This year’s event has been expanded by an extra day to become a three-day event and the exhibition floor space will be 50 per cent bigger.

WTM Africa 2014 facilitated an impressive $314 million in industry deals.

WTM Africa, Thebe Reed Exhibitions, managing director, Carol Weaving said: “We’re excited to welcome more of the world’s key tourism players to WTM Africa 2015.

“It’s great to see such a wide range of new exhibitors from such different International tourism businesses, and it’s a result of the buzz WTM Africa created during its inaugural event last year.”

Source: Breaking Travel News

Image: WTM Responsible Tourism

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