Acorn director Kevin Millington files a regular column for the online newsletter, Tourism Consultants Network News. Here are some of his latest findings:
TRAVEL PLANNING AND BOOKING IN A MULTI-DEVICE WORLD
A new survey by Signal, a global leader in real-time, cross-channel marketing, has revealed that a majority of consumers (51%) regularly uses two or more devices for planning and booking trips. UK travellers are using digital devices more than ever before, with smartphones, desktops, laptops and tablets being used for researching travel and booking holidays. The survey of 2,000 UK consumers shows that 83% of consumers used a computer, tablet or smartphone to plan their trip in the last year, a 36% increase on the previous year. For more information, click here.
MAKE YOUR OWN HOTEL
Customisation has reached new heights. Travel company Black Tomato has launched Blink, a new service which allows people to ‘design their own luxury temporary accommodation in locations that are so private, pristine and untouched that no one else will have stayed there before (or again) in the same way.’ The company’s experts will hand pick unlikely locations, from the Bolivian salt flats to an Icelandic fjord, where camps can be set up for clients. Afterwards, there will be no trace it was ever there. Prices range from £8,800 to £23,000 (both based on six people), depending on destination. Check out 11 Hotel Trends for 2017.
INCREASE IN ENGLAND ROOM OCCUPANCY RATES
VisitEngland has recently updated its audit of accommodation. The census includes over 33,000 serviced and 31,000 non-serviced establishments categorised by area and accommodation type. The latest England Occupancy Survey shows the average room occupancy rate up to November 2016 at 71%, up 1% on 2015. Regionally, Yorkshire and the North East have experienced the greatest occupancy growth.
ASIA PACIFIC AND THE AMERICAS LEAD GROWTH IN 2016
According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, tourist arrivals growth was 3.7% to September 2016, weaker than the 4.6% recorded over the same period in 2015. Asia Pacific is expected to have been the fastest growing world region in terms of tourist arrivals, up by 9.3%. South Korea, Vietnam and Japan all recorded growth rates of over 20%. The Americas grew by 4.4% with Chile up 29%, Cuba 12% and Canada 11%. For more information, go to the WTTC November 2016 Full Report.
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LATEST INBOUND UK DATA SHOWS A DECLINE IN LEISURE ARRIVALS
The latest arrivals data from the International Passenger Survey for January-November 2016 shows that total visitors are up 3% and spend 1%. However, digging a bit deeper reveals that any positive exchange rate fluctuations for overseas visitors to the UK do not appear to have had an effect to date. Holiday visitors are down 1% in 2016 compared to 2015. It is VFR arrivals that is most strongly supporting arrivals growth, increasing by 9%. Find out more here.
EUROPEAN TRAVELLERS OPT FOR CITY BREAKS AND VFR IN 2016
There was a change in the travelling habits of Europeans in 2016 as they opted for safe destinations, including a stagnation in sea and beach holidays, whilst taking more city trips. Outbound trips by Europeans grew by 2.5% in the first 8 months of 2016, according to World Travel Monitor figures. Outbound trips to destinations within Europe increased by 3% as travellers stayed closer to home, while trips to Asia grew by only 2%, and there was a 1% drop in trips to the Americas.
Top performers in terms of outbound growth were Poland and Ireland (both +7%), UK, The Netherlands, Spain and Denmark (all +6%), whilst the German market grew by 4%.
Interestingly, trips by Europeans for holidays increased by only 2%, while visits to friends and relatives grew by 10%. The destinations experiencing most growth included Spain and Portugal in the Mediterranean, and Norway and Iceland in northern Europe. For more details, read on here.