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TTG Intelligence


Sporting events kickstart travel


Sojern research reveals the huge impact big tournaments tend to have on UK clients’ intent to travel. Tom Parry reports


a summer of sport that is likely to have considerable influence over people’s travel habits, research has shown. The Olympic Games in Rio de


O


Janeiro and the 2016 Euros will both take the spotlight over the coming months, with travel data analyser Sojern suggesting the competitions could prove a boon for the UK trade. “This year is particularly fascinating


with the amount of sporting events taking place,” Jim Brigden, managing director of Sojern for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told TTG. “You’ve got the Olympics, the Euros and also the Ryder Cup so there’s a huge amount of opportunity for the industry to benefit.” England, Wales and Northern


Ireland will all be participating in the Databox 840% 36 05.05.2016


EXPECTED SURGE IN TRAVEL TO FRANCE FROM WALES THE WEEK BEFORE EURO 2016 BEGINS


BORDEAUX SAW A 276% BOOST IN FLIGHT SEARCHES FOR THE DATE OF WALES VS SLOVAKIA


n June 10, the first game of the Uefa European Football Championships will take place, kicking off


football tournament in France this June. Sojern projects that between June 3-10, a week before the tournament is due to start, Welsh travellers’ intent to journey to the host nation will see a 840% increase, while intent to travel from Northern Ireland will see a 150% boost over the same period. Furthermore, research also shows


that cities hosting matches featuring the home nations were among the top nine most anticipated in terms of flight searches, out of the entire group stages of the championship. In particular, Marseille experienced a 439% increase in travel intent for England’s clash with Russia, while Bordeaux saw a 276% lift for Wales taking on Slovakia. Brigden attributes the volume of


interest to fans making up for lost time. “The fact that Wales haven’t qualified for a major tournament since 1958 says to us that many fans


see the tournament as a once in a lifetime event, which is why we’ve seen such high figures. Nobody wants to miss it. “Northern


Ireland are in a similar position,” he added. “They’ve qualified for major tournaments in the past but this will be their first Euros. With that in mind, we’d definitely expect to see a lot of first-time travellers between the two nations.” Later on in the summer eyes will


turn to Brazil, as Team GB looks to emulate its London 2012 successes in Rio. It won’t only be Jessica Ennis-Hill


and Mo Farah (hopefully) topping the podium though – Sojern believes UK travellers will have the highest intent to journey to the games out of all


European nations, with France ranking second, followed by Italy.


A bigger trip Data also showed that despite the heat, 11-hour flight and concerns about the Zika virus, Brits are still the most likely to stay for the longest surveyed time period, with 66% saying they would stay for 12 days or more. “What surprised us most about


searches for Marseille for England vs Russia game


Increase in flight 439%


these findings was how long Brits want to stay for, which is much longer than [for clients from] most other countries. Brazil offers exciting holiday opportunities. You can spend your days watching sport and you can then have a family beach holiday or a jungle holiday


afterwards.” So how can agents boost business off the back of


this sporting summer? “Agents definitely have a role to


play and are useful because they can put together the whole package for fans,” Brigden said. “If someone is not an accomplished traveller, an agent can help them out. If I was a travel agent I would definitely be looking to put some travel and accommodation packages together for the sports market, as it’s only going to grow.”


THE UK IS HIGHEST IN EUROPE FOR INTENT TO TRAVEL TO RIO OLYMPICS


Northern Ireland


is expected to see a 150% increase in intent to travel to Euro 2016


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