p2 contents mar6 4/3/09 20:14 Page 2
It may just be toilet
humour, but O’Leary
excels at marketing
I’VE LOST COUNT of the number of people who have
asked me this week if Ryanair is seriously going to
charge people a pound to go to the loo.
The story has clearly touched a nerve. But
whether Michael O’Leary actually installs coin slots
on his toilet doors or not is largely immaterial.
More galling is the fact that the travel trade’s
nemesis has managed – yet again – to generate
millions of pounds’ worth of free advertising from
one off-the-cuff comment.
But you’ve got to hand it to him. With the whole
industry facing such difficult trading conditions, it’s
more important than ever to make the most of every
possible marketing opportunity.
So maybe more companies should take a leaf out
of his book?
That’s not to say everyone should court
An invitation to see Azura. . .
controversy quite so recklessly.
But judging the Cimtig Travel Marketing Awards P&O Cruises has released computer-generated images of its new ship Azura,
this week proved there are few travel firms whose the second of its 3,000-passenger ships, ahead of it going on sale. The line is
advertising and marketing efforts have caused hosting an Azura family experience day in London on April 4 for key partners.
such a stir. With one or two notable exceptions, the Thomson Cruises mulls transfer to Island Cruises: Cruise news p22
consensus was that most were either tame, fairly
traditional or not targeted to a brand or message. Agency fraud. Affiliate scheme.
Some argue that travel’s low budgets for this kind Boss offers finance help p4 Agents sign up to Expedia p9
of activity are partly to blame. An agency boss who was defrauded More than 200 agents have signed
Despite holidays being the biggest purchase out of £10,000 by a trusted member up to Expedia’s affiliate scheme
most people make aside from a new house or car, of staff has started offering his for travel agents in the first three
the industry’s spend is a fraction of those sectors. employees advice on personal months and are now starting to
Marketing experts claim each car manufacturing finances to reduce the risk of crime. sell through the website regularly.
brand would spend about £50 million a year
promoting its vehicles. 2010 brochures. Arabian Travel Market.
British Airways is the only travel firm that Tui and Cosmos to delay p5 Dubai ‘is still strong’ p4
gets close to that, at £30-£40 million. Tui Travel and Cosmos have Arabian Travel Market has
No doubt it’s difficult to be experimental confirmed they will definitely dismissed reports of financial
without big budgets, but O’Leary’s stunt cost delay the launch of summer 2010 meltdown in the region, and
next to nothing and created a huge buzz. programmes until July 2. claimed the show was a “must-
I’ve had the spoof Ryanair safety card attend” event for UK delegates.
(p5) sent to me 17 times. Not bad going – XL’s ‘Greece revival’.
viral marketing at its best! Kiss Flights for Goldtrail p6 Membership rivals.
On the bright side, Cimtig judges The former boss of XL-owned Abta fights back p12
did spot sparks of genius coming Kosmar has launched a new Worldchoice and Advantage have
through from the entrants. Greece programme for Goldtrail reported high levels of interest
Hopefully, the institute’s with flights from the airline owned in their “alternative to Abta”
commitment to raising the by former XL chief Phil Wyatt. membership schemes, prompting
standard of how travel promotes itself Abta to fight back by extolling
should ensure the pennies spent Ryanair. the merits of all its services.
on marketing aren’t just flushed O’Leary plumbs depths p7
down the pan. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has SECTORS.
been castigated for suggesting the Cruise p22
airline could charge £1 for using Operators p24
Lucy Huxley Editor the toilet, prompting a claim it Hotels & resorts p26
could be his “Ratner moment”. Air p28
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