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European travel market recovery starts to take off

A leisure travel recovery is underway in France, Germany and the UK, with con- sumers who skipped their holidays when times were tough now feeling confident enough to return to the market, accord- ing to a recent report by travel industry research authority PhoCusWright. Te share of adults who took at least

one holiday over the past year jumped four per cent in France (to 70 per cent) and Germany (to 72 per cent) compared to 2012. In the UK, the share increased three points to reach 78 per cent. “Macro-economic trends are taking

a slight turn for the better, with some stating that the recession is over,” said PhoCusWright analyst Marcello Gasdia. “Te picture still isn’t rosy, of course, but things are starting to pick up. I wasn’t sure whether that would show up in my data, but it did.” Details:

Ad showcases sounds of Britain

VisitBritain has launched two new international advertis- ing campaigns as it seeks to build on the momentum from 2013’s record tourism figures. ‘Sounds of GREAT Britain’,

is an interactive advert which incorporates British sounds – such as the pouring of a cup of tea and Big Ben – into a reworked version of Rudimental’s chart-topping hit ‘Feel the Love’. Online viewers can cre-

ate their own version of the advert, by selecting the sounds they like the best and from this can plan a UK trip around the famous venues – the advert includes Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge and Shakespeare’s Globe – where they would be able to hear the sounds featured. Te £2.5m global film campaign, commis-

London’s Royal Albert Hall is one of many iconic landmarks shown in the ad

– the US – was launched in conjunction with online travel agency Expedia. The TV ad, scheduled to appear across

sioned by VisitBritain and created by ad agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, will run on popular websites like Youtube and Spotify, across key target markets Brazil, China, the USA, India, Gulf states and throughout Europe. Meanwhile, a separate campaign targeting the UK’s most lucrative market for tourism

American networks during prime-time viewing events including the Oscars and Sochi Winter Olympics, draws on the parallel between fairy- tales of castles, knights and queens to the real world and Britain’s attractions. Te tourism agency hopes the campaign can

re-energise UK interest in the US, from where visitor numbers have fallen in recent years as travellers have become more adventurous. Details:

Cut Tourism VAT campaign buoyed by debate Tom Jenkins of ETOA with the Tink Tank’s Nick Hall

ETOA partners with Digital Tourism Think Tank

Te European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has announce a new partnership with the Digital Tourism Tink Tank, which provides thought leadership to the tourism industry in digital marketing best practice. Te new partnership gives ETOA mem-

bers access to the Tink Tank’s expertise in digital marketing and research via a series of classes and events, the first being the Mobile Strategies Masterclass that took place on 25 February in London. Rachel Read, head of digital trading at

ETOA, said: “As the online environment moves into new areas, our members face fresh challenges in digital trading. Keeping up with the multi-device, constantly con- nected traveller is high on the priority list for many of them. Te Tink Tank’s research and expertise is invaluable to our members and I look forward to the masterclasses we have planned for 2014.” Details:


Campaign group Cut Tourism VAT scored a minor victory in the Houses of Parliament last month when Members called on the government to re-examine the case for reduc- ing VAT on the tourism sector. During a debate in

Westminster Hall, 25 MPs voiced their views on the matter, with a large number speaking in favour of a cut. MP for South Down

Margaret Ritchie, who called the debate, said: “To have a reduction in VAT is very important from the perspective of economy and jobs. Tourism is an absolutely vital indus- try for our islands, providing 10 per cent of GDP and supporting over two million jobs.” Cut Tourism VAT, a pressure group sup-

ported by a number of tourism-linked companies and associations, wants the gov- ernment to follow the example of 24 other countries in the European Union in applying reduced rates of VAT on key tourism services such as visitor accommodation.

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Te House of Commons was the scene for the tourism VAT debate “We are delighted at the all-party support

shown for reduction in this first debate on Tourism VAT in parliament,” said Graham Wason, chair of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign. “All except the Minister responding were con-

vinced of the need for a cut on VAT for visitor accommodation and attractions and many ref- erences were made to evidence, using a Treasury approved financial modelling system, of the posi- tive impact for the UK economy this would have.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014

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