The State of Travel Marketing Report

Just saw this and thought I would share, some interesting takeaways if you have time to read. It all comes back to what I’ve been harping on… get innovative!!!

http://tommartin.typepad.com/positive_disruption/2011/12/travel-marketing-research.html

Some highlights…

  • The Institute’s data indicates that of their study sample, twenty-eight percent of travelers start their travel search with social media, travel opinion websites and general search engines. That means that over one-fourth of the traveling public is conferring with resources you don’t control BEFORE they begin the purchase process.
  • If you’ve the time, there is  a ton of other great information contained in this report. But for me the biggest take away was this: travel marketers of all stripes (hotel/rental car/airline/airport and destinations) must step back and fundamentally reconsider their go to market strategies.
  • In an internet distribution world, where the consumer is often times making travel decisions at a web property that the travel marketer doesn’t own, the only way you can beat the price game is to already own a value position inside the customer’s mind
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ATTA Shares Insight on Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for 2012

Just got my ATTA newsletter and they had some great insight articles I thought I’d share about upcoming trends, challenges and opportunities. Remember their Summit is in the fall, yes their focus is adventure but more and more volunteer is being adopted into that world! www.AdventureTravelWorldSummit.com

Behind the Scenes: ATTA Tour Operators Share Challenges, Trends and Opportunities

We strive in AdventureTravelNews to cover the trends, topics and developments that matter most to our ATTA membership and our industry readership, as part of fostering a community that shares knowledge and creates an environment of open collaboration and learning.

In that vein, we reached out to over 50 of ATTA’s 450+ member tour operators to answer a series of questions on the trends, shifts and developments that they see occurring in their respective areas of our industry and within their own enterprises in the next eighteen months. Of the more than half that responded, voices from 15 different countries – and representing operators of all types and sizes – sounded off about everything from managing guest expectations and online presence to dealing with disruptions of technology, politics and climate. Below are the five questions and their responses.

Learn more about the adventure travel trade association here

What significant trends are affecting your strategic marketing plans in the next 18 months?

What do you think the most significant consumer trend will be for your organization to consider in that same time frame?

What are the top three markets you are pursuing?

What is the biggest challenge / threat adventure travel organizations like yours face in the next 18 months?

What do you think the greatest opportunity ahead of you in the next few years is?

How are your sales?

Almost everyone I have talked to this month, with the exception of a small few, has reported record sales for January. This is for both the adventure and volunteer space. So, how are your sales doing? If they aren’t starting to rocket then take a hard look at your marketing because FYI: people are buying again.

GVI Launches Volunteer Around the World Contest

Those of you who were in the BBC’s Public Awareness work group a couple years ago will recognize this idea, Volunteer Around the World for a Year. I think we even had the domain VolunteerYear.com bought and ready. But too many cooks in the kitchen and too many companies that weren’t willing to work together meant the campaign died a slow death.

I”m happy to announce that one company decided to take this on by themselves and do a kick ass job of it. Bravo to GVI for pulling this off and all the more challenge to the rest of you to think of new and creative ideas to get your brand out there. The days of Google, GoAbroad and campus fairs are over – get inventive already, what are you doing to differentiate yourselves?

http://www.gviusa.com/volunteer-around-world-free

Orphanage Tourism Article in the Telegraph

Amen.

This article is an awesome portrayal of the situation complete with statistics and research studies to prove what Daniela and I have been harping on for years. So… if you’re still taking volunteers to orphanages do you have a page explaining why you’re different and doing it responsibly? If so, please share.

Here’s the article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/9055213/Orphanage-tourism-help-or-hindrance.html

A Survival Kit for the Voluntary Traveler – Realistic?

Nola Lee Kelsey recently put together a really cool blog article you guys should read – A Survival Kit for the Voluntary Traveler. It has some interesting answers to the common naysayer complaints about voluntourism – most I agree with, some I dont. I still believe firmly that without critics then the field will never improve, those that focus solely on the positive are kidding themselves – there needs to be a good balance.

For example, just got back from Kenya and yet another orphanage manager told me she doesnt want volunteers in her orphanage – she knows it damages the kids but at the same time she needs to feed them so sacrifices for the funds. If we dont point out these issues how can we find a reasonable way to solve them?

Anyway, its worth a read whether you agree with it or not: http://nolakelsey.wordpress.com/v-traveler-blog/

The Negatives… We all have them in our lives: Neighbors, Cousins, Uncles, even Facebook friends, those people who could find heinous fault in a sleeping kitten if others felt good about it. Of course, voluntourism/volunteer travel will always have its detractors. While sometimes it is easier to just allow them to believe as they will, attempting to educate them from time to time is a necessity – or at least jolly good sport. Here are a few quick responses to help arm you against the most common negatives.