1 year ago

ITB Asia News 2019 Review Edition

  • Text
  • Terminal
  • Muslim
  • Messe
  • Mice
  • Marketing
  • Berlin
  • October
  • Destinations
  • Destination
  • Tourism


12 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW THERE IS NO SINGLE STANDARD FORMAT FOR DESTINATION MARKETING. YOU REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET, AND TO HAVE VERY CLEAR OBJECTIVES Edison Chen General Manager of Destination Marketing, Honing the fine art of destination marketing destination marketing specialist Edison Chen talks about present and future trends and needs As travellers are becoming more tech-savvy, distracted, and consequently more demanding, destination marketing professionals and travel agencies are brainstorming new strategies – from vertical marketing, AI-powered personalisation, Vlog and more – to break through the marketing clutter and capture the consumers’ attention. To this end, Edison Chen, General Manager of Destination Marketing for, was present at ITB Asia conference, speaking on “New” Destination Marketing. We spoke to him after the session about some of the key takeaways. People have to look at a broad range of topics, including branding, content development, product development, big data and PR. You have to look at how to bring all these elements together to come up with a comprehensive plan to promote the destination and to reach all the objectives. This topic is becoming increasingly important. A number of tourism organisations are spending a lot of effort on destination marketing. Some are doing a good job, but some do this in a very simple way, setting very basic objectives, such as number of visitors, and other than that they don’t care much about anything else. But as a destination, you cannot just focus on increasing the number of visitors in a short space of time. You have to look at issues like aviation, awareness, services, content, whether you are talking to the right audience or not… and if you are not doing this planning at an early stage, it will have a bad impact in the long run. We are always exploring at new methods to do destination marketing. Five or six years ago, it was all about doing advertising in the general media, for branding. But nowadays, you are getting data and technology involved, AI, a lot of analysis, and product customisation. So, when the market changes and consumer behaviour changes, the way of doing destination marketing also has to be changed. Do you see any particular best practices in this respect? From my experience, I can cite Tourism Australia, L.A. Tourism Board and Visit California, and in this region, Tourism Indonesia, and the Singapore Tourism Board. They are doing a very good job, focusing on different areas, not just numbers of travellers. They are also looking at technology improvement, service improvement, and they are not just promoting one destination. They are not just promoting one single destination; they are thinking ahead three or five years, to the new destinations and experiences. How do you help DMOs with their marketing? That’s a good question. A lot of people think Ctrip and is just an online travel agent. But in fact, we are more than a travel agent. We are also a media platform, we are also a technology company. We also have the content, and we have the product team. Our job is to see how to integrate all the internal resources, and to work with all the tourism organisations or destinations, to ensure our resources are aligned with their objectives. We run campaigns and activities in partnership with DMOs in different areas, including media branding, product development, big data analysis, content and social media activities. We integrate online and offline, to ensure we give 360° coverage, not only in B2C but also sometimes in B2B. In this way, we can promote a destination in a very comprehensive way. What would you say is the key takeaway from your presentation? There is no single standard format for destination marketing. You really need to understand your market, and to have very clear objectives. Then you can choose the right strategy, the right methods, and the right channels to run the destination marketing. Don’t expect to simply find a model or format for running destination marketing. Customisation, not just for travel products, but also for the destination marketing plan is very important ITB ASIA NEWS • Monday 28 October 2019

AROUND THE WORLD REGION 13 Tourism continues to be the climb International arrivals up 4% in the first six months of 2019 International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) grew 4% in January-June 2019 compared to the same period last year, according to the available data, supplied by the UNWTO. The organisation estimates that destinations worldwide received 671 million international tourist arrivals in the first half of 2019, about 29 million more than in the same period of 2018. This represents a continuation of the 5% growth recorded in 2018, though more in line with the annual average of 4% of the last ten years (2008- 2018). Growth was led by the Middle East (+8%) and Asia and the Pacific (+6%). International arrivals in Europe (+4%) grew in line with the world average, while Africa (+3%) and the Americas (+2%) saw more moderate growth. The first half of the year accounts for about 45% of total annual volume of international arrivals and includes the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, the Chinese New Year, Easter and the start of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, among other peak travel periods. Growth to date is in line with UNWTO’s forecast of 3% to 4% for the year 2019, as reported in the January edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. A total of 130 countries had, at the time of the UNWTO’s September report, so far reported data on international tourist arrivals for three or more months of 2019. Of these, 72% reported an increase in arrivals and 28% posted a decrease. TRANSPORT International passenger traffic demand grew in line with international arrivals. International air passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) saw a similar pattern to that of international tourists, with a 4.7% increase in the first half of 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). All regions contributed positively to the first half of 2019 growth rate, most notably Asia and the Pacific, Europe and to a lesser extent North America. DOWNSIDE RISKS ON THE HORIZON Confidence in global tourism remains positive yet cautious with signs of more moderate growth for the remainder of the year, according to the latest UNWTO Confidence Index. Global economic growth remains subdued, according to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook update of July 2019. Global growth is projected at 3.2% for 2019, improving to 3.5% in 2020 (0.1 percentage point lower for both years than in the April 2019 WEO forecast). Growth in advanced economies is projected at 1.9% in 2019, with positive output in the United States but weak growth in the euro area including a potential risk of recession in Germany, the world’s third largest tourism spender. Emerging markets are projected to grow at 4.1% in 2019, with slightly slower but still robust growth in China and India, and sluggish performance in major Latin American economies. Against this backdrop, oil prices (Brent) have eased back from the most recent high of USD67 per barrel according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and oil demand growth estimates have been revised downwards for 2019. Prolonged uncertainty about Brexit, intensified trade and technological tensions between the United States and China, and rising geopolitical challenges may take a toll on business and consumer confidence in certain countries or regions. Uncertainty derived from Brexit could lead consumers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, which could affect travel bookings. As an indirect impact, the depreciation of the pound sterling and a slower UK economy could lead to rising demand for more price competitive destinations outside the European Union. While the ultimate form of Brexit remains highly uncertain, Brexit extension provides certainty that all existing travel arrangements with EU will continue until at least 31 October, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). The European Parliament has confirmed that UK travellers would not need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit for short-term business or leisure trips, even if the UK leaves without a deal. UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa ITB ASIA NEWS • Monday 28 October 2019