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ITB Berlin News Preview Edition

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8 NEWS Mexico… Like

8 NEWS Mexico… Like You’ve Never Experienced it Before The partner nation of ITB Berlin 2014 set to reveal a “new authentic” country face Mexico is one of the most popular tourist countries on the planet. Much of the tourist industry centres of course on beach resorts and on the altiplano in the central part of the country. While names such as Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, San Cristobal de las Casas or Guanajuato may be familiar, visitors to ITB Berlin will have the chance to discover a new face of this fabulous destination. In 2014, Mexico is the official partner country of ITB Berlin, the world’s leading tourism fair. Representatives of the country will be present at the opening ceremony of the exhibition in the International Congress Centrum (ICC) on 4 th March. From 5 th to 9 th March, then all ITB Berlin visitors can enjoy a wide range of exciting activities - in and around the Mexico Pavilion in Hall 1.1 (b) under the Berlin Funkturm. Trade fair guests can experience Mexico as a “first-class destination” for all kinds of travellers who have high standards and expectations. Mexico is unique and always surprising and at ITB Berlin is being highlighted as a country constantly on the rise - in a permanent state of change. Covering an area of more than 700 square meters, the Mexico Pavilion offers space for 80 exhibitors. These include the numerous Mexican States as well as travel destinations, tour operators, hotels, airlines and other suppliers of tourism products and services. All present Mexico as a sophisticated holiday destination characterised by great hospitality and highest level of luxury and service quality, providing an unmatched range of unique experiences. The ITB Berlin visitors are welcomed by the “new, authentic Mexico” with treasures of nature and culture, stunning scenery and thrilling adventures. How does it feel to dive with the largest sharks in the world? Or discover a cave where the Statue of Liberty could be stashed? The Mexican Ambassador in Germany, H.E. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano (Center), Vicente Salas (left), Director of the Mexican tourism office in Germany and David Ruetz, the Head of ITB Berlin (right) - all surrounded by two women in modern Mexican dresses. Hall 1.1 Stand 102 TRADE FAIR GUESTS CAN EXPERIENCE MEXICO AS A “FIRST-CLASS DESTINATION” FOR ALL KINDS OF TRAVELLERS WHO HAVE HIGH STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 28 th February 2014

NEWS 9 The Customer Journey GfK CEO Matthias Hartmann gives us a sneak peak of his research keynote set down for the ITB Summit ANHOLT-GFK CITY INDEX NAMES LONDON, SYDNEY, PARIS, NEW YORK AND ROME AS BEST CITIES Matthias Hartmann believes in “thinking big”. He can afford to. As Chief Executive Officer of GfK, one of the world’s largest research companies, he has around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. The ITB pre-show Summit on 4 th March in the ICC focuses on Omni- Channel marketing – the next challenge for the travel industry. Mr Hartmann will feature at the summit, presenting a keynote – “The Customer Journey – New Market Research Insight”. We asked him to give us a few hints as to what we will experience at the keynote… The Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index, which measures the image of 50 cities based on perceptions of their Presence, Place, Prerequisite, People, Pulse and Potential has found that Sydney rated as safest city in the world, with the friendliest people, while London was voted top for the city where people from diverse cultures could easily fit in. Simon Anholt, independent policy advisor on national identity and reputation, comments, “Our City Brands Index is not just about any single aspect of a city’s image – it gives the full picture that includes the city’s social and cultural environment, its physical look and feel, its public services, educational and economic opportunities and the city’s contribution to the world.” Xiaoyan Zhao, Senior Vice President and Director of CBISM at GfK, adds, “Looking further into the momentum of the 50 cities, Paris has shown one of the three largest declines on the Potential Index, together with two other capital cities mired in economic hard times – Madrid and Tokyo. In contrast, the three greatest gainers in this area are Bangkok, Johannesburg and Istanbul – all in emerging markets. Today, travellers have the choice between an unprecedented number of information and booking channels. How the different channels are used by different customer groups and which impact the single touch points have on the booking decisions was not part of research studies in the past. For the first time, GfK analysed the customer journey in an extensive study of 17,000 people being interviewed. I am going to present the ten most important insights learned from this survey at the ITB Summit. Why so many people, and how does that help in the analysis of the results? We’re specialists in tracking customers in their dynamic (digital) world. In order to transform this data into a rich, holistic picture of the customer, we need sampling sizes we can rely on. The more people we interview, the more precise and representative are our results. Our panel for travel tracking covers more than 20,000 households with 45,000 persons. For the customer journey analysis, we have focused on those who have actually done a real travel booking and additionally where equipped with our “LEOtrace” technology which allows the electronic measurement of the Internet usage before the booking. So what is changing in the way people buy travel? The opportunities to get information about travelling and also to book journeys have never been as big as today. One reason for that is the web. We found out that the Internet is part of 90 percent of German consumer journeys – as an information and/or booking channel. Another big topic is cross-channel usage. Three out of four German consumers use both online and offline touch points. It’s also an interesting example that for consumers who plan a packaged tour, travel agencies and catalogues are still important touch points and sources of information. The increasing penetration of mobile devices will lead to more mobile travel related search queries. These are just a few examples of how the behaviour of people who buy travel or seek information is changing. What should DMOs, TOs and TAs be doing to adapt to the change in habits? DESTINATION MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS, TOUR OPERATORS AND TRAVEL AGENCIES HAVE TO ENSURE THAT THEIR PORTFOLIO IS ACCESSIBLE VIA MOBILE DEVICES I mentioned that crosschannel usage is a big topic for German consumers. For DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations), TOs (Tour Operators) and TAs (Travel Agencies), it is therefore important to ensure synergy in the messages across on- and offline points in order to reach consistency and effectiveness in communication. Moreover, purchase journeys can be extremely complex, so travel providers need to know how their target audiences behave online to be in the right place with Matthias Hartmann GfK CEO their message. Another important point is the optimisation of websites in order to make sure that each visit has also a positive outcome. Last but not least, search has proven to play an important role in purchase decisions across categories, so SEM and SEO are must-haves these days. Destination management organisations, Tour Operators and Travel Agencies have to ensure that their portfolio is accessible via mobile devices. Just to mention a few examples. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 28 th February 2014

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