Tourism Trend Tracker Newsletter3.13.09


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The March edition of the Luckie-produced Tourism Trend Tracker newsletter

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Tourism Trend Tracker Newsletter3.13.09

  1. 1. March 13, 2009
  2. 2. A far cry from his days as Captain Kirk taking on space aliens, William Shatner has returned to battle the economy in a new TV campaign. In his longest-running role, Shatner enters year 11 as the discount travel site’s celebrity spokesperson. The first new spot shows a middle-aged couple about to enter a hotel when they are captured and thrown into a van by two female agents. There they find Shatner who chastises them by saying: “I could’ve found a better deal in my sleep, if I slept.” In his third year as the “Negotiator,” he will be promoting the fact that’s “Name your own price” travel products can help consumers save half off of hotels. Tag: “No one deals like we do.” “These are unsettling times, and people need to know that it’s OK, even good for them, to take time off and take a vacation,” said Shatner in a statement. “The Negotiator reassures them that an affordable getaway is still within their reach.” Source: 2
  3. 3. Hot on the heels of other third-party travel services, Planet Eye, Nile Guide, TripTie, Driftr and TravelMuse join the planning party, each bringing their own twist. The common denominator: user-driven content that leverages the power of social networks. PlanetEye has a heavy emphasis on visual searches; users can navigate the site by clicking on photographs and maps and then save their favorites in their online “travel pack.” Nile Guide, TripTie and Driftr bring travelers firsthand reviews and recommendations, based on other consumers’ experiences and travel suggestions. TravelMuse’s “find inspiration” button gives interest-based lookers itinerary ideas. Third-party travel planning sites abound. The next generation of travel planning powers up the personal research process by using social networking tools to plan according to interest rather than package or price. Personalization of online travel planning embodies what once upon a trip made travel agents a valuable part of the travel equation. Source: Iconoculture 3
  4. 4. Alaska Airlines is running a Kids Fly Free to Southern California’s Disneyland Resort promotion. The offer is good from select West Coast cities and is part of a broader vacation package deal that must be completed by mid-June. Source: 4
  5. 5. Japan’s newly formed tourism agency has an ambitious goal: branding the country as a premier travel destination for the world’s wealthy. Japan formed the agency in October as part of a big push to nurture its tourism industry. A few weeks later, it invited 23 travel agencies from various countries to a conference called the Japan Luxury Travel Forum, promoting its most extravagant hotels and exclusive getaway spots, which government officials are hoping will entice the more affluent traveler. In another move to reach out to the affluent, the agency plans to place ads in luxury travel magazines and on high-end travel Web sites like “We felt we should target people whose plans aren’t affected by the economic situation,” who are likely to be more affluent travelers, says Daisuke Idesawa, an official of the Japan Tourism Agency. “Affluent travelers are attracted by extraordinary experiences. Above, a celebration of cracking open a sake cask,” said Idesawa. Source: The Wall Street Journal 5
  6. 6. Likely inspired by the popularity of Disney “hero,” Captain Jack Sparrow, pirate-themed destinations are getting hotter. Lured by history (or maybe the halberd axes, pistols and home-sewn underwear), consumers are investing in piracy as a serious pastime. In fact, there are 30 national re-enactment groups today, compared with only nine groups 15 years ago. For pirate enthusiasts, themed vacations are popular. Tybee Island, Georgia, officials estimate their local pirate festival brings in $2.6 million tourism dollars. Cayman Islands’ 11-day annual “pirate invasion” is chock-full of entertainment venues, costumes, games and fireworks. The learn-a-little/live-a-little combo vacation offers something for everyone and every interest level. Themed trips offer the epitome of traveling: escape from reality, new experiences and, of course, a little pretend play. Source: Iconoculture and Disney (picture) 6
  7. 7. Conde Nast Traveler, has launched a mobile Web site featuring a global tipping guide. Sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the Conde Nast Traveler Tipping Guide offers gratuity etiquette advice to travelers. Mobile users can visit the site and search for the local tipping custom by country. A spokesperson said “Conde Nast Traveler is the leading travel publisher in the world and consistently hears from our readers questions about tipping from around the globe; where to tip, who to tip and how much to tip?” Source: and Corbis (picture) 7
  8. 8. Expedia Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc., has introduced a new behavioral marketing product called PassportAds, which gives advertisers an effective way to reach in-market travel consumers throughout the trip purchasing lifecycle. reaches 50% of all online travel shoppers, allowing PassportAds to deliver unparalleled reach to this highly qualified audience across the Internet using anonymous visitor data. The first program of its kind in travel advertising, PassportAds anonymously identifies in-market travelers through quot;explicitquot; search behaviors, such as a search for hotels in Hawaii. PassportAds then uses this anonymous search data to build segments of highly qualified travel shoppers, and targets them with controlled frequency throughout their decision-making lifecycle. Unlike typical contextual buys, advertisers can appear in front of these audience segments anywhere online. Source: AP News 8
  9. 9. New online booking service RideCharge believes receipts are just extra baggage for the business traveler. RideCharge users can book taxis, sedans and shuttles online or via mobile phone. Fares can be paid using the same method, so cashless cab riders don’t have to head for the nearest ATM in order to make good on their fare. RideCharge amps the convenience factor even more with its E- receipt system, ensuring any traveler expensing their fare back to company headquarters needn’t waste time asking for a receipt. The busy business traveler has enough on their mind without worrying about small details like having cash on hand or saving receipts for reimbursement. RideCharge joins the online travel bandwagon with simple solutions that merge convenience and travel technology. Source: Iconoculture 9
  10. 10. Newspaper writer Paul Smith is looking for a tweet deal. The U.K. resident hopes to utilize the power of Twitter to travel around the globe in 30 days. The self-imposed rules: Housing options are procured by Tweet alone • He can only plan three days ahead • Money is just for food and drink • Must choose among Tweet offers within 48 hours • Stuck with no transit help extended after two days? Mission over • Smith’s adventure spotlights utilizing a virtual network in a real-world application. More consumers are cultivating virtual relationships (personal, professional and even with brands) that have a visceral impact on their everyday life. Source: Iconoculture 10