It’s pleasant to be a tourist in the UK. Everything aroundyou is in English: signs, menus and information. If youneed to find out how to get to some interesting places youcan go to an information point, look on the Internet or justask passerby.But if you’re not a local, you probably will not be able toget on one of the most unusual and interesting attractionsin the UK: a hot air balloon flight.A hot air balloon flight is an incredible experience, despitethe restrictions present. We believe that this experienceshould be available for everybody.The aim of this research is to research how hot-air ballooncompanies could make their service more accessible.Adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the OpenGovernment Licence v.1.0 // www.ons.gov.uk
3Any service is meaningless without consumers. We decided to focus, therefore, onthese potential consumers. Some key questions are: who are they, where are theyfrom, how can companies attract their attention and what types of communicationschannels should be used.An analysis of the top 20 results on Google showed that hot-air balloon companiesfocus on local customers: § 90% of sites use booking with vouchers, which are usually sent by post. This system is only convenient for gifting purposes and inconvenient for tourists interested in the experience. § All sites are only in English. § Most of the sites require a good knowledge of local geographical names.The focus on local customers is now obvious: it is inconvenient and potentially im-possible for uninformed tourists to even book tickets!How can we fix this situation? Let’s consider overseas tourists as potential targetcustomers.NoteHot-air balloon companies have enough information about local consumers. Theyknow the geographic and temporal distribution of consumers, their age, gender,internet usage, presence in social networks, payment preferences and other charac-teristics.General streams of overseas tourists to the UKEuropean tourists provide the greatest source of tourism revenue, though US touristsare also important. If we analyse each country individually, we will see that Americantourists are first place in terms of money spent per capita.Fig. 1 Top 10 coutries by spending their residents on visits to the UK (2011)Fig. 2 Residents of the EU in whole tourist’s spendings on visits to the UK (2011)
4European tourists deserve special attention, not only because closeness to the UK.But also because they come to the UK more and more often (fig 3). Therefore theyspend more and more money. Meanwhile, the number of visits and spending Ameri-can tourists remain approximately at the same level.Fig. 3 Overseas residents visits to the UK:Visits per year Earnings at current pricesNoteFig. 3 confirm approximate equality between distributionof money spent by tourists, and frequency of their visits.Main flow of tourists to the UK is from the EU and the USA
5General streams of tourists in the WorldChina plays a special role in the world tourists flows. Aggregate stream of Chinesetourists is twice bigger than the flow of American tourists (fig. 4). Despite of the factthat Chinese tourists don’t spend much money yet, there is a trend of rapid andUK may attract much more tourists (largely dueto the tourists from China)stable increase in their travelling expenditures (fig. 5). Stream of tourists from China toUK is barely noticeable today (fig. 1, fig. 3) despite its potential.It is obvious thatUK have has aserious potentialto increase thetourists inflow(there are threetimes more tour-ists in neighboringFrance.0 20 40 60 80 100 Netherlands France Canada Italy Russian Federation Poland China United Kingdom United States Hong Kong SAR, China millions Fig. 4 Top 10 countries on number of inter-national outbound tourists departuresFig. 5 Expenditures of top 10 international outbound visitors in other countries0 20 40 60 80 100 120 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 $billion United States Germany United Kingdom France Japan Canada Italy Russian Federation Spain China Fig. 6 Top 10 countries on number of inter-national inbound tourists arrivals0 20 40 60 80 Russian Federation Malaysia Germany Turkey United Kingdom Italy Spain China United States France millions
6Seasonal variations of tourist streamsThe travel industry traditionally has a seasonal pattern: a large flow of customers inthe summer and a small stream of customers in the winter. This is true for all coun-tries, but with slight differences.The variation of tourists is determined by the formula: ,where «max» is maximum spending by overseas residents on visits to the UK,and «min» is minimum spending by overseas residents on visits to the UK.Fig. 7 Spending by overseas residents on visits to the UK by country ofresidence (2011)Tourists from Germany, Norway and Australia are especially variable dependent onthe time of year (almost 2 times higher in summer than in winter).Tourists from France and the Irish Republic react less strongly to the seasons .The total spending variation of European tourists (0.69) is one-third less than the vari-ation of the flow of tourists from the United States (0.92).max - minminThe flow of tourists from each EU country varies individually, butthe total flow from EU countries is relatively stableUSA USA USA USA Germany Germany France Australia Irish Republic 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 £million USA Germany France Australia Irish Republic Spain Italy Netherlands Norway Canada 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 (max-‐min)/min Fig. 8 Value fluctuations of spending by overseas resi-dents on visits to the UK by country of residence (2011)
7Distribution of tourist flow by the UKThe population of the UK is distributed unevenly across the country. Overseas tour-ists repeat this pattern: the vast majority of tourists go to England (90%).This ratio shifts within England. The majority of tourists travelling to England go toLondon (60%), although the population of London is only a fifth of the rest of Eng-land.Fig. 9 The population ofthe UKFig. 10 Spending by overseas resi-dents in regions of the UK (2011)Thus, the main point of attraction for tourists is London. But not just in its administra-tive boundaries. The suburbs of London are easily accessible to tourists as well. Forexample, approximately 700 000 overseas tourists visit Stonehenge each year (about80 miles from London).Fig. 11 Eighty-mile area around LondonLondon, and its surrounding eighty miles of suburbs, is thearea of the largest concentration of overseas tourist in UK
8Types of overseas tourists in the UKSo, we have two basic types of overseas tourists: § Visitors primarily to London: they tend to follow the standard tourist routes in and around London, without much thought. § Visitors to the UK: they choose a deliberate route and study local attractions.The internet is a very important channel of communication, regardless of the type oftourist. Data from Deloitte shows that 86% of overseas and 91% of domestic traveltransactions in the UK are now «digitally influenced».This means that, even if the final purchase wasn’t made online, almost nine in tentravel purchases are influenced in some way by digital channels such as websites,social media, peer reviews and smartphone or tablet apps.Data from TravelDailyNews shows that 45% of British and 53% of European respond-ents have used a mobile device to research their trip while in-destination.Location Peculiarity of touristsWays of tourists informing Solution of the problem gatheringa complete set of passengersType of touristserviceOfflineLondonOther UK§ High concentration of tourists§ Knowledge of local attractions§ Low competition with otherlocal attractions§ Major airports§ Major museums§ Subway§ Tourist information points§ Major airports§ Review websites§ Local tourist sites and theirversions for mobile devices§ Advertising in mobile applications (iOS, Android)§ Simplified interface bookingMass serviceExclusive serviceOnline§ To reduce tourists time gatheringbecause of the high concentrationof tourists§ Partnership with travel agencies§ To save running time of gatheringa complete set of passengersbecause of their preliminaryinforming§ Partnership with travel agenciesNoteThe importance of social networks is not evident despite the role of the internet.There are not well-established methods of working with social networks. Estimates ofsocial networks influence on tourists plans are varies from 1% to 60%.Therefore it is not necessary to invest a lot of money in social networks.Simultaneously, companies may monitor social networks for research purposes. Forexample, they can find people planning a trip to the UK and offer them their ownservices.Fig. 9 Characteristics of overseas tourists in the UK
Brain Storm AnalyticsBSAnalytics.comThus, overseas tourists are unfamiliar with the UnitedKingdom outside of London. This is potentially a signifi-cant market for tourism (including hotair balloon flights).