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LONDON–()– #SustainableTourismMarket–The global sustainable tourism market size will grow by USD 338.06 billion during 2019-2023.
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LONDON–()– #CulinaryTourismMarketShare–The culinary tourism market size will grow by USD 82.02 billion during 2019-2023.
The Italian Exhibition Group gave the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and its trade partners exposure to three international exhibitions dedicated to the travel industry from October 9 to 11, 2019 at Rimini Expo Centre.
The event brought together the 56th edition TTG Travel Experience, 68th edition of SIA Hospitality Design and 37th SUN Beach & Outdoor Style, exhibitions which gave the delegation from Seychelles significant insights into the Italian market as well as other tourism related topics.
The delegation from the small island nation was headed by the STB Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis and comprised of the Director for Italy, Turkey, Israel, Greece and the Mediterranean, Mrs. Monette Rose and two STB Marketing Executives, Ms. Rolira Young from the Head Office and Mrs. Yasmine Pocetti, based in Rome.
The Seychelles trade partners present in Italy were hotel representatives Mr Bertrand Moussa with the Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort team, Miss Wendy Tan representative from Berjaya Resorts Seychelles, Miss Serena Di Fiore on behalf of Hilton Hilton Seychelles Resorts and Miss Anastasia Zelkova representative from Savoy Resort & Spa Seychelles. On the DMC team were 7° South represented by Mrs Anna Butler Payette and Mrs Amanda Lang from Creole Travel Services.
This year’s event saw a significant international presence with representatives from 130 destinations including Seychelles and industry players from 85 countries worldwide.
The Seychelles stand presented vibrant displays of island scenery, with its delegation of STB officers, hotels and DMCs.
A special presentation organised on the first day, gave the Seychelles Islands more visibility at this event, showcasing the destinations’ products to the international delegations present.
Mrs. Francis, the STB Chief Executive seized the opportunity to update the Italian Tourism sector on recent developments and upcoming events in the Seychelles, such as 250th Anniversary celebrations and the increased national focus on sustainable tourism.
A series of business-to-business meetings with tour operators and media were also held at the stand, giving the delegation the chance to brainstorm ideas and discuss upcoming projects.
Mentioning the presence of the STB at the trio-event in Italy, Mrs. Monette Rose mentioned the prominence of the events and the evident increase in exposure for Seychelles and its participating partners.
‘We are very satisfied on how the fair went, with an 11% increase on visitors, this is a sign that the Italian market is still very active and interested in Seychelles, one of the top tropical destination in the Italian holidays dreams. TTG is the true gateway to the Italian tourism market’, said Mrs. Monette Rose, commenting on the exhibition.
She further mentioned that the TTG Travel Experience contributes importantly to the benefit of the tourism industry players in the Seychelles as it is a platform to not only market the destination, but also increase knowledge on the recent developments within the Italian trade.
During this year, a special project was dedicated to the main African Tourism Boards, uniting them all under one village at the trade fair.
For more news about Seychelles, please click here.
Russia’s Aeroflot has been once again named the Favorite International Airline in China. The award was given to Aeroflot for the third consecutive year at the Flyer Award Ceremony 2019. The award ceremony was held today in Shanghai, the economic capital of China.
The awards are supported by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Winners are selected by the jury and by votes from frequent flyers and travelers.
The awards recognize outstanding participants in China’s dynamically developing tourism market. Previous winners include leading global airlines, including carriers that hold Skytrax 5-Star Airline status.
Aeroflot retained the title of Favorite International Airline at the competitive Flyer Awards due to its key competitive advantages: high service quality and flexible fare policy.
“The recognition of Aeroflot as the Favorite International Airline in China is confirmation of the effectiveness of our strategic efforts in China,” Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev said. “We offer our customers a wide route network and one of the youngest fleets in the world. Millions of Chinese passengers choose our airline for affordable ticket prices, convenient transit via our hub airport Sheremetyevo and high-quality service. Further development of service on Europe-Asia transit routes – one of the most competitive aviation markets globally – is one of Aeroflot’s key goals, along with the active expansion of the domestic route network.”
Aeroflot’s convenient routes encompass four key locations in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Aeroflot continuously adds new services oriented at the Chinese market. Earlier Aeroflot signed a partnership agreement with Alipay, China’s most popular payment system.
Aeroflot’s official website has a Chinese-language interface. Passengers receive menus in Chinese, and the in-flight entertainment system is available in Chinese. Onboard announcements are made in Chinese and the menu offers a special Asian set.
Aeroflot consistently enjoys wide recognition and popularity among consumers in the Chinese market. In January, Aeroflot was named Best China – Europe Transit Airline at the 2019 Stars Awards in China.
Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) is returning to China to promote international tourism business. The appointment is at the Shanghai World Travel Fair (SWTF), one of the major tourism industry expos of Eastern China, the 16th edition of which is being held from 18th to 21st April.
Over 750 exhibitors from 53 countries and regions of the world are awaited at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
SWTF, co-organized by Europe Asia Global Link Exhibitions (EAGLE) – joint venture created by Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) and VNU Exhibitions Asia – and Shanghai International Convention & Exhibition Corp. Ltd (on behalf of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism), offers the sector’s trade members a unique business platform and, for the general public, an all-round insight on tourism products, all in the largest tourism region of the Chinese market, Eastern China (China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market, with 149.72 million outbound journeys and a 14.7% increase in 2018).
With over 15,000 trade members expected and a public of 50,000 visitors, the 2019 edition of SWTF will host a busy calendar of appointments and new features. Visitors will explore tourist destinations from all over the world, including Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Cuba, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. SWTF will highlight the entire tourism chain, starting with tourist offices, travel agencies and tour operators, OTA, hotel, airlines, theme parks and resorts, as well as travel services and insurance companies.
On a professional level, SWTF reconfirms its role as a great opportunity for matching to all effects. Over 3,000 B2B appointments with selected buyers from all over Eastern China will take part in the events and the panel scheduled on the latest trends in outbound tourism, organized in cooperation with China Travel Agent. Regarding this, an exclusive B2B area has been realized, which will be accessible to the sector’s trade members exclusively via a face detection system, in order to ensure the quality of the meetings with international suppliers.
Emerging destinations, digital marketing, developments on visa policies and MICE, are just some of the issues that will be covered in the panels by the sector’s opinion leaders, ready to share their successful case histories with the public. Plus, among the speakers, there will also be representatives of the top management of companies such as Ctrip, Tuniu, Uzai, Spring Tour and Tongshen Group, as well as the directors of the Tourism offices of New Zealand, Switzerland and Serbia with branches in Shanghai.
Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis, came aboard to the Esquire Q&A Studio at Dubai Media City for the third Esquire podcast last April 11, 2019 to speak about the tropical destination-Seychelles.
The podcast centered about the Middle East tourism market’s relevance, destination wedding in Seychelles and Seychelles as a sustainable tourism destination. It was followed by media interviews with journalists from Esquire, Rake, CEO and Arabian Business.
The STB Office in Dubai was in collaboration with Esquire Middle East, the leading men’s magazine in the Middle East and local partner Six Senses Zil Pasyon hosted a networking event last weekend at the Palace Downtown outdoor viewing deck under the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa and with the views over the Dubai Fountain.
The event saw the presence of STB Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis and Esquire Middle East Editor Matthew Baxter-Priest along with dapper Esquire readers and the leading names in travel industry.
The astonishing location at The Palace Downtown’s Viewing Deck let guests enjoy stellar views while discussing their favorite travel destinations.
During the evening, Six Senses Zil Pasyon, an all-villa hideaway on a pristine private island, gifted two nights stay at the luxury boutique Indian Ocean Beach Resort.
Mrs. Sherin Francis mentioned her satisfaction to have featured on the third Esquire Podcast to talk about the destination, she further stated that the UAE and the Middle East is an important market for Seychelles and a constant presence on the territories is important for the destination.
“As a small destination it is important that we keep in touch with our clients, we constantly need to find innovative ways to push the Seychelles product. The UAE is only four hours away from the Seychelles and present a great opportunity for quick weekend breaks given we are well connected with double daily flights and we have no visa requirements which provides a great advantage for our visitors,” said Mrs. Francis.
Present at the event, Esquire Editor Baxter-Priest admitted that while he is constantly on the go, “the Seychelles is one of my favorite places. Sun, sea, sand and a whole lot more – it is a delightful place.”
The representative of the STB office in Dubai Ahmed Fathallah, who was present at the event, mentioned, “We are truly elated on the response for Seychelles from this region. The steady growth of interest and knowledge of the people from this region for the destination will not be possible without the help of our trade and media partners. In return and in line with the vision, Seychelles Tourism Board Office in Dubai will continue to implement activities that can gain continuous support and further the awareness for the destination in the region.”
The Palace Downtown regaled the invitees to the finest canapés and drinks, while some of the city’s finest DJs entertained them.
Viking Cruises and China Merchants Shekou, representing China Merchants Group, announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture focused on building a cruise line with worldwide cruise offerings for the Chinese cruise market.
This will be a wide-ranging partnership covering from product development to sales and marketing. Further, China Merchants Group’s shipbuilding subsidiaries will partner with the joint venture to design and build new ocean cruise ships dedicated to the Chinese market.
“China is a dynamic outbound tourism market, and we are pleased to be partnering with China Merchants Group in this joint venture to drive the development of the cruise industry – we see Viking’s way of cruising less as a trip and more as a lifestyle,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “For more than 20 years, we have led the industry in developing a fleet of ships and a range of cruise itineraries that we believe provide guests with the most comfortable and enriching way to explore the world. Our partnership with China Merchants Group will allow us to bring this Viking travel lifestyle to more Chinese travelers more quickly, satisfying the Chinese market’s unmet demand for a greater choice of sophisticated travel.”
“China Merchants Group treasures this cooperation with Viking. This is a full scale, multi-dimensional cooperation that covers all three main business sectors of China Merchants group,” said Gangfeng Fu, president of China Merchants Group. “Viking has gained tremendous experience in cruise operations and branding strategies during its 20 years of rapid growth. We sincerely hope that the alliance of the two powerful brands will create synergies and innovative business models that will lead the cooperation into a market-leading cruise brand.
Viking operates a current fleet of 78 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. China has been a part of Viking’s destination portfolio since 2003, and since setting up local operations in China in 2016, the company has seen strong momentum in its European river cruise product tailored for Chinese-speaking guests.
Tourism industry professionals from across Ontario will gather at Lang Pioneer Village in Keene this April for the second annual Rural Tourism Symposium. The one-day conference, with the theme “Redefining Success”, takes place 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, at the Peterborough County Agriculture Heritage Building at Lang Pioneer Village.
More than three million visitors visit Peterborough & the Kawarthas every year, including rural destinations such as Stoney Lake. Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development is hosting tourism industry professionals from across Ontario on April 11, 2019 for the second annual Rural Tourism Symposium in Keene.
Hosted by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) in partnership with Chatham-Kent Tourism, the event is also supported by Grey County Tourism, Simcoe County Tourism, Headwaters Tourism, Kawartha Lakes Tourism, and Kawarthas-Northumberland (Regional Tourism Organization 8).
There’s no question that tourism is an important economic driver in Ontario, particularly for rural communities. According to PKED’s director of tourism and communications Tracie Bertrand, Peterborough & the Kawarthas alone draws around three million visitors every year who contribute approximately $300 million to the local economy.
“Part of our region’s competitive edge is that we offer the best of vibrant city, complemented by rolling hills of farmland and famed Ontario cottage country,” Bertrand says. “There are more than a thousand tourism businesses located in our region, ranging from retail to restaurants and from accommodations to attractions.”
But the April 11 symposium is not just limited to Peterborough & the Kawarthas: it’s been specifically designed to raise the profile of tourism in rural Ontario, and will attract rural tourism stakeholders, destination marketing organizations, and tourism businesses from across the province.
“We’re hoping this event sparks conversation and builds momentum for rural tourism in the province of Ontario,” Bertrand explains. “Industry professionals, both locally and from away, will gain insight from our expert speakers to leverage efforts at the provincial and national level, capitalize on opportunities, and create partnerships for success.”
The symposium begins with a keynote presentation entitled “Leverage Your Reach with Destination Ontario” by Lisa LaVecchia, president and CEO of Destination Ontario.
Legally known as the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Destination Ontario is an agency of the Government of Ontario that markets the province as a preferred four-season tourist destination in a globally competitive tourism market. Under LaVecchia’s leadership, Destination Ontario has produced innovative and award-winning brand campaigns, including the ‘Epic Is ON’ campaign for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and the ‘Where Am I?’ campaign.
The symposium also includes:
A presentation by Beth Potter, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, entitled “Stronger Together. Presenting a United Front for Rural Tourism” on how tourism industry professionals can collaborate with the association to achieve success.
An “Agritourism Farm Table Chat” led by the Culinary Tourism Alliance’s director of food tourism innovation Trevor Benson who, along with special guests, will discuss how to build bridges between the agriculture and tourism industries.
A presentation by Jewel Cunningham, director of Ontario Waterways with Parks Canada, called “Partnering for Success”. Cunningham will describe how partnerships can create exceptional visitor experiences and powerful economic impact in even the smallest of communities.
A presentation entitled “Showcasing Rural Ontario to National & International Visitors” by David Robinson of Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission), a federal crown corporation that helps the Canadian tourism industry reach international markets. Robinson will explain how Canada measures up as a competitive hot spot for international travelers.
Finally, the symposium is also a stop on Canada’s national series of Tourism Town Halls, a partnership between the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Destination Canada, and local industry partners. The Tourism Town Halls provide an opportunity for small and medium-sized tourism businesses across Canada to better understand efforts being made on national tourism issues.
“This tourism town hall will be especially important given the announcement of last week’s federal budget and the importance it placed on tourism as a high-growth sector,” Bertrand says.
The Tourism Town Hall includes a panel discussion with representatives from Destination Canada, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, moderated by Michele Harris, director of economic and community development with the Municipality of Grey Highlands.
Reducing the negative impact on the environment is an important element of tourism, particularly in rural destinations, so sustainability is a focus of this year’s symposium. Rather than having print materials available at the symposium, information will be delivered digitally through a downloadable app. Waste, especially food waste, will be limited throughout the day and attendees will be encouraged to bring reusable water bottles and their own notepads or devices for making notes.
“We are excited to welcome tourism stakeholders from across the province and show them how we are redefining success in tourism in our communities,” Bertrand says. “We are equally excited to have our tourism operators come out and celebrate what makes our industry unique, right here in our own backyard at the Agriculture Heritage Building at Lang Pioneer Village.”
The Philippines air carrier, Cebu Pacific, will begin regular flights between Shanghai and Cebu starting April 15, 2019 as it boosts its route network from key tourism markets in North Asia to prime leisure destinations in the Philippines.
The new Shanghai route is also in line with the carrier’s plans to ramp-up capacity in its Cebu hub by as much as 20% in 2019. Flights between Shanghai and Cebu will run 6 times weekly (Monday to Saturday).
China is the fastest-growing tourism market of the Philippines, with destinations such as Cebu and other neighboring islands among the most popular. In 2018, Central Visayas—which includes prime tourist destinations such as Cebu, Bohol, Dumaguete and Siquijor – welcomed over 8 million tourists, of which 17% were Chinese.
Cebu offers direct connections to Siargao, Camiguin, Puerto Princesa and 19 other domestic destinations. Aside from Shanghai, Cebu Pacific flies direct between Cebu, Hong Kong and Macau in China, as well as Narita, Japan; Incheon, Korea; and Singapore.
Cebu Pacific operates flights out of 7 other strategically-placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan) and Davao. In 2018, CEB flew 20.3 million passengers on over 2,130 weekly flights across 37 domestic and 26 international destinations.
In the last decade or so, tourism has positioned itself as a critical variable in the development planning space and the development discourse globally. Today businesses, governments, international organizations as well as NGOs have established, or are establishing programs, initiatives and programs to facilitate tourism for development. Academic institutions have also been introducing, organizing or reorganizing ‘tourism’ as an important element of their curriculum. The University of the West Indies is no exception. Through its many courses, centers and institutes, the UWI has been preparing our Caribbean nationals for the expanding opportunities and benefits being presented by the growth of the tourism sector. But we have much more to do.
Tourism and Development
According to the UNTWO, WTTC, CTO, PATA and several other regional and global institutions, tourism has been recognized as that force, which accelerates human development, social and economic inclusiveness, increased entrepreneurship and self-employment, the generation of decent work, environmental sustainability and also support regional integration.
Indeed, the contribution of tourism to both national and regional development continues to be enormous and I dare say unmatched. Firstly, tourism is linked to the notion of a sustainable economy in several ways. The economic indicators show that Caribbean is the most-tourism dependent in the world, tourism is the main economic sector in 16 out of 28 Caribbean states and the total contribution of tourism to employment in the Caribbean is estimated at 2.4 million jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Annual Report for 2018. In Jamaica tourism employs one in every four persons.
Beyond direct employment tourism and hospitality there are vast indirect opportunities for supplying inputs to tourism enterprises catering to the visitor experience in areas such as accommodations, food and beverage, cultural and creative arts, entertainment and recreation, agriculture, manufacturing, banking and finance and foreign exchange.
Tourism is also linked to the preservation of heritage and culture through the concept of experiential tourism. Most tourists travel to have authentic experiences that require that they partake in activities and consume and acquire products/goods that are indigenous to the countries they travel. Tourism thus helps to preserve natural and cultural resources while generating revenues and incomes for local populations.
To unlock the potential of tourism to contribute to inclusive growth and development our main focus at the Ministry of Tourism is to find innovate ways to reduce economic leakage in the tourism sector and to improve retention. This mandate is already being executed through our Linkages Network which has been coordinating policies and strategies designed to strengthen linkages with other sectors of the economy particularly the agricultural and manufacturing sector, strengthen the benefits derived from the industry by local residents and communities and promote broader participation by nationals.
We however recognize that the competitiveness 0f the Caribbean destinations will significantly rely on how well we prepare our people for the emerging opportunities. If Caribbean destinations are to remain globally-competitive and increase their share of the global tourist market, we must find ways to unlock new sources of competitiveness and comparative advantage.
Traditionally the tourism sector has enjoyed one of the highest rates of labor mobility of any segment of the economy. However, many of the opportunities taken up by our citizens are those that require low skill and offer limited prospect for economic mobility. This fact is largely attributable to the fact that the majority of the tourism-related jobs are deemed to require low to medium-level technical skills. The global tourism market is however becoming increasingly differentiated and segmented. Consequently, the continued growth of Travel & Tourism in the region will depend on the right people with the right skills being available to meet this demand for additional human capital. And we at the MOT have been working to create a paradigm shift in the local tourism space which will see our citizens accessing more substantive jobs and I will discuss this some more in a minute.
Many trends are impacting the skills needed to perform competently in tourism-related jobs such as digitalization and virtualization, the need for sustainable behaviors & practices, the growth of non-traditional segments, the changing demographics of international travelers (more youthful, more specific), changing lifestyles and consumer demands and the need for data-driven policies. Technology has had a significant impact on tourism-related employment as well as supporting and changing how services are delivered. While technology has downgraded certain skills in the tourism sector it has upgraded other skills, particularly in the areas of marketing, information and communication. Caribbean destinations must recognize the differing preferences of a new generation of younger travelers and the growing importance of online services and marketing, especially through mobile internet. The future of tourism lies in the manipulation and exploitation of ICT capabilities such as big data, big data analytics, machine learning, blockchain technologies, the Internet of Things, robotics etc. We thus need to urgently capitalize on the opportunities for high-skilled employment that are being generated in the ICT-related fields in tourism.
The growth of non-traditional markets in Europe, Asia and Central America will require increased focus on cultural studies and the development of competencies in various foreign languages. The increased focus on data-driven policies to better understand the emerging needs of markets, to analyze trends and to predict future patterns means that tourism development strategy must increasingly emphasize research-based skills. The evolving tourism market will require modern managerial skills that can drive performance improvements in the sector by raising productivity through better staff planning and scheduling, employing new technology and improving employee motivation, thereby reducing staff turnover. Most importantly , we must equip our citizens with the competitive business management and marketing skills that are required to operate successful tourism enterprises in this globalized era.
In the current dispensation, the hospitality sector has to contend with negative perceptions of low wages and the lack of career opportunities beyond entry-level jobs. Studies have found that many university students have a peripheral view of tourism. There is oftentimes scarce information and misconceptions about the skills required as well as the opportunities for career development. National governments must take a lead in developing a long-term workforce development strategy. Ideally, such a strategy would be developed within the broader context of improving the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability, since the increasing demand for skilled labor will continue to present a major challenge in all countries. It is highly recommended that strategies and their implementation should be carried out with the private and education sectors and embrace agreed-upon commitments from the industry.
A robust institutional framework is needed to determine the education and training policies and programs that will support a more attractive labor market and business environment in tourism which will allow the industry to maintain a sufficient and highly-qualified workforce and hence support the enhancement of productivity in the industry. My view is that while formal qualifications are not always required in tourism, their existence, and a widely available opportunity to obtain qualifications and competency development in tourism may contribute to raising the prestige of the occupation and the sector in general.
A study by the WTTC revealed that Travel & Tourism’s human capital challenges are significantly higher than those faced in other sectors with most countries in study projecting to face a talent ‘deficit’ or ‘shortage’ in Travel & Tourism over the next ten years. Talent development will also prevent many high-skilled positions from being filled by migrant workers. Both public and private sector are thus encouraged to act now to address the anticipated talent shortage.
Given the robust nature of UWI’s tourism portfolio which was recently expanded with the recent launch of the region’s first Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, here at UWI, changes in the tourism space, new instruction technologies, the ever diversifying nature of tourism, it is time for the UWI to reimagine its tourism portfolio and consolidate its programs, courses, institutes, centers, etc. under one roof here in one of the Caribbean’s mecca of tourism (Montego Bay) with the establishment of a school or a faculty of Tourism.
Indeed, UWIs global recognition as a powerful intellectual institution will position the UWI to make an even more substantive contribution to the development of the region through such a Faculty or School. Certainly, this effort would have my support, and, although I cannot speak for my Caribbean counterparts, I am more than certain it would also have the support of the government of the region. More specifically, in keeping with the mandate of the administration that I am apart of, I reiterate my commitment to promoting a sustainable tourism product that advances the well-being of local communities and that incorporates more local talent in the delivery of tourism services.