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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cruise Lines Ramp Up Kid-Friendly Features as Family Market Soars (by Fran Golden of Travel Market Report)

Family Travel continues to dominate industry market news. Another story just published came out on the topic, this one about family travel cruising.

To read the full story by Fran Golden (and published by Travel Market Report), click here:

Below are a few excerpts from the very insightful article above:

Carnival Cruise Lines hosted 710,000 youngsters on its 24 ships in 2012 and expects 725,000 kid passengers in 2013. Those numbers represent records both for the cruise line and the industry, according to spokesman Vance Gulliksen.

Royal Caribbean had about 450,000 kids under age 18 on its 22 ships last year, according to spokesman Harrison Liu.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINEAt Norwegian Cruise Line, about 200,000 kids sailed on its 11 ships last year, and that number has grown nearly 30% over the past few years, according to Camille Olivere, senior vice president of sales, Americas.
About 42% of the kids on Norwegian are teenagers, she said. "We're definitely seeing an increase in this market. On average, between 15% to 20% of guests on each cruise are part of a multigenerational travel group," Olivere said. Families are now the second largest cruising segment, behind only the 55-plus age group, she added.

Selling the family travel market (Travel Weekly)

Kaleel Sakakeeny of Travel Weekly published a story on the recent Family Travel Conference that was held in Dallas, TX.  Sakakeeny opened up the article by writing:

"The family/intergenerational travel trend that emerged following 9/11 is still going strong more than a decade later. About 44% of adults bring children (and grandchildren) along on leisure travels, and taken as a group, they take more trips per year (4.5) than business travelers (3.9), Gen Y (3.9) or Gen X travelers (3.5), according to the 2012 Portrait of American Travelers (MMGY Global/Harrison Group)."

To view and read the full Travel Weekly story click here:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

NTA holds first forum for family, adventure travel

 (Forimmediaterelease.net) ORLANDO, Florida -

NTA broadened its convention focus on specialty markets by hosting the association’s first Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum. The session was held during Travel Exchange, an appointment and trade show held here in conjunction with the United Motorcoach Association through Jan. 24. The five-day event also features the Faith Tourism Leaders Forum, the Hispanics in Travel Caucus, and a Destination Leaders Forum.

“With such a goldmine of industry and market leaders in one association, it only makes sense to bring you together so you can strategize, do business and lead the industry together,” Jim Reddekopp Jr., NTA chairman and CEO, told the 75 delegates at the forum, “By answering these questions as a group, we position each of our organizations for even greater success.”

The session featured Nancy Schretter, managing editor of Family Travel Network, who told participants they are missing opportunities for growth if they limit their definition of family travel to two parents with children under 12.

“I propose we define it as any combination of family members traveling together, regardless of age,” Schretter said, “It’s the bonding experience that’s important.”

Bonding can also play a role in adventure travel for groups, said Keith Baron of Abercrombie&Kent USA during a panel discussion, “When like-minded people come together, they can build a bond very quickly.”

Baron said that people often think of adventure travel as involving strenuous physical activity, but it can also include connecting with cultures of different countries as well as travel to extreme destinations. He was joined on the panel by Bart Donnelly of Travel Alberta and Debra Asberry of Women Traveling Together. After hearing from the panel and Schretter, participants generated ideas for further developing niche markets. NTA will compile those ideas and suggestions, distribute them to participants, and use them to develop more programs and education.

NTA Addresses Shift to Younger, More Diverse Tour Market (by Robin Amster with Travel Market Report)

Below is article by Robin Amster of Travel Market Report that does outstanding job of recapping the diverse tour markets represented and discussed at this past week's Travel Exchange convention hosted by NTA and UMA in Orlando, Florida.  Here is full story below and link to original article:

The younger and more diverse nature of the tour market took center stage at the National Tour Association’s annual Travel Exchange, which presented sessions on faith-based, family, adventure, culinary and Hispanic travel.

“We supply our members with the tools for success, and that often means entering underdeveloped markets,” NTA president Lisa Simon said at the conference, which ends today.

This year’s exchange, held at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, was the first combined event with UMA, the United Motorcoach Association. The event drew 1,800 NTA members and 1,800 UMA members.

Significant market changes
Along with the importance of entering new niches, Simon noted significant changes in NTA’s markets. Five to 10 years ago, 85% of NTA clients were seniors, compared to 30% now.

“We’re also seeing a continuing reduction in group size and length of tours, as well as a lot more customizing of tour products,” Simon said.

This was the second year NTA addressed faith-based and Hispanic travel with a Faith Tourism Leaders Forum and Hispanics in Travel Caucus. The organization introduced its first Family Travel and Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum this year.

Evolving faith-based travel
The faith-based travel market is changing, said Paul Larsen, CEO of Ed-Ventures. “Pilgrimages tend to be larger groups, but there’s a desire for smaller groups and for innovation.”

There’s also a lot of “cross-over” in faith travelers who’ve been abroad, to the Vatican for instance, and “want to get this experience closer to home,” he said.

Hispanic business development
Olga Ramudo, president and CEO of Express Travel, is a leader in the Hispanic travel sector. Ramudo chairs the NTA-ASTA Hispanic Business Development Task Force, which she called “a historic alliance.”

Those who want to capture this business must have staff who understand and know how to communicate with the market, are familiar with the cultural nuances and can help with product development and promotion, according to Ramudo and other specialists.

Family matters
Families are the fastest growing leisure travel market, according to Nancy Schretter, founder and managing editor of the Family Travel Network.

Forty-four percent of all leisure travelers brought kids along on their trips in 2012, up from 26% in 2000, according to the 2012 Portrait of American Travelers Survey from MMGY Global.

Schretter advised those who want to sell this market to discard the stereotypical image of families as “two parents with kids under 12 years old.”

“It’s important to focus on a broader definition of family as any combination of family members traveling together, regardless of age,” she said.

Wider adventure options
Specialists in the adventure travel field also recommended broadening the focus of adventure travel to include less strenuous physical activities, like walking instead of hiking, as well as experiences that immerse travelers in local cultures.

Debra Asberry, president and founder of Women Traveling Together, said her clients are often intimidated by the more extreme adventures but are comfortable with softer adventure travel experiences offered in a supportive atmosphere.

‘Everyone has to eat’
Food and wine, meanwhile, provide “tangible examples of what’s unique about a destination,” said Laura Mandala, managing director of Mandala Research LLC. Culinary experiences bring increased spending and length of stay on tour programs, she added.

Erik Wolf, president and CEO of the World Food Travel Association, stressed the importance of culinary experiences in travel. “Eating and drinking are 100% participatory,” he said. Clients don’t have to go to a museum or a particular attraction or shop, but everyone has to eat, he said.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The PANK market a promising one in generational travel (Travel Weekly; written by Nadine Godwin)


Title: The PANK market a promising one in generational travel
Published by: Travel Weekly
Written by: Nadine Godwin

Godwin writes a fascinating article on an insightful term that I've never seen nor heard before in tourism.  And that term and word is "PANK".

Godwin writes in her story:
"PANK is an acronym for  'professional aunt, no kids,' but it really embraces any career woman who doesn't have children of her own but who loves to travel and enjoys sharing the experience with young relatives or acquaintances."

And Godwin further writes:
"PANKs are everywhere, and many travel with their nieces, nephews, godchildren or the children of friends. Travel sellers should pay attention to them -- or at least that's what market researchers are telling retailers of all kinds, because PANKs spend a lot of money on children who are not their own."

To read Godwin's full story about PANKS and how travel companies, destinations and suppliers can learn more about them and cater to them, click here:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

US firms in cultural pitch for Chinese tourist dollars (BBC Article by Jason Margolis)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Growth Markets to be Represented at Travel Exchange Convention in Orlando, FL (Jan 20-24)

Growth Markets to Popular NTA's Members Market Pavilion

Looking for new travel markets, products, suppliers or destinations? Along with your business appointments at Travel Exchange, you can visit the Member Markets MemberMarketsPavilionPavilion for more ways to expand your tour portfolio and clientele diversity. 

At this special area of the Travel Exchange show floor, you can collect resources on markets that range from faith-based to family to culinary tourism. Other markets-traditional, emerging and growth-are also represented by the Pavilion operators, suppliers and destinations. Here's a quick list of who you can expect to meet:

+ NTA Member Markets & Faith Tourism Booth: Visit with NTA staff members for insights about the diverse opportunities in packaged travel today—and pick up a complimentary Faith-based Tourism CD.

+ Israel Ministry of Tourism (sponsor of NTA Faith Tourism Booth): Meet with representatives from the Israel Ministry of Tourism and learn how you can enter or expand your market presence in the Holy Land.

+ Meander Travel (sponsor of Faith Tourism Leaders Forum): Here's your opportunity to explore new market, itinerary and product development opportunities in Turkey and the Middle East.

+ LutherCountry and Terra Lu Travel: LutherCountry is a beautiful part of Germany intertwined with Martin Luther's life, and Terra Lu Travel is an incoming operator specializing in group travel throughout Europe.

+ Visit Rhode Island: Rhode Island continues to meet tour operators' needs with an ever-growing array of culinary, family and adventure travel experiences.

+ Family Travel Network: Consult with Nancy Schretter, one of North America's top family travel experts; her Family Travel Network is an award-winning online magazine and industry resource.

+ World Food Travel Association: As the world's leading authority on food tourism, the association maintains an array of cutting-edge products and services.

+ Africa Travel Association: Meet with ATA personnel to learn how you can enter, expand or enrich your presence in the Africa travel market.

+ Black Meetings & Tourism: This award-winning, international trade publication is for and about the $40 billion-plus African-American group and leisure travel, incentives and meetings market.

+ China Travel Market: Learn how NTA has taken a leading role in facilitating Chinese inbound group travel and how you can tap into and benefit from these same efforts.

+ Hispanic Travel Market: Stop by to learn more about NTA's initiatives and how you can get involved with an ever-growing share of the packaged group travel market.

For more info visit NTA website or Travel Exchange website

Destination Leaders (Tourist Boards/Offices, CVBs) to Collaborate at Travel Exchange

Chief executives of destination marketing organizations will gather at Travel Exchange to discuss the challenges they have faced during a struggling globalOregonTeam2011 economy, its effect on packaged travel, and what solutions lie ahead.

"DMO budgets have been reduced-and sometimes eliminated-as governments cut back during the economic downturn," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "So our questions are: What strategies have organizations used and how can we work together to ensure a robust packaged-travel industry? That's what will result from this thought-leader discussion."

The Destination Leaders Forums comprise two sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 23: a 9 a.m. meeting for state and provincial leaders from North America, and a 2:30 p.m. session that brings together leaders of national tourism organizations. Helen Marano, vice president of government and industry affairs for the World
Travel and Tourism Council, will serve as moderator of both sessions.

"After our face-to-face forums, NTA will release our findings in a white paper," said Simon. "We'll also use this information to educate our members and enhance packaged travel."

For more information, visit NTA website or email NTA Headquarters.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Register for Seminar: Entrepreneurs in Travel (Jan 18 in Orlando, FL)

Come and hear Jim Reddekopp, National Tour Association Chairman & CEO, speak to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs on how to start your very own travel and tour company.  Visit Entrepreneurs in Travel on Facebook.

Reddekopp is a very successful and well-known travel industry entrepreneur who is founder of both Earth Bound Tours and Hawaiian Vanilla Company

The seminar will be held at the National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) on Jan 18 in Orlando, Florida.  NEC is home to multiple business support organizations, each providing a variety of free and low-cost business services to accelerate the growth and development of small businesses throughout Central Florida.

Topic: Travel Tour Business
Location: National Entrepreneur Center (Orlando, FL) - Venture Training Room/Strategy Training Room

Seminar Description:
Create Your Own Travel & Tour Company.  Looking for a new career?  Looking to travel, make yur own hours and be your own boss.  Come hear Jim Reddekopp - National Tour Association Chairman & CEO show you how to start your very own Travel & Tour Company.

For more information about the seminar itself, visit http://www.nationalec.org/ActivityCalendar/default.aspx.

National Entrepreneur Center
407-420-4848 (tel)
407-420-4849 (fax)
Orlando Fashion Square
3201 E. Colonial Drive Suite A-20
Orlando, FL 32803

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