Prospects for 2013

Thursday January 17, 2013

Germany on the rise in BRIC markets, the post–honeymoon phase of London 2012, Google glasses and cars, honey as a luxury seller to Russians and the unwillingness to cut back on holidays were all highlighted as things to look out for in 2013 at the Tourism Society’s ‘Prospects for 2013’ event held in London on January 15th.

The event, co-chaired by David Curtis-Brignell FTS (Chairman, The Tourism Society) and Sandra Matthews-Marsh FTS (CEO Visit Kent and Vice–Chairman of the Tourism Society) brought together an expert panel discussing trends and forecasts for the year ahead.

David Edwards FTS (Head of Research and Forecasting, VisitBritain) highlighted the increase in travel and spend among visitors from the Euro zone and America. There will also be new travel routes and larger capacity aeroplanes; however the number of runways will remain the same. Ben Livingstone (Associate Director, TRI Hospitality Consulting) explained that while RevPAR is up in Britain, GoPAR is down, and while 2013 will continue to bring London revenue as an international destination, provincial locations will be met with resistance to growth. Steve Lowy (CEO, umiDigital) focused on the importance of businesses being Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo). The ability for companies, particularly smaller ones, to be mobile friendly will be a factor as the use of ‘m-commerce’ grows in the travel sector, particularly with bookings.

Bernard Donoghue FTS (Director, ALVA) explained that visitors to attractions are in search of authenticity and connection to the history behind the attraction. Attractions have also begun to thrive as many visitors recognise the better value for money they offer over members’ clubs as places with excellent facilities to network and conduct business. Victoria Bacon (Head of Communications, ABTA) revealed that consumers are warming to the idea of booking all inclusive holidays and re-discovering booking via travel professionals in order to seek maximum value for their spend, a trend that is seen to be increasing among younger travellers. Also highlighted were destinations to be watched, which included Ethiopia, Tunisia and Croatia.

Event co-chair David Curtis-Brignell said “The excellent attendance at this annual Tourism Society event shows once again how keen tourism professionals are to hear from their peers how the different sectors can expect to perform over the coming year. There was a mix of positive and negative outlooks, perhaps to be expected after the excitement of 2012, but overall the industry continues to look healthy.”