Category Archives: Tourism News

Brits continue to flock to Turkey

Turkey’s tourism sector continues to escape the global economic downturn, rising one place in the UN World Tourism Organisation’s ranking of top ten most frequented countries by tourist arrivals, making it the 6th most visited country in the world.

In addition Turkey continues to go from strength to strength as one of the most popular and affordable holiday destinations for the UK. Last year alone Turkey welcomed some 2.6 million British visitors and the UK remains the 3rd most significant incoming market for Turkey.

As of September 2012, the number of arrivals from the UK has already surpassed the two million mark.

Recently, The Post Office Travel Money’s 2012 holiday Costs Barometer revealed that falling prices in Turkey have meant that prices are now on par with 2008.

Speaking at a WTM press briefing, under-secretary for the Turkish ministry of culture and tourism, Ozgur Ozaslan, said: “Turkish tourism has registered remarkable and consistent growth over the past two decades.

“In 1980, Turkey received 1.2 million visitors, a figure which has increased more than 26-fold over the past 32 years, reaching 31.4 million visitors in 2011.

“International tourism receipts increased a spectacular 60-fold, placing Turkey ninth position in the world for international tourism receipts according to the UNWTO.

“Latest figures indicate that Turkey’s growth trajectory will continue on its upward trend which is even more remarkable given the global downturn; as of September 2012, the incoming travel volume had already surpassed 25.7 million, exceeding the number of arrivals during the same period in 2011.

“Our target for 2023, exactly 100 years since the founding of the Turkish Republic, will be to achieve at least 50 million visitors annually and become fifth in the world for international arrivals.”

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Mexico experiences strong growth in Tourism

Mexican secretary of tourism, Gloria Guevara, has released the 6th government report on tourism, showing the destination has seen a 53% increase in investment in the market over the past 6 years.

This has been a crucial factor in Mexico experiencing the best year of tourism at any time in 2011, with 23.4 million international air arrivals documented.

The record chronicles a period of solid growth in tourism arrivals – both domestic and international – in addition to public and private sector investment in tourism over the past 6 years. Tourism, which makes up more than 9% of Mexico’s GDP, is a top priority.

The report details 5 key priorities, domestic tourism growth; international tourism growth; public tourism investment; private tourism investment and market diversification. Mexico has seen a 53.7% increase in private sector investment, from $12,833,000,000 pesos in 2001 to $20,200,000,000 pesos in 2012. Public sector investment has also seen a substantial improvement.

Between 2006 and 2011, the number of domestic and foreign tourists increased from 162 million to 191.5 million an increase of 18.2% and a record. The primary focus has been on diversification, focusing on consumers beyond the US and Canada in an effort to develop tourism to the region.

In terms of North American tourists, Mexico improved from 6,157,505 visitors in 2006 to 7,291,136 in 2011.

Guevara said that tourism, a corner stone of the Mexican economy, is truly a national priority.

The Government has forged a strategic alliance between legislators, bureaucrats, business, unions and academics, and thus established a solid basis to ensure the continued development of the industry.

Mexico aggressively pursued a market diversification strategy to reduce dependence on the United States market, attracting tourists from a wide range of other countries, including Brazil, China, Russia, Canada and Korea.

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Posted by on 08/10/2012 in Tourism News



European travel habits highlighted through research

Turkey has been recognised as the favoured holiday destination for Russian holidaymakers following research by IPK International ahead of ITB Berlin. On the other hand, when it comes to how often they visit the country this source market still has huge development potential.

In 2011, only 14 per cent of the 3.4 million holiday journeys undertaken by Russians to Turkey showed a 4th return visit or more, whilst the number of first-time visitors was 48 per cent. Some 37 per cent of Russians have previously visited Turkey on two or three occasions.

These are the latest conclusions of the World Travel Monitor, a special survey carried out by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin. One of its objectives was to find out how often Russians, Germans and Britons selected a particular country for their holidays (excluding trips to relatives and friends).

Depending on how often they visited a destination travellers were divided into three categories: newcomers, explorers (first or second-time visitors) and regular guests (four or more visits).

Turkey is also a favourite with German holidaymakers.

In 2011, 1.5 million (41 per cent) of the 3.8 million holiday trips undertaken by Germans to Turkey represented a 4th visit or more.

Out of the 2.2 million trips taken by Britons to Turkey 31 per cent were trips by newcomers and 32 per cent trips by frequent guests respectively. Visits by “explorers” represented 38 per cent.

Commenting on the survey’s conclusions, Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin, said: “The number of times a country is visited is a very important sign of how popular a destination is.

“Holidaymakers who repeatedly travel to the same country are a measure of overall satisfaction with tourism services.

“In order to maintain that situation those destinations must constantly adapt to travellers’ needs.”

The results of ITB Berlin and IPK International also indicate that Germans are regular visitors to the Netherlands. Some 63 per cent of Germans’ trips to their neighbours represented a 4th visit or more.

Austria and Italy were ranked 2nd and 3rd amongst the nations that were regularly visited. Conversely, Germany is the preferred holiday location of Scandinavians, mainly of Norwegians. A total of 64 per cent of Norwegians are devotees of repeated visits to Germany. Amongst Danes this proportion is 55 per cent and among the Dutch it is 54 per cent.

France is highly ranked amongst Britons, 48 per cent of whom take their vacations just across the Channel. Russians also prefer to visit their neighbours. Some 50 per cent of Russians were identified as having taken their vacations 4 times or more in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

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Posted by on 26/09/2012 in Tourism News


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Mobile App for shopping in Bangkok

Visitors travel from all over the world to shop in Bangkok. In recent years Bangkok has become the best place in Asia to shop. The choice is excellent, the prices good, and whether you want gleaming, modern, air-conditioned malls or the hustle and bustle of its famously buzzing street markets, Bangkok has it all. The problem has been how to sort out where to go and what to buy. A new app, Bangkok Bargain Shopping, available for Android and iPhone devices, has solved this problem.

Experienced travel writer and author, Len Rutledge, has investigated the highs and lows of Bangkok’s shopping options. The result is an app which gives shopping advice about costs and prices, bargaining, VAT refunds and getting around. It then details the things to buy and gives descriptions of the major shopping areas of the city. There are then details of 16 shopping malls, the best markets and some specialty shops which can complete your shopping experience.

Addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites are given and each location is shown on a map. This truly is your perfect Bangkok shopping companion. It can save you a great amount of time and hundreds of dollars by showing you where to go and what to do. There are words, photographs, video and maps. We only wish we had this advice when we first went to Bangkok!

The app has been created by the author himself using map2app, an amazing web-based platform for turning travel content into a mobile app. It is free to use and it is the perfect tool for non-developers who have great local content and want to transform it into a mobile travel guide. This revolutionary product was launched few weeks ago and has already been adopted by many professional travel writers who created more than 60 travel guides… is this brand new tool going to disrupt the travel apps market?

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Disney Co bails out Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris has been forced to secure a refinancing deal with the Walt Disney Company as debts continue to mount.

Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Co is the majority shareholder in Euro Disney, with a 39.8 per cent stake.

Philippe Gas, chief executive of Euro Disney, said in a statement: “This refinancing will enable us to reduce our financing costs and give us greater investment and operational flexibility.

“This is a key step in the development of our resort that we pursue for the benefit for all of our stakeholders. I strongly believe this will be highly beneficial to the company, its cast members and shareholders.”

Disneyland Paris has debts totally €1.7 billion. The new financing will be composed of term loans totalling €1.2 billion and a €100 million standby revolving credit facility which will run until 2017.

Gas added: “The Walt Disney Company, with this transaction, reaffirms its continued confidence in Disneyland Paris which has successfully become, over the past 20 years, the number one tourist destination in Europe.”

Disneyland Paris will repay €217 million of debt principal over the next five years, according to a more gradual repayment schedule that will provide for €225 million of additional cash flow.

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World Travel Awards winners revealed in Turks & Caicos

Leading travel brands from across the region have shared top honours at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2012 hosted at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa this evening.

A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from more than 30 nations to attend the event, which was supported by Turks & Caicos Tourist Board and Scotiabank.

It was an evening of travel triumph for nations across the region.

St Lucia won the coveted title of “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination”, Coco Reef Resort (Tobago) picked up “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel”, while Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island (British Virgin Islands) was voted “Caribbean Leading Private Island”.

Buccament Bay Spa & Resort (St Vincent) nudged ahead of The Hotel Chocolat (St Lucia), Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro (Dominican Republic), The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort (Tobago) and Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort (Dominican Republic) to win “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel”.

Jamaica’s continuing rise up the global tourism order was acknowledged after it was named “Caribbean’s Leading Destination”.

In North America, Las Vegas saw off competition from New York, Miami, San Francisco, Montreal and Vancouver to win the coveted title of “North America’s Leading Destination”.

New York won the “North America’s Leading City Break Destination” title, while American Airlines was voted “North America’s Leading Airline”.

Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) was voted “South America’s Leading Destination”, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Easter Island (Chile), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Machu Picchu (Peru).

The WTA awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

WTA president Graham Cooke underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across the region.

He said: “Our winners are also drawn from the breadth of the Caribbean & The Americans and , reflecting the strength and depth of the region’s travel and tourism sector.

“I am sure these organisations will fare strongly in our Grand Final, which takes place in New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

“The ceremony has also served as a glittering spotlight for Turks & Caicos – a paradise nation that has welcomed a record number of tourist visitors over the past year.

“This is testament to its overwhelming natural attractions, its luxury hospitality facilities and its rich local heritage.”

Rising Caribbean star and the reigning Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre hosted the show with American actor and comedian Walt Willey.

Some of the Caribbean’s finest vocalists, including Shawn Campbell and Elroy Simmons, performed to the packed audience.

Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, added: “We are honoured to receive the highest number of awards in Sandals Resorts’ history.

“We always strive for excellence, and continue to invest in our product so that each year we can be proud to say we are the Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand.”

Other WTA Grand Tour 2012 regional heats include Dubai (UAE), Algarve (Portugal), and Singapore.

The winners of these legs will go head-to-head in WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon on December 12th 2012.

Ralph Higgs, director of tourism, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, concluded: “The Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board congratulates the winners and the nominees for this year’s World Travel Awards.

“With another 30 nations represented at these awards, we hope that each of you will take a piece of our islands home with you, etched in your memory forever.

“Congratulations again and we do hope to see you here in the future as we celebrate and acknowledge the brightest and best in the global hospitality industry.”

World Travel Awards

WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry.

Now celebrating its 19th anniversary, it is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could hope to receive.

WTA’s global media partner network includes International Herald Tribune, CNBC Arabiya, Newsweek, ASTA Network, National Geographic Traveller, Access New York, Travel & Leisure China, Khaleej Times, Trade Arabia, TTN, Trav Talk India, Publituris, ABTA Magazine, Outlook Traveller, Breaking Travel News, eTurboNews and Travel Daily News International.


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Middle East protests against US impacts on tourism

Travel and tourism could be impacted as violent protests continue in the Middle East, following the release of a US film depicting Islam in a negative light. Seven people were killed in the rallies on Friday, according to reports.

The film, entitled ‘innocence of Muslims, portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and leader of a group of violent men, was distributed online with an Arabic voice-over.

Protests broke on Tuesday targeting US embassies in the Middle East in response to the release of the clips online

Three people were killed in the US embassy in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, according to reports. Meanwhile two people were killed in Tunisia with one death reported in Egypt and one in Lebanon.

The UK embassy was also targeted by protesters but was not badly damaged and no injuries were sustained.

Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed “I am glad to say that all UK and Sudanese staff present during the attack are safe and that no injuries were sustained. All other UK staff in Khartoum are also accounted for,”

“This event is a reminder of the dangers that our diplomats around the world sometimes have to face.

Our travel advice has been updated to reflect today’s events and we advise British nationals to avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people, and keep themselves informed of developments, including by regularly checking the FCO website,” he added.

The protests also spread to London where up to 200 Muslims marched to the US embassy, according to reports.

While the origin of the film and its motivation is still unknown, as developments unfold in the Middle East and violence escalates, this volatile region could be dealt a blow to tourism,

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Posted by on 16/09/2012 in Tourism News


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