A tener en cuenta al elaborar el PM 2009
En fechas en las que comenzamos a pensar en el Plan de Marketing 2009, siempre es importante poder contar con la mayor cantidad de información posible acerca de la situación de nuestros mercados. Este articulo me cayó esta mañana y me gustaría compartirlo con todos ustedes.
Storm clouds gather over UK travel industry
By Roger Blitz, Leisure Industries Correspondent
Published: June 21 2008 04:54 | Last updated: June 21 2008 04:54
British holidaymakers, be warned: soak up the rays, sleep in longer and make the most of your summer holiday. It may be the last you have for a while.
If there is one industry that feels most keenly this week’s forecast of storm clouds ahead from Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, it is the UK travel sector.
Tour operators, theme parks, hotels and weekend break destinations have thus far successfully ridden the wave of uncertainty caused by inflation, oil price rises and market turmoil.
The reason? The British public made sure to book its holidays early – months before Mr King’s portent of doom from Mansion House. Such was the rush for bookings at the start of the year that Thomas Cook and Tui Travel, the big two tour operators, have reported far fewer unsold holidays than usual.
“The late discount market is not there,” said Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, the government’s tourism agency. “The market is reasonably well committed now.”
But the outlook for the travel market is decidedly uncomfortable. Up until now, evidence of the resilience of the holidaymaker has kept the industry cautiously optimistic. The tour operators have been happy to report that far from being discretionary, the holiday is the “must-have” item in the family budget.
Will that be the case next year? Asked to describe the mood across the industry, Mr Rodrigues laughed. “Some fingernails are beginning to look like the prime minister’s,” he said.
He added: “Anyone with any experience says it’s not going to be an easy 24 months. The overall mood and the reality of food price inflation means that next year will be tougher.
“The winter season could be tough, and spending money for weekend breaks will come under pressure.”
But Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group, said it was too soon to write off the weekend break. “If anything, the weekend break is an opportunity. People will have shorter breaks and you might see a change in the structure of holidays to-wards shorter breaks and long weekends.”
One way or another, British holidaymakers appear to have been limbering up for next year’s attack on their cherished vacations.
This year’s holidaymakers have been keen to avoid eurozone destinations where the value of the pound against the euro will tempt those who brave the Continent to make a round of drinks go a long way.
Many have taken the hint, judging by Cheapflights, the price comparison travel website. Top-10 searches of its website include New York and Orlando, made attractive by the pound’s strength against the dollar, plus Dalaman in Turkey and Dubai. Out of the top 10 go Paris, Majorca and Larnaca.
New destinations coming on to Cheapflights’ radar are Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and Tunisian destinations.
“People are more price-conscious, searching for deals and looking for flexibility,” said Chris Cuddy, Cheapflights’ chief executive. “They are saying to themselves, ‘I’ve got £200, where can I go?’ They are not saying, ‘I want to go to Rome, how much will it cost?’.”
If it is any comfort, the Brits are not alone. TripAdvisor, the travel information website, surveyed 4,000 people around the world, finding that almost 40 per cent were taking exchange rates into account before choosing their holidays.
“We are certainly seeing a great strength in European travellers coming to the US,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Expedia, the travel group which owns TripAdvisor.
But the impact of sterling’s weakness against the euro could be a boon for the UK’s domestic travel market, he suggested. “There is some weakness in the British market.
The pound’s weakness has affected some of the British travel we’ve seen. There is just less travel outside of Britain in general.”
Mr Rodrigues sees 2009 as the year of the domestic holiday. “Next year, we are going to be tasting some new experiences. Disposable income pressure by then will be very real, and that could be good for the domestic tourism market.
Travel to the eurozone may start to look really expensive. The message to the domestic market is: ‘sharpen up your act and sharpen up your product’. You may never have as good an opportunity as 2009.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008