Talking to the World Travel Market
November 21, 2002 -- Andrew Ward recently returned from the World Travel Market in London, England. This was the third year running that Cuscowilla\'s General Manager was asked by the GDITT (Georgia Department of Industry, Trade, and Tourism) to help represent the State on the Georgia booth.
Ward joined the International Global Marketing Director for the GDITT, Bob Harris, and International Director of Sales and Marketing for the Atlanta Conventions and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) Gabriela Gonzalez on the trip which gave Georgia exposure along with over 150 other Countries and States. The purpose of the annual trade show, which was held for the first time in London\'s new Excel Exhibition Center in Docklands, allows travel buyers from around the World to meet directly with the Worlds Travel Market and network with the Tourism Industry Leaders.
During the weeklong show, Ward met hundreds of potential clients interested in Georgia. \"While I had a responsibility to represent this wonderful State we all call home, I had ample opportunity to sing the praises of Georgia\'s Lake Country and of course, Putnam County\'s own Cuscowilla\", Ward says.
Some of the statistics that Ward learned at the Travel Trade Show included:
US and UK markets are expected to bounce back to pre 2001 tourism levels in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
The US suffered more than originally predicted following the 9-11 terrorists attacks, as experts wrongly predicted, an increase in cross-border traffic from Canada and Mexico outweighing the downturn in international visitors which failed to materialize as Canadian visitor numbers fell to the US by 24% and Mexican was down 31%.
As far as outbound travel from the US goes, the UK is set to be the first long haul and European market to recover.
The US travel and tourism industry is estimated to have lost $36 billion in just over 12 months since 9-11 (according to the Travel Industry Association of America or TIA).
The depressed business travel market in the US dropped further in 2002 by 4.3% according to TIA.
Recreational vehicle rentals rose 30% during the last quarter of 2001, due partly to the reluctance of people to fly within the US, but this level has been maintained throughout 2002, according to the US Department of Commerce figures.
Total spending by leisure and business travelers in the US is expected to improve from a forecast of $535.3 billion in 2002 to $560.1 billion next year, and another 5% gain projected for 2004. The record level of expenditure was achieved in 2000, when the total was $570.5 billion.
Ward continued, \"The World Travel Market is in its 23rd year, and despite World-Wide terrorism threats, over 5,000 companies were represented from over 180 different Countries. During the show, the World Travel Awards for 2002 were announced. \"Orlando\" was awarded North America\'s Leading Destination; and \"Paris\" was voted the World\'s Leading Destination! Finally, among many other destinations mentioned - those of you looking for a great overseas getaway may want to visit \"Casa de Campo\" on the Dominican Republic as it was voted the World\'s Leading Sports Resort!
Ward ends by confirming, \"The dark cloud over international tourism is going to take some time to move on. American travelers, touring America are clearly our best bet for 2003 but it\'s essential we keep a focus on the bigger picture too. If we can get more State funding to promote tourism in Georgia things may work out better, sooner rather than later…\" but that\'s a whole new story says Ward.
Statements, facts, and figures are taken from extracts in the Travel Weekly magazine, the official World Travel Market Daily.