This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

July 28, 2010

The Near-term Future of Global Travel

Tour and theme park operators, hoteliers, airlines, and other groups will soon be offering more tours and other services in (Brazilian) Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese to encourage more visitors from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRIC countries) to visit their destinations.

Last week, Global Advertising Strategies (GAS), an international marketing and advertising agency, released an extensive study. Exploring the consumer preferences of over 500 million travelers by polling over 15,000 people, the study revealed many travel details including their preferred airlines, top United States' destinations of interest, as well as the average budget per traveler.

GAS focused on non-traditional routes and destinations. Cities like New York and Los Angeles have been actively marketing to BRIC travelers through in-language materials, international travel expos, and partnerships with the airline industry for years. Unaware of the interest from this emerging travel audience, other destinations have not proactively marketed to these foreign segments. The study's findings reiterate the necessity of reaching out to this "new" travel audience and capitalizing on their growing interest in the US. The leading airlines already have direct routes between Moscow, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo.

Over 66 percent of the Chinese travelers surveyed noted a lack of in-language information for destinations outside of the New York and Los Angeles. The US destinations of interest that scored highest included Las Vegas, Washington, DC, and New Orleans. Vast majority of travelers from China expressed a desire to explore the United States, outside of the traditional New York - Los Angeles - San Francisco offerings. Unfortunately, they did not have enough knowledge to finalize such an itinerary. Also of particular interest was the desire of over 40 percent of Russian travelers who want to visit Houston's NASA Kennedy Space Center---if they can count on in-language materials.

With huge emerging middle classes in these particular countries, the potential and buying power of these BRIC consumers is incontrovertible. Convention and Visitors' Bureaus throughout the US will lead the charge by helping their members offer these in-language services. By inference, we will see more US students studying Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese to accommodate this growing need.

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