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July 2005 Travel Newsletter

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  • Canadian travel news
    Canadians staying close to home this summer
    Inbound trips to Canada
    Canadian RevPAR
  • International travel news
    China to become leading tourist destination
    Greece, counting on post-Olympic boom, now faces tourism bust
  • Regional News
    Iceberg drought cools Newfoundland tourism
    Jumbo jet to service expanded Moncton-Paris flight
  • Internet info
    More vacationers will pack laptops
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner
    Protecting your business

Canadian travel news

Canadians staying close to home this summer
43% of Canadians plan to take a summer vacation this year, and staying closer to home appears to be on the travel itinerary, according to the results of a recent Scotiabank study on travel intentions.
The survey highlights that Canada, rather than the United States or overseas, is the preferred travel destination of choice. While Ontario (12%), British Columbia (9%) and Quebec (8%) are the top travel destinations, the survey indicates that a significant number of Canadian travellers intend to vacation in their home province.
"This is good news for the Canadian tourism and travel industry", said Aron Gampel of Scotiabank. "The industry is now recovering from a multi-year slump caused by a variety of health-related ailments, rising gasoline costs, and even the NHL lock-out".
The poll suggests that Canadians expect to spend an average of $2,500 on their summer vacation, with transportation and accommodation costs accounting for the biggest share of expenditures.
While on vacation, 33% of Canadians are planning to do some sightseeing, 23% will be catching up with relatives and 21% will be spending time in the great outdoors, including camping. Other activities include visiting friends (12%), shopping (6%) and going on a cruise (5%).
"The travel and tourism industry is an important part of the domestic economic landscape, employing over half a million Canadians in a wide range of services, from transportation, accommodation, and food & beverage services, to arts & entertainment," said Gampel.
"Canadians alone spent almost $38 billion on domestic tourism-related activities last year."

Inbound trips to Canada
Compared to the same month one year earlier, the total number of trips to Canada in April 2005 decreased 7.3% to 2.36 million trips. Most of this decline can be attributed to a 13.9% decrease in overnight automobile trips from the U.S.
Following twelve consecutive monthly increases, total overnight travel to Canada decreased 7.1% in April 2005 compared to April 2004, reaching just over one million trips. This includes overnight trips from the United States (-10.0%) and from overseas markets (+3.8%). From the United States:

  • In April 2005, the volume of overnight travel from the U.S. decreased 10.0% to 806,200 trips, compared to April 2004. Overnight auto travel decreased 13.9%, while non-auto overnight travel volumes dropped 3.3%.

The decline in travel from the U.S. in April 2005 is mainly due to the increasing cost of fuel, which resulted in a loss of over 78,000 overnight auto trips to Canada when compared to April 2004. Overnight air travel from the U.S. also took a hit, declining by more than 10,000 trips.
From all other countries:

  • The total number of trips from overseas destinations increased 3.8% in April 2005 compared to April 2004, as more than 252,000 overseas residents visited Canada.
  • Overnight trips from overseas visitors also increased 3.8% compared to the same month one year ago, reaching almost 244,000 trips.
  • In April, almost all overseas regions posted increases when compared with the same month last year: South America (19.4%), Asia-Pacific (11.5%) and Europe (1.9%). However, tourist travel from Mexico decreased by 27.6%.

For the first four months of 2005, trips from Asia-Pacific to Canada experienced a 12.1% increase, Europe recorded gains of 11.9%, and Mexico recorded a 13.7% increase.
For overseas travel to Canada, the year-to-date total for 2005 represents the second highest level in the past five years (875,900 trips).

Canadian RevPAR
Latest lodging report (week ending July 2nd) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).

Province RevPAR*
Alberta $103.05
British Columbia $116.27
Manitoba $61.42
New Brunswick $67.02
Newfoundland & Labrador $112.22
Nova Scotia $83.20
Ontario $94.71
Prince Edward Island $69.81
Quebec $91.05
Saskatchewan $60.82
Canada $77.44

*RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.


International travel news

China to become leading tourist destination
China's tremendous economic growth over the last decade is forecast to continue as the country prepares for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Tourism, which has played no small part in this growth, now accounts for about 7% of China's GDP and is expected to make up 11% of GDP by 2020. The World Tourism Organization forecasts that China will become the leading tourist destination in the world by 2020.
Chinese get the travel bug, too.
China's contact with the rest of the world has expanded since the late 1970s, allowing the release of pent-up demand for travel abroad. Between 1992 and 2004, the number of Chinese outbound tourists jumped from 2.93 million to an estimated 28.8 million.
An important factor strictly controls which countries Chinese leisure tourists can visit - the government's designation of Approved Destination Status (ADS). At present, Chinese tourists can only visit ADS countries in group tours run by designated tour operators in the ADS country. China has granted 65 countries ADS.
The latest ADS country is Great Britain, assigned in January 2005. China and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on December 6, 2004, to grant the United States ADS. The MOU stipulates that Chinese citizens will be able to travel to the United States no later than the end of 2005. A US tour will cost about ¥25,000 ($3,019), and tourists will have to pay a refundable deposit of ¥100,000 ($12,077) to qualify for travel to the United States.
In January, Canada was given approval to obtain the ADS designation - a process that can take upwards of a year.

Greece, counting on post-Olympic boom, now faces tourism bust
George Tsakiris, who owns 3 hotels in Athens, says he and other hoteliers spent €1.5 billion (US$2 billion) to renovate and supply rooms with new furniture, televisions and Internet connections on a bet the 2004 Olympic Games last summer would power tourism for years to come. The Greek government spent €10 billion on a new airport, subway and rail system and venues to prepare for the Games. Instead, hotel occupancy plunged 7% in the fourth quarter to 57%, the lowest among 11 of Europe's biggest cities, according to a study by Athens-based consulting firm JBR Hellas Ltd. London had the highest occupancy, at 77%.
The number of visitors to Greece fell 3% last year, according to the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises.
The decline is a blow to a nation that relies on spending by tourists for about 6% of its gross domestic product. Spending to prepare for the Games helped boost economic growth to 4.2% last year while swelling the country's budget deficit to 6.1% of GDP and increasing its total debt to 111% of GDP, both the highest in the European Union. GDP growth will slow to 2.9% this year, according to the European Commission, the EU's economic overseer.
"The advantage of the Olympics is over and finished,'' says Bart Daenekindt, who manages about €30 million in Greek stocks at KBC Asset Management in Brussels.
Vancouver/Whistler take note.

Regional News

Iceberg drought cools Newfoundland tourism
There is a dearth of icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland this summer and Mother Nature is to blame.
The azure monoliths are a major tourist draw for the province, where the ocean currents carry them from the glaciers of western Greenland into "Iceberg Alley" along the eastern coast of Newfoundland.
The easternmost province is the most accessible point in North America to view icebergs, some the size of hockey arenas, towering several storeys above the ocean surface. They can pass a stone's throw from shore, even become grounded in the thousands of shallow bays from St. Anthony to St. John's. But prime iceberg season is coming to a close and there's been less than a handful this year, said Gus Young, operator of Twillingate Adventure Tours.
"It's one of our worst seasons so far," Young said from Twillingate, 400 kilometres northeast of St. John's. "We had one earlier in the season but that's long gone."
Young and dozens of other rural tour operators check the ice charts every day, watching the dots where the Canadian Ice Service believes the bergs are hiding. Luc Desjardins, the service's acting manager of forecasting, does not have good news for them. "They're nowhere near the coast," Desjardins said from Ottawa. There weren't many in Canadian waters to start with this year, and a winter storm pushed most floes into the north Labrador coast, he said. As many as 190 are stranded along Labrador, grounded on rocky shoals beyond sightseeing range. Others are riding the wrong ocean current out into the North Atlantic.
"It's unfortunate, but it's all the fault of Mother Nature," Desjardins said. It takes 2 to 5 years for icebergs calved in Greenland to make their way down the current to Canada, if at all.
The spectacle of mountains of ice floating by has helped propel tourism to an $800-million-a-year industry for Newfoundland and Labrador, the second largest in the province after the fishery.

Jumbo jet to service expanded Moncton-Paris flight
The French airline Corsair will expand its Moncton-Paris direct flight in 2005 by adding 2 more flights and servicing it with a Boeing B747 jet. They will offer 12 weekly flights between the Paris-Orly Airport and the Greater Moncton International Airport commencing June 30.
"We're very pleased with the expanded flight, which will continue to provide direct and affordable air access to both Europeans and New Brunswickers," Tourism and Parks Minister Joan MacAlpine said. "Europe is a key growth market for tourism in New Brunswick, and the direct Moncton-Paris flight will contribute to enhancing New Brunswick's reputation as an international tourism destination, and result in direct economic benefits for the tourism industry."
Corsair has joined forces with the Province of New Brunswick, the City of Dieppe, and the Europe office of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) in a $250,000 marketing initiative to meet the information and promotional requirements specific to the New Brunswick destination.
The Department of Tourism and Parks and Corsair each contributed $100,000 to this initiative. The CTC kicked in $40,000, while the City of Dieppe invested $10,000.
In 2004, foreign visitation to New Brunswick increased by 13%, generating more than $40 million in tourism revenue.

Internet info

More vacationers will pack laptops
According to a recent survey more than 88% of travelers won't be able to let go of their personal technology while on vacation. While it may not be a complete surprise that consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on their personal technology, the latest survey of leisure travellers showed that even while "getting away", many vacationers remain tied to technology and can be "plugged-in" to the world from even the most remote places.
According to this study 1 in 3 people actually find it more stressful to not be plugged-in, whether via cell phone, laptop, or PDA. More than half of travellers between the ages of 22 to 45 admit to sneaking away from family and friends to check and respond to e-mail, voicemail, or instant messages. Also, most travelers in this age group impose no limits whatsoever on how frequently they "plug in" while vacationing.
Additional findings include:

  • While hotels, airlines, and airports are aggressively moving towards providing easy, affordable high-speed Internet access, most travellers (84%) say they do not select their vacation destinations based on the type of access they have to technology
  • 40% of travellers are checking their work email while on vacation
  • 33% of travellers have mobile phones handy to stay in contact with work even when it's not related to a work emergency
  • One in every 4 respondents will bring laptops on their vacation
  • Most travellers report that they will go several days without checking e-mail or voicemail, 13% report that they never check their messages at all, and 6% indicate that for them it's only a matter of hours between checking in.

Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada (www.frbo.ca) & For Rent By Owner in Canada (www.FRBO.ca) web sites for the month of June 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 120,631 hits (4,021 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,303 (310 per day)
Visitors came from 70+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.

More vacationers will pack laptops
Total 'hits' for the month = 119,947 hits (3,998 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,189 (306 per day)
Visitors came from 70+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.

Advice for the property owner

Protecting your business
With the increase in malicious emails infecting internet users worldwide, homeowners might soon find themselves having to build "virtual moats" around their properties and position electronic guards at various checkpoints to avoid being hacked. Almost every day we hear of computer viruses that will cleverly attempt to masquerade themselves as something less sinister to try to outwit the less tech-savvy into lowering their often limited defences or beat those we already have in place so that they can worm their way through our networks causing havoc. This state-of-the-art form of terrorism.
For complete article click here.

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