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June 2006 Travel Newsletter

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  • Canadian travel news
    Canada: paradise on Earth?
    Implications of recent WHTI amendments
    Canadian RevPAR
  • International travel news
    Next wave of tourists from China
    No guests complain over fat fee at hotel
    Rooms for 90 minutes to watch World Cup
    Taking the ex is ultimate family vacation nightmare, says survey
  • Internet info
    Online bookings projected to be 60% by 2008
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner
    Website management

Canadian travel news

Canada: paradise on Earth?
Canada ranked behind only the United Kingdom and Switzerland as the most desirable place to visit, according to a global study by leading image and nation-branding consultant, Simon Anholt.
Speaking at the Rendez-vous Canada tourism industry event, Mr. Anholt said that the image of Canada among global respondents "is almost spookily positive." In fact, he said the study's findings were positive in every category except for one - "cultural heritage." Anholt, who currently serves as an advisor to the British government, developed a quarterly National Brand Index (N.B.I.) which provides a global rating of the image of 35 countries based on surveys of nearly 30,000 people around the world. Anholt's N.B.I. measures consumer perceptions in 6 key areas: exports, governance, investment and immigration, culture and heritage, people and tourism.
While Canada ranked as the number one nation for the image of its people and scored in the top three for natural beauty, human rights, fair government and immigration, the country ranked poorly in cultural heritage.
"It [Canada] doesn't have coliseums or pyramids," said Anholt.
Canada's third place ranking is a major improvement from the last survey in 2005 when Canada placed 9th. The United States ranked 3rd in the last survey, but this time around slipped to 10th place.
Findings indicated that the strongest word associations for Canadians were: trustworthy, honest, modern, competent and hard-working. The main product associated with Canada was high technology. Other cultural products that ranked highly were sports, films, museums, pop videos, classical sculpture and the circus.
"Apart from that [cultural heritage], everything else was so high you begin to get suspicious," Anholt said. "Canada is viewed as paradise on Earth."
When respondents were asked "If money were no object, where would you go?" Canada placed third, behind Australia and Italy, said Anholt.
The top ten ranked countries were:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Switzerland
  3. Canada
  4. Italy
  5. Sweden
  6. Germany
  7. Japan
  8. France
  9. Australia
  10. United States

Implications of recent WHTI amendments
Despite what many media sources are reporting, the latest amendments approved by the US Senate may not delay the January 1, 2008 implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). There are still political hurdles to be jumped. Most tourism industry groups, however, feel the passing of these two amendments were the critical starting points for any further action and provide time to ensure the right decisions are made.
We're not so sure. More delays could mean more confusion around the border, which ultimately serves as yet another perceived barrier to travel between Canada and the U.S.

Canadian RevPAR
Latest lodging report (week ending May 20th) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).

Province RevPAR % change
Alberta $86.71 +11.3%
British Columbia $101.75 +11.5%
Manitoba $58.37 +13.7%
New Brunswick $59.42 +8.2%
Newfoundland & Labrador $73.53 -15.3%
Nova Scotia $70.16 -3.7%
Ontario $86.95 +9.0%
Prince Edward Island $40.91 +29.0%
Quebec $104.31 +16.8%
Saskatchewan $61.14 -4.5%
Canada $88.39 +9.7%

RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
% change reflects the change from the previous week

International travel news

Next wave of tourists from China
For the first time in history, large numbers of Chinese are leaving their country as tourists, resulting in an unparalleled explosion in Chinese travel. If current projections are met, the global tourism industry will be undergoing a crash course in everything Chinese to accommodate the needs of what promises to be the greatest wave of international travelers ever.
As usual when something goes over big in China, the numbers are staggering. In 1995, only 4.5 million Chinese traveled overseas. By 2005 that figure had increased to 31 million, and if expectations for future growth are met or approached, even that gargantuan growth will be quickly dwarfed.
Chinese and international travel industry experts forecast that at least 50 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas annually by 2010, and 100 million by 2020. In 2004, the last year for which there is complete information, 61.7 million Americans traveled abroad. The last nation to burst on the world travel scene with similar speed and force was Japan, which was enjoying an explosion of prosperity in the 1980's. Suddenly Japanese could be seen everywhere, especially groups of middle-aged tourists wearing caps and brandishing the latest camera gear, and led, inevitably, by a Japanese tour guide hoisting a flag so that people would not get lost. The industry responded by placing Japanese-style slippers and bathrobes in hotel rooms, along with Japanese-language television channels. Japanese-speaking staff members also became de rigueur at hotels and fashionable shops. All that for roughly 17 million overseas visits.
As recently as the late 1980's, all but a select few Chinese were expressly forbidden to travel overseas. But by 2003, China's overseas travelers had already surpassed Japan's, placing the country squarely among the world's leaders.
Ultimately, travel experts say, the Chinese impact on world tourism stands to be even bigger.
The travel publishing industry, too, is racing to cater to the needs of huge waves of novice Chinese travelers, translating existing guides into the language or producing original material.
This month Lonely Planet, a leader in the effort so far, will produce the first four of what it expects to be many Chinese-language guidebooks. The initial titles cover Germany, Britain, Europe and Australia, with guides covering the United States, Canada and Southeast Asia due soon afterward.
More than a simple reflection of commercial opportunity, the appearance of Chinese-language guides from companies like Lonely Planet and Michelin reflects a shift in the makeup of the Chinese tourist population, which includes growing numbers of people of modest incomes who are going abroad for the first time.

No guests complain over fat fee at hotel
A German hotel owner who charges guests according to their weight defended himself against accusations he was discriminating against fat people.
Juergen Heckrodt said the €.50¢ ($0.70¢) per kg rate he charges for his Hotel Ostfriesland is competitive for local 3-star hotels and added there is a €74 ($100) limit for a double room for those who refuse to get on the scale.
"It's not discrimination at all," Heckrodt told the local newspaper. "First of all, there's the upper limit. And besides that I don't force anyone onto the scale.
Nevertheless, no one has yet to say 'no, forget that'." He said that some guests strip down to try to save money. The single-room maximum fee is €39 - or 78 kg (172 pounds).
Heckrodt got letters complaining he was discriminating against fat people from people who read about his hotel in German newspapers. "Sometimes men strip down when checking but women usually don't go that far," Heckrodt said. "One man stripped all the way down to his underwear to try to push the price down."
Heckrodt, 49, got the idea to charge by the kg from one guest who had gained weight every year. He told her jokingly he would soon start charging her an extra fee for being so heavy. A year later, she had lost 35 kg (77 pounds) and asked for a discount. "It seemed like a reasonable demand," he said

Rooms for 90 minutes to watch World Cup
Travelodge in the U.K. is to let soccer fans book rooms for 90 minutes for £10 so they don't miss England World Cup games. The deal is aimed at an estimated 9 million commuters on the road who would otherwise be likely to miss crucial matches. The 90-minute reservations will be available at more than 150 roadside properties in the U.K. during England World Cup games, including quarterfinals, semi-final and the final should the team reach that stage.
Research found that a quarter of UK motorists would be driving for at least one of the England group games. 32% said they would take a diversion to a pub showing football, 19% would go to the nearest friend or relative's house, and 2.9 million would watch through the window of TV retailers!
More than 30% said they would dash home no matter what. Penalty points, road rage or other hazards would be ignored as motorists admitted speeding was the preferred option.

Taking the ex is ultimate family vacation nightmare, says survey
A survey of over 750 parents found 41% of parents said having to take a former partner on a family vacation was the worst possible scenario.
The next worse would be taking grandparents; with 26% saying this would add extra pressure.
Of the parents surveyed, 17% said they hated having to take their kids' friends with them, and 10% said having to take their own kids with them was a hassle they'd rather avoid.
Only 6% said they would prefer to travel without their current partner.

Planning a trip to Italy?
Check out Italy Holiday Homes - worlds best vacation locations all listed for rent by the property owner.

Internet info

Online bookings projected to be 60% by 2008
The trends in the U.S. travel market are clear: Online channels are projected to generate 60% of all U.S. travel bookings by 2008, moving into a dominant position relative to offline channels.
This shift in the balance of power goes across both segments - leisure and business.
Projections show 64% of all leisure bookings will be made online by 2008, versus 45% in 2005. Similarly, 48% of all business bookings will be online by 2008, compared to 31% in 2005.

Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada ( & For Rent By Owner in Canada ( web sites for the month of May 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 158,909 hits (5,126 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 12,185 (393 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

Website management
Marketing So many small businesses build Web sites, invest in online marketing campaigns and then devote little or no effort to analyzing the return on their investment. At holiday homes.canada we recommend you check the effectiveness of your advertising strategy. For those with their own (top level domain) website one of the most important aspects of website management is traffic analysis. The beauty of the Internet is that you can measure in great detail exactly....For complete article click here.

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