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February 14, 2012

PROJECTED BOOKINGS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND GERMANY TO THE UNITED STATES

UNITED KINGDOM Travel Trade Barometer: British Travel Contracted throughout all Four Quarters of 2011, and is Projected to Continue through First Quarter 2012

  • United Kingdom tour operators reported in the U.S. Department of Commerce sponsored United Kingdom Travel Trade Barometer (as of October 25 - December 5, 2011) that bookings from the United Kingdom to the United States were down in the fourth quarter of 2012. In fact, over one third (36%) projected much lower fourth quarter bookings compared to fourth quarter 2010.
  • At the time of the survey, respondents reported that first quarter 2012 bookings were down four to nine percent, on average, compared to first quarter 2011. However, there was some sign of optimism with just over one quarter of the trade reporting their bookings up slightly.
  • The slump in the United Kingdom was squarely put on the shoulders of the global economy and the economy in the United Kingdom. Other concerns included higher airfare, reduced air capacity and the exchange rate. The remaining deterrents continued to focus on U.S. entry policy and the perceived lack of a U.S. “welcome mat.”
  • The strongest recommendation for the U.S. to regain its competitive edge was “value.” The United Kingdom trade stressed the need for the United States to maintain competitive pricing, especially for the family market.

GERMANY Travel Trade Barometer: Projected to Register Solid Growth

  • German tour operators reported in the U.S. Department of Commerce sponsored Germany Travel Trade Barometer (as of October 25 - December 5, 2011) that bookings for travel to the United States in the fourth quarter 2011 would be on par with last year. On the positive side, two thirds (67%) of respondents projected bookings to be higher
  • Just over two thirds of the German operators projected higher bookings to start 2012. Approximately 56 percent of the respondents projected higher bookings, and 11 percent projected much higher bookings to start the year.
  • At the time of the survey, German tour operators reported first quarter 2012 bookings to the United States to be up four to nine percent, on average, compared to first quarter 2011.
  • The top motivator listed for travel from Germany to the United States over the next six months was the level of promotion by U.S. destinations and businesses. The exchange rate, despite the U.S. Dollar getting stronger, was also listed as a motivator, on average, for increasing bookings from Germany to the United States.
  • Over the next six months, the top deterrent listed for travel from Germany to the United States was the level of promotion by other long-haul destinations. The global economy was rated as the second top deterrent, followed by airfare and then a host of entry policy issues.

NATIONAL EXPORT INITIATIVE:
To improve conditions that directly affect the private sector's ability to export and to boost employment recovery, on March 11, 2010 President Obama created the National Export Initiative (NEI). The automation of the arrival/departure Form [CBP Form I-94W] for Visa Waiver Program travelers supports this initiative as the automated form will greatly improve the measurement and timely release of international arrival data to the United States. To learn more about the NEI, you are encouraged to visit <http://www.trade.gov/nei/index.asp>.

BACKGROUND AND SOURCE:
Travel Market Insights (www.travelmi.com) conducts the Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and People's Republic of China Travel Trade Barometer programs. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, is a sponsor and was the initial developer of the barometer program. The Barometer program is conducted with support from the U.S. Commercial Service and various Visit USA Committees and additional sponsors.

The Travel Trade Barometer survey is conducted on a quarterly basis in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and the People' s Republic of China and is available through subscription. Discussions with industry partners to add Brazil, Australia, South Korea and India are in progress. For more information, please contact Scott C. Johnson at Travel Market Insights on 518-668-2559.

Reports sent to subscribers include additional information, such as:

  • Bookings - looking at the past quarter and the next two quarters for U.S. and competitive regional destinations;
  • Short term bookings for more than five specific travel segments; and
  • Over 15 motivators or deterrents for travel to the United States.

Specific (proprietary) destination data is also available through a subscription.

For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/index.html

CONTACT:
U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-2887
Email: otti@trade.gov