People want to travel – I mean, who wouldn’t want to discover new places, see famous cities or go to lesser known towns? Either wanting to see famous sights, or a more of a off the beaten path type of traveler, people are driven by curiosity and the desire to relax and take a break from their daily activities. A participant poll made before the City Fair 2013, ETOA’s European B2B workshop taking place 24th June 2013 at Wembley Stadium, London, shows that representatives have reasons to believe 2013 will be a year with growth in tourism compared to 2012.
Speaking numbers, it was revealed that the international visits to the Algarve grew 6.5% from last season.
“The prospects for 2013 for the UK market are particularly good: in January we had an increase of 21% compared with January 2012,” said Hugo Nascimento, Sun & Sea Product Manager, Algarve Promotion Bureau. “We’ve been working closely with the main tour operators and airlines, not to subsidise their operation but to help them in their sale with joint marketing campaigns in different markets. Events such as City Fair offer cities the opportunity to meet with new buyers from a range of established and new markets.”
A 14% increase in international arrivals was noticed in Zagreb in during the period January-April 2013 said Nevenka Fuchs, Coordinator Marketing Department, Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau. She also mentioned a 17% increase in overnight stays in the city in the same period of time.
An increase in the second quarter of 2013 and an overall increase in bed-nights in 2013 compared to the previous year is expected by 66% of the participants in the latest European City Tourism Monitor from European Cities Marketing.
The reasons for these increases are strictly local factors. Zagreb considers that the city saw the increase due to Croatia’s entry into the EU and the city’s new status as an EU capital city. New direct flights from important destinations also contribute to tourism development. For instance, the UK arrivals in Puglia went from 17,000 in 2003 to 32,000 in 2012 due to a Ryanair’s direct connection to Bari.
“Overall performance in 2012 still lends weight to the view that city tourism is the dominant and most dynamic aspect of European tourism. The ECM Benchmarking Report 2012-13 report mentions that in 2012, the total number of bed nights in European cities increased by 2.8% compared to 2011,” explained Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, President of ECM. “As in 2011 and 2010, international bed nights were the driving force of this increase with a growth rate more than double that of domestic bed nights. If you want to be on the winning side again, you would bet on city tourism this year and maximize your presence at workshops like City Fair!”
“The good news is that people want to travel. And the principal motivation for them is to see the infinite cultural variety of Europe’s cities. City Fair brings together these cities with those that can sell them to the world,” added Tom Jenkins, ETOA’s Executive Director.
As tourism is a continuously developing area, it is up to the cities and countries to do their best in the attempt to lure tourist.