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Travel Bites – August 2016

GTI’s monthly takeouts from the Australian and New Zealand travel industry

GTI-LOGOMillennials will forgo beer to splurge $11.3 billion travelling
Millennials are topping the list as the biggest spenders on travel. Millennial travellers (those born after 1980) are spending a whopping $11.3 billion overseas per year, the most of any age group according a recent study by Westpac Bank. Aussie millennials love to explore the world in pursuit of amazing experiences, with the USA, UK and Europe being the most popular destinations, averaging a cost of $3,461per trip. Results revealed Aussie millennials need to plan ahead and make sacrifices in order to save enough money to make their travel dreams a reality.

The study also shows that millennials are being responsible and budgeting ahead of their trips. They also make sacrifices while abroad to save cash, including walking instead of getting a bus (50 percent), missing out on seeing tourist attractions (28 percent), going without beer (22 percent) and skipping meals (19 percent).

Luxury for less search engine
Currency exchange specialist Travelex has launched the world’s first travel aggregator that looks beyond flights and accommodation to provide holidaymakers with the true cost of a holiday. In partnership with Skyscanner, the Luxury for Less by Travelex travel search engine uses hotel and flight data, figures on average spend, and the foreign exchange rates to help Australians book a luxury holiday without the deluxe price tag.

Aunt Betty launches

FLIGHT Centre has this week kicked off a major promotional campaign for its Aunt Betty online venture, at the same time taking a swipe at OTA rivals such as Webjet with a tagline of ‘No Sneaky Fees’. Aunt Betty ( acts as a ‘virtual travel agent’ targeting 25-45 year old travellers.

Low cost long-haul Singapore Airlines offshoot to fly 787s to Athens

Scoot Airlines has just confirmed its first destination in Europe, with the debut of non-stop Singapore-Athens Boeing 787 flights scheduled for 20 June 2017. When the route launches it will be the longest flight operated by a low-cost carrier, travelling more than 10,000km. Singapore Airlines said the commencement of Scoot services to Europe is part of the overall SIA Group’s “strategic move to stimulate passenger traffic between Asia Pacific and Europe,” as well as boosting connectivity via its Singapore hub.

TravelManagers hits 500

TRAVELMANAGERS has reached a milestone this year and surpassed 500 members, making it “Australia’s leading and largest personal travel manager network,” according to general manager Michael Gazal. Introducing the group’s annual conference in Bangkok on the weekend, Gazal also highlighted the 20.4 years of average industry experience of its Personal Travel Managers (PTMs), saying this was “unrivalled in the travel industry”. The conference also saw the launch of SPLASH, a new in-house ‘aggregator of aggregators’ for TravelManagers members to use when sourcing accommodation.

Flight Centre top in people’s choice

Flight centre top is the agent of choice for Aussies booking travel according to recent findings by Roy Morgan research. Between July 2015 and June 2016, just over 13.7 million Australians 14 years or older took at least one holiday, and of these Aussie holiday-goers, 7.3 million (52.8%) reported using a travel agent or tour operator for at least one of the trips they took. This figure is more than double the number (3.2 million) that didn’t use one at all. So who is Australia booking with?
No prizes for guessing that Flight Centre has clinched top spot once again, with some 12.6% of Australian holiday-goers using Flight Centre for at least one trip in the 12 months to June 2016, giving the chain a respectable lead over online accommodation service (11.4%). ranked a distant third at 6.8%, ahead of Webjet (6.1%) and, in its first year of being measured in the Roy Morgan Holiday Tracker Survey, Airbnb (5.5%).

New Sydney exhibition to rival AIME in 2017
Two passionate industry professionals have announced a joint venture to create an international exhibition that could rival AIME in Melbourne. Called Get Global – Where the World Meets, Donna Kessler of Tourism Portfolio and Gary Bender from WCT this week spoke of their vision for the event.
To be held in July 2017 in The Gallery at the new ICC Sydney, the pair said the expo, Get Global is about pulling the industry together on an international scale.
Get Global – Where the World Meets will be designed for international suppliers including airlines, hotels, DMCs, cruise companies, destination bureaux, venues, event staging and representation companies, global sales offices and merchandise suppliers, with exhibitor numbers capped at 120.

Profit before tax down 5.8% to $345 million in “challenging trading climate”.

Flight Centre has just released its results for the year to 30 June, with TTV surging $1.7 billion to $19.3 billion but profit declining due to airfare price wars, higher capital expenditure, under performance in some regions and “multi-million dollar investments in initiatives to drive longer term growth”. MD Graham Turner said the TTV increase was across all countries and regions, and meant that on average the group sold $50 million worth of travel every day during the year.

He unveiled plans to fast track growth in six key sectors, including leisure and corporate travel, student/youth and in-destination travel experiences. The company will also significantly expand online during FY2017, developing a “global online presence by launching transactional websites in Europe, Asia, the UAE and South Africa” complementing the existing online businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the Americas.
italktravel TV campaign

The Express Travel Group’s italktravel franchise brand will this weekend launch a TV campaign on the Ten network, aiming to capture business for members during the earlybird airfare season.

The promotion will highlight the group’s Book Safe Agent customer protection policy, showcasing the importance of booking with not just any agent but one that offers “full agent and supplier insolvency protection to all italktravel customers”.

FC’s global youth vision

FLIGHT Centre says it ultimately aims to become the “dominant global retailer of student and under-30s travel products” both on- and offline, via its Student Flights and StudentUniverse operations. The aspirations were revealed in this morning’s annual results announcement – and as well as travel sales, the vision includes providing experiences to this group including touring, accommodation and event-based products.

Company declares first dividend since 2013.

Helloworld has just released its financial results for the 12 months to 30 June, as well as its full annual report to shareholders. The figures indicate that the group’s total transaction value grew 8.3% during the year to $5.09 billion, with revenue up 6.7% to $298 million and a pre-tax profit of $3.45 million. The company has declared a 2c per share dividend, with ceo Andrew Burnes saying it had been a year of change for the company following its merger with the AOT Group on 01 Feb.

New Global Role in Flight Centre
A new role has been introduced in their business – Head of Tourism and Global Partnerships for the Flight Centre Travel Group, Rod Menzler has recently been appointed to the newly created role. Rod has been with Flight Centre for the past 15 years and for the past 7 years as GM of the Land and Cruise contracting division for FCTG in Australia. In his new role, Rod will ultimately be responsible for FCTG’s tourism and external partnerships globally and will be based out of Brisbane head office which will soon be relocated to Southbank.