Data gathered for the event gives insight into the destinations that high street and online travel agents and tour operators are booking for consumers, as well as trends from mature and developing source markets. Room nights booked by fully independent travellers in destinations around the world are exceeding 2012 figures with a couple of months – and the key Christmas travel period – still to come.
Ivan Walter, chief executive officer of GTA, says: “Powering global travel, GTA gives businesses selling fully independent travel access to the widest possible range of accommodation providers, travel services, attractions and experiences in the world’s leading and emerging destinations.
“Our latest insights show the rising influence of the Far East not only for the popularity of its varied destinations, but also the increasing power and potential of many nations as source markets for visitors to other parts of the world. By drawing on the wealth of booking data, trends and insights gathered throughout our global network, our locally employed teams work closely with the travel trade and know where consumers want to go next. The expertise of our contracting teams means that GTA always meets destination demand with the right hotels, services and experiences at the best price possible.”
Leading destinations in the Far East this year are Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, while Japan has quickly recovered from the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 to see bookings rise by more than 40% this year. Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia are also seeing room nights up on 2012, with most destinations doubling or trebling the number of room nights booked. Thanks to GTA’s Destination Asia campaign last year, travel agents and tour operators have sent more travellers to the Far East than ever before, already trebling the number of room nights booked in 2012. Although it receives a smaller proportion of GTA’s Far East bookings, Bangladesh is seeing year-on-year growth again in 2013 with room nights doubling again this year.
Part of GTA’s Middle Eastern region, Turkey ranks alongside the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as the most popular destinations for the world’s travellers. Although they enjoy a smaller share of room nights booked, Tajikistan, Libya and Yemen are seeing increases in 2013.
Egypt’s dominance as a destination has been eroded in recent years as visitors book other destinations with GTA as a result of unrest. However, it is still GTA’s third most popular destination in Africa after South Africa and Tunisia. Algeria, Nigeria and Ghana enjoy their third consecutive year of increases in the number of room nights booked, with the latter two tripling 2012 bookings. The potential of the African continent is further confirmed with an A-Z of destinations enjoying year on year increases this year. Algeria, Benin, Chad, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Namibia, Rwanda, Togo and Zambia all doubled bookings in 2013.
In the Caribbean, leading destinations this year are Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. The Bahamas enjoys its third consecutive year of growth in the number of room nights booked this year and, following three-fold, year-on-year growth in 2012, Guadeloupe is seeing a 26% increase in room nights booked so far in 2013, making it one of the Caribbean’s rising destinations.
Leading destinations in Eastern Europe this year are the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, while Bosnia Herzegovina enjoys its third consecutive year of growth in room nights booked and is up 13% already in 2013. In Western Europe, still receiving the greatest number of travellers, leaders remain Italy, France and the United Kingdom.
Denmark, Sweden and Finland continue to perform best in Scandinavia, while unsurprisingly, the front-runners in Australasia (Oceania) this year are Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. In South America, GTA’s leading destinations are Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, while Colombia enjoys a third consecutive year of growth and is up 23% so far in 2013.
British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are top selling destinations in Canada and although a smaller proportion of visitors have discovered its appeals, New Brunswick is seeing room nights booked increase for a third consecutive year. America’s top five destinations are Florida, New York state, California, Nevada and Hawaii. Delaware continues to see growth in 2013, while Montana, Wyoming and Maine are also all up on 2012. Although it has a smaller share of North America’s room nights, Bermuda is witnessing its third year of growth.
“Whether it’s a mature market with hundreds of thousands of people booking nights in a wide range of destinations or an emerging economy whose citizens are gradually becoming more confident about travelling independently to long haul destinations, GTA has the expertise to help,” concludes Ivan Walter.