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The Travel Marketing Digest
 25th March 2013 - Volume II, issue 5



Dear Industry Colleagues and Friends,


We would like to express our thanks to all the speakers at the Social & Digital Marketing Summit.  It was a very interesting and successful day. 


In this edition of the Travel Marketing Digest we highlight some of the conference content and feedback.  Selected material and reviews will be posted on our website.


From the conference we feature: 

  • Facebook's Scott Hicks' presentation on "Travel is Inherently Social"
  • KPI's George Karamanos' presentation on "Airports: the mobile and social network"
  • Groupon's Alexander Kappes' presentation on "Groupon and ROI for hotel campaigns"

In the news we cover: 

  • Google comes under pressure from rivals in the EU
  • Priceline and United link up directly using Farelogix
  • TripAdvisor makes acquisition to improve mobile engagement
  • The World Economic Forum release rankings on the competiveness and effectiveness of 140 countries efforts in travel & tourism 
  • Pinterest may not be of interest to Airlines and their customers

Best regards,

Duncan Alexander
The Travel Marketing Store
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The Digital & Social Marketing Summit The Digiatl & Social City
We are delighted with the end result and so were many of the delegates who provided excellent feedack and constructive suggestions for next year.  Here are some of the comments;
"a vey well-rounded, entertaining and engaging exploration of the digital arena, strong speakers, thoughtfully hosted"
Robert Mitchell, Managing Director, The Tribe
"definitely the event to attend if you are passionate about social & digital marketing. This is probably one of the most unique business conferences in the UAE.  Keep up the good work The Travel Marketing Store".  
Conference delegate
"it certainly covered the 3 "i's", interesting, insightful and innovative.  Thank you for a great summit and fantastic speakers".
Conference delegate
"great summit with lots of useful and practical industry insights; learnt a lot and confirmed a lot".
Gail Livingstone-Potter 
The content was carefully selected and intentionally covered a broader scope than travel.  Three presentations, however, were specifically aimed at the travel sector.  Scott Facebook logoHicks started the day with his presentation "Travel is Inherently Social".


 KPI logo

George Karamanos, founder of Aviation Advisory company KPI, provided his views on Airport adoption of Social and Digital Marketing.  The conclusion was that Airports are generally a long way off from others in the travel sector in harnessing new digital and social tools.


Download: Airports, the social mobile network


Groupon LogoAlexander Krappes, in his presentation on Groupon, highlights the advantages of using their platform for a hotel group.


Download to find out how to use Groupon as a sales channel




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Google rivals press European Union for action

Reuters reported on Thursday 21st March that rivals of Google had urged EU antitrust regulators to get tougher with the world's top search engine and sanction it for allegedly abusing its market dominance. The call for action by 11 online and media companies reflects the frustration of small competitors at the pace of a two-year long investigation by the European Commission into the Internet powerhouse. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission in January ended its own investigation into Google's business practices without any significant action, handing Google a major victory.   The full Reuters report can be viewed by following this link.

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Priceline & United link through Farelogix

Priceline and United have announced that they have a new long-term agreement, and that the airline's heretofore unknown United Technology Application, powered by Farelogix, would serve as the "primary connectivity between the two parties." customers will continue to have access to United fare content, and United and will work together to develop innovative ancillary products and services to be delivered through the United Technology Application. Booking of tickets using the United Technology Application began earlier this year. United currently doesn't sell any of its ancillary services, such as its Economy Plus seats, through online travel agencies.

This so-called direct-connect technology means that the global distributions systems would lose a lot of their existing Priceline-United volume.

"We are excited to roll out this new connectivity and strengthen our long term strategic relationship with United," said Brigit Zimmerman, Vice President, Air.

"We continue to develop our relationships with efficient and innovative partners like and Farelogix," said Tom O'Toole, United Airlines Sr. Vice President, Marketing and Loyalty.

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Trip Advisor TripAdvisor buys photo app business, Tiny Post

TripAdvisor made a small acquisition, buying the iOS photo app, Tiny Post, to supplement the review site's mobile offerings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tiny Post enables users to make stories out of their photos with the ability to write over the images.

"The Tiny Post team have created a wonderful app that shows the possibilities of combining travel photos with social and mobile," says Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor CEO.  "We think Tiny Post is a great fit with our continued drive to provide engaging and sharable content and I am happy to welcome this strong team to TripAdvisor."

Members of the Tiny Post team will work out of TripAdvisor's Palo Alto, California, office.

It is clear that TripAdvisor has got its sights firmly on providing an enhanced mobile experience and level of engagement.

World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum ranks countries' travel & tourism competitiveness and executives perceptions of effective destination marketing where the UAE leads

Tourism competitiveness is an important economic indicator. It is a major element in economic stimulation packages. Tourism is among the largest employers in most countries and also a fast-lane vehicle into the workforce for young people and women. Encouraging travel boosts consumer and business confidence, it strengthens two-way trade and promotes export income.Tourism competitiveness

Under the theme "Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation", The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 assesses 140 economies worldwide based on the extent to which they are putting in place the factors and policies to make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector. Read the full news release for more information.


The rankings for competitiveness and their change over a year is listed here.  The UK has risen in its ranking largely as a result of the Olympics and The Jubilee. 


One of the factors that make up this index is the perception of over 15,000 executives when asked the question oExecutive view of effective travel & tourism promotionn which countries they feel are the most effective in their marketing and branding campaigns.  The results below are a weighted average of the same question asked in early 2011 and again in early 2012.


The UAE comes top which reflects their drive to promote themselves as a destination. The UAE's travel and tourism industry is growing significantly faster than the world growth average, according to new economic research released by The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).


It said the tourism sector contributed 14 percent to the UAE economy in 2012 - well above the global trend of 9 percent.  Taking account of direct, indirect and induced impacts, AED193.6bn ($52.7bn) of the UAE's GDP came from the industry last year and that contribution is expected to rise by 3.2 percent by the end of the year.


One in nine of all jobs in the country are resulting from the industry, which beats the global average of one in 11 jobs, the WTTC said.


New Zealand have made the most of "Tolkien Tourism" but we are surprised at the absence of Australia who have been very proactive across all channels including social media.


Pinterest Logo Is Pinterest of that much interest to airlines and their customers?


Marco Serusi, a Spain-based engagement executive at airline and airport strategy firm SimpliFlying reviewed 74 airline accounts and their attempts to kick start a following in Pinterest. There seems to be a very low level of progress and activity.  Perhaps this is just a timing issue with many airlines still feeling their way into Facebook. It might be a matter of time for airlines, and especially those that run a holiday programme, where the visual impact of "pinning" is probably more relevant.


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