, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone, 1e

Spain, Greece and Italy, the winning trio of Summer 2014

Rise in "à la carte" trips

With the month of August barely over, it is time to do an assessment for promoters and distributors. How did the sales go? Which destinations, and products were successful? Were there many clients? provides a first general review on the performance of the sector.

The Canaries, a destination always on the rise, summer and winter alike - DR:OT Espagne
The Canaries, a destination always on the rise, summer and winter alike - DR:OT Espagne
Summer 2014, just like the rest of the year, was not very prosperous for tourism professionals.

Economic crises, rising unemployment, bad weather, the World Cup effect, sprinkle in airplane crashes, viruses and bankruptcies, and you have the recipe of the summer season.

In the agencies, just like with the promotors, the real assessment will be done in the next 10 days, but some have already accepted to share their first impressions with us.

To the general opinion the winning trio is once again, Spain - with the Canaries, Greece, and Italy.

Followed by Tunisia, Morocco, and Turkey, not necessarily in this order according to TOs, but these 3 destinations stayed up there.

Notably, Tunisia, is seeing a “slight recovery”, confirm Richard Soubielle, from the SNAV, and Edouard Roux de Lusignan, e-commerce and marketing director of Selectour Afat.

At Thomas Cook, it progressed by 5%, confirms the group’s spokesperson
Turkey started off slowly, but Donatello, for example, representing Bodrum for the first time, sent 15,000 clients, confirms Alain Le Scouezec, marketing director of the TO.

Continual increase of last minute sales

For long-haul flights, the United States remains the summer’s bestseller, along with the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, the West Indies, and this year particularly, Mexico.

"Some clients preferred this destination over the West Indies, because of the chikungunya outbreak” explains Jérôme Balandraud, CEO of the Boiloris Opéra agency in Paris.

Sales in France, however, seems to be at a low, maybe due to the sad weather of July-August.

Another important phenomenon to consider: the fast progressive increase of early bookings on one hand, and last minute sales, on the other.

"There are clients who know exactly what they want, and will reserve through early booking, notes Edouard Roux de Lusignan, and the opportunists, that will take advantage of the very last minute deals.”

"It is one of the difficulties that we encountered this summer, adds Jérôme Balandraud: clients that request a basic package for the month of August, with a budget that doesn’t match the prices of the season.”

More and more “à la carte” requests in agencies

In agencies, we notice another significant trend, that represents only small volumes as of now: the increase of “à la carte” requests.

"It rose by 70% in the Selectour Afat agencies, adds Edouard Roux de Lusignan. The establishment of new products and Hip DMCs enabled agencies to meet clients’ expectations.”

"The requests are becoming more complex, specifies Jérôme Balandraud, but we are happy to be able to meet these extraordinary demands, to look for services in different places, and make our clients’ trips unforgettable.”

The summer is nearing its end and the first Winter brochures of tour operators are appearing in agencies.

Part of the the Club Med products and cruises have already been sold. The early booking offers of September are starting off.

Soon, the sales of the Canaries, Thailand, Mauritius, Dominican Republic, and Cape Verde will take off again. Requests should also intensify on Cuba, Zanzibar, South Africa or Tanzania.

As for the Arab Spring destinations, Morocco is increasing with +23% at Thomas Cook, and Tunisia by +16%.

At Donatello, cruises on the Nile, between Louxor and Assouan, onboard the 5 star Rayan, will start again by mid-October, with a more intricate program than 2013.

Written by Anaïs BORIOS translated by Joséphine Foucher the 04/09/2014
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