Travel Industry Leaders Discuss Canadian Economy, Mobile Technology
Thursday June 6th, 2013 - 11:32AM B
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TORONTO—At the eighth annual Leisure Travel Summit, travel executives from Best Western International, Hotel Association of Canada and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) forecast moderate steady growth in the leisure travel industry.
With Best Western tracking a five to six percent growth in summer hotel rates and room nights for its 200 hotels in Canada, the brand is predicting a steady summer travel season. While the numbers are positive for summer travel, Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western, says the 2013 calendar will impact leisure travel this summer.
“With the timing of Canada Day and Labor Day this year, the numbers are not quite as strong as last year in terms of inbound American travel, but they are still moderately positive over last year,” Dowling said in a statement.
Mobile technology and social media continue to gain traction with consumers and is changing how consumers research, book and share their travel experiences says Tony Pollard, president of the Hotel Association of Canada.
“In 2006 26 percent of leisure travelers were using the internet to book travel, today it is 60 percent. In 2009 social media didn’t register on our annual surveys. Today, one in four Canadians are using social media with regards to their travel,” Pollard said in a statement.
The benefits of multi-generational travel as well as its impact on the travel industry, from the types of hotel rooms required to the increased complexity in booking travel, was cited by all three panelists as a significant trend impacting the travel industry.
“While we have known that travel brings families closer, a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association, traveleffect.com, validates those beliefs,” said Dowling. “One of the statistics that I found most compelling is that 62 percent of adults surveyed say their earliest memories were of family vacations taken when they were between the ages of five and ten.”
Tags: • Hospitality • Brands •
For the past few years, the talk of The Lodging Conference in Phoenix had been focused on the economic recovery, solid industry projections and “cautious optimism.” With the word cautious no longer necessary, the economic outlook took a backseat this year to the seemingly unending parade of new lifestyle brands.