Monthly Archives: April 2012

This Week in Travel and Tourism — 4/23/2012


New York looks to China and Brazil for big tourism growth

New York aims to boost tourism’s annual economic impact by almost 45% during the next three years by increasing marketing efforts in South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of annual visits from China and Hong Kong will jump 51% to 494,000, while the number of annual visits from Brazil will rise 45% to 1.02 million, projected NYC & Company, New York’s tourism-marketing organization.

U.S. prepares to launch $150M tourism marketing drive

A $150 million campaign to encourage foreign travelers to visit the U.S. is set to begin in May, led by the U.S. Travel Association. The program spans a variety of media and marks the country’s fist coordinated attempt to market itself to the international traveling community.


United Continental posts $448 M Q1 loss

United Continental Holdings reported a $448 million net loss for the first quarter, compared with a $213 million net loss for the same period last year. The loss includes $162 million in special costs “primarily” related to United’s integration of Continental Airlines, according to the carrier.

JetBlue Q1 profit up tenfold

JetBlue Airways reported a $30 million first-quarter net profit, up from $3 million for the first three months of 2011.

JetBlue’s average quarterly one-way fare increased 6% year over year to $159.93, the carrier’s “highest quarterly average fare ever,” according to CFO Mark Powers. First-quarter passenger unit revenue grew 8% year over year on a 12% increase in capacity.

Delta, US Airways expect profitable summer on strong Q1 results

Delta Air Lines and US Airways posted profits of $124 million and $48 million, respectively, compared with losses in the previous year and predicted a strong summer travel season based on steady demand growth. Observers are predicting that airlines will try for further airfare increases to capitalize on the strong demand.


Carnival Glory’s extended Boston sailings will continue in 2013

Carnival has unveiled plans to extend a series of sailings from Boston for the summer 2013 season. The schedule this summer will comprise four- and five-night voyages to Canada aboard the Carnival Glory. Starting June 2013, the Glory will undertake three seven-night cruises.

Norwegian’s Partners First program marks successful first year

Norwegian Cruise Line plans to build on the positive feedback that its Partners First initiative received in its first year through changes that would further simplify agents’ operations, said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s executive vice president of global sales and passenger services. Planned changes include expanding Partners First Weekends, a restructuring of the in-house reservations department and a shift from offering amenity points for agents to dollars.


Winner of Etihad contest will double salary

Etihad Airways, flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has launched a promotion under which it will match one U.S. travel agent’s salary ($90,000 limit).

Broadcast trends – ‘talk’ isn’t cheap

This fall’s new daytime talk shows have a few things working in their favor, notably the recovering ad market. The absence of Oprah means advertisers have millions of dollars in play for high quality daytime talk shows.

Katie Couric’s new show is expected to fetch ad rates just shy of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, who have the highest ratings and rates of the daytime talk genre. Couric is the most recognizable of the new hosts and is very well liked by TV viewers.

Jeff Probst is expected to fetch the next highest rates and ratings with his new CBS produced show. Working in his favor is the notoriety from having hosted ‘Survivor’ for 12 years. He has a built-in fan base and a potential platform to promote his talk show.

Ricki Lake is back on the talk show scene. Her new show will be similar in tone to Oprah, unlike her previous talk show which was in the mold of the ‘conflict’ shows like Maury and Springer.

Steve Harvey will also have a show this fall. Harvey is coming off of a successful stint hosting the syndicated ‘Family Feud.’

The outlook for these shows is good in terms of generating solid CPMs.

Join us for #RRchat this Friday

Facebook is taking over the world…literally. During last week’s #RRchat, we talked about how Facebook recently expanded into the photo sphere by purchasing Instagram. Now, the social media giant is “branching out” to reach a more professional audience with BranchOut, a professional networking app. Similar to LinkedIn, the new app allows you to find out which companies your friends work for and find connections in your career field, connecting you digitally to hundreds of thousands of professionals. (Maybe the six degrees of separation theory isn’t so far off after all.)

Join us for #RRchat on Friday from 3-4 p.m. Pacific Time (or until we run out of things to say) to discuss BranchOut, Facebook’s plans for going public and more. Plus, get the inside scoop on open positions in the coolest, most creative full-service advertising agency around. Who, you ask? Why, R&R Partners of course!

Check out the #RRchat questions ahead of time to come prepared for a low-key discussion on Friday. Talk to you soon!

1. Facebook targets May 17th for IPO date. Will you buy shares in Facebook? Why or why not?
2. Facebook’s app BranchOut encourages professional networking, similar to LinkedIn. Will you use your personal Facebook page to connect with professionals for job opportunities and professional networking?
3. We post open positions to two of the largest social media platforms for job searching – Twitter & LinkedIn. What social sites have you heard people using to find a job?

Don’t forget to follow @RRPartners, and use the hashtag #RRchat to join the conversation. See you on Friday at 3 p.m. Pacific Time!

This Week in Travel and Tourism – 4/16/2012


MGM eyes Toronto for sprawling integrated resort and casino

MGM Resorts International has begun reaching out to Toronto officials to put forward a possible resort-casino project in the city. The potential $2 billion to $6 billion project could include hotels, convention space and restaurants. “It’s an amazing market, it’s an amazing city. We’d be prepared to invest an awful lot in the development of the concept,” said Alan Feldman, a senior vice president at MGM.


Southwest’s AirTran to Keep Fees Three Years After Merger

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), the only major U.S. carrier without bag-check and rebooking fees, will keep those charges at its AirTran Airways unit into 2014, three years after the two combined. That’s the target date to fully integrate AirTran into its Dallas-based parent, and the fees will stay in place until then, Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said today in an interview.

AirTran to launch Orange County’s first Mexico service

AirTran will launch once-daily service from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif., to Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City on June 3. It is the airport’s first Mexico service.


Cruise lines and tour operators eat costs of higher fuel

As gas prices flirt with the $4-per-gallon mark for the first time since 2008, the travel industry is anxiously bracing for signs of what impact higher fuel costs will have on summer travel. While airlines have been steadily increasing fuel surcharges for transatlantic flights and raising domestic airfares to cover costs, tour operators and cruise lines interviewed for this report said they are still absorbing the additional costs. None were yet willing to say they planned to implement fuel surcharges this year.

Norwegian Getaway to sail from Miami year-round

Norwegian Cruise Line will base the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway year-round in Miami when the ship enters service in the spring of 2014.
Theme Cruising Gains Popularity

Travel agents should seize on the growing popularity of theme cruises, which offer an opportunity for agents to attract first-time cruisers and increase their client base, travel sellers say. Suppliers are joining the trend with special-interest voyages, featuring a wide range of themes, including bowling and classical music.


Airlines lose fewer bags, arrive on time more often in February

The nation’s largest airlines set new records in February for the best on-time arrival rates and the lowest lost luggage rates. The airlines had some help in providing such improved service: February’s weather was unusually mild across the country, and airline industry experts say airlines are losing fewer bags because passengers are packing less luggage to avoid bag-check fees. In February, 86.2% of the flights flown by the nation’s airlines arrived on time, up from 74.5% in February 2011 and 83.7% in January of this year, according to Department of Transportation data released Thursday.

Follow #RRchat this Friday

Calling all music fans! Take a short break this Friday afternoon to chat with industry professionals about how brands are using social media to promote music.

Use the hashtag #RRchat on Twitter and join us on Friday from 3-4 Pacific Time to voice your opinions and comments. It’s fun!

1. The Tupac hologram “performed” @Coachella with @SnoopDogg and @DrDre. More than 23,000 people have followed @HologramTupac on Twitter. If you could bring a musician back from the dead, who would it be and why?

2. @MySpace trumps @Spotify’s collection of free music with 42 million songs. Do you think MySpace will make a comeback, trumping other major music sites?

3. @Coachella has created nine ways to follow them on Social Media. Which musician or festival do you think has the best brand presence on social and why?

Follow @rrpartners and remember to use the hashtag #RRchat!

See you on Friday!

This week in Travel and Tourism – 4/9/12


Atlantic City, N.J., group plans $20M campaign to draw tourists

Nonprofit group Atlantic City Alliance is launching a $20 million marketing campaign aimed at promoting the New Jersey city’s nongaming tourist attractions to leisure travelers. Carrying the tagline “Do Anything. Do Everything,” the initiative will include advertisements in major cities. “We have to reposition Atlantic City as a tourism destination,” said Liza Cartmell, president of the alliance.

Delta breaks ground on $160M LaGuardia hub makeover

Delta Air Lines Inc. broke ground Wednesday on a $160 million renovation and expansion of its hub at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The project includes a 630-foot connector bridge linking Terminals C and D, a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C and expanded security lanes in both terminals.


Mexico tourism officials report recovery

Mexico has taken a beating over the past several years, ever since the triple whammy of drug violence, the H1N1 flu scare and a prolonged recession that curtailed travel in the countries that supply the bulk of its tourism. But if the Tianguis Turistico at the end of March is any indication, the country’s tourism industry has bounced back in a big way.


Allegiant Air to Start Hawaii Flights

The ultradiscount-airline business is spreading to the lucrative market of Hawaii, as Allegiant Air plans to start low-cost service to Honolulu from Las Vegas and Fresno, Calif. Parent company Allegiant Travel Co., which focuses on selling vacation packages along with its cut-rate airfares, is entering one of the nation’s biggest vacation destinations after two years of planning.

Pinnacle’s plan: Smaller operation would fly for Delta Air Lines only

Former managers of Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines Inc. spent four years expanding and diversifying it into a $1 billion regional airline holding company. Through Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings this week in New York, their successors seek to roll back the clock and return to serving a single master, Delta Air Lines.


IBM research: OTAs, suppliers are misreading buyers’ values

Growing consumer dissatisfaction with online travel agencies (OTAs) and suppliers’ websites offers traditional agents and agencies an opportunity to pick up market share, according to a recent IBM report. In an executive report titled “Travel 2020: The Distribution Dilemma,” IBM researchers said that fewer than half of leisure and business travelers believe they’re getting a fair value for their travel dollar when they book online.


Carnival introduces George Lopez-branded comedy club

The Carnival Miracle launched year-round Caribbean sailings from New York on Thursday, offering several new dining and entertainment options for Carnival Cruise Lines. Making its Carnival debut is the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez. The comedian serves as Carnival’s “curator of comedy,” acting as a consultant on the hiring of comedians.


Pinterest draws attention of agents, suppliers

More members of the travel industry are looking at the new social media tool Pinterest and recognizing its potential for marketing, this feature says. “The advantage Pinterest has is simple: pictures,” said Meghan Peters of social media news website “Its photocentric design appeals to even the most casual social media user. … The site has quickly struck a chord with a mainstream audience, a difficult feat for a new social network.”

Free Wi-Fi is most desired amenity, survey says

Note to hotel owners: Americans really like free Wi-Fi. The most important amenity for prospective U.S. hotel guests is free wireless Internet access, Expedia’s division said, citing its survey of prospective U.S. travelers. Of those polled, 38% said free Wi-Fi was “a must when choosing hotel accommodations.” By comparison, 25% of those surveyed said free breakfast was essential, while 18% chose free parking as the most desired amenity. Room service came in at just 2%.

Join us for weekly #RRchat

Photo-sharing is all the rage right now. Ten percent of all photos taken by mankind were taken within the last 12 months, and now Facebook has shelled out $1 billion on the social photo sharing mobile app Instagram, following its expansion to the Android platform. First, iPhone users grouched about the non-exclusivity about the app when it became available to Android users. Now, people can’t get over the fact that such a small photo-sharing company is raking in the big bucks with the huge sale of their brilliant idea to Facebook.

So that makes us wonder, what is the future of photo-sharing? How will Facebook integrate Instagram to maximize the visual benefits, engage users and increase the number of shares?

Join us this (and every) Friday on Twitter from 3-4 p.m. Pacific Time for #RRchat to talk about the latest topics in the media and digital landscape. It’s easy! Simply take a break from your more important work to chat with us on Twitter using the hashtag #RRchat. (Don’t worry…you have permission from your supervisor for this super important assignment.)

Question 1: @Facebook recently bought @Instagram for $1 billion. How do you think this will shape photo-sharing for Facebook users?

Question 2: Speaking of photo-sharing, check out #textsfromHilary on @Tumbr. What is your favorite and why?

Question 3: A new waterproof #iPhone case allows you to take pics and videos 20 feet under water. What would you take photos of and would you share your #swimsuit photos with followers?

Don’t forget to use the #RRChat hashtag! See you every Friday from 3-4 p.m. Pacific!

Metrics That Matter

Ask any business professional what matters and you’re bound to get as many answers as people who have answered the question.  No two companies want the same thing, but they know that they want it, and that their marketing dollars better be delivering against it.

Keeping that in mind, I came across a very interesting research study conducted by Forrester Research that took a deeper look into what B2B/B2C companies should be looking for from their marketing dollars and how they can use their analytics to guide their future marketing decisions.

To start the conversation, it’s important to note that marketing now owns most of the buying cycle.  Think about that for a minute.  When was the last time you spoke to a sales person to “research” an item.  People are smart and are now researching items on their own…they simply go direct once they’ve made up their mind and are ready for a price quote.  And at that point, discovery is over and the product has been weighed and measured.

It’s also important to keep in mind the new customer life cycle.  Ultimately you want to drive you’re consumers from the “unknown” stage all the way down to “loyal customer”.  And once this is in place, marketers can measure and analyze important metrics such as:

In an environment that offers such a wide range of metrics, the above measurements gives marketers a great look into how they should be viewing their marketing campaigns.

You can purchase the study here, or R&R internal can contact Brandi Skrtich for a copy).