Air Travel and Consumerism News
Below are links to stories relating to air travel and consumerism.
Sports Tourism – a growing phenomenon. VisitBritain hopes for more high-spending sports fans
Sports Tourism seems to be a new angle of how to get people to spend more on their money on travel. There is sports tourism by those actively taking part in sports, like skiing, cycling etc. And there are spectator trips, with people attracted to large events like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, F1 Grand Prix. Globally in 2003 the amount spent on sports tourism was about $51bn, equivalent 10% of the total international tourism market. VisitBritain says in 2011 some 900,000 football tourists visited Britain - (which included 61,000 from the USA). They £706 million in total - an average of around £785 per visitor - during their trip, which is around £200 more than average UK visitors who do not come here for sport. In August the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said a priority is exploiting the role of sport as a magnet for tourists ...." The VisitBritain figures do not mention the numbers of Brits who fly abroad for sporting events elsewhere, taking their money abroad.
International tourism receipts surpass US$ 1 trillion in 2011
In 2011, international tourism receipts exceeded US$ 1 trillion for the first time, up from US$ 928 billion in 2010. In real terms, receipts grew by 3.8%, following a 4.6% increase in international tourist arrivals. The UN World Tourism Organisation UNWTO thinks this is a very good thing. “The past two years have shown healthy demand for international tourism out of many markets, even though economic recovery has been uneven. This is particularly important news for countries facing fiscal pressure and weak domestic consumption, where international tourism, a key export and a labour intensive activity, is increasingly strategic to balancing external deficits and stimulating employment.” International tourist arrivals grew by over 4% in 2011 to 980 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, and are expected to grow to one billion this year.
A couple of articles on air travel and consumerism
A few items on air travel and consumerism.
Is Travel The New Way to “Keep Up With The Joneses”?
Travelling has become a commodity, as it is now so easy, convenience and relatively cheap. Travel is a way to keep up with the Joneses. The pressure to go on exotic vacations is very real, as people don't want to "miss out" on things other people in their peer group get to do. Seeing others having amazing experiences (living abroad, swimming with dolphins, being on fabulous beaches etc) makes people want to do those things too - sometimes just to fit in, be an "interesting" person and have a story to tell. During the recession there has been more airing of the concept that buying stuff won’t make you happy so instead you should spend your effort and money on “experiences”. The idea is that after your basis needs are met, having more “stuff” doesn’t actually make people happy, but spending time with friends, on hobbies, or just doing some simple activity that you like will make you happier. But the message has been co-opted into not just spending time on things, but also spending money. The marketers and advertisers want us to buy fancy dinners, or exotic trips, or pricey theatre tickets. People are encouraged to re-prioritize their spending from acquiring objects, to spending money on trips and experiences. There is a competitive element, and one of not being left out of the fun.
Airport retail: rise and rise of the shopping centre, with an airport attached
A huge, and growing, proportion of the money made by airports is from retail. It seems that the industry expects significant increases in this spending over the coming years, and airports do all they can to get passengers to spend as much time as possible in retail, put retail outlets in arrivals, etc etc and devise means for them to buy goods for collection on their return, to avoid baggage problems. The industry expects most growth in the Far East, where women tend to spend a lot of designer brands. The airport retail industry finds passengers buy less when they are stressed by airport security waits and queues, and they buy more when calm and happy. Airports need a ticket as proof of identity, so they can monitor the types of travellers, and the routes, which generate the most cash. Seems the Chinese, the Russians and the Nigerians tend to spend the most. At Heathrow, the average passenger spends £4.35. But for fashion, the average BRIC passenger spends £45.50. No wonder BAA wants more.
How much profit do airports make from their retail activities, rather than flying?
Heathrow got 21.3% of its income from retail in 2010, compared to 53% from aeronautical. On average each Heathrow passenger spent about £5.70 (maybe £5.90) at the airport, with women spending more than men (!). BAA data say frequent fliers spend more than infrequent fliers. In the year 2010/2011 Gatwick airport made £115.6m from retail, and another £51.7m from car parking, with an average of £5.80 spent on retail per passenger. Stansted retail spending per passenger is about £4.00 to £4.20. In the year 2010/2011 Heathrow made about £380 million per year on retail, Gatwick about £115, and Stansted net retail income fell from £79.8m in 2010 to £73.9m. Manchester made about £70 million on retail, with about £3 per passenger.
World Tourism Organisation says tourism accounts for about half of all global air passengers
UN World Tourism Organisation says tourism's contribution to global climate change is about 5%. If tourism were a country, it would be the 5th largest emitter worldwide, ahead of Germany (6th) and Canada (7th). About 75% of total tourism carbon emissions are from travel. Of this air travel accounts for 40% of tourism's contribution of CO2. Around half of air passengers globally are tourists. The number of air travellers is projected to double from 2007 to 2025 to more than 9 billion travellers a year. The industry would need to cut its carbon intensity in half by 2025 just to keep total emissions at 2007 levels. Globally, the number of international tourists is thought likely to reach one billion during 2012 - so perhaps half a billion tourists in Europe.
Mintel survey suggests expenditure on holidays down, but 25% regard a holiday as essential
Excluding the flights, overseas holidays by UK households in 2010 made up more than 60% of total holiday expenditure with £12 billion spent on UK trips and £21.3 billion on holidays abroad. Mintel data showed that holidays were rated as the third biggest area in which consumers had spent less, behind entertainment and leisure (54%) and food and takeaways (53%) between 2009 and 2010. The Mintel survey showed 40% class holidays as a luxury and one 25% see a holiday as a necessary spend, based on a poll of 2,000 people. Also data on household spending.
Advertising spending by travel companies was £406.8 million in 2010
In 2010 the amount spent by the travel sector (not only air travel) was £406.8 million, while the amount spent by comparison for retail was £1,529.4 million. In 2010 British Airways spent £12.4 million; TUI spent £11.3 million; Thomson Holidays spent £10.1 million on ads; Thomas Cook Travel Shops spent £7.8 million; Virgin Travel Group £ 7.6 million; easyJet spent £7.2 million; Flybe spent £5.9 million. Total UK advertising spend was about £16.6 billion in 2010.
Our irrational preoccupation with growth
Mary Dejevsky, writing in the Independent, asks why we are so obsessed with growth, and says we should stop chasing high growth that is unrealistic, and apply some ingenuity to making the best of low growth or even decline. With the overall size of the UK economy unlikely to return to its 2008 level until, at the earliest, 2014, if ever, we should focus on using use what we have more rationally, and quality of life.