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London and New York remain top business travel destinations for U.S. business travelers

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS – Despite the United Kingdom’s Brexit plans, the country’s capital remained the leading international destination last year for U.S. business travelers, according to global travel management company BCD Travel. London topped the list of most-frequented international cities for American business travelers in 2018, in BCD Travel’s “2018 Cities & Trends Report.” The report’s…

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London and New York remain top business travel destinations for U.S. business travelers

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS – Despite the United Kingdom’s Brexit plans, the country’s capital remained the leading international destination last year for U.S. business travelers, according to global travel management company BCD Travel.
London topped the list of most-frequented international cities for American business travelers in 2018, in BCD Travel’s “2018 Cities & Trends Report.” The report’s rankings are based on ticketed flights booked by BCD Travel clients in 2018 and 2017 in a range of international markets. Other top five cities for U.S. business travelers included Frankfurt, Tokyo, Paris and Amsterdam. New York City topped the list of domestic destinations in the U.S. for business travelers, followed by Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.
Year over year, Dublin experienced the highest growth rate of U.S. business travelers, among the top destinations. Dublin secured the number nine spot on the list of top 10 cities while surpassing Sao Paulo and nudging Singapore off the list.
Craig Bailey, President, Americas at BCD Travel, said, “The continuity in the list of top domestic and international cities for U.S. business travelers between 2017 and 2018 shows the importance of these markets as both national and global business and economic centers. Overall, the picture painted by the report is one of a growing global economy in 2018.”
Top 10 cities for U.S. domestic business travel in 2018 compared to 2017

 
2017
2018

1.
New York
New York

2.
Chicago
Chicago

3.
Dallas
Dallas

4.
Washington
Washington

5.
Atlanta
Atlanta

6.
Los Angeles
Los Angeles

7.
Boston
Boston

8.
San Francisco
San Francisco

9.
Denver
Denver

10.
Orlando
Orlando

Frankfurt and Tokyo followed top city London as U.S. business travelers’ second- and third-most frequent destinations for international trips. European cities account for seven out of the 10 leading international destinations for U.S. business travelers.
The strongest increase in booking volume between 2017 and 2018 was Dublin, with nearly 30% more tickets sold year over year. The increase is likely a result of increased investment by American businesses into Ireland and vice versa, with large, global companies such as Google, Accenture and Facebook establishing European or international headquarters in Dublin over the past several years.
Another advantage of Dublin as a European gateway city is the airport’s U.S. Customs Pre-clearance operations, which enable travelers departing Dublin for the U.S. to clear immigration and customs inspections before boarding the plane rather than upon arrival. Dublin and Shannon are the only two European airports that currently offer this service.
International destination Amsterdam also experienced a significant increase from 2017 of 14%, although the change did not impact the city’s overall ranking on the 2018 list.
The top 10 list includes two cities in the Asia-Pacific region: Tokyo and Shanghai. Both China and Japan are top U.S. trade partners, with China listed as number one and Japan listed as number four on the U.S. Census Bureau’s total trade list for 2018. Despite political tensions over trade with China last year, Shanghai experienced a year over year increase in bookings of 17%.
Top 10 cities for international business travel in 2018 compared to 2017

 
2017
2018

1.
London
London

2.
Frankfurt
Frankfurt

3.
Tokyo
Tokyo

4.
Paris
Paris

5.
Amsterdam
Amsterdam

6.
Shanghai
Shanghai

7.
Munich
Munich

8.
Zurich
Zurich

9.
Sao Paulo
Dublin

10.
Singapore
Sao Paulo

The United Kingdom remained the most popular destination country for U.S. business travelers in 2018, followed by Germany and Japan. The unchanged results year over year again reflect the strong trading links between the U.S. and the UK, Germany and Japan. All three top countries fall within the top five on the U.S. Census Bureau’s total trade list for 2018.
Top Three business travel countries in 2018 compared to 2017

 
2017
2018

1.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

2.
Germany
Germany

3.
Japan
Japan

 

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ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs

DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were…

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ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs

DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were originally created to introduce visual content in flight shopping displays, and have since been adopted by dozens of channels worldwide. Given the evolving needs of travelers amid the pandemic and the immediate success of Reassurance UPAs, ATPCO found – based on consistent feedback from its industry partners, including Serko and Expedia Group’s Brand Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cheaptickets, Hotels.com, eBookers, and Wotif – that the messaging component of UPAs are equally as valuable to flight shoppers as the visual component of UPAs. This feedback prompted the introduction of Structured UPAs as a way to deliver a more standardized version of data that channels can adapt to meet their customers’ need for information that can be scanned quickly during flight shopping to help with the decision-making process.Structured UPAs consist of an icon, a headline, and a description, and channels can choose to integrate all or some of these attributes. Structured UPAs also have a primary field that supports multiple standardized data inputs (e.g., yes/no) that enable sales channels to craft the messaging according to the data but using their own channel voice as desired. This new rich content format is currently available for over 300 airlines and includes five objective, standardized topics:Cleaning: whether airlines are using disinfectants to clean aircraft and how often, and if that information is availableMasks: whether there is a mask or face covering requirement; specifying if a medical-grade mask is requiredTemperature check: whether there is a pre-flight temperature check requirementBlocked seats: whether an airline is blocking adjacent or middle seats, or if only some seats are blockedCapacity: whether an airline is limiting the capacity on flights to ensure physical distancingStructured UPAs will initially focus on reassurance topics and will expand in the future to meet market needs and flight shopper demand for information. Structured UPAs will be delivered via the Routehappy API and can be targeted at a granular level to focus on the airline and cabin, book-by dates, origin and destination, and more.“The crisis reinforced how critical UPAs are in giving travelers the information they need to feel safe and protected when they fly. Now our airline and channel partners are relying on ATPCO to deliver this content in more flexible ways,” said Jonathan Savitch, Chief Commercial Officer at ATPCO. “Visuals are still important as they enable consumers to better understand, at the time of booking, the airline experience they will receive. But after many hours of consultation with thought-leading airlines and channels, we realized they need more options, including the ability to filter and sort based on key health information.” Expedia Group, which will be one of the first channels to integrate the new rich content format, worked hand-in-hand with ATPCO to quickly bring this functionality to market. “Right now, it is so important that travelers have the cleanliness and safety information they need when considering travel, particularly air travel. Each situation is different, and this structured content gives us the flexibility to tailor, localize, and test messaging to help travelers make more informed decisions,” said Michael Gulmann, Senior Vice President of Transportation, Expedia Group. “We are really excited by the partnership and customer-centric focus of ATPCO in working together to develop this highly relevant content. Structured UPAs enable travelers to more easily compare policies across airlines in a consistent and concise way so we can offer a simplified shopping experience while highlighting critical information.”   “We’ve seen an increase in conversions for those channels that integrated Reassurance UPAs and anticipate a similar impact for our new Structured UPA,” explains Savitch. “One channel has seen a 4% conversion improvement by adding ATPCO’s Reassurance UPA content. This highlights that when the shopping experience is adapted to drive awareness of flexible airline change policies and safety measures, it can impact the bottom line.”

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GribbonBerry appointed PR for BodyHoliday, St. Lucia

BodyHoliday, multiple award-winning wellness resort in St. Lucia, has appointed boutique PR agency GribbonBerry to handle its communications in the UK and Ireland, as it reopens on 1st October, during a very challenging year for the global travel industry.  The resort was the very first overseas destination spa over 30 years ago and continues to lead…

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GribbonBerry appointed PR for BodyHoliday, St. Lucia

BodyHoliday, multiple award-winning wellness resort in St. Lucia, has appointed boutique PR agency GribbonBerry to handle its communications in the UK and Ireland, as it reopens on 1st October, during a very challenging year for the global travel industry.  The resort was the very first overseas destination spa over 30 years ago and continues to lead as pioneers in this field. There has never been a more important time to prioritise health and wellbeing than in 2020. BodyHoliday’s approach to wellness is so comprehensive that holidays here have the potential to change lives. There is a 33-treatment room wellness centre, offering everything from medically-backed preventative therapies, through to Ayurveda, meditation, weight-loss programmes and pampering treatments. The range of activities, including training with Olympic athletes, would keep guests busy from dawn until dusk, if they so choose. Holidays at BodyHoliday are designed by guests with personalisation taken to another level – it can be a haven of serenity or a hive of activity.  

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IATA urges alternatives to quarantines in US

GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed strong concern over the continued existence of arrival quarantine regimes imposed by state governments in the United States, including New York and Hawaii. IATA urged implementation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing regimes so that states can eliminate quarantine requirements.“Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travelers have the same…

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IATA urges alternatives to quarantines in US

GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed strong concern over the continued existence of arrival quarantine regimes imposed by state governments in the United States, including New York and Hawaii. IATA urged implementation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing regimes so that states can eliminate quarantine requirements.“Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travelers have the same effect as outright border closures. There are better ways to protect citizens during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead of implementing job-destroying arrival quarantines, states should be encouraging the federal government to work with other governments to implement pre-departure testing. This will keep people safe and address the vital need to jumpstart struggling local economies and protect jobs that rely on out-of-state and international visitors”, said Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President for The Americas.Airlines are taking the lead in working to replace quarantines with measures, such as pre-departure testing being put in place on some routes and at some airports, most notably for Hawaii-bound travelers from US West Coast gateway cities. These and other airline-led testing programs will provide valuable experience while the numbers of travelers are still low, so that testing can be efficiently ramped-up as demand returns.Passengers also support testing over quarantines. According to our latest survey of recent travelers, 64% of US travelers surveyed agreed that quarantine is unnecessary if a person tests negative for COVID-19. Eighty percent were willing to take a pre-departure COVID test. And 56% believe that COVID-19 is sufficiently controlled in the US to open up to international visitors.Establishing internationally agreed pre-departure testing is the key to unlocking global connectivity, stimulating battered economies, and giving hope to the 10% of the global workforce whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism.

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