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Post-Covid shopper conversion on the rise

m1nd-set’s latest analysis compares shopper behaviour in airports over the past 5 years, through the pre-Covid era to the present day, comparing the evolution of footfall and conversion rates, changes in the categories purchased, as well as the evolution and variations over the years in why people purchase in travel retail, what triggered the purchase…

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Post-Covid shopper conversion on the rise

m1nd-set’s latest analysis compares shopper behaviour in airports over the past 5 years, through the pre-Covid era to the present day, comparing the evolution of footfall and conversion rates, changes in the categories purchased, as well as the evolution and variations over the years in why people purchase in travel retail, what triggered the purchase and some of the barriers to purchase.Among the key findings, m1nd-set reveals that while conversion (share of duty free buyers out of duty free visitors) had been decreasing since 2017, from 66% to 52% in 2020, the percentage of shoppers making a purchase in duty free and travel retail stores rose again in 2021 to reach the same levels as in 2018 (59%). Inversely however, the research demonstrates a clear downward trend in terms of footfall over this period among global passengers; airports have lost 5% of passengers according to the passenger feedback between 2017 and 2021. While 42% of travellers globally say they entered the duty free and other retail shops in 2017, that percentage has fallen to 37% in Q1 2021 according to m1nd-set.Another interesting finding which emerges from the analysis is the evolution of categories purchased and purchase planning. Global travellers in 2021 are more likely to purchase categories that tend to be planned in advance. For the Perfumes category, 41% of shoppers purchased in 2021 vs 31% on average when considering all previous 4 years, an increase of 10%. For Fashion & Accessories, there is a 7% increase in 2021 compared to the previous years, (22% vs 15%), 6% for Skincare (25% vs 19%) and Jewellery & Watches (14% vs 8%), 5% for Tobacco products (22% vs 17%) and 4% for Make-up (20% vs 16%). For all these categories, the significant majority of shoppers – between 75% and 90% depending on the category – plan their purchases.The percentage of shoppers in duty free and travel retail planning their purchases had been decreasing steadily since 2017, from 80% to 75% in 2020. In 2021, however, this trend has been reversed as 86% of shoppers say they will plan their purchases to at least some extent when travelling. They are less likely to purchase completely on impulse, however, with a decline from 25% of shoppers purchasing on impulse in 2020 to 14% in 2021.Commenting on the research findings m1nd-set Owner & CEO Peter Mohn said: “The global footfall and conversion trends over the past five years are very interesting to see, as there are still more than 40% of store visitors who need to be enticed to spend, not to mention the 63% of all passengers who do not enter the shops.”“More interesting still, however,” Mohn continued, “are the non-visitor and non-shopper customer segments. In the post-pandemic environment, the reasons for not visiting or shopping at an airport have, without question, evolved and will be quite different to the reasons for not-shopping expressed in 2017.” “It’s important to underline though that while the global data demonstrated here paints a general picture, the realities will inevitably vary from one airport to another; even between terminals at the same airport. It is vital to approach these consumer insights from a regional-specific, market by market and even airport specific perspective. Each retailer and airport need to understand the reasons behind the barriers to visiting and shopping in the retail stores” Mohn concluded.

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Tourism driving Jamaica’s economic recovery since reopening

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has revealed that since its reopening in June 2020, the tourism sector has been driving the economic recovery of Jamaica’s economy, through a steady increase in arrivals and tourism earnings.  Minister Bartlett expressed that “preliminary figures indicate that since the reopening of the tourism sector on June 15,…

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Tourism driving Jamaica’s economic recovery since reopening

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has revealed that since its reopening in June 2020, the tourism sector has been driving the economic recovery of Jamaica’s economy, through a steady increase in arrivals and tourism earnings.  Minister Bartlett expressed that “preliminary figures indicate that since the reopening of the tourism sector on June 15, 2020, Jamaica has recorded a total of 816,632 stopover visitors and generated earnings of approximately US$1.31 billon (J$196 billion), over the one-year period.” “The earnings from the sector included US$1.2 billion in visitor expenditure; US$28 million in departure taxes; US$19.5 million in passenger fees and charges; US$16.3 million in airline passenger levy; US$8.5 million in hotel room taxes and US$8.1 million in airport improvement fees,” he explained.  He emphasized that this is further proof that the tourism sector is on a steady path to recovery. Minister Bartlett adds that “for the current calendar year, the Tourism Ministry is reforecasting to deliver 1.61 million visitors against an earlier estimate of 1.15 million, an improvement of 460,000 more visitors.”  “Tourism recovery is on the horizon. Our tourism sector is rising like a phoenix from the ashes. This more positive outlook for 2021 will also improve the destination’s estimate of earnings from US$1.6 billion to US$1.93 billion, an improvement of US$330 million,” said Bartlett.The Minister credits this improvement, in part, to the development of robust health and safety protocols for the sector as well as the establishment of the Tourism COVID-19 Resilient Corridors, which have seen a very low infection rate of 0.6%.  He also noted that the measures enabled Jamaica to welcome some 342,948 tourists during the first five months of this year (January to May).He indicated that estimated earnings, for the period January 2021 to the end of May 2021 is US$514.9 million or roughly J$77 billion. “May 2021 showed a remarkable increase in visitor arrivals and overall stopover arrivals, increasing steadily from mid-month consistently to the end of the month. Load factors recorded for May 2021 averaged 73.5%, this is against the forecasted 50% average load factor for 2021, 9.3% less than the 83.1% load factor achieved in May 2019,” he explained. The Ministry remains cautiously optimistic of cruise passengers starting to return around July/August. The first cruise out of North America to the Caribbean took place very recently and that has heightened expectations of more setting sail soon. 

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World’s top hotel brands lose nearly $23 billion in brand value

As holidays are cancelled and people are instructed to work from home, the hospitality sector has reached an almost complete standstill both from tourism, as well as corporate travel. As a result, the total value of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands has decreased 33% year-on-year, down from US$70.2 billion in 2020 to US$47.4…

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World’s top hotel brands lose nearly $23 billion in brand value

As holidays are cancelled and people are instructed to work from home, the hospitality sector has reached an almost complete standstill both from tourism, as well as corporate travel. As a result, the total value of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands has decreased 33% year-on-year, down from US$70.2 billion in 2020 to US$47.4 billion in 2021, according to the latest Brand Finance Hotels 50 2021 report.Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director, Brand Finance, commented: “The hotels sector has completely ground to a halt over the previous year, the repercussions of which are demonstrated by the sharp brand value declines for almost all of the top 50 most valuable hotel brands. The sector is a resilient one, however. As the world begins to open back up again, we are already witnessing a strong improvement in bookings and occupancy levels across the board, showcasing the strength of brands despite the turmoil of the last year.”Hilton retains top spotHilton once again is the world’s most valuable hotel brands, despite recording a 30% drop in brand value to US$7.6 billion. While Hilton’s revenue has taken a significant hit since the outbreak of the pandemic, the brand is showing confidence in its growth strategy, announcing a further 17,400 rooms to its pipeline, bringing the total to over 400,000 new rooms planned – an uplift of 8% on the previous year. Hilton also boasts the most valuable hotel portfolio, with its seven brands that feature in the ranking reaching a total brand value of US$13.8 billion.Hilton’s rival, Marriott (down 60% to US$2.4 billion), has dropped down to 5th spot from 2nd, after losing more than half of its brand value. Last year, the brand’s worldwide revenue available per room was down 60% from 2019 and global occupancy was just 36% for the year.Hyatt checks into 2nd spotBucking the sector trend as one of only two brands in the ranking to record brand value growth is Hyatt (up 4% to US$4.7 billion). Despite the pandemic impacting its performance greatly, Hyatt’s net rooms growth has been strong, opening 72 hotels and entering 27 new markets. Furthermore, the brand has continued to execute new signings to maintain its pipeline, which represent over 40% growth of existing hotel rooms in the future.Taj is sector’s strongestIn addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. According to these criteria, Taj (brand value US$296 million) is the world’s strongest hotel brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.Renowned for its world-class customer service, the luxury hotel chain scores very well in our Global Brand Equity Monitor for consideration, familiarity, recommendation, and reputation especially across its home market of India.  Taj’s successful implementation of its 5-year plan – which focuses on selling non-core assets, becoming less ownership driven and reducing dependence on the luxury space – followed by the speedy adoption of its new R.E.S.E.T 2020 strategy, which provides a transformative framework to help the brand overcome the challenge of the pandemic, has contributed to the brand’s re-entrance into the ranking for the first time since 2016 in 38th spot.Brand Finance Leisure & Tourism 10 2021Alongside analysing the world’s most valuable hotel brands, Brand Finance also ranks the top 10 most valuable brands in the wider leisure & tourism industry. This year, the total value of the world’s top 10 most valuable leisure & tourism brands has declined by 40%.Despite booking.com recording a 19% brand value loss to US$8.3 billion, it has overtaken Airbnb (down 67% to US$3.4 billion) and Trip.com Group (down 38% to US$3.5 billion) to become the most valuable leisure & tourism brand in the world. The fastest falling brand this year, Airbnb, cut a quarter of its workforce last year, and was forced to scale back on new initiatives that it had in the pipeline, including luxury resorts and flights.Happy Valley (down 37% to US$1.2 billion) is the sector’s strongest brand, with a BSI score of 84.1 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand strength rating.Three new entrants in rankingThere are three new entrants into the ranking this year, AMC Theatres (brand value US$1.8 billion) in 7th, Priceline (brand value US$1.5 billion) in 8th, and Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town (brand value to US$1.3 billion) in 9th.The world’s largest cinema chain, AMC, has struggled as cinemas were shut amid global lockdowns. The brand will be hoping their fortunes will reverse as customers slowly start to return to the big screen and blockbusters that have been delayed are finally released. The three new entrants have pushed out three cruise brands, which have dropped out the ranking this year: Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise, and Carnival Cruise Lines.Brand Finance Hotels 50 2021 reportLeisure & Tourism 10 2021 ranking 

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Hotel industry updates mask guidance for vaccinated hotel employees

WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), on easing face covering and physical distancing requirements for hotel employees in response to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance.“In response to increasing vaccination…

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Hotel industry updates mask guidance for vaccinated hotel employees

WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), on easing face covering and physical distancing requirements for hotel employees in response to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance.“In response to increasing vaccination rates across the country and of our workforce, and consistent with CDC and OSHA guidance, the hotel industry supports vaccinated employees being given the choice whether to continue wearing face coverings, in accordance with state and local laws. This change in policy for vaccinated employees is a result of our industry’s ongoing commitment to encourage vaccinations and a recognition of all employees who have received a vaccine. “Additionally, we ask that all guests and employees, vaccinated or not, respect and honor these revised guidelines. AHLA previously announced that fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear face coverings or practice physical distancing, in accordance with CDC guidance.“Unvaccinated employees and guests should continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing at all times in common areas of the hotel facility. It is also important to note that employees and guests, including those who are vaccinated, are welcome to wear a face covering if that is their personal preference.“Above all, employee and guest safety remain our top priority. Throughout the pandemic, hotels have met the challenge of the public health crisis through Safe Stay, an industry-wide set of health and safety protocols. Safe Stay will continue to evolve to align with the current environment and CDC and OSHA guidelines to keep travelers and hotel employees safe. “Moving forward, the hotel industry’s health and safety protocols will continue to include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols as well as innovative contactless technologies to support safe travel while improving the experience for guests and hotel employees. As we reach a turning point in the pandemic, our industry continues to encourage all individuals to get vaccinated as we unite to fully recover and return to a sense of normalcy.”

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