By ForwardKeys Head of Market Intelligence, Juan A. Gomez

“Amid the ongoing absence from the global travel landscape of certain major source markets such as China and Russia, destinations should target alternative audiences to cover shortfalls in total tourist arrivals”, says ForwardKeys’ Head of Market Intelligence, Juan A. Gomez.

The global travel industry is heading towards recovery in the 2nd half of 2022, however, major obstacles to outbound travel persist in certain parts of the world.

One cannot ignore the relevance of high-value audiences like that of China, one of the world’s largest outbound source markets, remaining closed, while the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict has curtailed the travel freedom of Russian citizens. The good news is that by using travel data, there are new premium markets to tap into.

Identifying new source markets through tourism market research

To compensate for the shortfall in arrivals from these locations, destinations should conduct thorough tourism market research to identify alternative, but equally valuable, travel audiences.

ForwardKeys’ data reveals that affluent Latin American travellers hold promise for European destinations.

Compared with 2019, the share of premium-class travel from Latin America to Europe this summer increased by six percentage points, suggesting that a higher proportion of the tourists arriving from Latin America were affluent.

Looking at the most resilient source markets for premium travel, with a share of over three per cent, four have seen significant growth in their 2019 numbers. Arrivals in Europe in the premium cabins from Colombia are up 57%, with Argentina (+32%), Mexico (+21%) and Brazil (+15%) also proving highly resilient source markets. In total, arrivals from Latin America have increased by 25% versus 2019.

Spotlight on Argentina

The above figures alone are enough to indicate that Latin America, as a source market, holds significant value for European destinations looking to compensate for the absence of other major audiences.

“Providing further encouragement for these destinations, premium-class visitors from the region are, on average, staying for longer than in 2019,” adds Gomez.

In July and August 2022, 58% of visitors travelling from Argentina to Europe in premium-class cabins stayed for more than 14 nights, representing an increase of 16 percentage points versus 2019.

Longer stays inevitably translate into higher spending at the destination – and when considering that arrivals from Argentina outperformed 2019 levels by almost a third, affluent Argentinian travellers represent a highly valuable source market for European destinations. Moreover, with group types for premium passengers split evenly between couples, singles and families, this influx of affluent tourists will have benefited a wide range of businesses.

“Take advantage of the changes that Covid and the recent events have made by taking interest in emerging affluent markets. Latin America is on the rise and a very different market in terms of their needs and interests to say the Chinese market,” says Juan Gomez.

Destinations of choice for the affluent market

The winners this Q4 in attracting and engaging this audience with luxury hotels, bespoke tours and high-end shopping in Europe can be found on the Iberian Peninsula. Cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon are showing double-digit growth from the summer season into winter.

How to uncover these alternative travel audience

What the above data demonstrates is that conducting thorough tourism market research to identify profitable source markets like Argentina can pay dividends for destinations contending with the absence of other important audiences.

Through ForwardKeys’ Destination Gateway, users can pinpoint their destination’s most resilient source markets and determine which of these offer the most value – as reflected in the share of arrivals travelling in premium classes, the proportion of long stays and the dominant tourist profiles. Using this information, destination marketing organisations can create sticky marketing campaigns that specifically target these audiences.

To learn more about how Destination Gateway can help destinations identify and target alternative and highly profitable source markets, visit DESTINATION GATEWAY – ForwardKeys. Contact us for a free trial.


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