In tracking travel patterns, we find factors such as seasonality and destination trends frequently take a backseat to dollars-and-cents factors such as intrinsic travel costs and currency favourability. The bad news is that, as we now know, economic influences don’t always bode well for travel – case in point: high unemployment and a lackluster 2009 thus far, has given way to our current summertime “stay-cation” trend.
The good news is that, with a smart team on your side, you can leverage these factors to more wisely invest travel marketing dollars where they will be more likely to bring results. Shifting currency patterns are perhaps the best example for destination marketing organizations seeking flush foreign visitors.
Now that the $USD is beginning to weaken (a trend which may be the tip of the iceberg according to global economists) after a somewhat strong late ’08 and spring ’09, Europeans are flocking back to take advantage of strong conversion rates against the Euro and GBP. The spring and summer of ’08 were similarly marked by a rise in US-bound foreign travel and investment.
Currently, in real estate, which has also seen great (downward) fluctuations in pricing, this currency-driven trend is even more pronounced. Says the FT, “Italians bought 14,500 residential properties in the US in the first six months of this year, an increase of 15 per cent over the first half of 2008, according to a study by the Scenari property group.”
“New York and Miami are favourites, with prices in the latter falling by an average of 35 per cent. Since 2007, the US has become the prime property market overseas for Italians, after years of dominance by France and then Spain in 2006. The US accounted for 26 per cent of overseas purchases so far this year.”