The travel market is getting back on track

Over the past few weeks, we have seen more and more positive signs. Travel professionals saw the requests and reservations coming in. Promotional campaigns were launched. And Belgians showed in a latest travel intention survey by ABTO-GFK that they are actually planning to turn their travel dreams into actual travel plans in the next 12 months.

During the month of May, ABTO-GFK (the Association of Belgian Tour Operators) launched a new travel intention survey. This happened just after the travel ban was lifted. The results are therefore particularly relevant and provide a good picture of what Belgian holidaymakers are planning. We present some important conclusions from this research.

The desire to travel is high

Whereas 82% of Belgians said they would travel in the next 12 months before the crisis, that figure is now 76%. And most of them had not yet booked in May (when the survey was conducted). People are waiting and deciding to travel closer to the departure date and the destination also depends on the travel restrictions and possibilities of the moment.

Car still in the lead just like nearby destinations, but pursuers gain ground

The car (40%) is still the preferred means of transport. However, we are slowly seeing the aeroplane (37%) gaining ground as well. Until recently, Belgians generally chose to travel to neighbouring countries. France is still the most popular destination, but we see Spain, Italy and Greece gaining ground again. It shows that confidence has returned somewhat. This is also good for the organised travel industry, which has more to gain from a revival of flight destinations.

Organised or self-booking

Just because of the choice to stay closer to home and to travel more by car, you see that more than before Corona, people choose to organise their holidays themselves (from 58% to 60%). However, you would think that given today’s complexity and the risk that still exists, people would opt for the security of professional advice and the guarantees of the travel sector.

The peak shifts from July to September

For corona, July was the absolute peak month. Now, holidaymakers are heading out later. They follow the process of vaccinations and therefore wait a little longer until August or September (23%) to travel. So, everything is moving forward and bookings are being made much closer to the time of departure.

We all hope for a stable summer where the vaccinations continue to do their job. In any case, it is certain that locking up countries and travel even further is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and defend. Today, Europe is opening up further. In many long haul destinations, tourism is still groaning and it is hoped that here too tourists will soon be welcome again.

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Looking back at the Costa Brava Week

During the past year, we have (out of necessity) had quite a few online events and webinars. These quickly proved however to be a perfect way to keep in touch with the industry, learn, get inspired and network online. How this will evolve after the summer, remains to be seen. Will it be online only, physical only or a balanced balance between both.

But that one can also mark the occasion with online events was proven by the Costa Brava and Gerona Pyrenees week we organised at the end of April. That was an online event with all the trimmings. Fascinating presentations that looked like tailor-made documentaries, more than 500 one-on-one meetings between local partners and Belgian professionals, lots of journalists and influencers, goodie boxes that literally immersed you in the flavours and aromas of the destination, numerous prizes to be won, etc.

For the goodie boxes, the prizes and the meetings, you had to be there yourself 😉 . But we don’t want to withhold the video presentations from you. A great example of how it can be done. A chance to relive them.

Nature, Outdoor & Sports

Luxury, Golf and Wellness

Culture, Gastronomy and Wine

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Welcome to the Heart of the Catalan Pyrenees

A while back we already started with all the preparations. We were going to market the Catalan Pyrenees and the region of Lleida. The destination clearly has a lot of potential. You can choose to have an active holiday. But there is just as much culture, gastronomy and lifestyle on offer. We went on a trip with Katja Retsin, a Flemish TV personality. Together we discovered this Catalan destination.

The corona pandemic threw a spanner in the works, but soon we will push the start button. 3 video stories will zoom in on some specific segments. Each one a good reason to head for the Catalan Pyrenees. You can preview them here.

Adventure in the Heart of the Catalan Pyreneens

Culture in the Heart of the Catalan Pyrenees

A taste of life in the Heart of the Catalan Pyrenees

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Tenerife No Limits and Tenerife Select Videomarketing campaign

That Tenerife is so much more than just sun, sea and sand should become clear by now. The destination is increasingly focusing on many unique experiences. There is also a wide range of options for those who want to explore during their holiday.

The Tourism Board has developed two brands that zoom in on many local experiences. Tenerife Select highlights everything for them who love comfort and luxury. Tenerife No Limits showcases the wide range of options for the more active traveller.

To put the story of both brands better in the picture, we decided to launch a video storytelling campaign. With the team of our own TripTelling brand, we went to the destination. We teamed up with YouTuber and actress Laura Ponticorvo for the Netherlands and with radio DJ and presenter Nasrien Cnops for Belgium. Their experiences shaped two fun video stories.

Through programmatic buying and a social media campaign, we achieved a reach of over 3 million impressions, 80,000 views and more than 3,000 clicks. But we are not stopping there. The videos will continue to be used in various campaigns in the coming period. Below you can discover them for yourself.

Tenerife No Limits

Tenerife Select

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Belgians want to travel in 2021

Research by ABTO (Association of Belgian Tour Operators) and the GFK study agency clearly shows that the Belgian holidaymaker is planning to go on holiday again. Three out of four want to do so this year, and more than half of them still this summer. There is clearly potential for destinations or travel companies. After all, 64% has not booked yet and when the Belgians are going to travel, they will also spend a higher budget.

3 in 4 Belgians want to travel in 2021

Every month, the GFK study agency asks Belgians about their travel behaviour. Several times a year, they also survey their intention to travel. From the last survey in February, it appears that 73% of Belgians want to go on holiday this year. 1 in 4 want to travel in July. Another 25% plans on traveling in August or September. 

The travel budget is increasing

The average budget per person is rising considerably. Belgians will spend about 16% more than before Corona. For package holidays (plane + stay), the planned budget goes from 1,051 Euros (before Corona) to 1,290 Euros per person (+23%). 

Last year, Belgians saved a record amount. In total, there are about 300 billion Euros on their savings books. Travel is at the top of future spending after the crisis. 

Especially abroad but also staying in Belgium

France is strengthening its position as the number one holiday destination for Belgians (all modes of transport): 1 in 4 intend to go to ‘la douce France’ this year (before Corona, this was only 15%). 12,8% prefer to stay in their own country (before Corona 9,7%). Spain, Italy and Greece complete the top 5 of favourite destinations. It is also noteworthy that more than half of those who would leave by plane want to go on holiday outside of Europe (including Turkey and North Africa), destinations where there are currently very few travel opportunities. 

A lot of opportunities

So, there are still many opportunities for travel companies, tourist attractions, accommodation or tourist destinations. It was just announced in the press that the Belgian government would lift the travel ban as of the 19th of April. It will be important to prepare things for a restart in the coming weeks. Belgians want to travel, plan to do so this year and want to spend a little extra on it. 

Do you want more details? Are you looking for support in reaching the Belgian who wants to go on holiday soon? Then don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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War Heritage Institute, positioning and promotion

The War Heritage Institute has an important mission. Remember the conflicts of the past. And that is important. Belgium was often at the crossroads of historical conflicts and you can relive them in many places. The WHI groups six of these sites: the Royal Military Museum in Brussels, the Fort of Breendonk in Willebroek, the Trench of Death in Diksmuide, the Command Bunker Kemmel, Bastogne Barracks in Bastogne and Gunfire in Brasschaat.

Since remembering those conflicts of the past is so important, they started looking for a partner to develop, position and promote the WHI and the sites so that the memory does not get lost. Together with CityD-WES and Arrowminded, KonsulTra will work to market the sites in a strong but also credible way. 

In the past we have already collaborated on various other projects. As complementary partners, we have already dealt with numerous issues concerning heritage (Flanders Heritage Venues – Tourism Flanders and re-use Brewery Verhaeghe) and culture and experience (DIVA, Het Steen Antwerp, ICC Ghent and the Wintertuin / Ursulineninstituut). But we also master city marketing (references Hoogstraten and Zemst) and tourist communication (NBTC Netherlands, Westtoer, Tenerife, etc.).

Together we will develop the sites of the WHI – and overarching the War Heritage Institute itself – into the reference point in the field of history and memory of (international) conflicts on Belgian territory or in which Belgians were involved abroad. In this way we will do our part to keep remembering the past so that we never make the same mistakes in the future.

Do you also wish to look for the right way to position your destination, tourist attraction or travel company? Would you like to know the possibilities to build in extra experience and storytelling during the visit or in your communication? Would you like to translate that into DNA, identity and storylines? Do not hesitate to contact us.

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The Netherlands host country in new Gault & Millau Culinary Guide book

We were able to spoil our taste buds a little less this year, but the online alternative as launch of the new Gault & Millau was surely appealing to us. It was an ideal moment to kick off our Culinary Netherlands campaign. Thanks to a powerful video message, it became immediately clear. The Netherlands innovates. The Netherlands is at a high gastronomic level. And as a lover of culinary holidays, you will be able to discover that for yourself soon. Curious about what the destination and five of its partners have to offer? Surf to www.holland.com/culinair-nederland

Over the coming year, we will launch numerous actions to further underline this message. This video brings the perfect preview.

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Supporting Hungary with their Benelux development

In the coming weeks and months, KonsulTra will support the Tourist Board of Hungary with their market development. Last summer, Belgium suddenly turned out to be at the top of the incoming markets. The signal for the Hungarian Tourist Office to make market development in Belgium a priority.

We will help them organise webinars, send out B2B newsletters and press releases and establish contacts with the right tourism players. For 2021, we will look together at how we can maximise their tourism potential.

About Hungary

Hungary is at the heart of Europe. The River Danube flows through the bustling capital Budapest towards the south of the country, which is characterised by endless forests and a wide variety of thermal baths. In addition, a gastronomic revolution has taken place in Hungary in recent years. Restaurants, bistros and street food stalls can be found on almost every street corner of the capital, while in the countryside, too, the best local wines can be enjoyed all year round. Whether it’s a visit to the sophisticated university town of Szeged, a trip to one of no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites (including the ancient town of Hollókö and Buda Castle), experiencing one of the many festivals or taking a dip in Lake Balaton, Hungary has a unique experience for everyone.

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A new identity and storylines for the region of Scheldeland

The Scheldeland is a region in full development. There are a lot of investment going on in tourism, recreation and nature development. The region of Scheldeland therefore undoubtedly has a great deal of tourist and recreational potential. An ambitious plan has been worked out for the promotion of the region. In order to fully succeed in this, it was decided to look for an agency that could guide them in their search for a new brand identity, DNA and storylines that would connect all stakeholders. Above all, the result had to be immediately hands-on for all holidaymakers with practical tools for product development and communication.

KonsulTra was appointed as a partner in the elaboration of a participatory process. Together with our partners CityD-WES and Shtick, we are looking for the right positioning and vision for the future and we will be translating the result into a brand guide book and a manual for all stakeholders.

In the coming months, we will be plunging into this region, which covers a large part of the provinces of East Flanders and Antwerp. You can expect the outcome of this exercise just before the summer of 2021.

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Travel promotion during the current crisis. How to create new opportunities?

2020 will be a year that we will not soon forget. The travel sector has been hit hard. Yet there were also opportunities. Holidays in our own country were rediscovered, just like the splendour of our own region during cycling or walking tours. People spent more time in nature. The interest in active holidays is on the rise. And nearby destinations will flourish.

Moreover, during the summer months, more than 3 million Belgians went on holiday. They did not loose their travel appetite. Also in 2021 there will be opportunities with tourists looking for new experiences.

But how do you make your location, accommodation, region, activity,… the most suitable for the Belgian tourist in 2021? What type of activities should you offer? And how do you take care of your travel promotion?

Konsultra and CityD-WES, two organisations with many years of experience in the tourism sector, join forces.

Together we offer insights in the current trends and we provide practical tools allowing you to take fully advantages of the existing opportunities.

Our solutions
3 levels

Level 1: Learning from existing studies

Here we look at existing studies, market trends and our own insights. KonsulTra and CityD-WES have a lot of reference work and our own studies on which we can rely. We map out research and insights from the past few months and translate them into the needs and scale of your location, accommodation, region or activity. We immediately do this translation hands-on, with practical tools and to-the-point recommendations.

Budget: 1.500 Euro

Level 2: Targeted additional research

With this solution we are going to supplement the available knowledge with some specific questions and objectives. We will take these into account in our existing tools and solutions such as the Consumeter, where we gauge consumer behaviour. A survey of relevant target groups, stakeholders and experts is also possible. Each time with the intention of being able to support your location, accommodation, region or activity in a more budget-friendly way.

Budget: 1.500 Euro + Supplements based on your wishes

Level 3: A tailor-made analysis

Together we look at the objectives and determine our approach and way of working composed entirely to your needs. The end result is an analysis with recommendations and concrete tips for your location, accommodation, region or activity. From positioning, through product development to action-oriented communication. We ensure that the information is usable and immediately applicable in practice.

Budget: tailor-made proposal

Interested?

Are you curious about the possibilities and would you like to receive more information? Send us an email to info@konsultra.be. We will be happy to schedule in a call so that we can look at the right option together.

Who is CityD-WES?

The CityD-WES Group has two branches (Bruges and Houthalen-Helchteren) and a team of experts in various fields. With two strong brand names, CityD and DataD, we assist the tourism sector in their projects.

DataD, dynamic research and strategy focuses on (market) research and strategic development for companies and social organisations in their search for repositioning, market opportunities, feasibility/potential or optimisation. CityD, dynamic city improvement stands for strategic research into the desirability and feasibility of urban facilities such as retail, tourism, leisure and housing.

More information: https://cityd-wes.be

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