More than 300 specialists gathered on 5–6 October in Malaga, Spain, to take part in a landmark event in tourism marketing and innovation. The lineup of speakers included renowned experts from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia and many of the tech brands that are shaping the industry today, such as ADARA, Amadeus, Expedia, Forwardkeys, Mabrian and Sojern.
Malaga was the host city of this first edition of the Travel Consul Summit, which was organized in collaboration with the Costa del Sol Tourism Board and sponsored by Gran Hotel Miramar, El Corte Inglés, City Sightseeing and Hosteltur.
The panel discussions on the first day focused on four areas: examples of real uses of big data, precise segmentation and targeting of international travelers, responsible tourism marketing practices and, lastly, the current demand for luxury tourism and shopping tourism.
"The Malaga Costa del Sol Marketing Summit has exceeded our expectations," said Chris Pomeroy, secretary general of Travel Consul. "The Travel Consul network stands out and differentiates itself by leading the debate on crucial matters of the sector and working closely with technology platforms to innovate and transform marketing techniques for tourism. The key to success is the free exchange of knowledge. We will continue in this line of work.”
Presentation of the latest data analytics platforms in tourism
Elias Bendodo, president of the Provincial Council of Malaga, stated during the inauguration of the event that "whoever stays out of big data's management is bound to fail. That is why we have been working on this path for years, attracting new markets."
The first panel of experts, moderated by Chris Pomeroy, dealt precisely with data management and intelligence as the main focus of tourism marketing strategies. Representatives of some of the data management platforms that are leading the transformation of segmentation, reach, metrics and evaluation of marketing campaigns explained the potential of each tool. Craig Compagnone, director of strategies at MMGY Global, the world's largest travel marketing company and founding member of Travel Consul, explained with success stories how to combine all these tools and techniques to develop specific and effective marketing strategies. Blanca Pérez-Sauquillo, assistant deputy director of international marketing, explained how Turespaña is already using these same tools in its campaigns for destination Spain.
This lively discussion panel, led by GTI Australia director Sarah Anderson, was marked by case studies on how to successfully communicate and market a sustainable tourism destination or product. Sigríður Ragnarsdóttir, director at Visit Iceland and Creative Industries, showed the audience the Iceland Academy, their recently launched online platform that promotes informed and responsible behavior of visitors through inspiring and highly interactive content. Responsible Travel Peru, represented by its founder, Guido van Es, explained how their relationships with more than 70 communities in Peru since 2009 are the basis of their programs. By creating parallel routes to the traditional ones, they managed to link products such as coffee to their origins, stimulating tourism in each community.
This debate was framed within the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 promoted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) through the Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign, which was presented by D. Carlos Vogeler, executive director for member relations at the UNWTO.
Travel Consul wanted to go beyond a conventional event, and during the second day, an original workshop was organized to better understand and assimilate the great amount of information of the previous session. Speakers, panelists, organizers and the public worked together on a hypothetical sustainable tourism marketing plan for Costa del Sol, during which they were able to apply various tools. Interventions, comments and questions came up, resulting in a dynamic and interactive discussion.
About Travel Consul
Travel Consul is an international travel marketing alliance consisting of advertising, media, public relations and marketing firms spread across five different continents – all specializing in travel. The result is one communications plan from one point of contact, able to reach beyond borders and across oceans. It’s a big opportunity in an increasingly small world.