Some 130 sales representatives visited Madrid this month as global travel distributor GTA held its annual Europe & Americas Sales Conference in Spain. The conference agenda explored GTA – and TravelCube’s – future strategy to help retail and wholesale, high street and online travel agents and tour operators benefit from its global distribution network.
Discussion focused on developing its beach offering in 2014 – in part through the appointment of a dedicated Vice President for Beach Sourcing, John Taker. The company will increasingly focus on finding the right accommodation, services, tours and activities at the best possible price in ‘stronghold’ destinations, the travel ‘hot spots’ that consumers most want to visit. GTA and TravelCube will also ensure that travellers can still benefit from a growing ‘long tail’ of accommodation in less familiar locations away from the traditional tourism trails.
GTA’s sales network in Ireland and around the world helps hoteliers and tourism businesses in Spain and elsewhere to affordably attract more of such travellers. As well as increasing numbers of bookings from Sweden, Norway, Germany, France and Turkey among others in 2013, GTA more than doubled the number of room nights booked by travellers from Colombia and increased those from Argentina by +46%, and from Mexico and the Ukraine by double digits.
Peter Friedrich, Country Manager for Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “GTA – through TravelCube in Ireland – has been powering global travel for nearly four decades. Our technology, destination expertise and service standards have been helping travel businesses accommodate fully independent travellers (FIT) in practically every part of the planet.
“Even this brief taste of the Spanish experience will help our sales teams educate travel agents and tour operators to attract more visitors from both established and newer source markets.”
According to the Tourism Institute of Spain, the country welcomed 60.6 million international tourists in 2013, up 5.6% compared to 2012. For GTA, the UK, Italy and Spain’s domestic travellers are the most important sources of room nights booked in Spain, as well as longer haul markets the USA and Japan.
GTA generates tens of thousands of bookings for hotels, attractions and other tourism businesses every day and sells 12 million room nights in more than 25 languages online and throughout the world.