The head of Tui has dismissed the impact of marketing campaigns on restoring damaged perceptions of a destination that has undergone political turmoil.
Michael Frenzel, chairman of Tui Travel and head of the group’s German parent Tui AG, said: “Political stability is a must. It is not matter of marketing campaigns.”
Speaking at German trade show ITB in Berlin, Frenzel said: “If you do not have political stability you cannot overcome the [negative] perception through a marketing campaign.”
He added: “I have been to Tunisia. The country is calm and visitors will return. It is not matter of marketing campaigns.”
The Tui chief also responded sharply to a suggestion that the Mediterranean should be promoted as a single region to appeal to visitors from emerging economies.
Laurens van den Oever, global director of travel and tourism at analyst GfK, argued promoting the Mediterranean as a single area was “critical” to the region’s development over the next 10 years.
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) president David Scowsill said: “Look how the US changed its approach to market the whole US. There is a need for a brand Mediterranean.”
However, Frenzel said: “The Mediterranean is not one destination. There are different and contrasting countries.
“The main markets are Germany and the UK, and more tourists come out of Germany than out of China. Germany and the UK will stay as the biggest consumer markets . . . [because] the Mediterranean is easy to reach: the flight distance is short.”
Frenzel said: “Mediterranean countries should focus on their basic market. Europe is the biggest market even with the Asian market growing. Even to 2020, Europe will stay a big market for the Mediterranean. All marketing campaigns should focus on Europe.”
Frenzel is poised to take over as chairman of the WTTC.
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