2017 – The Big Surprise
A viewpoint from Globus' Stephanie Bishop
We sensed that domestic travel was going to experience a big bump this year due to Canada 150, and we planned accordingly. We added, for example, several more departures on the Globus Newfoundland & Labrador tour. But the demand exceeded even that additional supply – I sense the success of the musical Come From Away may have helped – and every departure sold out well in advance. I should mention that we have added a whole new Globus itinerary to Newfoundland in 2018.
We also noticed that our tours and cruises which include Northern France also exceeded our expectations. We are increasingly aware and I think it’s possible to say even more proud of Canadians’ role in the World Wars and wanting to commemorate it.
Another trend which we have been seeing which shows no sign of abating is that our escorted tours are skewing younger, into 30s and 40s, particularly our Cosmos tours which are more affordable partly because they include more free time.
Over all, I’d have to say I was cheered and encouraged to see again how resilient Canadian travellers are in the light of so many natural disasters and incidents over the past year.
All of us in the industry do our very best to make sure the business comes back. It’s clear our desire to travel, learn, connect and discover is stronger than ever before. We should dream even bigger each year.
2018 – The Next Big Thing
Window of opportunity
Because the booking window with the Globus family of brands’ products is so long, we can already see trends well into 2018. And, while I don’t think we’re going to have any shocking revelations, I think it’s fair to say that Africa is “back” in a big way, with both our Globus escorted and independent Monograms tours.
We’re seeing a surprising bump in interest in off-season tourism to Europe. Canadians are famous for seeking out the best value and that, combined with fewer crowds, is clearly resonating with them. Certainly, our winter and shoulder-season departures to Italy, Spain and Portugal reflect that. And, believe it or not, we’re also seeing our early bookers make their travel plans even earlier.
We’re also seeing an uptick in group activity. Because a group with us is as few as eight (20 for a coach tour), this now includes a lot of multi-generational groups, girls’ getaways, and so on. A shared interest, whether it’s in wine or in your faith (Oberammergau bookings for 2020 are already coming in), shared heritage or history, there are dozens of options for group travel with Globus, Cosmos, Monograms, and Avalon Waterways.
Lastly, the dollar seems to be settling in at the 78-80 cent mark: yet another reason for clients to prepay as much as possible.