IATA Giving Destinations Just What They Need

Destination Canada recently bought into IATA’s Global Agency Pro initiative and the initial results have been so positive that our national tourism marketer will be sharing its experience with some 3,000 delegates attending the airline body’s World Routes Development Forum in Guangzhou, China later this week, reports Quebec editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

An IATA backgrounder explains that the GAP intelligence tool offers DMOs and tourism boards a worldwide view of flights ticketed through the global agency distribution channel to help analyze destination performance and market potential.

GAP uses actual tickets sold – not bookings that are subject to change – and shows the entire picture of a traveller’s travel path from point of origin to final destination and including any intermediate stops.

It also identifies the agency which sold the ticket; one of 87,000 BSP or ARC-accredited retailers in 230 countries handling 9.5 billion passenger flight segments worth some $240 billion a year.

Michel Dubreuil, manager of research, consumer and market intelligence for Destination Canada told CTP, “GAP is incredibly accurate. It doesn’t account for 100% of the market because it only represents agency sales but that’s fine because I know my blind spots.”

He added, “It’s a very powerful tool because we know where our visitors book, when they book and when they travel. That tells us when to invest in markets.”

Destination Canada has only been using the GAP data since March but Dubreuil said it’s already being used to make short-term forecasts. “We know what’s been booked for the coming months; the pace of booking and the most popular destinations beyond the gateways,” he stated.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.