Santa Monica Travel & Tourism traveled to the United Kingdom Oct. 31 – Nov. 5, 2015 to exhibit at the 2015 World Travel Market (WTM) in partnership with Visit California. Over the six days SMTT conducted meetings with key media and trade partners.
Below are some key learnings:
— Between 2014 and 2018, California is forecasted to see a growth of 15.4% in the United Kingdom Market.
— In 2014, the United Kingdom remained as California’s the number market with 686,000 visitors (+5.3 percent) who spent an estimated $905 million (+4.4 percent).
— In 2015, visitation is projected to increase by 5.1 percent and 718,000 visitors.
— Los Angeles continues to see growth as well with a 2.5 percent increase from 2013 to 2014 and remaining as the number three market of oversees visitors to Los Angeles.
— Travel agents and tour operators continue to be a key component of the United Kingdom travel industry as a large percentage of consumers continue to use traditional methods to book their travel.
In terms of growth in Airlift from United Kingdom/Ireland Market, the success of the market can be seen through increase air lift to LAX. Highlights include:
— Added second daily LHR to LAX service with American Airlines on the new Boeing 777.
— Ethiopian offering services between Dublin to LAX.
— Norwegian Air doubled services from London Gatwich to LAX offering consumers a very competitive transatlantic price point.
— Coming in 2016, Aer Lingus will begin services between Dublin and LAX, taking advantage of the USA pre-clearance offered at Dublin Airport.