FOXTROTS

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

PAGPFT – Nice, Cote d’Azur

PAGPFT (pronounced PAG-puffed); People Are Getting Paid For This.

An excerpt from our monthly Travel Business Analyst newsletter.

 

Nice and many other private and (mainly) official groups in the Cote d’Azur* have launched a US$1.1mn marketing program (although we can see only half that sourced) to rebuild its visitor business. That follows a particularly shocking attack – over 80 killed but also the method (driving a truck through holiday crowds) in July.

 

Summer visitation has fallen at least 10% (we think at least 15%, perhaps 20%) and revenue more – as much as 25%.

 

The marketing program is impressively long (about 25 separate activities). We know some of these are part of already-planned activity – attendance at IBTM for instance. And some have been augmented – a press conference during a sales trip.

 

Unfortunately then, we cannot say what activities have been added post-attack. But we know enough to be surprised at the unprofessionalism of the overall plan – PAGPFT. Some mistakes:

 

-Going too early post-attack (October) to China. This market, we believe, has taken over from Japan as being the most sensitive to negative events. Earliest should be January 2017.

 

-A promotional trip to Russia!? Has no-one looked at the figures? Russia’s outbound market is down about 30% this year; the Czech Republic is a bigger market!

 

-Belarus? In these times, a waste of money and effort.

 

What could be done:

 

-PR. SMO to invite personalities to CDA from China, K-pop groups from Korea, movie-makers from India, stars from the US, and follow them.

 

-UK. Wait until mid-September to see exchange rate trend. If the pound is still falling, wait until it steadies.

 

-Trade show/exhibition with a conference part. Start one. It may be too late to tag on to the ILTM luxury trade show in December in Cannes, but try. In Nice; bus/train ILTM participants Cannes-Nice.

 

-Think again, please, about which markets. Why no visit planned to Korea? Does SMO know the market overtook Japan’s in 2014, and will soon be 50% bigger!

 

The saddest negative of all:

 

As noted, SMO plans to spend US$1.1mn to tell people to visit CDA. We presume it cannot say CDA/France is 100% safe (although it probably will do; “nowhere is 100% safe, but with the actions we have put in place…”), but presumably that it is safe to visit.

 

Yet…Lille cancelled a street market in November that usually attracts 2.5mn mainly local and domestic visitors. And Nice itself cancelled a European cycling event for next month!

 

After this, would you visit or send customers to Nice?

 

*We have abbreviated the destination to CDA, and the companies-etc to SMO, state marketing organisation.

 

 

The Fox

Remember, I’ll be famous after I’m dead.