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By Laura Bony on July 24, 2013


Pierre Etienne Chartier, Vice President of Operations in the Hotwire Group, has agreed to meet with us to talk about the new trends in the tourism industry.

- Many North American media talk of a recovery in tourism in 2013, particularly visible this summer, have you ever noticed?

There have been a resurgence of activity in the tourism industry in recent times in North America from 2008-2009 in particular, very difficult time for the industry. Individuals are more fearful than the business sector but the door still better. Moreover, hotels raugmentent their overall rates of 10% per year, as before the crisis. However, airfare increase of only 4% per year in recent years, they may not even increase during the summer of 2013. This phenomenon is unlikely due to the crisis, but rather to increase the capacity of airlines, with an average of 1% more seats per year. The car rental companies for their live a real turning point in North America, especially since Sandy and all natural disasters that the United States has known and familiar: we see appear a shortage of cars because of the destruction caused by storms, so people flock to rental cars, so that institutions across the United States had to provide vehicles to areas affected by disasters. This is a growing market.

- What is it for business?

Travel reservations business explode, they are at the same level as in 2007-2008. By cons, we noticed that many destinations in the United States are neglected by business travelers, as they are hard to keep improving their infrastructure and capacity to receive. This is the case for example of Sacramento, which has some very interesting infrastructure at unbeatable prices. In fact, the cost of booking in major cities such as New York or Chicago, very popular with Canadian business travelers have not really been affected by the crisis so that at that time the company had to reduce significantly their spending on marketing-events. Therefore, the surrounding towns have the opportunity to grow as large cities lost their influence. Also, be aware that hotel prices are higher mid-week (15 to 40% more expensive) for professionals because it is the time when companies organize more conferences and conventions, events corporate, etc.. However, the price of airline tickets tend to increase during the weekends (about 10%). Therefore, the better for planners would do events on Mondays or Fridays.

- Are there currently any destinations you would advise planners?

It is time to travel to Europe! Prices have never been so low on the old continent, it is not uncommon to find 5 star hotels for less than 50 euros per night in Athens for example. In addition, new routes to Europe are being opened, including Air Canada and its Red program. Otherwise, I would say that destinations should be avoided in the next six months are Chicago and Seattle, which recorded a 20% increase in their hotel rates because of all the events they receive this summer. By cons, Vancouver and Victoria are still higher than demand, which gives them more flexible rates (20% compared to other Canadian cities). Orlando is also a good destination right now, prices are down in this city for some time.

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I started a new business, what I think will be a whole new genre of entertainment for teenage events, corporate parties, and other ventures. I converted 40' City Metro Buses into video gaming buses, complete with 2 Xbox 360, 2 PS3's, and a Wii zone in the back of the bus.
I don't really know anything about video gaming, but I am learning fast. Rockband and Guitar Hero are huge, as well as Karaoke games. I know the first person shooter games, networked, would be great for .com company parties and reward events.
I am just launching this business, and my graphic designer moved to the East Coast with the job half finished, but also, I ran out of money

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