News in Brief

New markets and new looks

Expansion in new markets, re-designs and sustainable tourism are in the news this week.

November 26, 2015
(from left) Nicolas Mallet (CEO Meeting Point Morocco) and FTI Group Managing Director Dietmar Gunz with Kamal Bensouda (CEO Atlas Hospitality Group)
Photo: FTI

FTI aims to become Germany’s largest tour operator to Morocco by 2018 by expanding its programme for the North African destination. The Munich-based firm has signed a strategic cooperation with the Atlas Hospitality Group gaining exclusive access to the group’s 4- and 5-star hotels in Agadir, Marrakesh, Essaouira and Casablanca. By 2018 FTI also wants to have exclusive flights to Marrakesh, Tantan in southern Morocco and Essaouira. German visitor numbers to Marrakesh increased by 60% in 2014 and by a further 30% in the first nine months of this year, according to the national tourist office.

Hometogo, a Berlin-based meta-search engine for holiday homes, has entered the US holiday market and is launching a nationwide advertising and marketing campaign to raise awareness. The Hometogo websites enable users to find and compare offers but then redirects them to the provider’s website for bookings. The company, which is already active in various European markets, claims to cover about 3.1 million offers for holiday homes, including about 500,000 in the USA where the offering will be rapidly expanded.

‘The atmosphere makes the difference’, according to TUI Cruises.
Photo: TUI Cruises

TUI Cruises has re-designed its brochure for 2017/18 by splitting it into three. A magazine-style image brochure will focus on winning new customers with a mix of ‘real customer’ images, short customer testimonials, descriptions of the My Ship concept and the differences to other cruises. The other two parts are traditional summer and winter season brochures with information on routes, destinations, ships and prices. “We want to differentiate more between new and existing customers,” explained marketing chief Mike Schwanke. Travel agents can give the image brochure to potential customers and the information brochures to existing customers, he said. The image and summer 2017 brochures will be distributed from December 2015 onwards.

The German Travel Association (DRV) has awarded its 2015 ‘EcoTrophea’ award for sustainable tourism to ‘’, a website offering information and advice on sustainable tourism and destinations that was set up in 2006 by Swiss-based organisation AKTE. "On, the organisation provides various background information on the effects of tourism on the economy, society, human rights and the environment at tourist destinations. At the same time, it provides people from these regions an opportunity to make their voices heard with travellers and the industry,” said Andreas Müseler, Chairman of the DRV Sustainability Committee.

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