Frederic Cornet“It’s crisis, let’s skip on non-immediately-essential expenses, cut the research !”

It’s probably something you all heard in the business environment : Research, together with marketing are the first budgets to be cut in difficult times in most of the sectors and companies.

In the tourism sector, the story seems to be less true than in other consumer sectors.

Probably first because our sector resists better to crisis situations. Indeed,  travel remains one of the activity that people want to keep, it’s perceived as a way to escape our everyday worries. Of course, people pay attention to their travel budgets by reducing expenses, choose for less costly alternatives on lodging, transport and entertainment or switch to other experience, e.g. for city tourism allowing for more regular trips, often decided at the last minute.

When discussing with ECM members and tourism professionals, we still can see research projects going-on and new initiatives conducted in the last years and months. Without knowing all details, we can be sure that objectives have been given for these research projects, that efficiency was one of these targets  The recent TourMIS workshop held at MODUL University was – as every year – an excellent forum to exchange these initiatives and demonstrate their usefulness.

Even at ECM level, research remains an important element that helps members understand the environment in which they operate, analyze their situation and compare with others. Next to the benchmark report published earlier this year, the meeting statistics report experience increased interest – and participation – from members. But the R&S group also teamed up with external partners to provide members with the information and insights they need to perform more efficiently : in the last months, ECM started to collaborate with TCI Research for benchmarking information on European cities, signed an agreement with ForwardKey on air travel trends and this, while maintaining the regular hotel performance reports from MKG Hospitality.

With many information and insights available, it’s now up to you to use them to improve our organizations and increase our attractiveness to travellers and tourists.

Frédéric Cornet
Manager Research & Development
Member of the R&S Group at European Cities Marketing

The price of light is less than the cost of darkness
Arthur C. Nielsen, Founder of the Nielsen Company