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ABTO is the association of Belgian Travel Organisers. Its members include some of the leading players in the market including TUI, Vacansoleil, MSC cruises, Sunweb Group, Caractere, Club Med, Corendon, Continents Insolites, Costa Croisieres, De vakantie discounter, Interhome, Imagine, Flybru, Lagrange vacances, Ponant, Solmar, Thalassa, Travel World, Transeurope, Tooku, USA travel, and Wings ’n Weels.
To support this varied group of operators, ABTO chose GfK as their research partner to help them gain an indepth understanding the Belgian traveller, their recent travels, their intentions and their customer journey. The result is two research projects tracking the travel landscape, one following the other. The first is an extensive database of consumer insight covering 43 criteria based on monthly interviews with 850 consumers discussing their travels in the last 12 months. Delivered monthly via an interactive dashboard, insights can be analyzed based on factors including destination, type of accommodation, travel style, budget, marketing touchpoints and demographics.
The second is delivered quarterly and focuses on intended plans for travel. This report can identify emerging changes in traveller behavior and broader macro trends, such as the impact of major events like terrorist attacks or natural disasters on travel plans. Armed with this insight, members can adapt and respond to changing patterns of demand from a solid foundation of evidence. For instance, they can adjust capacity, pricing and promotion as emerging trends and behaviors are spotted in Belgian travellers. A third project focusing on the customer journey is already in the planning phase.
Having access to rich and recent consumer and market intelligence has allowed ABTO members to evaluate the entire customer journey, from lookers to bookers to planners. This insight can be incorporated into business planning and budgeting, marketing campaigns and promotional activity. Most recently, during the pandemic, the trend analysis and forward-looking aspects of the data has enabled ABTO members to steer their course through what has been an unprecedented time for an industry hit very hard by lockdowns and travel restrictions.
In addition, the two reports have quickly become the go-to source of travel sector information for the Belgian media. ABTO regularly provides trend and latest data and analysis for print, radio and TV news. In times of uncertainty, having access to a tailor-made source like this is essential to help put dark times into perspective, and to ensure that the media is able to report what is actually happening, rather than on speculation.
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