The Worldwide Travel Alliance (WTA) has announced Re•think Travel Marketing as its travel industry partners in North America, and UnionWay as partners for China.
Re•think Travel Marketing and UnionWay join the WTA effective 21 June. It means travel companies seeking business from markets in Europe, and now North America and China, can use WTA as a one-stop shop for travel industry sales, representation and PR.
Jane Berhend, co-founder of Re•think, said the new partnership was “an excellent fit”.
“The founders of WTA have a lot of experience with resorts in Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Re•think is strong on Americas, Africa, DMOs, and high-end ecotourism brands. There is a lot of complementary expertise and global market reach in WTA that we can now offer clients,” she said.
UnionWay, which has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, has previously worked with the European representatives of WTA to promote Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. UnionWay’s primary expertise is to promote global tourism brands to the Chinese outbound market through sales, marketing strategy, representation, media outreach and event management.
While outbound travel from China is temporarily shut down, Mr Ming Yue, Managing Director of UnionWay, said there was massive demand that will soon be released.
He referenced an OliverWyman survey published at the end of April 2021. “The survey suggested there is around US$200 billion in pent-up demand waiting to be unleashed once China’s outbound borders reopen,” he said.
Mr Ming predicted that a lot more Chinese travellers will arrange their own travel after Covid and rely much less on joining group tours. However, nearby Southeast Asian destinations will most likely benefit from the first post-Covid wave of Chinese travellers, with a robust longhaul rebound not expected until Q4 2022, he said.
Re•think Travel Marketing was formed as an alliance between three leading tourism marketing organisations in the United States. This includes Emerging Destinations which focuses on high-end eco-lodges and eco-tourism, Green Team Global which specialises in message creation, sustainability and community tourism, and CornerSun Destination Marketing which is a leading destination marketing company working primarily with national tourism boards.
Re•think also brings to the table a collection of experts in areas including global health, response communications, product development, government policy and international development. The aim is to supplement a traditional marketing offering to offer solutions for travel brands looking to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger, more sustainable and better suited to take on the ‘new normal’.
The Worldwide Travel Alliance launched in January 2021 offering travel brands representation in all major European markets.
“The addition of Re•think and UnionWay gives WTA more reach and global travel trade fire power,” said Ken Scott, co-founder of WTA. “Both bring a diversity of skill sets and networks of contacts. Between us, we have a grasp of emerging trends that will reopen and redefine travel in 2021 and beyond.”
Scott said that sustainable and quality tourism that gives back to host communities and a new respect for destination heritage, culture and carrying capacities will be to the fore as travel returns.