nternational destinations marketing to
U.S. travelers are putting some promotional activities on hold in
the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, and some officials
said the real impact on business will not be known until the world
can gauge the U.S. military response.
Joseph McInerney, chief executive officer of the Pacific Asia
Travel Association (PATA), said, "The impact on tourism to Pacific
Asia and the rest of the world will probably be short-term, but
it's going to depend upon two factors: The degree and timing of
retaliatory action by the U.S., and subsequent response to that
PATA will go forward with its board meeting -- Sept. 22 and 23
in Taipei, Taiwan -- to review early findings from a report it
commissioned on the short- and long-term effects of the attacks on
travel to the region.
In the Caribbean, advertising and promotion plans are "on hold"
for the moment, according to Gene Holder, secretary general of the
Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).
The CTO annual conference in mid-October in the Bahamas could be
postponed, but board meetings with all the ministers of tourism,
which usually precede the conference, would take place, Holder
Caribbean Hotel Association president Ralph Taylor agreed that
the industry could expect a short-term drop, but said the long-term
prospects will be "dictated by the unfolding of events,
particularly if the situation grows into an international
destinations, meanwhile, may be increasing some promotional
activities, according to Miguel Borge Martin, executive director of
the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau.
He said the bureau will have to increase its marketing efforts
in Central and South America to offset the drop in U.S. arrivals.
But Borge said the bureau does not plan to cancel any promotional
efforts in the U.S.
In fact, the bureau "will probably reinforce these efforts,
although we will have to look at growing our budget," he said.
In New York, the European Travel Commission (ETC) said it will
campaign to encourage both Americans and Europeans to proceed with
travel as planned, said Walter Leu, executive director of the ETC
Leu told Travel Weekly, "We must tell the people that abandoning
travel ultimately would probably encourage terrorists to continue
with their evil intentions."
According to Roberto Talignani, director of the Italian
Government Tourist Board, the consensus at a recent emergency
meeting of ETC tourist board heads in the U.S. was that more
radical steps would be "premature."
"At the moment we just are assuring our U.S. partners and
friends in the Italian tourism industry that we are monitoring the
situation," he said.
Talignani also contacted Italian suppliers and asked them to
support the U.S. by waiving cancellation fees. Also, Italy
postponed until Nov. 1 the debut of its Life in High Style
promotion, originally set for an awards ceremony in New York on
Five Italian regions, however, still plan to attend the
Incentive Travel Meetings Executives (ITME) show in Chicago from
Oct. 9 to 11.
Spain, host of this year's ASTA World Travel Congress, also will
participate in ITME and has not postponed any events, said Pilar
Vico, director of marketing and public relations for the Tourist
Office of Spain in New York.
However, cooperative advertising with U.S. tour operators has
Nino Messia de Prado, director, North America, of the Finnish
Tourist Board in New York, postponed plans to participate with
Finnair in 10 agent seminars in October.
For the longer term, De Prado said, "When we get a better sense
of what has transpired, we will continue with our marketing
activities ... of course, the consumers are the ones who will
ultimately tell us what they want."
Gay Nagle Myers, Kenneth Kiesnoski, Paul Felt and Jorge
Sidron contributed to this report.