BANGKOK, Thailand, 2019-Jan-10 — /Travel PR News/ — Stopovers have a bad reputation. Travellers think of stopovers either as a long and tiring part of a trip or a rushed, stressful experience. However, stopovers do not need be tedious and boring; indeed, they can become an enjoyable part of the trip itself. Governments, tourism organisations, airlines, and hoteliers are now working collaboratively to attract stopover traffic in a variety of ways.
Stopover Programmes leverage an airline route to attract specific markets on long-haul flights, promoting stopovers as a ‘gateway’ to a region.
Airline stopover programmes are not new. IcelandAir was one of the pioneers of this type of programme. IcelandAir launched its stopover programme in 1948, the year the airline made its debut. At the time, the programme was a necessity as the airline did not have a license to operate directly from North America to Europe. The only way the carrier could fly was to offer a layover in Reykjavik. This led to the idea of allowing passengers to stay for a few days in Iceland at no cost. The initiative’s goal was to bolster tourism for the country.
It was not until the 2000s that the programme started to take off in a big way, as more people became curious about the free stopover and what Iceland could offer as a destination. The success of the Icelandair programme led to more airlines and DMOs adopting the concept.
Stopover Programmes have many benefits, including:
- Bringing immediate incremental arrivals;
- Encouraging repeat visits;
- Bringing economic benefits to airlines and local industry stakeholders (operators, hotels, attractions);
- Attracting travellers that did not previously consider destination a priority; and
- Benefiting the traveller by allowing two destinations with one airfare.
Find out how government authorities and tourism stakeholders can work collaboratively to attract stopover traffic and bring economic benefits to the local tourism industry by downloading this free PATA VE Bulletin for 2019 – The Rise of Stopover Tourism.
SOURCE: Pacific Asia Travel Association