At Iceland Travel sales- and booking systems were changed at the beginning of the year as well as the company’s financial systems. The operation was run with a new organizational structure from 1st of January 2007. The company moved to a new location after 16 years in rather unsuitable offices. Following the turbulence of these important changes the future looks bright as the operation is stabilizing and running smoothly.
Iceland Travel has four profit units and two supporting units. Three profit units are focusing on the leisure market and one is focusing on the MICE (Meetings – Incentives – Conferences – Events) market. In the leisure part of the operation, there are a few business segments such as FIT tours, Self drive tours, Scheduled tours, Tailor-made tours, management of cruise tours and variations around those tours. The motto is “if it can be done in Iceland - Iceland Travel can make it happen!” Iceland Travel reached its revenue goal for the year 2007 and strengthened its position as the market leader in incoming travel services to Iceland.
The MICE unit turnover increased from last year, finishing 25% above the budget goal, and the level of service was increased considerably. The leisure units had a good year and saw substantial growth in the Far East markets, Russia, North America, Spain and the Netherlands to name a few. The Scandinavian market, with the exception of Finland, experienced some downturn, as did the German market. Some of this may be explained by the cold summer in Europe, which shifted much tourist traffic to southern Europe instead.
Outlook for 2008
MICE units will focus more heavily on the events market and will be approaching the domestic company market with new services. This will entail a higher quality of service and more emphasis on sales- and marketing, as well as a stronger focus on higher-margin projects and clients. The leisure outlook for 2008 is promising. Icelandair´s route network has changed from 2007 with flights to Baltimore being discontinued and a new destination, Toronto in Canada, added to the network. Toronto being a new market towards Iceland should influence bookings.
In general the outlook for 2008 is good and the year expected to be a good one for Iceland Travel. The internet is the fastest growing sales channel in tourism today, and the products have been adjusted to that outlet, but with an increased emphasis on local sales representatives as well.