The importance of VFR trips in the recovery of travel and more at the upcoming Hospitality Finance & Economics Conference 2023

The forum will bring together industry experts and key academics who will provide an exclusive preview into their pre-published papers and findings on the challenges, opportunities & innovation in the hospitality and real estate industries.
The Hospitality Finance & Economics Conference 2023 is jointly organized by EHL Hospitality Business School and National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Institute of Real Estate & Urban Studies (IREUS).

Hospitality Finance & Economics Conference 2022 in Lausanne, Switzerland

Brought to you by EHL Hospitality Business School

Following the past years of travel lockdown and subsequent resumption, the wider travel and tourism industry has changed drastically – the landscape, how industry players operate, how consumers behave, and what we know of the changing consumer. New observations, predictions, forecasts about today’s travel trends, traveller segments and impetus for travel have been common topics. However, among this list, is the lesser addressed travel intent: visiting friends and relatives (VFR).

In a global survey conducted by GlobalData, VFR trips were the second most common type of travel (46%) pre-COVID (2019). Consequently, VFR trips are expected to be a key driver in the recovery of the travel industry with a forecasted 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2021-2025 with an expected 242 million international departures.

Dr Luciano Lopez, Associate Dean, EHL Undergraduate School

What do we know about VFR trips and travellers?

Dr Luciano Lopez, Associate Dean of EHL’s Undergraduate School, and his co-author Dr Thomas Davoine, Assistant Professor at EHL Hospitality Business School have observed a correlation between VFR trips and the source and volume of remittances in their paper titled ‘Remittances and Inbound International Tourism Demand’. A determinant of the potential volume of inbound tourism for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives can be established by the source market of remittances sent by immigrants.

Similarly, tourism receipts correspond to the volume of remittances from its top source markets. In 2017 India received the highest amount of transfers globally with its top three receipt source markets being UAE, USA and Saudi Arabia. The correlation between the top remittance geographical source and India’s key outbound tourism destinations is evident with their top three travel destinations: UAE, Saudi Arabia and USA. Amongst the total recorded tourist expenditures of Indian travellers, USA was tracked to have the highest level of tourism receipts by Indian travellers, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia and UAE.

With such insights, we are able to better anticipate the key source markets for VFR trips and are therefore more equipped to tailor the available product and service offerings in the wider travel and tourism industry, (be it airline routes, accommodation and tour offerings), to cater to this segment’s preferences, consumption and travel behaviour and potential expenditure.

Hospitality Finance & Economics Conference 2023

Discover more about Challenges, Opportunities and Innovation in the Hospitality and Real Estate Industries in the 7th edition of the annual Hospitality Finance & Economics (HFE) Conference which will be held in Singapore for the first time this June at EHL Campus (Singapore). Jointly organised by the leading academic hospitality reference, EHL Hospitality Business School and National University of Singapore’s Institute of Real Estate & Urban Studies (IREUS), HFE 2023 provides a platform and forum where industry experts and key academics in the hospitality finance, economics and real estate will provide insights into:

  • ESG in investment, financing, development and operations
  • Urban development and environment
  • Circular economy
  • Advanced technologies such as machine learning, AI, blockchain, tokenization and metaverse
  • Big data

Register by 10 June to enjoy Early Bird ticket prices for the upcoming Hospitality Finance and Economics Conference 2023. Tickets are available for purchase here.

Find out more about the Hospitality Finance and Economics Conference 2023, its panel of speakers and presenters, and conference programme here.

EHL Campus (Singapore)
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