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1 Apr, 2011

Why Mothers and Mothers-in-Law Get Taken on Family Holidays

A compilation of eight interesting reports circulated by PR Newswire / PR Web last week. Also in this dispatch: Long-Holiday Bonanza Awaits Brits in April; Study Examines Impact of New Media on Eating Habits; New Insights on Best Practices in Mobile Apps for Events; Nanjing-Wuhan High-speed Rail Out-competes Airlines, Routes Cancelled; and more….

Pls click on any of the headlines below to go directly to the story


1. Why Mothers and Mothers-in-Law Get Taken on Family Holidays
2. Long-Holiday Bonanza Awaits Brits in April
3. Study Examines Impact of New Media on Eating Habits
4. New Insights on Best Practices in Mobile Apps for Events
5. Economic Concerns Changing the Predictors of Employee Engagement
6. Will Search Engine Optimization Destroy Small Business?
7. Nanjing-Wuhan high-speed rail out-competes airlines, routes cancelled
8. Mobile Ad Networks Deliver $794 Million in Media Spend; Collect $254 Million in 2010 Revenue


Editor’s Note and Disclaimer: This dispatch contains a collection of interesting stories from the PR distribution and circulation services, PR Newswire and PRWeb. They are being reproduced in good faith by Travel Impact Newswire, without independent verification of their accuracy. Readers are reminded that the reports, although interesting, are circulated by the PR distribution/circulation services on behalf of subscribers and clients, and may be promoting specific products, services, policies or agendas. The responsibility for their contents rests solely with the companies and their information distribution/circulation agencies, all of which have been duly identified and attributed.


1. Why Mothers and Mothers-in-Law Get Taken on Family Holidays

Cardiff, Wales (PRWEB) March 31, 2011 — Confused.com has revealed that many mums may get more than flower and chocolates this Mothers’ Day as more than half of Brits have taken their mum (or mother-in-law) on holiday with them.

The travel insurance (http://www.confused.com/travel-insurance) provider and comparison site also revealed that the vast majority of Brits would do it again. However, almost one in ten sons admit this is because mum will pay for everything with another reason sons are keen to take mum on holiday being so that she can babysit the kids.

56% of people in the UK have either taken their mums or mother-in-laws or even both on holiday with them, with 85% of Brits who have done so saying they would either take one of both or their mothers/mother-in-laws on holiday again. In addition to this 53% of the people surveyed agreed that their mother (or mother-in-law) was great company on holiday with 50% agreeing that she deserves a treat.

45% of adults have never taken their mothers or mother-in-laws on holiday with them, but of those who have, only 14% would not repeat the experience. The top reason* for refusing take them on holiday again is ‘We like different things’ (33%), with ‘She’s so annoying’ being cited as the second most popular given reason (13.5%). Other reasons for not taking mum on holiday include 10%, who are embarrassed by her behaviour, 9% who think the she would cramp their style and 6% who suggest she flirts too much with the waiters on holiday.

More women than men have taken their mothers on holiday with them than men (women 39% versus men 24%), but some men have ulterior motives for doing so: 9% of adult men saying they take mum on holiday because she pays for everything, whereas only 4% of women admit money is their motivation or taking mum on hols. 11% of men compared to 6% of women take mum on holiday because of her babysitting services.

Londoners are most likely to take mum on holiday (38%), with Northern Ireland (17%) the least likely to do so.

The study was commissioned by comparison site Confused.com to mark Confused’s recent move into the holiday market. Kate Rose, Confused.com head of holidays and travel said: “It is surprising and heart-warming to discover that so many men and women like taking their mums on holiday with them. Confused.com offers great deals on holidays and travel insurance and so we wanted to understand more about the UK’s holiday habits.”

The research was carried out for Confused.com by 72 point. 2,000 adults were surveyed in March 2011.

2. Long-Holiday Bonanza Awaits Brits in April

(Vocus/PRWEB) 28 March 2011 — In April, Brits can make the most of the four bank holidays by taking three days off from work in order to have a ten-day holiday at their leisure. Good Friday, Easter Monday, the Royal wedding, and May Day all fall within ten days, creating an unprecedented opportunity for a prolonged holiday which has already been spotted by travellers and tour operators alike.

Luxury tour operator Kuoni is already offering Big Bank Holiday escape packages lasting for up to seven days, while Thomson Holidays sell low-cost bargain packages for the Easter period.

Research by the UK’s holiday comparison website Travelmatch.co.uk shows a significant increase in holiday bookings for the end of April. The number of 7 to 10 day holidays pre-booked for the period has risen by a stunning 60% compared to last year. Booking a holiday in April is a real bargain as the month is considered off-season which sees lower prices and smaller tourist crowds. UK holidaymakers are seizing the opportunity to snap up a getaway abroad. Employees are planning to take a couple of days away from work so that they can have a proper seven or even ten day vacation, leaving the UK on or around Thursday April 21 and coming back in the first days of May.

The executives at travelmatch.co.uk commented that the increased interest in late April holidays cannot be put down to the clustering of free days only. April appeals to the overworked Brits because it gives them a chance to have a break after the long winter work period.

Statistics reveal that roughly 40% of Brits head off to southern Europe and North Africa in search of sunshine and relaxation. The hotspot destinations remain Greece and Turkey which are the warmest in Europe this time of the year. Some tourists looking to go further afield book holidays to the Maldives, the Seychelles and Mauritius.

Travelmatch.co.uk founder Alex Francis commented: “The warming weather is appealing to people who crave relaxation. At the end of April and beginning of May most resorts in southern Europe are still gearing for the summer season and remain largely empty. This allows tourists to have a nice spring vacation at a lower price and without the stress of getting on crowded flights or staying in noisy overpopulated hotels.”

Travelmatch is a new travel discovery engine that helps match customers’ requirements to a wide range of holidays, hotels, flights, cruises, villas or city breaks. Customers are not required to choose a destination, date or budget before they can begin searching. Customers are able to make informed decisions by exploring photos, user reviews, maps, events and activities and other fun things relevant to their chosen travel product. Travelmatch, which closed its first funding round in 2010, is based in Notting Hill, London.

3. New Study Examines Impact of New Media on Eating Habits

(Vocus/PRWEB) March 29, 2011 — A new study by Rochester Institute of Technology claims to be one of the first to analyse how new-media technology, including the Internet and smartphones, are changing college students’ eating habits and their relationship to food. Findings indicate that individuals are more likely to have meals while sitting at the computer than at the kitchen table, and that they use social media as the main avenue to obtain recipe and nutritional information.

“I sought to investigate how the explosion of new media is changing traditional notions of meals and how this is transforming human interaction,” notes Madeline Varno, a senior communications major at RIT and principle author of the study. “As opposed to their parents or grandparents, college students do not see meals as a central activity in and of itself, either for enjoyment or communication. In fact none of the respondents I interviewed even had a kitchen table.”

Varno’s survey of college students at RIT assessed how meals were prepared and eaten, how students interacted with others during meals and how they obtained information about nutrition, potential food choices and recipes. It also assessed the importance of meals in students’ social lives.

“Eating is now just one of several activities being multitasked at once, all of which generally involve computers and smartphones, including surfing the Web, communicating with friends via Facebook and doing homework,” she continues. “This does not mean that students are any less social; in fact, they are often interacting with more people than if they were sitting in a dining room, but the method of that socialisation is now directly connected to new media.”

Varno also found that people were more likely to ask friends on Facebook or Twitter about recipes than consult a cookbook and often used social media to assess the relevance and validity of food and nutrition information. Varno hopes her results will lead to additional studies with larger sample sizes that could further assess how new media is changing eating habits among the broader population.

4. New Insights on Best Practices in Mobile Apps for Events

Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) March 29, 2011 – “Getting Mobilized for Meetings and Events: How to Create a Mobile Strategy that Delights Your Users and Achieves Your Business Goals,” is a new white paper that claims to provide meeting professionals with “everything they need to know” about smartphone apps for meetings and events.

“Mobile apps are a medium that is all about a high quality user experience,” said Kathleen Gilroy, SwiftMobile CEO. “Mobile apps offer meeting and event planners new ways to engage attendees, enhance the event experience and earn higher revenue. Getting Mobilized gives people planning events what they need to make smart decisions and cut through a lot of the hype and claims for mobile.”

Researched and written by SwiftMobile, Getting Mobilized is published by Meetings Professionals International (MPI), which partners with leading experts and innovative organizations to advance industry knowledge in critical business areas.

“It is critical that our members fully understand what goes into a successful mobile strategy for their meetings,” said Miranda Van Bruck, MPI Knowledge Manager. “With this white paper, we can offer our members a comprehensive approach for developing a mobile program.”

The white paper covers planning, development, design and deployment, and sponsorship and advertising. It also includes case studies of organizations that have successfully implemented mobile programs. “We think that Getting Mobilized is going to become the bible on mobile for meeting professionals,” said Kathleen Gilroy. “If you are going to do mobile apps for your meetings, you must read this paper.”

Download here.

For additional information, click here.

5. Economic Concerns Changing the Predictors of Employee Engagement

Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 30, 2011 — Modern Survey’s latest study of employee engagement levels in the U.S. workforce has revealed a new trend which provides some salient insight into the psychological state of the U.S workforce. Employees’ faith in senior leadership is now showing to be more closely associated with engagement than historically strong drivers such as recognition/appreciation and personal accomplishment. Additionally, the study validates the connection between five specific HR practices and actual returns in terms of increased employee engagement levels.

In the most recent iteration of this bi-annual study, Modern Survey found the survey item, “I have confidence in my company’s senior management,” to be the most highly associated with individual respondents’ engagement levels. “My company is headed in the right direction,” and “I have confidence in the future of my company,” ranked third and fifth, respectively, making the top five predictors of engagement heavily weighted toward faith in the overall health and direction of the organization.

One theory analysts have posited for this shift relates to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. Modern Survey Senior Consultant Bruce Campbell says, “If an employee’s basic needs are not met, the elements higher up in the model become much less important. If an employee is worried about their organization going out of business, they probably don’t have as much concern about the amount of recognition they receive from their manager, or the sense of personal accomplishment they get out of their work.”

The last two iterations of this study have also included questions to determine the effectiveness of specific HR practices in promoting cultures of high engagement. Uncovered in August 2010 and validated in the most recent study, Modern Survey has found five practices which have a substantial pay-off in terms of higher engagement scores.

* Does your company have a clear set of values that most employees know about and understand?

* Does your company regularly measure customer satisfaction and share customer satisfaction information with employees?

* Does your company continuously measure quality and regularly communicate quality metrics to employees?

* Have you received a performance appraisal in the last twelve months?

* Have you attended at least one company-sponsored training session/event within the last twelve months?

There is a dramatic difference in engagement between employees of organizations that do all five of these practices and those that do not. Of respondents that said their organization does all five things, 27% were fully engaged, while only 7% were disengaged. Of respondents whose organizations did less than all five, only 7% were fully engaged while 36% were disengaged. Most strikingly, of those respondents who said that their organization does none or even just one of the five practices, not a single one was fully engaged and disengagement was over 65%.

One important implication of this data is the idea that the pay-off from implementing these practices depends on the thoroughness and quality of their implementation. It’s not enough to simply have a set of values; you also have to communicate them effectively.

Similarly, measuring quality or customer satisfaction is good, but doing it regularly and sharing the information with employees is much better. As Campbell advises, “If you are going to do these things, you ought to do them right and reap the full benefit. The advantage in terms of higher employee engagement levels is clear.”

For additional details of the study please click here.

6. Will Search Engine Optimization Destroy Small Business?

(Vocus/PRWEB) March 30, 2011 — While many small businesses rush to use the power of the net to gain new online visitors and customers through Search Engine Optimization, an SEO specialist wonders if all these hasty Search Engine Optimization steps are leading to a disaster.

To the uninitiated, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines and often small businesses employ the services of SEO Consultants to improve their site’s ranking online, so that traffic and sales from search engine users can follow.

As Kishore shared, “Last week I was sitting with a friend whose retail-business had collapsed because his website had disappeared from the front page of a major search-engine, when I realized how vulnerable small business sites were. Like many small business owners, he had fallen prey to a smooth-talking SEO expert who promised him quick ranking on all search engines.”

Kishore added, “The sad part of the situation was that the unethical SEO consultant that my retail business friend had used, did manage to catapult his site to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing. As soon as the site reached the front page of all 3 search engines, my retail friend’s business was flooded with new orders, and in his delight he made the mistake of shutting off all other marketing channels.”

“Many small business owners have no clue about SEO,” Kishore explained, “and don’t realize that artificial ranking can be achieved through black-hat techniques like blog commenting, bookmarking, video blasting and backlink farming. But Search Engines have smartened up and sniff out such sites quickly. By the time the Small Business owner realizes his site has been de-indexed or pushed out by the search engines, he would have invested a lot in his SEO effort or come to rely on online channels for sales. Both can be fatal for a small business.”

“The only way to retain consistent top ranking,” says Kishore, “is to provide relevant information and true value to customers. If you know what your customers want and can cater to their needs, your site is automatically qualified to be on the front page. All search engines are trying to provide their users with relevant information and if your site is the one that is most relevant to their user, your site has a good chance to take the top position.”

When done with scientific precision, SEO can outrank every other channel of marketing and yield amazing results within short periods. It is particularly effective for businesses that need to acquire customers at a very low cost.

7. Nanjing-Wuhan High-Speed Rail Out-Competes Airlines, Routes Cancelled

Beijing, March 31, 2011, (People’s Daily Online) — All flights between Nanjing and Wuhan were canceled starting from March 27 because of strong competition from high-speed rail. This is the first time in China that high-speed rail has forced airlines to cancel flights on the same route.

The Hefei-Wuhan High-speed Passenger Railway opened in 2009. With a speed of 250 kilometers per hour, it cuts the journey time between the two cities to three hours. Three trains run on this route every day, and a ticket for a second-class seat only costs 180 yuan, so its occupancy rate is often above 90 percent.

By contrast, the occupancy rates of the flights between the two cities, operated by Lucky Air and China Southern Airlines, have plunged below 50 percent since the railway opened. A full-price air ticket for this route costs 730 yuan (excluding fuel surcharges and airport construction fees), and their flights incurred losses almost every time, except on holidays.

The airlines had taken many measures to improve the situation in the past two years, including offering tickets at 80 percent off the full price, but the occupancy rate remained low, partly because the airports at the two cities are too far from the city proper. Sometimes, there were only around 30 passengers on a flight.

The two airlines said that after the Nanjing South Railway Station for the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway is put into operation in the third quarter of this year, there will be more high-speed trains running between Wuhan and Nanjing, and the number of air passengers will continue to drop. Therefore, it is the right time for them to quit the market.

Actually, the situation of road passenger transportation is also not good. A long-distance bus without any passengers departed from the Jinjiadun Terminal at 7 p.m. on March 30. The driver said the bus to Nanjing had not received any passengers for several days.

The Hubei Highway Transport Corporation said that collinear flights and long-distance buses have no competitive advantages. They have stopped their long-distance bus from Wuhan to Shanghai and only operated on the eastern line. Hubei Highway Transport Corporation’s volume of passenger traffic decreased more than 200,000 passengers per year resulting in a loss of more than 30 million yuan per year.

Officials from the Wuhan Transportation Commission said that the competition between railway, highway and aviation has turned white-hot and passengers have become the prime beneficiary of the competition. Passengers can now choose based on their specific travel circumstances.

For example, Wuhan-to-Guangzhou travelers can choose high-speed rail if they value speed and time. Passengers can choose aviation if they value speed or they can also choose regular trains and long-distance bus if they want to save money and do not care about the time.

8. Mobile Ad Networks Deliver $794 Million in Media Spend; Collect $254 Million in 2010 Revenue

SEASIDE, Calif., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Mobile advertising networks delivered 340 billion filled and billed impressions across the globe in 2010, generating $794 million in media spend, and earning $254.3 million in net platform and media services-related revenue, according to a comprehensive sector analytics report released by AccuStream Research.

The report, Mobile Advertising Networks 2009 – 2013: Gross Media Spend and Platform Revenue, analyzes total inventory by network, geography, billing models, pricing (CPC, CPM, CPA and eCPM) by ad format, fill rates, click-through rates and participation percentages.

Gross media spend is calculated against each network’s inventory, fill rates, pricing, billing and click-through rates. Net revenue is calculated against gross media spend and participation percentages by network to yield the market’s value.

The report’s data sets, augmented by Q&A’s with the sector’s leading mobile ad networks, indicate that following a year when gross billings increased by 190% and network revenue grew by 180%, that triple-digit growth in 2011 can be projected persuasively.

Mobile ad network Q & A’s and analysis contained in this report include Aditic, AdMarvel, AdFonic, BuzzCity, Greystripe, InMobi, MobileTheory, Moolah Media, MobGold, Millennial Media, Jumptap, Smaato and Zestadz, among many others.

A billed impression analysis when calculated as an eCPM reveals the market is valued, on average, at $2.34, the U.S. falling within that range, Europe higher (at $3.45), Asia and Latin America lower.

The U.S. market generated 49.1% of gross media spend, Europe 25.7% and Asia 20.7%, based on analysis of each network’s billed impressions by geography. Video impressions currently make up approximately 4% of total inventory served.

“Mobile ad networks operate sophisticated and powerful platforms for robust impression ingest with precise global delivery capabilities measured in milliseconds,” commented research director Paul A. Palumbo.

“Network business models work well at scale, and with sales team talent stationed across the globe these market positions appear defensible and not easily duplicated; Apple and Google concluded it made more sense to buy their way in.”