February 1999


  • World News Today... daily headlines and abstracts
  • Ad Spending Forecasts Slowed Growth
  • White Ranks High From Fashion to Automobiles in Japan
  • UPS Expands Latin American Presence
  • Japan Gives Shopping Vouchers to 35 Million Households
  • US Travel to Cuba Still Illegal
  • Turkish Travel to Italy Resumes
  • Foreign Banks Close in Vietnam
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  • LONDON, U.K. -- According to Zenith Media ad spending growth will continue to slow down everywhere except in Asia, where growth is projected to increase by 4.1% in 1999 to US$67.5 billion, following a decline of 3% in 1998. However, Zenith's rival, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York has a different outlook for Asia, and thinks the future is difficult to determine.

    Despite shrinking ad spending growth (from 7.6% in 1998 to 6% in 1999) in Latin America, Zenith predicts that Latin America will be the fastest-growing ad spend region this year. According to forecasters, there doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between economic growth and ad spending, but rather a correlation between ad spending and rising consumerism.

    Regardless of whose forecasts we go by, worldwide ad spending is on the rise, from 4.1 - 4.5%, accounting for US$305.6 - 435.9 billion.

    Among the year's fastest growing advertising markets for 1999 are: Turkey, Poland and Venezuela with growth forecasts in excess of 30%.

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    TOKYO, Japan -- The hottest color these days in Japan is white. From white cars and white coats to white beer. The color white may be lifting Japanese spirits in an otherwise depressed economy, according to trendspotters there. In fact, white coats accounted for a large portion of the 20% year-on-year increase in sales of women's coats during November/December. White clothing, in general, seems to be big for women ages 20 - 25 and teenagers.

    Ford Motor Company also sees white as a popular sales attribute. Car sales among their recently released Winter Version vehicles, all in white, had 10 - 40% higher sales than other white Ford vehicles. In fact, 45.9% of all cars sold in 1997 were white, according to the Automobile Registration & Inspection Association in Japan. It is expected that more than 50% of new car sales in 1999 will be white cars.

    Even "white beers" are gaining popularity as a change of pace. According to the Japan Fashion Color Association, white may be gaining popularity because it represents a bright future for those who wear it.

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    Central America -- United Parcel Service (UPS) continues to expand its services throughout Latin America with the most recent addition of Costa Rica to its air freight services from Miami. Later this month, UPS will also add service to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. These added services are in response to increasing volume of shipments that UPS makes to/from the region, up 16% from 1997 - 1998 to 11.6 million packages.

    Until recently, UPS utilized space on commercial and cargo carriers to make deliveries to the region, but could not count on needed space or availability. With their own flights, UPS can now provide customers with increased reliability and save a considerable amount of time for transit and also handle larger capacity cargo. Main competition for UPS in the region includes Federal Express and DHL, both of which offer several weekly flights.

    UPS has also applied for regulatory approval for flights into the Dominican Republic and Colombia. They are awaiting approval later this year.

    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    TOKYO, Japan -- In an effort to boost Japanese domestic consumption, the Japanese government began distributing shopping vouchers to approximately 35 million eligible households throughout the country. Nearly 60% of Japan's GDP comes from personal consumption -- and the expectation is that these vouchers will spur additional purchasing. Worth US$170, the vouchers will only be valid for a limited time. Eligible households include the elderly and those with children under the age of 15.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA -- Despite an opening up between the US and Cuba, the US State Department has issued recent warnings to Americans that pleasure and business travel to Cuba is still illegal. There has been an increase in the number of Americans traveling to Cuba; but in fact, legal travel is approved only for academic, religious and cultural trips. Moreover, Americans and those subject to US jurisdiction are prohibited from spending American currency in Cuba; such action is punishable by US law including 10 years in jail and fines of US$250,000.
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    ISTANBUL, Turkey -- After an 11 week tourism and trade boycott which began last November, tourism to Italy from Turkey resumed. (Around 300,000 Turks visit Italy every year.) Hardest hit by this boycott were the approx. 1000 Italian companies doing business in Turkey. They lost about 58.3 million euros' (US$67.6 million) worth of business due to cancelled orders, according to the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade. The boycott started when the Italian government refused to extradite Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, to Turkey last year. The embargo ended because the Italians threw Ocalan out of the country.

    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- Last year, 18 foreign banks closed in Vietnam, leaving 56 by the end of 1998. This year, 3 more Japanese banks will close their Ho Chi Minh City branches by mid-year: Sakura Bank, Fuji Bank and Daiwa Bank. However, Fuji Bank will maintain an office in Hanoi.

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    LAST MINUTE TRAVEL BARGAINS -- Special Discounted Fares

    American Airlines' Net SAAver and Net SAAver International offers last minute travel bargains for travelers departing from the USA. You can schedule a last minute meeting or a weekend getaway to selected destinations throughout the USA, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America or South America each week and benefit from these discounted rates.

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  • US$179 -- Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
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    From New York Kennedy, NY (JFK) to:

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    From Newark, NJ (EWR) to:

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    [Restrictions apply. Check with American Airlines or our travel service group for details and confirmation. Not responsible for typographical errors.]

    International flight departures leave on Thursday or Friday, February 25 - 26, 1999. Thursday departures return anytime the following Monday and Friday departures return anytime the following Monday/Tuesday.

    To take advantage of these last minute bargains, or any travel needs, Call 1-800-715-4440 and ask for a Net SAAver Domestic or International Fare. Be sure to give the agent this PIN#: 27035 to book your flight. Or send e-mail to travel@pangaea.net, include your name and telephone number, please.

    You can also read the latest news about Travel & Tourism.

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    Updated 2/22/99