The first noteworthy trend in the way of “consuming” tourism is the Millenials way of life, different from the previous generations. More open to international travel, they choose a destination by its interest and its activities. For instance events, festivals, cultural or sports are among their motivations. Places need to provide a whole experience: having proper accommodation, attractive places and happenings.
Urban destinations are on the rise due to the lifestyle encouraged by the Millenials. For instance, they tend to travel more often but on shorter periods. Indeed, studies show that they rather take several weekends than two weeks of vacation. Therefore the destination is changing too; for instance, urban environment is preferred to resorts. It is a real opportunity for cities to become more attractive and enhance their tourism potential.
Seniors are another developing segment. It requires particular facilities, comfort and good services as well as health and soft tourism. Thus, the industry faces multigenerational travellers. As this could be tricky to manage, places may choose one segment and specialize on one offer to answer its specific needs.
Mixed tourism is also expanding to new forms such as “bleisure”, a combination of business and leisure trip, or “retailtainment”, aiming to do shopping with entertainment activities during it. Consequently, tourism is not only for vacation: multiple things are experienced during the trip.
Uniqueness, creativity and authenticity are also key words for the future of tourism. As sharing in real time the experience on social media is increasing over the years, places need to be connected and to go mobile in order to not miss an opportunity. Hence, online facilities as well as collaborative tourism require multiple adaptations in the industry and for the cities in order to meet travellers’ expectations. For instance, the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve tourism competitiveness faces some problems such as the lack of awareness among politicians and decision-makers about the opportunities offered by the technologies. This was the statement of I-SPEED, a European project focused on the improvement of digital tools for European Tourism Economy sustainability with the participation of CAAC member Nantes as a partner.
Therefore, destination branding is not only about promotion but should be part of a wider city strategy that integrates tourism prospects as a key element of urban planning. As lifestyles, connectivity, sustainability or urbanisation are not only tourism but also social trends, a city should manage to do both. The approach will respect citizens while attracting tourism.
What is for you the next evolution for the tourism industry?