Travel and Tourism Trends

I did a keynote at an Eco-Tourism conference yesterday. Here are my notes for anyone that’s interested.


Acceleration of just about everything
Increased stress means that people looking for stress-relieving activities
Rise of slow movement
Shift from products to experiences (links with search for meaning)
Increasing risk aversion but search more extreme sensory experiences
Increasingly visual culture
Culture of instant gratification


Impact of ageing (growth in number of 55-65+)
Declining fertility – smaller families with less time and fewer kids
Fragmented families (more individualized behaviour)
Gen Y low spend per night
Gen X high spend but time starved
Boomers/seniors long holidays but low overall spend


Global slowdown most prevalent in US/Europe
Relative liquidity of CHIME/BRIC nations
Labour shortages create a war for talent within hospitality industry
Polarisation of markets between low-cost and premium segments
Longer term, the cost of oil will create a slowdown in tourism (maybe)
Polarisation between local SMEs and global brands


Growth of in-home leisure experiences
Development of virtual worlds (world’s first virtual travel agency)
Growth of telepresence and virtual conferences
Expected increase in cyber-terrorism and cyber vandalism
IT enabling further transparency of markets
Impact of mobile web, GPS, RFID


Shift of power from West to East
Increase in regulation and compliance
Increase in security and border controls


Increasing eco-awareness
Impact of social and ethical concerns
Changing weather patterns influencing destination development
Increased stress on natural resources
Development of carbon economy (possible red herring)
Expected swing back to local/domestic travel caused by cost/congestion
Future shortages of all key resources, especially water in some regions
Significant difference between customer attitudes and behaviour


Development of enclosed or enclave tourism
Growth of cultural tours (edutainment)
Voluntourism no longer just a gap year activity (search for meaning again)
Dark tourism (extreme experiences)
Development of new Asian destinations (especially Gulf States)
Growth of natural and eco-tourism
Sustainability issue spreading from airlines to hotels and beyond
Impact of inbound CHIME and BRIC tourists
Tourists seeking balance between cultural familiarity (safety) and new experiences
Rise of branded hotels and experiences
Development of long-haul low-cost travel (temporary?)
New hubs
Camping (nostalgia)
Rise of sabbaticals

Key uncertainties

Oil price spikes
Influenza pandemics
Currency movements (e.g. collapse of US$)
Extreme weather events
Weather patterns
Space weather
Critical infrastructure failure
Anti-tourism sentiment

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One Response to Travel and Tourism Trends

  1. Thanks a lot for your notes. They are very helpful. Best regards,

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