This year the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has selected “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” as their theme for 2018. World Tourism Day was first celebrated in 1980 to raise awareness about tourism in international communities, and this year they’re focusing on how tourism can improve entrepreneurship, community empowerment, and effective resource management. We’re going to share some growing trends that brands in the travel industry must address for consumers to continue to look them as loyal travel partners.
Traveling Is a Growing Experience
Just like the food, traveling is no longer about just enjoying an experience. The expectation for a simple experience has risen to one of transformation. A successful, satisfying travel experience helps shape a person’s identity and broadens their perspective. Our research partner, Iconoculture, states that “Consumers who do more leisure travel increasingly identify with self-improvement values like growth, self-actualization, and ambition.” Consumer mindsets on traveling have changed—there needs to be a stronger, personal benefit that drives a person to a particular place. Achieving that Instaworthy shot or eating local food isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Tourism destinations have an opportunity to share their authentic cultures with the rest of the world. Brands can strategically partner up with travel influencers, local guides, local artisans and cultural experts to create unforgettable, memorable, cultural experiences that go beyond just a photo with a few smiles.
Travel is Expensive (Unfortunately)
The average international trip for American travelers now costs $6,080 (Squaremouth, 2018). Traveling is expensive, and that fact isn’t new or surprising. However, the need to satisfy any wanderlust has created an expectation of price transparency. Travelers spend more time comparing prices, searching for deals, and budgeting so that they can afford to explore. New apps and services make price comparison and itinerary creation much easier, even suggesting price-sensitive options such as hiking and guided city tours. For brands that means hidden fees and misleading advertisements will bring disappointment and negativity—not something consumers want to encounter as they plan their trips. Honesty is the best policy, and the more transparent a company is with their prices, the more consumers will feel comfortable trusting them.
Travel Is Multigenerational
Photos alluding to wanderlust fulfillment usually involve young, trendy adults who travel the world with a backpack and a camera, but Boomers and Gen Xers love to do the same. Millennials take an average of 3.2 leisure trips a year. Gen Xers average 2.9 and Boomers 2.8. Essentially, we’re all taking about three trips for leisure every year (Gartner Iconoculture, October 2017).
People of every generation travel to discover new experiences, cultures, and places. Older travelers prefer to use their travels as time to relax and rejuvenate, a getaway from everyday life. Millennials and Gen Zers also want to relax, although they do seek out more adventurous, exciting experiences and call that relaxation. Expect to see more interest in travel experiences tailored to multigenerational groups so that the whole family can enjoy it together. The latest obsession? Road trips, as seen in this touching ad by Volkswagen.
Travel Is Changing With Tech
Brands in the travel and hospitality industries have done a good job reacting to changing consumer needs over the past few years. From Hopper to Airbnb, to Marriott placing Alexas in their hotel rooms, advancing technologies have made traveling easier and more achievable. And mobile devices are playing a huge role in simplifying travel. 70% of U.S. travelers say they “always” use their smartphones when traveling. Digital hubs like Airbnb Travel Guides, Lonely Planet, and Millennial/Gen Z-targeted app, Cool Cousin, allow travelers to connect with other seasoned vacationers and locals to find more authentic experiences. As consumers’ motivations for travel develop, we expect to see tech become increasingly intertwined in their experiences across the globe.
Source: Gartner Iconoculture
Amusement Park is celebrating World Tourism Day (WTD) by hosting our second annual World Tourism Day Tasting where we get to try delicious treats from all over the world, dishes that our employees have grown up enjoying and are now sharing with the rest of us!
Although we really want to give you a sample of what we’re tasting over here, technology, unfortunately, is not yet so advanced that we can hand over some lumpia through your screen. Maybe one day.
So instead, we made a video so that you can watch us try some foods from different parts of the world. Enjoy!