In the international travel market, there is nowadays an increasing fragmentation especially due to the raise of special interest travelers. They are highly educated individuals driven by values and cultural motivations in accordance with the aforementioned life-transforming experiences. Moreover, they are among the tourists accounting for the highest expenditures in the destinations.
As it happens with all new business models and products, they are to take the role of innovators and early adopters, both the adventurous ones who like to try brand new experiences and the opinion leaders who observe the adventurous innovators and decide to follow them once they are convinced about its benefits. They are the visionary consumers who have the capacity to influence the mainstream ones about the benefits of the value proposition, and so the primary strategic target to attract. They are change leaders and the most receptive to new ideas and value propositions.
Even if “Tourists 3.0” are to become not only our most enthusiast customers, but also our main brand ambassadors over time, many destinations may need to attract customer segments other than these “mission driven tourists”, at least during the early stages of their development or to balance the demand seasonality, for it is necessary to describe these other targets with precision in order to develop the appropriate marketing strategies. The tourists’ characterization should describe many variables such as the geographical origin, main motivation(s), length of stay, demand seasonality, sociological profile, expenditure, type of group, etc. The Whitepaper “Envisioning destination intelligence 3.0” explains in detail the customer characterization, among many other issues.
In this section, the model should explain the kind of targets that the destination wants to attract, specifying their strategic importance for the destination from the short to the long term, in terms of expected engagement in the creation and delivery of stories, or in terms of the revenue streams they generate to balance the demand seasonality, or to subsidize mission driven activities or other segments. Customer segments should therefore be classified according to their priority level, synthesizing the value they demand and the value and revenue they bring in.
How do you think it is possible to leverage tourists 3.0’s talent and influential power for the benefit of tourism destinations?