Tag: Tourism trends

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Cultural Tourism: Four Examples of How It Works for Destinations

According to the World Tourism Organization cultural tourism accounts for 37% of global tourism, and furthermore affirms that it will continue to grow 15% each year. With all of this market interest, destinations should leverage what makes their societies unique and invest in developing cultural tourism programs.

What is Cultural Tourism?

Cultural tourism allows travelers to be immersed in local rituals and routines, taking away not only pretty photos but also shared memories of unique experiences. For destinations, it encourages local communities to embrace their culture and boosts economic growth. Developing culturally geared tourism programs encourages destinations to celebrate and promote what distinguishes their communities, and in doing so, provides the opportunity for authentic cultural exchange between locals and visitors. The following four case studies illustrate how cultural tourism can be developed.

Morocco: Down the Road of Traditional Crafts

Before 2010, Morocco has a vibrant craft industry, yet artisans had insufficient opportunity for direct sales. Aid to Artisans and the Moroccan Ministry of Crafts cooperated to facilitate direct linkages between artisans and tourists in Marrakech and Fez. This was achieved through establishing new or updating existing artisan and cultural heritage routes, and furnishing them with engaging creating marketing collateral. The team involved as many as 6,603 sale points and was successful in increasing artisan revenue. As a result of this project, crafts and tourism in the area are now more linked than ever before.

Ethiopia: Empowering Community Enterprises for Long-term Success

Ethiopia’s Bale Mountain area is lush and beautiful, and is the home of successful community-led tourism initiatives. The conservation and regulation problems in Ethiopia were addressed by affecting a sustainable tourism development project in partnership with the Frankfurt Zoological Society. The team created 7 community tourism enterprises as well as branding and marketing tools aimed at awareness-building among foreigners and locals alike. The local communities now leverage their cultural heritage, which includes expressive dances and crafts, in its tourism development. This offers them alternative livelihoods that in turn benefit environmental conservation.

Namibia: From North America to Local Villages

 Namibia is a country of rich tourism potential that prior to 2010 had not been successful in fully captivating the North American travel market. A comprehensive trade-focused marketing campaign was launched with the goal of increasing North American arrivals in Namibia over the course of 4 years. By fostering partnerships between Namibian and North American trade, and leading destinations awareness campaigns, this mission was successful.

 Community-based tourism was a large component in promoting the country to the North American market. The campaign succeeded in increasing the number of tourists and routes visiting Namibia by 75% by 2013, exceeding expectations. This helped improve local employment opportunities and enhance cultural awareness among international visitors.

Colombia: More than Whales at Nuquí/Utría National Park

Nuquí/Utría National Park is famous for its prolific whale watching opportunities. However, it suffers from a lack of organizational and business capacity, as well as weak marketing outreach. In 2012, the challenge was tackled by creating a destination marketing alliance with four local community tourism enterprises, providing them capacity building trainings. The team developed and promoted new tour packages that incorporated cultural elements, such as visits to a typical Pacific Chocó village. The team liaised with the Colombian Ministries of Tourism and the Environment to feature the park as a model for sustainable tourism development in a protected area. Through this work, the team was successful in increasing the gross sales of each of these community tourism enterprises and the number of tourism products in this remote area.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Destination%20Management

Environmental sustainabilityMarketing 3.0SustainabilityThird sector and social sustainabilityTourism marketing

Destination Marketing for Voluntourism

Increased awareness of world issues and global needs has led to a rise in the desire to help others abroad. Travelers want to reconnect with humanity, find a sense of meaning, and help their global neighbors in a hands-on way, rather than simply through monetary contributions. While there has been some push-back questioning the merits of voluntourism, many eager travelers are still looking for opportunities where their time and skills will be useful to others.

What is Voluntourism?

Voluntourism, the responsible travel experience which combines helping, learning, and exotic traveling, is becoming increasingly popular for people of all ages who are concerned with world issues and social responsibility. Travelers use their holidays to give back to others, rather than as pure recreation. These trips can be anywhere in length from a few days to a few months. Projects can involve teaching, building schools or other infrastructure, helping with agriculture, or assisting with disaster relief.

Participants typically pay their own expenses when volunteering abroad, but some costs can be tax-deductible. In exchange for their time, voluntourists typically receive an affordable alternative to a vacation that includes orientation, language and technical training, a safe place to live and work under conditions common to the country, and a network of logistical staff to help plan the trip.

Types of Voluntourism

1. Philanthropic or donor travel. Travel philanthropy differs from other types of voluntourism in that its purpose is to supplement a philanthropic gift. Charitable organizations sometimes plan or even sponsor trips for their donors so that they can experience first-hand the work that the organization is doing. The trip could be intended to research a cause, establish a relationship with the recipient, or as reassurance that a philanthropic gift is worthwhile.

2. Private or group travel. Individuals or groups who want a charitable experience during vacation can participate in cultural or community exchanges in which they can volunteer their time. Families, groups, or individuals can create their own voluntourism holiday with a tour operator or join an existing trip with an organization.

3. Urgent service travel and disaster relief. There is an abundance of intense volunteer opportunities in second-response disaster zones after any type of natural disaster. This type of voluntourism tends to be less expensive than other types, although some organizations require that the participants raise additional donations above the cost of the trip. Skilled professionals like doctors and construction workers are in high demand, though almost anyone can help to provide immediate relief.

Voluntourism Marketing Strategies for Destinations:

  • Review the region’s current service assets to identify unique opportunities for visitors.Creativity and uniqueness are important, because travelers have a variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from. Offering one-of-a-kind experiences to travelers with differentiate a destination from its competitors.
  • Build on exisiting organizational relationships.Choose service projects that will also support tourism-related causes, issues, and events, such as museums, zoos, historic buildings, national parks, and conservation efforts that will interest tourists as well as connect them to the region’s other offerings.
  • Add information about volunteering to destination websites. The Alabama Gulf Coast’s website promotes future travel experiences in voluntourism on its website and across its social media platforms as a fun activity to participate in that will preserve the coast for generations to come.
  • Create a catalog of volunteering options for travel planners.Providing a program of unique voluntourism activities will interest tour operators as well as individual travelers. For example, partnering with zoos and national parks can provide sustainable conservation opportunities, while arts programs and museums can provide cultural opportunities for volunteers.

This blog post is from  www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Destination%20Management?start=10

Tourism trends

Special interest tourism experiences

One of the segments with greater growth is no doubt the Special interest travel. Since traveling has become more accessible to most layers of the society, and there is plenty of information available about all types of resources worldwide, passion and mission driven people like to meet other like-minded individuals to share their passion with, to discover new resources related to their hobby or passion, or to expand internationally the impact of the mission they work for. It would be possible to draft an almost endless list of special interest tourism products, but hereby we list just a few to illustrate the concept. These are also usually classified in market niches, like the following:

Wildlife tourism niche. From volunteering to just observation and education, wildlife is a very rich source of memorable experiences and emotions. There are many volunteering programs to help in the protection of endangered species in countries especially rich in biodiversity like Madagascar, Galapagos (Ecuador) or Costa Rica. But you can also volunteer in the Panda Protection Center in Chengdu (China), to help the Panda bears’ carers in the maintenance of the bears’ spaces, prepare their food or collaborate with the veterinaries. Another special case is the Gorilla and Chimpanze protection programs in African countries like Cameroon, Guinea, Kenya, Uganda or Sierra Leone, where there are many centers rescuing these primates to take care of them and foster reproduction. The Jane Goodall Institute is one of the best centers, where they look for professional volunteers to work for long periods of time.

In case you only wish to observe and learn, the options are much varied. From birdwatching in some of the best marshland parks or in times of migration, to a photography safari to learn both about the animals’ life and the art of photography, there is a vast offer available in almost all continents. In this section there could be also included the Diving tourism niche, so long as one of its main attractions is to enjoy the submarine wildlife.

Archeology tourism niche. Films like Indiana Jones have aroused interest and passion for archeology, giving it a sense of fascinating adventure. This has resulted in the development of a considerable offer of tourism products related to it. Visiting historic sites guided by an archeologist and/or a historian making you envision the world in which these buildings and monuments were created is somehow like a trip to the old civilizations. Some of the top destinations in this niche market are Egypt, Mexico –both Maya and Azteca civilizations-, Peru –Inca civilization-, Israel, Greece, Italy, Iran, etc.

Music tourism niche. Beyond traveling to attend a concert or a festival, there are many other possible music motivated holiday programs. There are guided tours visiting the houses of famous musicians, others visiting the backstage of famous venues such as La Scala in Milan, and others visiting museums related to music. Italy, Austria and Germany are the top destinations for this niche market, as they were the nations where most classical musicians were born.

Women issues niche. The agency Focus on women organizes tours to learn about the role of different types of women in all types of societies. This concept encompasses tours to talk with Geishas or Sumo fighters in Japan, meeting with women in the Chii society of Iran who strive to develop themselves despite suffering from serious gender discrimination, talking to women who work to prevent arranged marriages among minor girls in Ethiopia, or talking to women from the Hmong group in Vietnam who open trails in the Sapa valleys in the north of the country.

These four are just a short glimpse of the enormous variety of holiday programs dedicated to special interests related to activity holidays, culture and well-being.

Which are the most original special interest tours you have ever known of?

IntelligenceMarketing 3.0Tourism trends

Future tourists

Amadeus has recently presented a survey explaining how the tourists will be in 2030 (Future Travel Tribes 2030). This report has been elaborated with the Future Foundation and through it we can have clues about how tourists will travel in 15 years. Anticipation and knowledge will be the key success factors both for businesses and destinations.

Destination service suppliers, developed products, the means used to provide services and manage revenues, the relationship with the clients and the level of knowledge about them, will play an essential role in satisfying the increasingly exigent customers.

For instance, businesses and destinations with both qualitative and quantitative data about their clients will be able to approach clients optimally before they come to the destination. They will be able to adapt their services and put the surprise effect into practice. The tourist loyalty will be linked to the degree of approach we have towards customers, on how well we know them and how much we can engage with them.

The report presents 6 types of tourists or market segments:

  1. Social capital searchers: they plan their holidays in accordance with their network, experts and others’ recommendations and opinions. In this segment, businesses focusing their marketing through the social networks clearly have an advantage to gain these tourists. Other platforms such as Tripadvisor favor the growth of this segment. There are also many blogs dedicated to traveling with a broad influence in this segment. Destinations usually organize bloggers trips to leverage their influence power as they do with the journalists.

Other initiatives such as Hidden Cash create a partnership between the destination and an operator –airline, train, tour-operator, etc.- to make a campaign promoting both the destination and the operator. For instance, Santiago de Compostela and Easyjet organized a game in which there were 10 hidden flight tickets throughout the city, which generated great buzz in the social networks.

  1. Cultural purists: in this case there are some travel agencies which are capable of crafting a tailored holiday with a high degree of authenticity. This segment’s tourists want to learn everything about the destination, regardless of the discomforts it may entail. This is an opportunity for all those businesses and destinations that may offer experiences related with cultural education, cultural immersion, etc. This corresponds to the type of tourism that used to motivate traveling in the past, focused on learning about the destination, its culture and its people.
  2. Committed travelers: all those businesses and destinations working actively in CSR policies can be considered in this segment. These travelers know that the money they spend during their holiday goes in favor of the local communities’ businesses and its environment, in a way that destinations revenues contribute effectively to the sustainable development of the destination. Therefore, businesses and destinations focused on a mission-driven development are to be the winners in this segment. This type of tourists is also called Tourists 3.0.

A good example may be Hostal Spa Empuries, focused on the environment protection. It is certified with the Leed Gold (certification in sustainable architecture) and works based on the principle of “CradletoCradle” or “C2C”, which entails working with sustainable materials which can be reused after being used for its present purpose in the Hotel architecture.

  1. Comfort lovers: tour-operators and travel agencies working with the traditional package format are to satisfy these segment’s tourists. However, these tourists are likely to be increasingly exigent and clear about the expectations to meet. Therefore, this is an opportunity for the traditional travel agencies and operators, though they will need to gain insightful knowledge about their clients.
  2. Business travelers: innovative businesses providing fast technological solutions are likely to get a good share of this segment’s business. For instance, NH Hoteles, which defines itself as a firm where future is present, works on innovation from the inside, being one of the core values within the corporate culture. That means that they dedicate part of their time to manage internal knowledge, to develop talent within their human resources, and to co-create solutions to their challenges.

NH offers futuristic experiences for the MICE segment. From now on, in some of its hotels, meetings can be held through a 3D holographic technology system, which makes that the image of the person represented by a 3D hologram is present in the meeting in real size. In this way, clients may hold real time meetings as if they were in many places at a time. This service sets NH Hoteles apart as one of the most innovative hotel chains.

Those businesses that understand that time is gold for their clients and find innovative solutions –usually technology based- to save time for their clients are likely to gain a good share of this market segment, one of the most profitable.

  1. Luxury enthusiasts: among the wealthiest clients there will always be a segment of the most exigent, who like to set themselves apart from other travelers by enjoying high end services and experiences. However, these clients are also likely to be among the most loyal, both in good and bad times. Businesses operating in this segment have to bear in mind that for these clients, their holidays are an extraordinary reward, for which they are ready to pay whatever it costs. And they take this type of holidays also to satisfy their need to feel exclusive and to feel that they are doing something unique. There are nowadays many agencies focusing on this type of high-end tourism. Only in Spain, there is Made for Spain, Plenia, Shik Barcelona, Kakdoma Barcelona, Marbella Exclusive, toda la red de agencias Virtuoso, etc.

These are companies usually focused on international targets to whom they offer co-creation of the experience they want to live, ensuring high-end ingredients and exclusivity. The concept for this business is “only for you, and with us”.  For these businesses there is the challenge of catching the luxury trends and being able to offer the best of the best adapted to the clients wishes.

This blogpost is from http://www.visionesdelturismo.es/turistas-del-futuro/

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Digital transformation in Tourism

The tourism industry is facing changes affecting the whole value chain, in both public and private sectors and to the whole system (demand, offer, markets and territory). In the coming ten years, the tourism industry is likely to generate new economic, social and environmental impacts through the digital transformation. More precisely, digitalization is impacting intensively and rapidly, forcing businesses to adapt to this environment of permanent transformation.

Digital transformation trends in tourism. There are four main technologies leading the digital transformation in the tourism industry:

  • Cloud: data collection, management and processing.
  • Mobile: platforms, services and applications for smartphones and tablets.
  • Internet of things: devices and objects connected to the internet.
  • Social: social networks through which the users participate, share and exchange contents and services.

And according to the report from the Orange Foundation about the digital transformation of the tourism sector in Spain, the main trends of the upcoming years are likely to be the following:

  1. New intermediation models. New agents have contributed to redesign the value chain, like the collaborative platforms (airbnb, uber, etc.)
  2. Technological platforms based upon cloud computing. Managing and processing Big data and Data Lake.
  3. The mobile. New tourism products and services to be consumed through the mobile devices.
  4. Internet of things. Wearable devices, Smart straps, beacons and chatbots are the main technology elements.
  5. Smart destinations. Appliance of advanced technologies under the denomination of Smart tourism destinations, Smart cities or Smart islands.
  6. Social networks. Also used as marketing tools.
  7. OTA’S and intermediation, search and comparison platforms, and e-commerce.
  8. Collaborative economy. Activity ecosystems where reputation becomes a fundamental business asset.
  9. Other technologies starting to gain protagonism in the tourism industry are geo-localization, virtual reality and augmented reality.
  10. Big data: The chances offered by many of the new technologies to generate and capture data.

In the digital transformation cross-sector process, tourism businesses have four main challenges to tackle:

  • People: new ways of working with human resources regarding communication and the need for skill development to adapt to the new realities, multiculturality, remote working, virtual teamworking, etc.
  • Infrastructures: incorporation of new digital tools.
  • Processes: new ways of using these new tools and working.
  • Systems: availability of environments which are adaptable in a way that allow businesses to design processes more rapidly.

Nowadays, most tourism organizations adopt the most sophisticated digital technology carrying out large investments in renewing their methods and tools, and there are also new collaborative models. However, the success will stay in being capable of having profiles with digital competences.

This blogpost is from  http://www.visionesdelturismo.es/transformacion-digital-en-turismo/

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Tourism 3.0 – Innovation and digital competences

Along with the mega-trends that set Tourism 3.0 apart from conventional models, it is evident that not only the future but also the present state of the tourism industry is to be developed upon the new technologies along the whole industry value chain. Nowadays very few companies have not yet started their digitalization process. However, the issue is not about implementing new technologies, but about how to use them to increase productivity and add value for the customer.

According to Fernando de Pablo (President of Segitur, the Spanish Government’s Society for Tourism Innovation), we are in a world under continuous change where the tourism industry is the only one affected by all technology trends, and therefore needs new digital competencies. In the document elaborated by Thinktur (Forum focused on Tourism Innovation) “10 technological trends in tourism for 2017”, there are a handful of new advancements affecting the tourism sector:

  • Big data – Open data
  • Digital marketing
  • Smartphones & Apps
  • Virtual and immersive reality
  • Internet of things
  • Trans-commercialization
  • Natural language processing
  • Gamification
  • Personalisation systems
  • 2D and 3D printing

The goal of the digital competencies in the tourism industry is to develop the capacity of Discovery, learning, understanding and anticipating tourists’ motivations and expectations.

We have been taking pictures and videos about our traveling experiences for more than ten years, but being able to share them in real time through the social networks is a relatively new thing, which is possible thanks to the global connectivity available in most developed destinations. This is to satisfy the need for sharing our experiences with our relatives and friends, the main reason why we take all those pictures and videos.

The point is how to use the available technology, and to adequately choose which technology should be used for what purpose. It is therefore necessary to learn how to handle them before deciding.

The Hospitality industry and Digital Marketing. In the event “Tourism 3.0 – Innovation and digital competences” organized by IMF Business School we learnt about the experience of three hotels belonging to large Hotel chains implementing  their tourism digitalization strategy through marketing.

Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel. This hotel has initiated a Project to create tailored experiences through Big Data tools.

Hotel Meliá Castilla. This hotel has implemented an Inbound Marketing Strategy searching for customer loyalty, trying to turn clients into fans, so that the motivation for staying in the hotel comes from the tourists themselves.

Novotel Madrid Center. Beyond delivering the expected service, they search for elements that make the experience outperform in the customer’s expectation.

This blogpost is from  http://www.visionesdelturismo.es/turismo-3-0-innovacion-y-competencias-digitales/

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The Vision of Tourism 3.0

As the world is evolving at a faster pace than ever before, so are the needs, motivations, and concerns that drive the evolution of modern societies, and hence the kind of relationship that customers wish to develop with brands, as well as what they expect from them, which ultimately challenges business models to reinvent themselves towards the so called Marketing 3.0 approach.

As explained by Philip Kotler in his book “Marketing 3.0”, this new approach considers customers as values-driven people and potential collaborators. They are increasingly concerned about issues such as poverty alleviation, sociocultural change and environmental sustainability, and expect brands to address its related challenges. Companies should embed these issues deeply within their mission, leading to a new perspective that ultimately transforms the lives of the stakeholders.

Such a mission needs to be spread to all potential stakeholders with compelling stories that engage them to become part of the solution. Such stories raise the concept of marketing to the field of values, intending to leap forward from functional and emotional marketing to human spirit marketing.

Marketing 3.0 also embraces the new social wave, where customers are more aware and active, empowering them not only to participate by giving their opinions about products and marketing campaigns but also to co-create them, thus becoming key players within the marketing strategies. This new approach demands marketers to understand human anxieties and desires, which nowadays are increasingly rooted in creativity, culture, and the environment.

The tourism industry has embraced many of these trends and concerns with the raise of phenomena such as ecotourism or responsible tourism. However, these businesses usually remain at small scale and niche focused, at a disadvantage to most conventional ones, mostly in terms of marketing power.

The next destination generation intends to address these drawbacks by fostering collaboration among all destination stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, government, partners, travel agents, local community, etc.) to create authentic and life-transforming experiences that appeal not only to the tourists’ functional and emotional needs, but also to their human spirit.

Furthermore, this collaboration and community involvement is leveraged to create stories about the experiences happening in the destination, which ultimately become the main marketing content drawing attention and engaging tourists and other potential stakeholders.

Therefore, the vision of Tourism 3.0 consists of a tourism development based upon collaborative business models operating as open innovation ecosystems, where all stakeholders are empowered to participate in the generation of experiences and stories that address their concerns and focus on their functional, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment.

The mission of this blog is to share and discuss ideas on how to design and develop strategies to transform destinations towards the principles of the tourism 3.0.