What kind of tourists will we be in 20 years from now?
Will we still have the financial resources to travel whenever and wherever we want?
To get a better idea of future issues in tourism, we had a chat with 2 expert of the industry: Guillaume Cromer, Director of ID-tourism and Antonin Leonard, founder of Ouishare. Based on some prospects we are in for some surprise! Is mass-tourism living its last days? Looking at the last key figures of the sector, its does not appear so. The Chinese have just begun to really enjoy travelling and they aren’t ready to put a hold on it. Just like the Brazilians and the Russians. But if we take a closer look at it, we can be sure that the crisis left its footprints. Yes, there’s proof: only 60% of French people left on holidays last summer versus 70% the year before. But there’s no question that Europeans will stop their touristic activity. “It is clear that the crisis has had its impact. Nevertheless, the need to travel will always exist. It will simply require more economic inputs, including air transport,” predicts Guillaume Cromer
Tourism: When new technology comes into play
According to Antonin Leonard, founder of Ouishare and specialist of the collaborative consumption sector, change in behavior is already noticeable. “There is a strong correlation between new technologies and behavior. More and more young people book their trip last minute by using facebook to look for good deals and finding local residents.”
An intensive search for good deals is the trademark of these new tourists, they are more aware of the environment and are looking for real human experience. Travel photos on facebook of a paradise island, for example, offers no longer a real value. Today’s generation is looking for atypical destinations », says Antonin.
Collaborative consumption makes a difference
The traditional tourism players are having some trouble accepting the new state of mind. The success of new and fast-developping services such as Blablacar, Nightswapping, Greeters, are pushing them around and force them to question themselves.
Collaborative consumption is shaking up the traditional tourism sector. And it is not about to stop! If you ask a young person who uses car sharing if he’s feeling like an “outsider” using “alternative” services, he’ll sure as hell say “no”: alternative consumption is now part of everyday consumption habits for the younger generation.
“The face of tourism will thus not only be more collaborative, but also more ‘imaginative’”, says Guillaume Cromer. “People always need a change of scenery, not far from home. We just need to offer new forms of travel.”
The French government seems, in any case, to have understood what was at play. The Ministry of Handcrafts, Commerce and Tourism has launched last year the ‘Conference of Tourism’. During several months, a work group has been working on developping a program to make France a destination of the future.
Hence, something to follow-up… ;)