The Herman Trend Alert|
May 4, 2011
The Future of Tourism
As the economies of the world recover, we will see a return to people buying experiences. Whether it is a Windjammer cruise to remote spots or a Linblad Expedition to the Galapagos Islands, whether people want to visit space for 5 minutes on Virgin Galactic or stay at an understated hotel beneath the sea, travelers, particularly aging Boomers, are looking to spend money on being inspired, being educated, and building memories.
Destinations are becoming more remote. As people who have seen many countries of the world seek out destinations not yet visited, we will see an increasing focus on the remote rainforests of Brazil, recently discovered islands, the vast oceans, and selected other places on the planet not yet spoiled by conventional tourism.
We have already seen an uptick in Sustainable Tourism with travelers looking for LEED-qualified* hotels to minimize their carbon footprints. We’re even now witnessing increases in adventure travel, eco- , art, and historical tourism, not to mention safaris to see the wildlife, before the poachers eliminate it altogether.
Moreover, recently consumers enjoyed their first peeks inside Virgin Galactic's passenger spaceship. Visit this URL for a tour: http://laughingsquid.com/a-video-tour-inside-virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo/. For $200,000 for five minutes of weightless, Virgin Galactic may offer the most expensive on the planet! Always looking for new opportunities, Sir Richard Branson will be ready to take you on your undersea adventure as well with Virgin Oceanic. http://laughingsquid.com/sir-richard-branson-takes-on-ocean-exploration-with-virgin-oceanic/
One consumer-driven huge trend we are seeing is the increasingly research of destinations, hotels, cruises, and side trips before people book. Web sites like TripAdvisor.com, CruiseCritic.com, Travelpost.com, and FrugalTraveler.com fill the need for information and reviews. Finally, for those who can afford it, they will travel in smaller groups, paying higher fees for more personalized experiences.
According to the World Tourism Council, the big winners with increasing tourism between 2008 and 2018 will be the US and China. The Council expects the US to increase one Trillion dollars and China to increase by even more.
The bottom line is that more and more people are seeking “life-changing experiences”, and tour operators, cruise lines, and others will be there to supply the experiences.
*LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; a Green Building Rating System that is internationally recognized as a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
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