This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 15, 2012

Emerging Tourism Trends

Trend #1: Ultimate Adventure Travel
Aimed at the deep-pocketed Baby Boomers seeking new and exciting experiences, adventure travel is growing. Recently "National Geographic" Magazine teamed up with Linblad, the adventure travel folks, to deliver some peak experiences, notably cruises on small ships to the Galapagos and Antarctica, featuring nifty high-tech tools that we have only seen used on television. Promoted through video brochures on DVDs, these "trips-of-a-lifetime" require a little time and a lot of money.

Imagine having the benefit of rubbing elbows with National Geo experts like naturalists, historians, photographers, undersea specialists, and video chroniclers. These experts will have all the goodies, including an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), a digital video camera, and a Splash Cam*. We believe that these ultimate experiences will have great appeal to consumers for whom money is no object. We will see more Baby Boomers, jaded on consumption, buying memories that will last forever.

Trend #2: The Burgeoning LGBT** Market
Travel agents have long known that childless couples spend more on travel than people with children do. So it is not surprising that when they discovered an entire population segment that has relatively fewer children than the general population***, they would capitalize on it.

At this point, gay and lesbian people constitute over 6 percent of the entire population and they are becoming one of the most influential segments in the tourism industry. Across the globe, the increasing recognition of homosexuality has resulted in a major change in the travel industry. Previously, gay and lesbian travelers used to travel to only "gay safe" destinations; they chose environments like gay districts in San Francisco, New York, Key West, and Brighton, Blackpool (United Kingdom). However, due to the global growing acceptance, they are expanding into mainstream tourism.

Conservative estimations show that overseas trips by LGBT people have risen significantly between 2006 and 2011 to 1.6 million by 2011. This increase will have a huge positive impact on the travel markets worldwide, literally billions of dollars. Happily, an approach of "gay tolerance" has been replaced by an attitude that is "gay-friendly", where LGBT travelers are heartily welcomed, rather than just tolerated. Expect to see a wider variety of destinations and experiences market to LGBT travelers and other affinity groups previously overlooked as well.

* A Splash Cam is an underwater video camera that attaches to a telescoping pole; "wired" to the surface, it allows expedition leaders to deploy a camera where they would not otherwise choose to send a scuba diver.

** LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender)

*** Fewer than one-fifth of LGBT couples are raising children (19 percent in 2010), though that number is rising fast.

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