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Tomorrows Tourist: Fluid Identity

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A description of the key tourism drivers that shape tourists behaviour in 2050 based upon a wealth and a desire for new experiences. Part of the www.tourism2050.com project

Text of Tomorrows Tourist: Fluid Identity

  • 1. Fluid Identity Trust, Volatilityand Identity ContestedLiberalism ContestedHedonism Rising MiddleClasses and WealthDistribution A World WithoutBoundaries CollectiveIndividualism Demanding Consumers,Endless Choice and a Complicated Life Fluidity of Values The Feminisation of aHave it all Society Fluidity of Luxury New LifeCoursesI Will Try and be Ethical, but. Anxious Society Immediacy Extended Families Something New

2. Rising Middle Classes and Wealth Distribution The rising economy in China could lift hundreds of millions of households out of poverty. In 1985, 99% of Chinese consumers could be classified as poor, but by 2025 forecasts by McKinsey suggest 10% (Farrel 2006) 3. Fluidity of Values This trend will continue to grow especially amongst middle class consumers in developing countries who experience consumerism and develop new tastes and desires. 4. Demanding Consumers, Endless Choiceand a Complicated LifeAs consumers gain wealth, life seems to become more complicated with choices and hence they become more demanding. to a certain extent tourism is part of the solution as tourism is an escape from our daily lives. 5. A World Without Boundaries Ethnic structures are changing, cities like Los Angeles, London and Melbourne are becoming melting pots of different and blended cultures to create richness and diversity. For example, what we mean by Britishness or Kiwi is fluid and changing.As a result boundaries are being broken, blended and new ones have being formed as a result of demography, technology and transportation. 6. I will try and be ethical, but Much has been said about the consumer and climate change, but do they really care? While many trends have encouraged the growth of ethical consumption in recent years, there are some trends which have a negative or at least limiting influence. Ethical tourism is fashionable and is encouraged by the current dynamics of demographic change. However, it sits uneasily with many aspects of modern lifestyles. Greater wealth has made people more willing and more able to express their moral beliefs in how they holiday .often in conflict with ethical consumption.AsKermit the Frogonce said, it is difficult being green, hence the dilemma for todays consumer(Henson 2005) 7. The Feminisation of a Have it all Society From a tourism perspective, holidays become the meeting place for a have it all society or is tourism they just part of the bling and materialism of society? In the USA, four decades ago nearly two-thirds of all college graduates were men (64%). Today's makeup of college campuses looks drastically different, as a majority of graduates are now women. In 2007, fully 53.5% of all graduates were women while just 46.5% were men. 8. Anxious Society Despite being richer, healthier and safer than ever before, todays consumers seem to worry more than ever whether about food, crime and diseases and so called risks or one kind or another. The result is that goods and services are subject to panic effects, whereby a product deemed unsafe, or simply tainted by association, suffers a sudden collapse is demand. The tourism market is affected by this, whether it foot and mouth disease (UK), SARS (Canada) or terrorism (Egypt), where precautionary behaviour by tourists has gone far in excess of any rational calculus of risk and probability.Listen to a video about the culture of fearhere 9. Trust, Volatility and IdentityDr Ian Yeoman talks about the importance of100% Pure New Zealandin a world of uncertainty surrounding trust, volatility and identity ( click here) Cultural capital is how tourists talk about the places they have visited, the food they have eaten, the museums they have visited and the people they have met.Trust is generated in the conversation, hence creating cultural capital and social cachet. 10. Collective Individualism Broadly speaking, individuals have become more powerful in relation to institutions over the last generation. Witness the devolution of increased buying power to consumers since the 70s and 80s, a function of macro-economic growth, higher skills, technology and enhanced employability as well as reasonably efficient systems of income-distribution. Collective individualism is expressed in the100% Pure New Zealandbrand.New Zealand tourism is saying who they are and who they want to identify with. 11. Contested Hedonism Venenhoven (2003) raises an interesting question about hedonism, ifhedonism adds to happiness,how long does that happiness last?If hedonistic behaviour is as unhealthy as some doctors say it is,it could shorten an otherwise happy life . So the key to the future is making sure that hedonism is healthy. Dr Ian Yeoman talks aboutadult hedonism in Las Vegas 12. Contested Liberalism There is an appreciation ofthe concept of liberalism as society seemingly deals with issues as gay rights, abortion, immigration and sex. However, in a society which has seemed to have banned discrimination against women, many of these issues still have a degree of uncomfortableness. A sense of personal freedom will increase the growth in world tourism, where identity is built on liberal attitudes reinforced through education and knowledge. The exposure of tourists to a multi-cultured society allows greater expression of individuality, whether this is sexual behaviour or unconventional lifestyles. 13. ImmediacyAugmented reality in which virtual reality is placed in front of physical object and delivered on a mobile phone platform is changing hotel reservation and information provisional model. Today, in cities like Tokyo and Seoul, 30% of hotel reservations are made on the day of arrival via a mobile phone(see the application of augmented reality by clickinghere ) See howNew York City Visitor and Convention Bureauis using state of the art google maps and tables in the provision of informationhere 14. Fluidity of Luxury 15. New Life Courses Source: Yeoman and Butterfield (2010) Demography maybe the single most important factor that will change tourism behaviour. For example, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in old age, consumers are searching for a means to extend healthy retirement years. 16. Extended FamiliesListen toDr Heike Schaenzelof Victoria University of Wellington talk about family holidays in New Zealand (click on photo). Longevity and smaller core families have led to the family structure becoming more vertical rather than statically horizontal in form the multi-generational family, also known as the vertical family, is a term first coined by sociologist Michael Young (Briggs 2001). It refers to the fact that, because of increased longevity, there has been a gradual shift towards there being more generations in a family. 17. Something NewWith increased wealth comes a desire for change and something new, research by the Future Foundation ( www.futurefoundation.net ) highlights that the average UK consumer changes there hair style every 18 months, when buying a new car seeks a new model and make, is constantly meeting new friendsand therefore desiring novelty and change.