Traveling has become a real necessity in the current times. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in 2018, 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded. This figure represented a 6% growth compared to 2017, and it was maintained even in 2019, setting the travel and tourism industry as one of the main engines of economic growth and development worldwide for the new decade.
According to the UNWTO, during these last years, the reasons why people travel have changed. Some of the main goals of modern travelers include healthy activities, spirituality, cultural enrichment, business, and training or learning. All these different reasons to travel represent various types of tourists, whose needs and preferences may vary quite substantially. Smart hotelier, travel business owner, or a destination promoter should know, what their preferred type of tourist wants, and offer it to them.
The Gourmet Tourist
For the gourmet tourist, also known as the “foodie”, their compass is their palate and passion for cuisine, which encourages this type of tourist to know the world. For the gourmet tourist, there’s no limit to bars, pubs or restaurants to visit. In addition, they’re usually quite empathetic and opt to taste the food of a country, live like a local, know the people and history.
If we want to attract the gourmet tourist, we must offer destinations that are a challenge for the palate because what they look for is listening to stories told by experts in F&B (Food and Beverage) who prepare traditional dishes.
The Cultural Tourist
The journey of a cultural tourist is through the history of civilization through the customs and traditions of each country. Cultural tourists are usually the most tolerant because of their ability to embrace different realities and their environment. In addition, they have extensive knowledge of art, architecture and even religion.
If we want to get to the core of a cultural tourist, you must have two things: a tourist guide who knows the locations and is able to address all kinds of questions, and a calendar of festivities, since traditional celebrations are usually great opportunities for cultural enrichment.
The Hardworking Tourist and the Digital Nomads
The hardworking type is a very interesting tourist. On one hand, there are those known as ‘digital nomads’ who work as freelancers and find inspiration in their travels. On the other, there are those types of tourists whose work requires them to constantly travel for business and meetings. It’s thanks to the hardworking tourist that nowadays we can use the term ‘bleisure’ [“business” and “leisure”]. This group has short periods of time to get to know new destinations, so if we want to connect with them, we must offer a quick but meaningful itinerary that covers the most relevant aspects of the country according to their schedules.
The Shopping Tourist
The shopping tourist is the latest evolution of the compulsive consumer who travels with an almost empty suitcase, hoping to fill in a cosmopolitan destination. Those who practice shopping tourism know everything about planning, how to save even the last penny in accommodation expenses, and they’re alert to any possibility that arise about offers, promotions, payments, and taxes.
To attract shopping tourists, we must offer all the services to make shopping a simple experience. This includes good transport, optimal management at the airport and, above all, including a detailed map of shops or highlighting luxury brands, a major attraction for the eastern tourist.
The Adventurous Tourist
The adventurous tourist is the most liberal of all the types of tourists. This practice, or travel philosophy for some, is also known as slow tourism and it differs from others due to the sense of freedom and fearlessness when traveling the world with no more than a backpack, passport, and good shoes. For the adventurous tourist, there is no destination to reach, but the road becomes the journey. There are no itineraries, no agendas or schedules: it’s all about the need for adventure.
It’s not easy to make a connection with this kind of tourist since it’s their own drive that moves them from one place to the other. To meet their demands, many travel consultants have interesting professional opportunities available.