The Mediterranean has become the main tourist zone of the world with 32% of international arrivals and 30% of revenues, according to conclusions reached during the 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) which is being held in Barcelona. Mediterranean tourism market has been steadily growing.
With the favorable expectations, the most positive predictions are that the Mediterranean region will receive 420 million tourists by 2020 thanks to several competitive advantages such as the temporality and the construction of transport infrastructures.
During the last years, due to geopolitical, security and financial issues, the preference of tourists for traveling to tourist destinations located in the north of the Mediterranean has grown while the preference for traveling to the south has decreased.
Terrorist attacks, political instability, currency fluctuations and geopolitical matters have affected a critical sector for southern economies where tourism accounts for 12% of GDP and 11% of the jobs. Millions of travelers avoid the south looking for the tranquil destinations of the north.
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), global tourist growth between 2010 and 2030 will be 3.3% per year reaching 1.8 billion tourists by 2030.
In this context, Spain is establishing itself as a mature Mediterranean tourism destination and is emerging as one of the most solid, strong and productive tourist investment destinations in the region, according to professionals gathered at MR&H.
The event has analyzed the new type of digital tourists. Technology and the digital environment push people to travel more, to be better informed and to have more comparison tools which turned them into more expert and demanding customers.
The use of new technologies, social networks and other digital platforms by tourists lead to new trends that change consumer habits and create new needs.
This is why, according to experts, the tourist investor should focus on satisfying the new needs of the client through a greater segmentation of the offer and a good definition of the concept.
To do this, it's critical to understand and face the new challenges that arise in the sector and in the region, such as crowdfunding economy, new luxury concepts, etc.
Another element to take into account are the low-cost airlines which have fostered a more accessible tourism by allowing more people to travel more and more frequently.