Tourism is reinventing itself, and its transformation has accelerated with the pandemic. If some people aspire to disconnect during their vacations or weekends, others have hyperconnection requirements and want their stay to be placed under the sign of technology. Here is a brief overview of what tomorrow’s tourism could be like.
What are the trends that shape future tourism? How can and should the sector, a heavyweight in the country's and the region's economy, reinvent itself in the face of a health crisis that has brought it to its knees? What new experiences, for what new type of customers?
Tourists Who Know Everything and Surf All the Time
Tourism is a complex sector to analyze, fond of technological innovations: in reality, we only apply in tourism what we already do in everyday life. The sector is therefore following the societal movement, with tourists who have become "technology savvy", permanently connected.
The tourist knows everything. They are constantly surfing. On average, to book a trip, an Internet user goes online 50 times, browses 38 sites, reads a dozen or more reviews and does his or her research for 15 weeks.
Going on Vacation: A Source of Anxiety
Going on vacation doesn’t always seem like a piece of cake. Tourists are "netlag": 26% consider this search for their future holiday destination as one of the greatest stresses of their lives! While 31% manage to book a stay that does not suit them, or not on the right dates, 17% decide in the end not to go. And 52% opt for a safe bet: choose destinations they've been to before.
Researching and sorting all the information available on the Internet is very complex; 24% of millennials say they are also ready to subcontract this task to a friend. This implies that they are not familiar with the travel agent business.
Technological and Robotic Tourism
For the consultant, tomorrow's tourism will be more and more predictive, with professionals who, thanks to new technologies, will be able to concoct a tailor-made travel diary for customers. This is not a science-fiction, many innovations of this type are being tested or in the R&D phase.
Some companies had already envisioned, a few years ago, offering a trip based on DNA sequencing. In this world of hyper-customization, which meets the real desire of the tourist, these are technologies that will be used to refresh the offer. Surely, this type of tourism is not for everyone, but it will appeal to a certain clientele that must be taken into account anyway.
For these clients, the services are being revamped and the hotel is becoming intelligent: today, you can talk to your lamp, mirror, faucet, your toilet...
This may seem anecdotal, but in a world where viruses are scary, these technologies make it possible not to touch objects. It is quite consistent with our current environment. Hence the emergence of the safe-room: blue light, which was previously used in hospitals, is now coming to the world of retail and tourism. Customers want all objects to be disinfected.
Another real topic: the reception of the public by robotics. In Japan, for example, it doesn't shock anyone to be greeted by a dinosaur robot, regardless of the hotel's standing. In Europe and the USA, it is not so far yet. Robotics is difficult to integrate into tourism.
But it can also address the problem of the last mile - going from the train station to the hotel, from the hotel to the place of a visit, etc. - with the suitcase robot or the hotel-car room. This is certainly a prototype, but several brands have already positioned themselves on it. It’s a sort of futuristic tourism, but these are inventions that raise the question of the future of the hotel. Perhaps in the future, it will be mobile, spread out over the territory or move with the tourists.
Other new trends in tourism are workation (working while on vacation) and staycation (staying home while on vacation). Tomorrow's tourist will have a phone on their finger, a T-shirt and glasses using haptic technology or equipped with a rechargeable battery.
Requirement for Sustainability
Tourism has been accused of all kinds of evils, especially during the pandemic. But there is one crucial point: it is a vector of peace, which allows us to meet others and discover other cultures. There is consensus among many experts that tourism must be rethought so that it becomes sustainable, thanks to GreenTech.
A Booking study proves it: the demand for sustainable destinations and practices is constantly increasing – 87% of respondents say they want to travel in a sustainable way and 72% think that we must act now. Some professionals are already committed to this approach, by proposing ecological challenges.