domingo, 19 de abril de 2009



1. Maturing travellers.

Aging population
As a consequence of improved health care and food quality people live longer. Next decades the proportion of people over 60 years is significantly increasing. This means that protected areas will receive more elder visitors in the future. These visitors also stay healthy longer. Although demand for adventurous activities will decrease, the interest for soft outdoor activities like walking, fishing and nature observation will increase.
Even so, safety and comfort will play a main role. Transportation needs to be safe and comfortable and this is also required for accommodation and service facilities. Accessibility for wheel chairs has to be taken into account.
Elder people also tend to have more disposable income due to early retirement and savings. These people are therefore more likely to pay for high quality services such as guides and transportation. Next to this, as not being part of the working class anymore, they are more flexible to spend their free time. This opens up opportunities to fill up tourism in shoulder months.

Rising educational level
As education levels are increasing, this leads to changing patterns for recreation and tourism. There is an increased interest to learn while travelling and other learning activities such as wildlife viewing, cultural appreciation and nature studies. This kind of tourism asks for good explanatory materials, interpretive facilities and guiding. It increases the expectations for service quality and raises political pressure to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the tourist area.
Independent travellers
People are becoming more experienced in travelling and therefore prefer to travel more individually. This not only accounts for the youth by backpacking, but remains so even afterwards. The traveller organises and books transport and accommodation from different sources or even only book a flight to look for accommodation and local transport at the destination. The most distinctive feature of independent travel is that travellers do not purchase a ‘package’ from the same source.
To travel independently is made possible due to the increased availability of information and the improved facilities and services at the destination. Guide books such as ‘lonely planet’ and ‘Rough guide’ enable the tourist to choose accommodation and tours themselves.

Increasing social and environmental concerns.
This increase in education and access to information about parks leads to an increase in social and environmental awareness by the visitors. Issues like the use of local products, fair-trade, and care for the environment become criteria for visitors. People become more concerned about the social, economical and environmental impact of their trip. The rising interest for sustainable and eco-tourism is a respond to this.

Changing role of women
Last decades there has been a change in the role of women in society. As women became more financial independent, they have the possibility to travel separate from their partner. Women going on holidays together or mothers travelling with (one of) their children becomes more common.
Next to this, women play a more important role in the choice of destination. As men are more interested in adventurous and challenging activities, women tend to be more interested in nature and cultural activities and recreation to protected areas.

Business travellers
Although leisure tourism is still the main reason to travel, business travel is rapidly increasing. Due to the increased amount of meetings and conferences held and the improved travel facilities, business people visit these meetings and conferences more often. When visiting these meetings, most of the time an excursion around the place is included and often this concerns a visit in or around a protected area. These business people when aware of the protected area can become involved in the protection of it. As social responsible corporation is becoming more popular it opens opportunities in the financing of protected areas. This increase in business travellers requires good facilities for conferences and meetings.

2. Mind, body, soul

In the hurry of everyday life the request for more relaxing holidays is growing. As people do not have enough time for themselves in normal life, they compensate this by making their holidays as relaxing and comfortable as possible. The demand for spa resorts that offer massages and meditation is rapidly increasing. Within these holidays the focus is not only on the mind, but also on the body with the emphasis on vegetables and organic and whole grain products. The environment of these holidays is often in de midst of nature, far away from the living world to allow the mind to calm down while improving the shape of the body by exercising.

3. Value for money

Importance of service quality
As the choice of holiday destinations is more diverse, destinations have to compete by means of quality. Not in the last place because the new tourist is more critical (as he has the choice to decide to go somewhere else) and more experienced. Destinations that can not meet these standards of quality will suffer a decline in tourism. The fidelity of the destination will due to the changing behaviour continue to decrease. Next to this, there is a mixed behaviour concerning holidays. People want this holiday to be simple and long, the next one luxurious and short.
Increase of Bourgeois Bohemians
With the growing welfare last decades, a new group aroused: the Bourgeois Bohemians (or BoBo’s). These, people have a well paid job, good savings and prepared to spend some of this for their holidays. Quality plays an important role for them and they are willing to pay a high price to get the best. Besides, quality and brands give status. This group is Bourgeois because they are in general urban, high educated and materialistic.
The Bohemian part is reflected in their interest for health, spirituality and expanding their cultural horizon by means of travel and experience. When buying a rather expensive ticket gives some mental or cultural experience in return, he should not hesitate to do so. It is not to derive status from a brand or quality per se, but rather for the “goodness’’ it implies.

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