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Tourism Trends Tourism Culture and Cultu

Feb 20, 2018



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    Tourism trends: Tourism, culture and culturalroutes (2011)

    For an updated version of this paper (November 2014), see:

    Greg Richards
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    Macro trends in tourism

    The major drivers of tourism

    Cultural Tourism

    Trends in European Cultural Tourism

    Discussiontowards a new tourism?

    Challenges for the cultural routes and the Council of Europe

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    Over the past 20 years, tourism has become one of the most dynamic elements of the globaleconomy. Tourism accounted for over 9% of global GDP and almost 3% of employment in 2009.International tourism has grown by an average of 4-5% a year over the past decade, outstripping mostother major economic sectors. Even though global tourism was severely hit by the economic crisis,falling by 4% in 2009, there was a strong recovery in 2010, with growth of 6.9% in international tourism

    arrivals, according to the UNWTO. Worldwide the number of international arrivals reached a record935 million in 2010. The UNWTO forecasts growth of around 4%-5% in 2011. However, most of thegrowth is due to emerging economies, and Europe is likely to experience lower growth rates, predictedto be between 2% and 4% in 2011.

    Tourism has become a major industry and through the 1970s and 1980s developed a fordistproduction system, with standardised mass production of package holidays. In the 1990s marketmaturity and slowing demand growth encouraged the developed of new models of postfordist,customised production. The mass market began to fragment into a variety of niches, of which culturaltourism was one of the most important. The growth of tourism also produced growing awareness of itspotential negative effects, and sustainability also became a major issue. In the past decade tourismhas continued to develop rapidly, with the rise of budget travel, more holistic, spiritual and creative

    forms of tourism and the rise of more individualised production and consumption, facilitated by thegrowth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

    In recent years, therefore, attention has shifted from the purely quantitative growth of tourism demand,towards qualitative change in the nature of that demand. The following sections consider first the maindrivers of tourism growth and development, and then look in more detail at the consequences ofchange for the nature of tourism production and consumption.

    Macro trends in tourism

    In general, the development of tourism in recent decades has been heavily influenced by thedevelopment of society as a whole. The rise of the industrial society turned tourism into a mass leisure

    activity, while globalization and postmodernisation have created an increasingly fragmented,individualized and diverse field of tourism supply and demand. According to the OECD (2010), thecurrent growth of tourism is largely a result of increasing globalisation, which has strengthened anumber of key drivers in international tourism:

    Rising incomes

    New and cheaper means of transport

    Intensive use of ICT

    These changes are bound up with the development of a global network society.

    The network society

    One of the basic changes that is taking place across social, economic, cultural and political realms isthe growth of the network society (Castells, 1996). The implications of the increasing importance ofnetwork and the rise of the networked organization and the networked individual are profound. In therealm of tourism this is leading to a number of interlinked changes that will have important implicationsin the future:

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    Increased networking between producers

    In an increasingly competitive marketplace suppliers need to move quickly and to seize everyopportunity for competitive advantage. Increasingly this can be done through cooperation andpartnershipthe search for collaborative advantage. The IPK trend study (2009) points to theimportance of co-operationpublic-private partnerships, but also partnerships between different

    sectors of the industry (such as airlines, hospitality groups, tour operators, niche market associations,etc) and, increasingly important, technology specialists able to help in developing new mediamarketing campaigns.

    Increasingly networked consumers

    Social networks and other forms of networking are becoming vital in our leisure and our work. Theimportant of groups and individuals is increasingly assessed by their linkages and membership ofdifferent networks. Networks assess their importance by their membership. The very importance ofnetworking means that the boundaries between work and leisure are becoming more vague we useour social networks to make friends with those who are useful to our careers and can provide contactsand knowledge for our work. The networks we belong to therefore have an increasingly important

    influence on our decision making in a wide range of fields.

    Changing value chains

    Traditional vertical distribution chains are giving way to a more complex value chain involving a widerange of different suppliers from within and beyond the travel sector. Travel is no longer dependent onthe infrastructure of the old economyairline seats, hotel beds and travel agent's shelves. We areentering a new, flexible, networked economy in which ICT, local culture and society, education, etc,become part of the tourism value chain. In fact, the inter-relationships between travel, other economicsectors and society as a whole have become so integrated that we might conceive of a value networkrather than the old value chain.

    Traditional tourism value chain

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    New value network

    In the new tourism value network, the destination, rather than being a simple supplier of inputs to thetourism value chain, becomes an integral part of the value creation process in tourism. The narrativesand images attached to the destination become an important determinant of the value of places to theconsumer and therefore their decision-making in terms of destinations and willingness to pay.

    The growing importance of events and other coordinating mechanisms

    The trend towards the growing importance of events has been well charted (Richards and Palmer,2010). In many ways the rise of the eventful society is linked to the network society: we need events tomark the times and places where networked individuals can come together. Our growing isolation fromother individuals creates the need for significant moments of co-presence, where a feeling ofcommunitas can be created, however briefly. This is underlined by the success of the Hansa Days

    organized by the Hansa Route.

    As the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (2006) report notes:

    Travel markets are relationship markets. We travel to meet families and friends, to encounternew personalities, to have casual sex or because we are secretly hoping for the love of ourlives. The search for a new partner is proving increasingly difficult for a growing number ofsingles. Under the new circumstances in which we live, conventional ways of finding a partnerare inadequate. One of the main reasons why online dating services are doing so well is thatthere are no on-land alternatives for older people. There is nowhere that people in the matureage groups can go to meet a new partner or lover in an easy and uncomplicated way.

    The general conclusion that can be drawn from the development of tourism and other areas of socialand economic intercourse in recent decades is that the advent of the network society has broughtprofound changes to the relationship between production and consumption. We can therefore contrastthe overarching themes of the former industrial era with the driving concerns of the network society.



    Educat ion



    Adv en tu re



    A irl in es








    communi ty



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    Industrial society Network societyMarket transactions RelationshipsMass production Customisation, individualizationEconomic capital Social capitalInnovation CreativityCompetitive advantage Collaborative advantage

    Branding AuthenticityInformation KnowledgeUnskilled consumption Skilled consumption

    In order to ascertain what effect these macro trends are having we must first develop an overview ofthe way in which these forces are driving the development of tourism.

    The major drivers of tourism

    The Future of Leisure TravelTrend Study (Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, 2006) identified a number of

    key drivers for the development of global tourism, which can be grouped into social, technological,economic, ecological and political drivers.

    1. Social drivers

    Ageing society: In 2020, the elderly will be in the majority in Western

    Europe. Child

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