New Demand Factors in Tourism
The consumer in a universe of alteration
Tourism has to confront a ambitious alteration in its model conditions: The geopolitical every bit good as the economic state of affairs require new schemes. Technological inventions, demographic alteration and a powerful costumier have to be met in political relations, selling and planning. New finishs, new merchandises with monetary values on a degree, which would hold been unbelievable some old ages ago, compete with the established touristry offer. This paper tries to construction the impacts of a universe in alteration on the consumer ‘s behavior in touristry and to place some of the facets being the most of import for the foreseeable hereafter.
Concentrating on the consumer the paper does non disregard the importance of the touristry offer, the industry, the finishs etc. They constitute some of the factors taking to a alteration in consumer behavior, and they are together with others the field where the behavior of the consumers shows up and where the cognition of the consumer can be applied.
We may look at the “New Demand Factors” from two positions. On the one manus we have those factors act uponing the demand, i.e. the motive to go and the ability to go, straight or indirectly. They cover a broad scope from the general economic state of affairs, over political relations to technological inventions, merely to call some illustrations.
On the other manus we have emerging factors, i.e. the altering face of consumer behavior in touristry like finishs penchants, quality outlooks, booking behaviour etc. But what the tourer does can non merely be explained by external factors entirely. The experient and educated traveler will alter his behavior even in a changeless model. Therefore, there is an endogenous moral force within the tourer behavior. The emerging ( from external and endogenous factors ) forms characterize the touristry consumers and their behavior within the following old ages.
The state of affairs
Before we start looking at the factors act uponing future touristry demand we shall hold a speedy glimpse at the existent state of affairs:
Statisticss record a high volume of touristry demand for Europe ( WTO: stopping point to 450mn. houseman. reachings p.a. ) and from Europe ( 338 manganese. international trips of Europeans in 2003, with 2/3 being holiday trips ; IPK, 2004 ) .
But with national vacation travel leanings runing from 31 to 77 % ( Eurostat, 2002 ) beginning markets are different: from near to saturated ( like in Germany ) to offering growing potencies ( e.g. Portugal or Poland ) .
Holiday travel does non by and large mean international travel. In most European states domestic travel exceeds the international vacation trips. Of class, there are some exclusions like Germany or the Netherlands or – rather of course -small states like Luxembourg.
The entire volume of European touristry demand has been rather stable, but the construction underneath showed rather a dynamic e.g. with growing rates in Eastern Europe and a stagnancy in the West, with new finishs penchants etc. Vacations are non merely for the merriment of the travelers: Holiday touristry has become an of import economic sector ( for both finishs and the travel industry ) , a societal accomplishment, a political Instrument, and an educational tool.
As we all experience the alteration around us the inquiries arises how these developments will hold an impact on touristry demand. To call merely a few classs:
( e.g. from BIP over exchange rates to comprehend hazard of fring the occupation )
( e.g. the expansion of the EU, revenue enhancement, environment )
- Crisis and menaces
( e.g. terrorist act, epidemic diseases, Earth temblors )
- Demographic Change
( e.g. age construction, migration, educational degree )
( e.g. conveyance, communicating, information )
In add-on we have to take into history the influences coming from general alterations in consumer attitudes and, eventually, the touristry industry itself, of class act uponing the demand side of touristry ( e.g. standardisation of merchandises, information channels, ( over ) capacities and monetary value schemes ) .
All these factors are linked to each other.
How can these factors have an impact?
Holiday demand is driven by demands, motivations, and outlooks, its realisation depends on the single economic state of affairs and the freedom to go.
- External factors may hold an impact on touristry demand by impacting the ability to go ( freedom, clip, money, fittingness ) and the motive to make so.
- Consumer Behaviour is non a reaction on a individual factor but on the whole set of influencing external factors. In add-on it is driven by internal factors ( e.g. motivations, abilities etc. ) . Therefore, the impact of a alteration in a individual external factor is limited.
Most of the external factors seem to be in favor for a sound development of touristry demand in Europe in the old ages to come. However, there are no marks for a general roar.
As we ca n’t restrict our attending to a individual external factor and its impacts, we look at several of the emerging factors, new tendencies in touristry emerging from the whole set of influences and the endogenous kineticss of touristry.
These emerging tendencies will non alter touristry over dark. Trend research has shown that the hereafter developments will most likely come as a step-by-step development, non as a revolution.
Giving the planetary and about limitless offer in touristry with capacities still on the rise at least in Europe the power in the market is clearly with the consumer. He will merely take merchandises which fit into his motive and outlooks. Taking the attempts to cut down seasonality in touristry as an illustration, we clearly see that the restrictions to these attempts are merely partially due to e.g. school holiday ordinances but preponderantly due to the motive of passing a vacation under nice conditions conditions.
New beginning markets
The expansion of the European Union in 2004 and 2007 sure is of import for the whole continent. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta and Cyprus have joined the European Union on May 1, 2004. The EU since so embraces 25 states. The size of the EU has grown by 25 % , the population by 20 % , the GDP by 5 % ( European Commission, 2003 ) .
However, its short clip effects on touristry are limited. But the general political procedure, under manner since some 20 old ages, which the EU expansion is a “natural” portion of, lend a batch to a altering touristry demand in Europe.
As finishs, the new EU-members benefit from a fillip this twelvemonth: The extended coverage in the media will act upon the turning involvement in these states and the felt distances will diminish. However, for most vacation shapers, about the whole universe is accessible for a holiday. For holiday finishs this means a continuously turning competition – a competition in which the new EU-member states will hold to take part every bit good: No warrant for success for anybody, but opportunities for everybody! There is a turning involvement for holiday trips to Eastern Europe in the „old“ EU-member states, but the volume is still really little. This is singular as there were no more existent barriers to go for illustration to Poland in the past twosome of old ages. The „old“ EUpopulations continues to prefer their „old“ vacation finishs in the close hereafter:
Domestic trips, vacation in Spain and Italy will stay the most popular vacation states. The dynamic in holiday touristry is based on uninterrupted, long-run developments, non in sudden alterations.
Naturally there are non merely potencies and opportunities, but besides barriers forestalling a fast development in touristry. Experts mention the undermentioned grounds for Eastern Europe:
Low investing rates, undeveloped traffic system, undeveloped substructure in the countryside, unsatisfactory quality of hotels and gastronomy, weaknesses in touristry selling. Of class this does non travel for every individual finish.
There are besides bounds on the demand side. Images are playing an of import function when make up one’s minding upon a vacation finish. In instance of the new EU-member states in Eastern Europe they can restrict demand. Most holiday shapers from the old EU-member states likely cognize really small about their „new“ neighbors, or they have ncorrect premises about them. Not automatically they combine these states with „holiday“ . Closely connected to images are holiday motivations. Peoples choose holiday finishs chiefly based on their suitableness of carry throughing their vacation motivations. Political scenes or alterations, like the EU-enlargement, are relatively unimportant. To raise the demand for the new EU-member states, ( possible ) vacation shapers must be convinced that their vacation motivations can really good ( or better ) be fulfilled in these states. Now is the clip for a powerful selling.
In medium footings the new EU members will lend to a considerable alteration in Europe‘s touristry as beginning markets. Peoples are traveling to do usage of their new freedom and the chances connected to lifting public assistance ( at least those, who participate in the economic upswing ) .
What we already can see in the statistical information is a turning importance of these states as beginning markets for international travel, while some of the authoritative beginning markets like Germany see a ceiling consequence: There is a really limited room for a general growing in the “old” beginning markets. Therefore, the quantitative urges in Europe have to come from the East and the South.
Demographic alteration is a changeless procedure but has got a batch of public attending in recent old ages. It is said to be one of the of import drivers for new tendencies in consumer behavior in most European states ( e.g. Lind 2001, Smeral 2003, Wallace 1999 ) . Two of import demographic tendencies, frequently being in focal point at conferences every bit good as in publications are:
- an older turning society due to lifting life anticipation ( developed states taking the lead ) ( e.g. Lind 2001, OECD 1998 ; Ruskin 2002 ; Wallace 1999 ; Horx 2002 ) ,
- a worsening figure of kids due to droping birthrate in many industrial states combined with the disintegration of traditional household forms ( e.g. Lind 2001, Wallace 1999, Schafers 1995, Horx 2002 ) .
These are major demographic alterations that are already act uponing society today and that are worth a closer expression on how they may hold an impact on vacation travel behavior.
Examples for other of import demographic tendencies are: Rising educational degree, a more colorful society due to migration, a altering function of adult females in society. Research has shown ( Lohmann & A ; Danielsson 2004 ) that people do non alter their travel behavior merely because they turn 60 or 65, or because they retire. In most instances they stick to the vacation patterns acquired till the center of their life. This fact allows for anticipations of the tourer behavior of future senior coevalss:
The ‘new ‘ senior citizens in five or 15 old ages clip will be different from the present senior citizens when it comes to go behaviors. While senior travelers today are already comparatively active, the new senior coevalss to come are more than probably to excel them. The effects of demographic alteration ( more and bigger portion of older people ) and consumer behavior forms ( stick to one time learned travel forms ) will demo up as: more senior trips with different penchants. E.g. in Germany we expect within 15 old ages the figure of holiday tourers in the age group 70 to 80 old ages to lift by more than 50 % ( from 4,2 manganese. in 2003 to 6,6 manganese. in 2018 ) with more than 2/3 taking a finish abroad ( today: 50 % ; 2003 figures from RA 2004 ) . Less dramatic are the alterations in the section of household vacations: Taking once more Germany as an illustration: The figure and portion of Holiday trips with kids ( up to 13 old ages ) has proved to be stable in Germany for more than a decennary with some 22 % of all holiday trips. In 2003 this portion resulted in 14.4 manganeses holiday trips. With an 8 % diminution in 10 old ages in the figure of kids would take to a figure of 13.2 manganeses trips, still an of import section. One can anticipate even a higher figure when sing the fact that the lessening of the figure of households will be slower as the one of the figure of kids. Therefore, there is no demand for a complete re-orientation of the touristry industry towards new mark groups replacing the household vacation. But of class given non merely the demographic alteration but besides the strong competition between finishs a strong focal point on the demands and outlooks of this section ( californium. Danielsson, Lohmann & A ; Sonntag 2003 ) is recommended.
Old with immature: The portion of people aged 50 old ages or older within all German household trips has been 11.5 % in 2003 ( RA 2004, F.U.R 2004 ) . This is already today a important section which could be considered more closely by the touristry industry, particularly as a farther addition can be expected. In add-on, this section shows a specific behavior as tourers, e.g. compared to all household holiday trips a lower seasonality, higher disbursement, longer corsets, and other finishs picks. Against outlooks they are non really fond of civilization trips and prefer holiday places or flats to hotels.
Finally, the one-kid-trip: It seems to be the criterion of household vacations ( 58.5 % in 2002 ) . So, this is non a development to come but today ‘s world. Again, this section has specific travel behavior forms as e.g. more flight trips and more usage of circuit operators and as it offers farther addition. In add-on one-kid travelers have particular demands ( e.g. other childs being about in the finish ) which the touristry industry has to take into consideration.
What we can see from these illustrations is that demographic alteration will sure has its impacts which are reflected in the construction of touristry demand. Information hunt and travel determinations: Skilled consumers with low engagement Along with this structural developments the consumer behavior alterations every bit good. One of the of import Fieldss is in the pre-trip stage the hunt for information and the manner a determination for a certain tourer merchandise is made.
The huge touristry offer available able to carry through the single needs leads the manner to interchangeable merchandises. For the consumer it does n’t do much of a difference whether going to destination A or B, with the circuit operator X or Y etc. Actually, with all the communicating channels and the more and more elaborate information available the consumer is in a province of information overload. Impossible to see everything!
Therefore, the vacation determination is non the concluding consequence of a comprehensive search-evaluatechoice procedure but a good-enough solution sing a few facets of a few merchandises ( those being in the relevant set ) from a few information beginnings. Rational statements are non really of import. This is the province consumer research worker call “low involvement” . With basic demands fulfilled and low engagement conditions convenience ( taking the easy manner ) and experience orientation together with assortment seeking are acquiring more of import. Naturally, there is nil new about experience orientation in touristry. The point is, that these experiences and the attendant emotions are now portion of the merchandise, promised by the manufacturer.
In add-on to these consumer attitudes we observe a turning monetary value orientation which is expected to acquire more of import as good. In this instance this attitude is induced by industry schemes. Low award is a scheme of the industry merchandising high quality trips for a enormous low monetary value. In a concentrated market that may take to higher market portions, possibly to a somewhat higher bend over and likely a lower net income. Even experiences from the retail sale show that convenience and merchandise quality comes foremost for the consumer. But holding learned that the same merchandises and services are on the market for a inexpensive monetary value, this industry induced monetary value orientation grows more and more. The tourist consumer is much more flexible than the touristry industry. This is one lesson we have learned from the geopolitical alterations in the last five old ages. If I do n’t hold the feeling of being welcomed in a finish, I do n’t halt traveling, I merely chose another finish. If I ‘m afraid of going in an aeroplane, I merely expression for an alternate agencies of transit.
The key-concept is “contingency” ( For everything what exists, there is a possible option ; good non in every manner, and non needfully better, but it is at that place ) as opposed to the old TINA construct ( “there is no alternative” ) [ Bolz, 2004 ] . The tourer does non devour because he has to, but because it ‘s merriment. His determinations are non related to a feeling of deficiency or defect, everything is on the market, more than the tourer needs. This leads to a deficiency of predictability of the single behavior. At the same clip it is more of import than of all time before to hold dependable figures and information on the existent and the possible clients.
General market conditions, skilled consumer and huge capacities in touristry are a challenge for touristry selling, particularly in the large stopping point to saturated markets. Consumers ‘ Paradox: Meet the criterions & A ; be different with globalisation of the touristry industry, a computing machine based distribution, and the strive to offer high quality, standardisation of touristry merchandises is a must. That constitutes a hazard for touristry because “standard” is nil offering new experiences or run intoing the tendency for assortment seeking.
At the same clip the touristry demand and the merchandises get more and more differentiated and fragmentized, e.g. with winter athleticss, analyze trips or household vacations. The consumer expects both: quality and difference.
Standardization and distinction are chief tendencies of both the consumers ‘ and the industry ‘s side. Again, this is an extra challenge for the industry, because this means more attempts necessary without a turning demand or even a turning turn-over.
Looking at the city manager trends we can sum up:
- High volume of touristry demand around Europe with a few growing potencies in some beginning markets.
- Beginning markets are different: from near to saturated to offering growing potencies and need specific intervention in selling.
- General market conditions, skilled consumer and huge capacities in touristry are a challenge for touristry selling, particularly in the large stopping point to saturated markets.
But holiday touristry has manifold maps. It is an economic sector ( for both finishs and the travel industry ) , a societal accomplishment, a political Instrument, and an educational tool. Different sectors see touristry as a tool for different aims. The rating of the state of affairs and the future positions may change with the sector. But with all the sectors is a demand to concentrate on the client: Holiday travel is a behavior of single consumers, their perceptual experience of the world is of import. Now is the clip for existent selling: Consumer behavior in touristry is less determined by the general model conditions than at the terminal of the last century. The tourers have in their determinations many grades of freedom. Consumer research is a necessary base, non merely for projections into the hereafter, but to find the starting point, to hold an orientation to explicate ain aims and programs to make them. Without the consumer, in touristry as in every service industry, you will travel nowhere. That does non travel non merely for the industry and their selling activities, but every bit good for political relations / touristry related policies.
What do the new demand factors in touristry mean for the different sectors or maps?
For finishs it is of extreme importance to acknowledge the international competition they are in. Master plans and selling activities need realistic aims sing non merely what one wants to make but every bit good what others do, so the ain resources ( fiscal and human – which will be limited e.g. with demographic alteration ) , and – of class – the consumers ‘ motive and the tendencies in consumer behavior in touristry. Giving the state of affairs of the demand and its expected hereafter tendencies, it ‘s non sufficient to hold a good merchandise. It ‘s non sufficient either, that the consumer perceives a merchandise as a good 1. The merchandise or the finish has to be in the consumer ‘s relevant set, and to be judged a really good pick within this set.
The same goes for the industry, i.e. circuit operators and travel bureaus, conveyance companies etc. Tour operators and travel bureaus may e.g. take advantage from the fact of the information overload. They can take the function of a usher in the information jungle and therefore offer convenience.
Politicss have non merely to watch carefully the market conditions and how the consumers behave under these conditions. The clip to merely explicate and show good aims like sustainability, beef uping specific parts, support 3rd universe states, emphasizing the importance of the environment, back uping the European integrating through more international travel, where everybody agrees. They have to place the contradictions and incompatibilities originating from the whole set of aims and to happen solutions or precedences. It does non look really utile to supply support and fiscal support for everybody merely because he intends to follow one of these aims.
Another challenge for political relations is to maintain the societal balance within the beginning markets:
Some experts claim that the economic development tends to widen the distance between the hapless and the rich within European societies. But touristry needs a wide base of more or less in-between category people with clip and money to go. Coming back to the touristry demand we can province that the hereafter in a quantitative position seems to be rather stable: There is no roar in front, but no flop either. Of class, the hereafter is predictable merely within close bounds, and unexpected events ( e.g. crisis, panic onslaughts, war, epidemic diseases ) will ever do confusion. Still it is of import ( and possible ) to fix oneself for the tendencies that can be identified with some dependability today. Demand potencies for good merchandises are at that place, but you will non be able to sell merely anything to the skilled consumer.
In this manner the hereafter is unfastened: Room to travel for everybody who has a sound selling program or political position, and respects the consumer. There is a strong demand for orientation and determination for every organisation involved in touristry: Where do you desire to travel from now and here? What is your nonsubjective? Different waies of development are possible, so you have to make up one’s mind which route to take. You may name that a vision.
While lucubrating your vision, you need to hold a strong focal point on the client, on what other market histrions are making, and what resources are at manus. Visions will be and hold to be different on different degrees ( pan-European, national, regional, local ) , and different with different finishs or other sections of the industry, but linked to some extent.
Success shall be based on safeguarding the nucleus values ( the distinctive qualities and related experiences ) while invariably accommodating to new market tendencies. A deep apprehension of the consumer and his ageless acquisition processes every bit good as the altering construction of touristry demand is a requirement for successful planning. A bright hereafter for both, tourers and the touristry industry is within easy range. Just take your duties to do it existent.
This paper has been compiled for the European Tourism Forum 2004 in Budapest. The writer thanks the Ministry of Economy and Transport of the Republic of Hungary, and the European Commission for the invitation and the chance to show it. The ECTAA ( Group of National Travel Agents ‘ and Tour Operators ‘ Associations within the EU ) has initiated the paper.
The writer, Martin Lohmann, is as a professor for Consumer Behaviour with the University of Applied Science in Luneburg Germany ( www.fhnon.de/fbwp/lohmann ) . He is pull offing manager of N.I.T. , Institute of Tourism Research in Northern Europe in Kiel, Germany ( www.nit-kiel.de ) . In this place he advises the F.U.R ( Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen ; www.fur.de ) in transporting out the annually study “RA Reiseanalyse” which covers the vacation travel behavior of the Germans and their vacation related attitudes and purposes.