Future Trends in Tourism – Fitur 2013

One more year at Fitur meeting with old friends and getting to know some new professionals. This year I´ve also been able to attend several seminars of FiturTech and FiturGreen and the general message put forward is that the type of visitor is changing. Their motivations and what they look for are normally a memorable experience and we need to adapt in order to fit into this new niche that is clearly increasing in strength.

Here is a little thought;

  • In the nineties, the question was; where do you travel? The place was important, I would say I´ve been to this location or this destination.
  • At the beginning of this century the question evolved to; what did you do? Understanding that the destination is secondary and what is important is the activity, skiing, hiking, golf, among others.
  • Finally tourist of today and more importantly visitors of tomorrow seem to add to these two questions, how did you do it? & with Whom? Putting the emphasis and the importance on the experience and how unique. Move away from the traditional trip and look for something different with local people who know the destination and are able to offer something exclusive, creating that memorable experience to the visitor.

As a responsible traveller and entrepreneur who always try to put the emphasis of promoting a sustainable tourism that puts into value the natural and cultural resources, promoting the local business and the local heritage it seems our time has come to stay. This type of tourism also helps to develop remote and deprived areas as the tourist expenditure goes directly to the local economies helping them to thrive while preserving their local heritage. It also requires lees investment in infrastructure as it uses the local systems and reduces economic speculation; meaning everybody wins.


I have met with former colleagues and have met many new consultants and travel agents that promote sustainable management practices and local development through cultural activities. There is a strong commitment to increase training for heritage interpretation and for local guides. There is also promotion of local practices, local architecture, reduction in energy consumption and use of local materials and investment in more efficient technologies.

With this post I appeal to all those friends and to all those colleagues looking to travel in a responsible way to continues to encourage this type of tourism and help us to get out of the difficult economic situation that many of us are facing.

As a final thought I´d like to think that its bee the actual crisis the turning point that has made us be aware of what really is vital. What is the most important reason why we travel? In my case and I think every day of more travelers; is to find ourselves through discovering other cultures and ways of life. The most important factor and what makes a trip memorable, leaving a trace in us; is always the people.

Let’s promote and preserve cultural and natural diversity, not only for the future generations but simply out of pure selfishness in order to be able to learn from them and be able to discover ourselves in the process.

Tourism of the Future: is the Responsible Tourism; the truly memorable tourism!


Traditional & online Marketing: Blending the Best of Both Worlds

We had the pleasure to have Al Merschen Managing Partner from Myraid marketing. For more information about the speaker follow the link. (http://www.adventuretravel.biz/connect/summit/summit-agenda/2010-featured-content/speakers/)

Presentation for:

  • Tour operators and destination managers.
  • Target market (B-B or B-C) define
  • Create a business plan a marketing strategy (Physiographic, demographic, surroundings, who is my audience, among others.)

There is a problem with the way we address this sector, the terminology has to change:

  • Adventure Travel è no the same for US than for EU, and tourist and customers don’t even know what it is.
  • Ecotourism è Definition is ambiguous, need to be profitable and competitive if you want to have a stable business.
  • Environmentally friendly has to reduce price in order for the today customer to choose over other cheaper offer. Sustainability is seen as a competitive advantage if there is no price difference.
  • Sustainability has to be a competitive advantage when all the requirement of quality and cost has been addressed. Customer will choose sustainability when there is no difference in cost or quality.

Online Marketing

Theory that the web is dead: People surfing the net is decreasing but the number of people using and interacting in social media is growing.

Travel search:

  • Google increase by 6%
  • Yahoo is losing a bit
  • Bing is connecting with yahoo and is increasing 69% in travel searches

Online Usage trends:

  • 10% hotel application use smart phone.
  • 16% trip advisor positive comments
  • 13% of social media site search.

From a Deloitte study carried on May 2010.

Google maps is going to include prices of hotels (direct competition for bookings and reservations). Average number of visits before buying at travel sites is 22. When travel is over 1.000 $ customers don’t even look. Airport fare stops them from going to that destination.


  • We began with a funny story: A young person approached him at the airport and asked him that there was no internet available and wanted to be assured that giving his details to a person through the phone was safe. Should I give my details over the phone, he preferred to do it through PayPal or via web thought it was safer. This shows the change in the new generations.
  • Europe market grew 125%. During May 2010 is a 9.8 Thousand Million business.
  • 54% accessing travel services from smartphones.
  • Mobile technology is here to stay and is increasing.
  • Customer engagement, how do we do the conversions from social to real customers?
  • Apple i-travel connect hotel services, room reservation, temperature of your room, food and beverages of your taste, i-phone card as a room key and remote control.
  • Virtual technology is creating a big impact.
  • Google launch goggles pictures to search the web, take pictures from the telephone and google will tell me where I am.

Social networks.

  • 50% of the population under 30 years old
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest in the world.
  • 75% of housewife’s use social media.
  • 46% growth rate year over year.
  • 1/5 online users publish or have their own blog.

Older America:

  • Women between 45-55 years old most users and increasing
  • Decreasing the number of teenagers.
  • Facebook 500 million users (average is 137 friends)
  • Almost an hour a day
  • Fans page
    • Product spending, fans 28%more likely to spend and 68% more likely to recommend.
    • Tripadvisor and Facebook are linking
      • More exact information; ask the opinions of your friends.
      • Will have the possibility of only seeing your contact opinions.
      • Facebook Places
        • Where are you in the world. I.e. John is in Scotland.
        • Ability to pin point and target customer when they are close.
        • Brands incorporate check ins on fan page


  • Twitter: 100 Million users with 50 million tweets each day
  • Linked in: growing to 65 million users
  • Foursquare: 1 million. Geared form mobile, link to twitter and facebook, get discounts, tips, brands can offer deals, growing quick.
  • Youtweetface: Combien the three.
  • Flow town: platform that business use to connect with their customers everywhere in the social media. Connect all the social media, online data Know your customers.
  • Online video: Hulu, 2.600 TV shows (simpsons, 30 rock, lost glee)
    • Try to advertise in the national geographic channel in Hulu.
    • YuMe
      • Video network, preview viedeo, adverts. Combine video viewing by informing customers data. Ability to target to customers, have their taste.
      • YouTube: viral video, Evian Roller Babaies, 100 Million views, started online and then went as a TV commercial on the US.



The Reality

Online spending is growing. Companies spend around 12.6% of total advertising in 2009. ON campaigns as CTR Click Through Rate, good ROI? 0.1% one in thousand click on the add.

Travel industry is even worse 0.08% CTR from a flash add. CTR works by size and shape.

Case Studies:

Example was the Best Job in the World.

  • Done by Queensland Tourism (Australia) great barrier Reef.
  • 100 million listed to
  • Received 34.000 applications.
  • Increase in touris 0%
  • The majority didn’t know what destination was been promoted (mainly Australia)

Advertising Balance:

The credibility Continuum (What do tourist think of information from):

Advertising spending: Direct mail 98% read it, direct marketing advertising increasing.

Publications & Broadcasts

How to get the best out of your Ipad. Amazon even has 11 printed books on this issue, very strange for an application that substitutes the paper. (Best out of your Iphone).

Amazon has guide books which people still buy:

  • 624 books on Germany
  • 862 books on Scotland.

Power of Magazines

Increase in 11 % in the 12 years of Google. We surf the internet (43 seconds in our website and we are happy). We swim the magazine (43 minutes average time reading a magazine)

Broadcast TV Benefits:

  • Average US citizen 35 hours of TV watching a week
  • Kids 25 hours per week.
  • Adults 48 hours per week.

Broadcast can be truly memorable and is when it’s most effective. The problem is the cost associated but it’s still the way to get an impact on more potential customers.

I.e. Ocean Spray adverts have created a set of commercials which have been very effective in the US making consumer link cranberry juice with Ocean Spray.

This is just one but there are many others.


Outdoor advertising

Can be very effective if done correctly, need to know your client and where to place them to have the most impact.

I.e. Goodwill created a campaign based only on billboards which gave them a return of 9$ per 1$ spent.


“It can be difficult to measure the success of any campaign asking for donations, especially cars because it is not a ‘see today donate tomorrow’ scenario. However, ‘billboards’ was consistently the number one response to ‘How did you hear about Goodwill titled goods?’. Along with that, if we take the amount we spend on billboards (almost exclusively how we advertise) we see that for every $1 we spend on billboards, we get back roughly $9 in revenue.  This has increased as we have kept a billboard program in place over several years.”

Without forgetting the 3D Billboards displays. Use transports as billboards, among others.

e. http://www.beyondtraditional.com/?p=50

I. Miller campaign:


Virginia Tourism Corporation

I.e. Virginia tourism used a billboard campaign in the nearby state Washington DC to attract national tourism.

Another important note is that we had a 142% increase in unique visitors over April 2008. Virginia Beach saw a 45% increase in web visits from DC in April (over March).


We cannot forget the power of the radio and how the Iphones, Ipods have online radio, podcast, people record their programs and listen to them on their free time, when going to work or during lunch. Internet and local station are allways a good mean to get to potential customers.

Domino’s Pizza is to launch its first national radio campaign for seven years, to promote its Texas BBQ line. The sales increased by 9%!

Integrated Media

The key is not to put all the eggs in the same basket. We have to combine efforts and use the different channels and tools available. It’s a matter of combining efforts. The best campaigns always use a variety of means.

I.e. CNN Heroes was a US program that made people vote online but the winners were nominated on a TV show.

I.e. Donuts / Pepsi Max created a web contest for the top 6 videos, 3 from each brand. They were put on air during the super Bowl. If you wanted to know who won or if your advert was a winner you had to view them live.

I.e. Many online magazines have turned to printing issues.

Failure leads to Insights

This is one of the ideas that the US population is keener on. The trial and error, we have to experience in order to learn. We do not have to be afraid of failure as we can learn some very valuable lessons from it.

Try other means.

Marketing famous phrase:

I know half of my advertising works; the only thing is that I don’t know which half.”

Microsoft Tags: Online and traditional banners have to combine efforts. The idea is to merge social and traditional marketing.


  • What about the smaller players? (SME´s)

First we need to define precisely who your audience is and use specific publications as ITN (International Travel News), one full page 13,000 $.

Go directly to consumer or distribution channel, CRM Program, talk to them, and get to know what they are looking for. Work with local tourist boards, tell them our needs, look for help and aid programs, promote, and talk to writers, publishers, among others.

  • Editorial and Advertising Person

Non ethical, no payment. How, when, media is it worth the risk?

One page publication in Travel and Leisure for example: Editorial is 3 times more effective, valuable and reliable than advertising.

Tourist board can be very helpful. Free-lances is difficult and you don’t know when is going to come out as the need 50% of editorial but also 50% form the advertising before they can publish the article. Bloggers be careful and is not a very reliable source according to customers.

  1. “Best reason for Advertising is next year”
  2. Very important to always use the same image so the public know who we are.
  3. Target the audience, create a clear strategy and follow it.


Adventure Tourism Research and Trends

After the AFAR Exchange we had a very interesting conference on the Adventure Tourism Research and Trends!

The speakers were; (http://www.adventuretravel.biz/connect/summit/summit-agenda/2010-featured-content/speakers/ )

  • Eric Brodnax from Away.com & AdventureFinder,

Eric Brodnax is a Vice President with Orbitz Worldwide where he serves as General Manager of The Away Network (Away.com, Outside Online, GORP, AdventureFinder, Trip.com, and Lodging.com). He joined Away as part of the founding management team in April of 1999, was SVP of Marketing & Operations during the company’s formative years, and assumed his current role after Orbitz’s acquisition of the company in January of 2005. As GM, Eric is responsible for setting the overall strategy and vision for the company including high level editorial direction.

  • Michaela Guzy from Travel and Leisure,

Michaela S. Guzy is the Vice President responsible for overseeing the travel category and development of new business initiatives for the Travel + Leisure brand. With six global editions in twenty-four countries, one of the fastest growing travel content websites, and three Travel+Leisure retail outlets–Travel + Leisure is one of the most recognized travel brands in the world. In her role, Guzy oversees the brand’s business operations, including sales, new program development, and industry relations.

  • Kristin Lamoureux from the Washington University

Dr. Kristin Lamoureux is the Director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies at the George Washington University, as well as an faculty member of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, specializing in destination management, adventure and volunteer tourism, sustainable and niche tourism development. Currently, her duties include the oversight of all of the Institute’s activities including the Professional Education Program and all grants/contracts such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance.

  • Shanon Stowell from the ATTA.

Shannon is President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Under his leadership, the organization has grown into the largest international association of adventure travel companies with more than 600 members and dozens of tourism boards, major corporations and influential individuals helping propel industry initiatives forward.


Some of the ideas that were discussed in this session include the increase in the Adventure travel Market, especially in the UK and Europe where there has been an increase in number of travelers and money spent. (Top 10 destinations) Spain is still unknown in this market; PURAVERA has been first representatives in this sector. It offers an ideal situation to position Extremadura and the shire of la Vera as the first destination in the adventure travel market. The first step has been accomplished, we have put the region in the world map and other tour operators, destination managers and media are starting to talk about us.

  • 70% of the total market is North and Latin America and Europe.
  • 40% of the people travelling in adventure travel activity are between 30-40 years old.
  • 18% is over 40 years
  • 62% have a post-secondary education (20% more than mass tourism)
  • Market of 89 Billion Dollars (US) or 89 Thousand Million Dollars (EU)

The domestic travel is also growing from the well-educated which is not the same as the well-off.

The most important figure is that the expenditure of these travelers is more important that it seems. A greater percentage of the money spent by tourist stays in the communities where they operate. If adventure travel is structured and planned correctly it can be the driving force for local development of the region, it promotes the creation of new business and the much needed employment in these regions.

That’s why we have a great responsibility and can do a great aid as our activities result in direct employment for the local populations. This together with the use and promotion of local produce and services can lead to a viable alternative to develop remote and rural areas.

AFAR Magazine (Study)

China is growing dramatically in middle class citizens which results in an increase in customers for the adventure travel market. China is beginning to developing at a fast rate and is looking for energy companies, construction and other products. It’s even introducing in the tourism sector and their companies are increasing shares in the sector. They are clearly moving towards conservation products that we are offering in the adventure travel market. The average cost of trip is around 3.000 $ per trip, without flight. It’s important to note, according to other studies, soft adventures around 822 $ per week and hard adventures 500 $ per week. These figures seem to be biased; as these are figures from the general public and not the operators.

Adventure Market has no mega resorts and promotes development of remote areas with less need for initial investment and with minimum impact on the surrounding environment.

According to a customer survey, the new tourist looks for the following attractions for adventure travel satisfaction:

  • Historical site preservation.
  • Seeing things before the disappear
  • Natural tourism (Environment).
  • Experiences, new cultures.
  • Relax (Hard and Soft adventures) active tourism.
  • Authenticity.
  • First to see a destination.
  • Time in nature.
  • Increase physical activity.
  • Have a good time.



Some Tips:

®     Tour operators: Lower their package holidays with activities as there is an increasing market with less economic income but with great growth potential.

®     National Geographic, AFAR Magazines: Promote social marketing 360° to get to the audience and a very fast growing market.

®     Target Smart phones and tablets: Cell phones and smart phones is a growing market, enable access to your website via phone, possibility of offering on time offers, possibility of linking to location, be more specific and target your real audience with what they really want. Greater communication and interchange of information between company and customer, client, tourist and with other collaborators and suppliers. This is still on the experimental phase, we still don’t know the results, haven’t figured yet, but the growth is so dramatic that the cost of not doing anything is too high.

®     Be careful with new technology and make it accessible through these new systems, (phones, social media) Make info accessible and correct to see under these means.

®     Age range 30 to 40 years; Market these customers, product for these clients, traditional market is moving to real experiences.

®     Global Rush Gold Report 2020 – estimates that 1/3 of arrivals on this date will come from Asia.

®     Airlines are and will be struggling with their viability. Take advantage of those seeking experience and focus on local markets, sell products from A to Z.

What do you think of these adventure travel trends?

Do you think that adventure travel can be the driving force for the development of remote rural areas?