In December 2013, Visit England commissioned a leading insight and futures consultancy, to help identify trends that will affect domestic tourism over the coming years, based on both their own research and the views of industry experts. The completed research comprises several sub-reports studying major areas that will affect tourism businesses in the future. Tourism is often the first industry be affected by the trends outlined below, such as e-commerce, and so this makes essential reading for the future of your coastal tourism business.
The collection of five reports includes…
The Demographic report looks into the challenges and opportunities that changes in the population will create over the next five years and the impact this could have on your tourism business. For example capturing the aging population,.Some nine million people are expected to be over 75 in three decade’s time, twice as many as currently. The Demographic report also looks at the changes in family / living groups, ethnicity and how this affects their amount of leisure time.
The Economic report focusses on the recession, how this has affected wages throughout the country, spending habits and consumer confidence for the next five years plus. Encouragingly more than 1 in 4 people feel that the economy will grow and their own household finances will improve, thereby providing opportunities for the coastal tourism sector, The pressure on family expenditure has led to 59% saying that getting the cheapest price is all-important. This is reflected across all age groups as more than 50% say that they like to find bargains, even when they don’t need to save money, and this will affect attitudes and choices during coastal tourism visits.
The Technological trends report looks at how consumers are using technology and how this is shaping the types of tourism they undertake, their research and buying habits. The internet is approaching 100% use, with the majority of users emailing, booking and banking online, while social networking and messaging has a greater uptake in the 18-35s. It is crucial that all businesses consider how their web-services work on mobile and tablet devices as this out-paces desktop PC use, 72% own a smartphone and 51% a tablet. Tourists are also booking later, accessing, for example, local weather forecasts.
The Consumer trends report looks into how the consumer values their tourism, with 89% saying leisure time is important to them, and 60% holiday satisfaction. Consumers are undertaking a greater variety of leisure pursuits and are spending more.. Around 65% of 18-54s feel under time pressure but fewer than 42% feel they have a higher degree of life choice. This leads to a greater need to feel they’re being “treated” in their leisure time and seek increasingly personalised experiences.Concern about the environment has halved to 21%, but consumers are still interested in locally sourced products and high ethical standards.
The Tourism trends report investigates how tourism is changing. Some 76% continue to feel that family is important, an aging population will lead to even higher family and friends visits. Forty-three per cent of those surveyed are keen to take risks and 56% have an appetite to try new things, A strong interest in art or culture was expressed by 67%, 55% of 18-34s and just below 50% of other age groups expressed strong interest in staying healthy; health tourism has great potential for the future.
The outlook for seaside resort tourism is not as clear-cut as rural or urban areas. Some resorts have adapted and continued to thrive whilst others have been in decline, and the weather is not always the predominant factor.
The changing demographic structure of England with more children and an older population, will provide new opportunities for coastal resorts. The trick will be to make destinations easily-accessible for inter-generational and potentially shorter breaks. Tapping into unique experiences is also key, from cuisine to sports.
In addition, the traditional, nostalgic appeal of the seaside has been reignited with many visitors returning after a long absence and a younger audience discovering its appeal for the first time.
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