Overtourism is one of the major concerns in the tourism industry – not these days, of course, when the world is locked down due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, but when the world gets back to normal, overtourism will most likely return.
In the next ten years, the travel market will be hit by a massive wave of millennial travellers from Asia, especially from China and India. This will have a major impact on the industry. Therefore, the hospitality industry should be prepared to make certain adjustments to meet their needs. The solution could lie in opening new areas and destinations that travellers have not previously considered.
Millennials (25–35 years old) are in general the largest group of consumers who are tremendously changing the consumption patterns established by their predecessors. The majority of Millennials trust a friend’s endorsement most. About half admit that their purchases are influenced by their own experience with a brand and the reviews left on the websites. Social media helps them create brand awareness and trust. It also serves as a major platform for customer service.
Likewise, Generation Z (9-24 years old) does not trust traditional forms of advertising either. They rather rely on peer testimonials and influencers whose values and interests they share. However, they are less into Facebook and Twitter, and more into Instagram and Snapchat to showcase and search for appealing videos and images.
The influence of social media, especially Instagram, on Millennials and Generation Z should not be underestimated, because that is where they also search for the next big travel destination (Global Wellness Summit, 2019, p. 32). Moreover, the brand promotion in social media should shift from formal ads to storytelling, which is spiced up with catchy images and videos and can give the real taste of the destination.
The demand for quality social interaction is reflected in the growing importance of the sharing economy. In addition to the classic rental service, people are willing to provide tourists with free accommodation in their place of residence. Moreover, the experience of the sharing economy is moving from the accommodation sector to other spheres. There are new home-based restaurants operating and personalized “concierge” services offered, where private individuals are giving tourists their time and assistance to discover a destination through the eyes of a local1 Collina, L., Galluzzo, L., Gerosa, G., Bellè, M., & Lidia Maiorino, M. (2017). Sharing Economy for Tourism and Hospitality: New Ways of Living and New Trends in Interior Design. The Design Journal, 20(sup1), S3448–S3463. doi:10.1080/14606925.2017.1352848, p. S3449 .
The reason why sharing economy platforms such as AirBnB have become so popular could lie in the changing guest preferences. It is important to understand that some travellers do not enjoy staying in a traditional hotel room, because they need much more space and flexibility. However, they would still like to experience the comfort and services of a luxury hotel. It feels so good to travel far away from home and stay in a place which feels like home.Continue reading