1. Global tourism activity
Tourism situation and current trends
Tourism is often described as a ‘phenomenon’, meaning that it is an observable event or occurrence. The occurrence is most observable in the destinations that tourists visit because of the infrastructure that tourism usually requires, and the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism activities.
However, an understanding of tourism requires an appreciation not just of what tourists do and need in destinations, but also of why and how the decision to engage in tourism is taken.
Therefore, tourism involves the study of places visited by tourists (i.e. where tourism is consumed) and of the factors and conditions in the places where tourists live (i.e. where the demand for tourism is created).
To what extent is tourism a global activity?
International information flows influence decision-making and location of activities
Tourism creates (and recreates) the distribution of images of destinations around the world through tourist souvenirs, photos and videos, information brochures or imported consumer goods. Tourism intensifies connections
Tourism contributes to the creation of new structures or nodes where flows to new or more distant destinations are organised, as in the case of large international airports
Tourism strengthens identity and cultural meanings.
Basic tourism risks
Tourism's ability to be compatible with sustainable development
The occurrence of natural disasters
Oil shortages and tourism transport
Tourism's potential to reduce poverty
Water availability as a constraint to tourism development
Changes in the direction of international tourism flows
Episodes of geopolitical tensions and terrorism
Due to the global nature of tourism, new trends are emerging:
International Governmental Organisations (IGOs): those whose members are at the governmental level and specialise in specific issues. The most important is the UNWTO.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Business associations are also appearing: they bring together the various sectors of tourism stakeholders at international level.
It is an intergovernmental body dealing with tourism in all its aspects
It was created on 27 September 1970 in Mexico from the transformation of the International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO)
International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO)
"The fundamental objective of the Organisation shall be the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect, and the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. The organisation shall take all appropriate measures to achieve this objective".
UNWTO establishes effective collaboration with the appropriate bodies of the United Nations and its specialised agencies.
It has a cooperation agreement with the United Nations Development Programme
Cooperation for Development
Education and Training
Environment and Planning
Statistics and Market Studies
Quality of Tourism Services
Communications and Documentation
UNWTO and the Government of Canada organized an International Conference on Travel and Tourism Statistics in 1991.
The focus was on identifying the needs of the sector with respect to analysis, market research, industry performance and tourism forecasting,
In 1993, the United Nations Statistical Commission adopted the WTO report on Tourism Statistics and the International Standard Classification of Tourism Activities which aims to:
"To build the fundamental conceptual structure to guide the construction of a coherent, comprehensive and objective system for producing, organising and communicating statistical information on tourism (ISCAT)".
Any consumption expenditure incurred by a visitor during his travel and tourist stay at the destination".
International inbound tourism relates to foreign exchange receipts, while international outbound tourism relates to foreign exchange payments
international outbound tourism relates to payments in foreign currency
What is foreign exchange earnings? "Expenditure incurred in the host country by international visitors, including payment of their international transport to national transport companies
What are foreign exchange payments? "Expenditure incurred abroad by visitors to other countries, including payment of their international transport costs to national transport companies.
other countries, including the payment of their international transport costs to foreign companies".
CATEGORIES OF TOURISM EXPENDITURE
Package holidays, package tours, package holidays, package tours
Meals and drinks
Leisure, culture and sports activities
UNWTO distinguishes between:
Intra-regional tourism: that which takes place within the same world region.
Inter-regional tourism: that which takes place between sending and receiving centres located in different regions.
UNWTO World Tourism Barometer
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer regularly monitors short-term tourism trends in order to provide tourism stakeholders with an up-to-date analysis of international tourism
The report is published four times a year and includes an analysis of the latest data on tourism destinations (inbound tourism) and source markets (outbound tourism). The Barometer also includes a Confidence Index based on the UNWTO Tourism Panel Survey, which provides an assessment of the latest performance and short-term prospects of international tourism.
UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard
The UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard provides statistics and analysis on key inbound and outbound tourism indicators at global, regional and national levels. Data covers arrivals, export share and contribution to tourism GDP, outbound markets, seasonality and accommodation (data on number of rooms, guests and overnight stays).
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) was founded in 1991 by CEOs of travel and tourism companies.
It brings together: airlines, hotels, cruise lines, car rental, travel agencies, tour operators, global distribution systems and technology companies.
It conducts research and reports on the industry
2. Main tourist destinations
Tourism destinations are frequently described as dynamic and evolving because of the way they change in response to changes in tourism demand
For example as demand increases, the destination may grow physically through the development of accommodation properties, new attractions, transport links and the services that support tourism in the destination
It is difficult to generalise about how destinations develop because the transformative effect of tourism is influenced by many factors that are internal and external to the destination.
main contextual characteristics for development of a destination
Physical: The physical context includes location, climate and landscape
Social/cultural: The social context refers to local culture and heritage that may be a tourist attraction, and also to the host society’s characteristics such as education, demographics, class, attitudes and political influence
Political: The political context refers to the ideology of the ruling national or local government, the decision-making process, and the level of public sector involvement in destination development
Economic: The economic context refers to the economic system (e.g. free-market, planned or mixed economy), the availability locally of capital and the willingness to invest it in tourism, land prices, land ownership patterns and the potential of other sectors of the economy.
"According to UNWTO (2002), a tourist destination is a physical space that includes tourism products, attractions and industry as well as support and tourism resources. It has physical and administrative boundaries that define its management, as well as images and perceptions that perceptions that mark its competitiveness in the market. Local destinations incorporate a number of actors, including the local community, which can community, and can come together and network to form wider destinations. They are the point of consumption of tourism products and implementation of tourism policy".
four common features of most destinations
Inseparability: that is, tourism is produced where it is consumed
Multiple use of destinations.
The four A’s:
Attractions act to pull the visitor to the destination. They include both natural and man-made attractions as well as events
Amenities include accommodation, food and beverage outlets, entertainment, retailing and other services
Access includes both local transport around the destination and access to and from the destination (air, road and sea), through transport terminals
Ancillary services come in the form of local organisations.
Visitors have to consider a destination to be attractive and worth the investment of time and money to visit. Because of this, destinations can be thought of as cultural appraisals
The first is their safety and security at the destination and whether they can trust that they will be safe and secure at the destination, given recent events where tourists have been targets of terrorism or victims of natural disasters. Here, Liu et al. (2019) state that a tourist’s trust in a destination depends upon the many destination stakeholders, including authorities, tourists, residents, employees and the destination management agency itself
Sustainability and whether the destination is judged to be well managed in terms of the environment and the host community.
Tourism is consumed where it is produced as visitors have to be physically present at a destination to experience tourism.
Because tourism, by its very nature, is attracted to the unique and the fragile parts of the world, destinations are vulnerable to tourist pressure and may suffer alteration.
This is exacerbated by the fact that visitor pressure is often concentrated seasonally in time and at specific popular locations.
Multiple use of destinations
Destinations serve residents and workers throughout the year, but at some times of the year they are also used by day visitors or tourists, away from their normal place of residence and work. Tourism may therefore become a source of conflict in shared destinations, with open antagonism displayed between tourists and other users. Solutions to this problem involve the careful integration of tourism activities in a variety of ways:
Phasing tourism uses in time;
Zoning tourism uses in space;
Management schemes to reduce tension and conflict by intervening in problem situations;
Involving all stakeholders and understanding their differing needs;
Community-driven tourism planning to ensure that tourism develops in harmony with community wishes;
Publicity campaigns to inform local residents of the benefits of tourism; and
Information campaigns and codes of conduct targeted at the tourist.
Main tourist destinations
An imperative for all destinations is to be competitive in order to deliver benefits to all stakeholders. In the bigger picture, it is in fact destinations that compete with each other rather than the individual businesses within the destination. Being competitive demands that destinations (Fyall, 2019):
Thoroughly understand changes in the external environment;
Are aware of shifting consumer preferences and expectations;
Understand their positioning against competitors’ offerings in terms of both image and reputation; and
Constantly innovate in terms of their product offering and their marketing.
3. International trends
Situation before Covid
The data point to tourism as a fundamental pillar, present and future, as an engine of economic, social and environmental development worldwide
In order not to be so generic, we will refer to this management with a concept that has gained much relevance lately: sustainable tourism
In short, tourism activity must be a win-win for all those involved, but above all it must preserve the most important thing, the tourist resource itself. If the authenticity of the reason why travellers visit a place is not cared for and maintained, this model is doomed to failure in the long run.
2030 Agenda / SDGs
Tourism, due to its cross-cutting nature, is one of the sectors that needs to make the greatest efforts
Companies and destinations have taken note and have begun to promote initiatives to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Tourism stakeholders are developing strategies in line with the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda.
Hostels in Europe and hotels in the Canary Islands are successfully testing a radical measure to become more sustainable: offering their guests the possibility to dispense with daily room cleaning in order to move towards sustainable tourism. The response from guests was surprising: in just two months, 10,000 room cleanings were dispensed with
The 2019 edition of the World Travel Market already looked at how technology could boost rural development
To support the implementation of strategic plans that are adapted to the territorial identity of these rural municipalities
To promote in-depth knowledge of the demand for rural tourism in the municipalities involved
To promote the awareness of rural tourists in order to contribute to the sustainability of these areas
To promote the cohesion of all rural tourism actors with the population of these municipalities
To promote and support effective associationism in the sector
Encourage the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation in rural tourism.
To simplify the processes for accessing and carrying out rural development actions
To promote the training of rural tourism professionals and entrepreneurs at all stages and to do so on an ongoing basis.
To design accompaniment programmes for rural tourism entrepreneurs
To create, implement and control pilot actions against depopulation in the municipalities.
The circular economy has burst onto the world scene as a concept that combines environmental and economic aspects and aims to keep the value of products and services, materials and resources in the economy for as long as possible, minimising the generation of waste
All sectors of society are involved, including companies, not only in its organisation but also in the cultural change it implies.
The tourism industry has gone from identifying digitalisation with digital marketing and little else, to applying it not only to the front office but also to the back office of the company, making it much more efficient, competitive and profitable
Companies digitise to have greater control of their business and what is happening in their environment in order to provide a better service to their customers, to be able to co-create their future products and services with them because social networks allow them to listen to them.
Situation during Covid
Changes in tourist behaviour
Staycations: A staycation means 'stay' and 'holiday' - A holiday that is taken close to home for a slightly longer period of time than a normal holiday
Repopulation of rural areas
Health concerns: implementation of biosecurity protocols
Increase in last minute bookings
High investment by companies and destinations in adopting protocols
Lack of international homogeneity in the adoption of measures
Youth segment is the most resistant to travel
Mature segments are most affected Responsibility
Positive impact on local communities. Authenticity
Increased use of technology: other types of tourism
The luxury sector is the least affected
Increase in certifications
Increasing demand for flats
Development of hotel chains
Flats in their rooms
Replacement of corporate tourism (recovery 3 years)
Surgical" price war
"Travelshaming" and "flygskam".
Changes in tourist behaviour
Uneven recovery: safe vs. unsafe destinations
Monitoring of protocols
Uneven recovery of sectors
Wearable technology: 21% of the population owns a smartwatch, according to Puntronic.com.
Means of payment
Example: Disney has developed a customisable wristband equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification), which connects to theme park infrastructures to reduce waiting times and monitor customer location and activities
The interest in offering more and more services (Tablet to order room service, APP), comfort, technology and continuing to apply policies to reduce consumption and sustainability, we are facing a new era in which smart rooms are replacing conventional ones.
One of the big changes we are likely to see in the coming years will be the progressive implementation of virtual assistants and voice command control.
SDGs - Agenda 2030
Covid waste management: masks, etc
Recovery of tourist resources
Beaches: seabed restoration
Control of carrying capacity
Historical resources: e.g. Machupichu
Situation in 2022
Changes in tourist behaviour
More road travel.
More people will travel alone.
A new trend is "ed-ventures". This is about combining education and holidays for children. While adults have to telecommute or attend meetings, their children can take workshops and learn in a playful way.
Travellers crave local experiences.
Travel technology adoption is accelerating.
Consumers combine business and leisure travel.