Popular European cities are wooing more upmarket, niche and cultured travellers – and fewer mass-market tourists, according to the new report “Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel” from global market research provider, Euromonitor International unveiled at World Travel Market London today (Tuesday 6 November).
Euromonitor International’s new study reveals the tourist boards of many European destinations are on a “quest for the right traveller”, amid media headlines about overtourism.
Euromonitor International’s research team also predicts a ripple effect across the continent when the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019, as the outbound British travel market will be affected by the outcome of trade talks.
Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at Euromonitor International, commented: “While the media have jumped on the topic and popularised the term ‘over-tourism’, city tourism boards are coming to grips with a future where they will be looking to attract the ‘right’ traveller.
The focus should no longer be on volume, but rather on the incremental value that different types of tourists will bring.
“By targeting market niches, such as arts, culture, sports, adventure and wellness, the quality/price ratio tends to increase, as niche visitors are less price-sensitive, which in turn improves the overall quality of supply.”
The Euromonitor International research found that Europe’s tourism industry has proved remarkably resilient, despite economic and political turmoil, the migrant crisis, and terrorist attacks over recent years.
The industry continues to register “strong growth” in numbers – although the average expenditure per traveller has dropped.
As well as a shift away from the mass market, Euromonitor International identified a trend towards being “respectful of local cultures and residents”.
It cites the case study of Amsterdam which is trying to shed its party destination image and is piloting several initiatives to minimise the negative impacts of tourism and events on local residents.
Meanwhile, in the UK, there is still uncertainty about the form of Brexit, but Euromonitor International warns there is still a possibility that the UK may step out of the EU without a deal
Wouter Geerts, Travel Consultant at Euromonitor International, said UK’s outbound travel will be affected the most, as outbound expenditure outnumbers inbound receipts by 2:1.
“Some US$10 billion of outbound expenditure hangs in the balance depending on the form Brexit takes,” he said. “A ‘light Brexit’ or No Brexit would give outbound expenditure a boost while a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would restrain the rate of growth.”
World Travel Market London’s Paul Nelson said: “It bodes well for the long-term sustainability of the European tourism industry that it is diversifying its offer, in a bid to worry less about sheer numbers and to focus instead on more valuable sectors.
“We’ve had several sessions at World Travel Market London in recent years about the impact of overtourism on many destinations, and it seems that tourist boards and the industry are engaging with residents and politicians to find practical solutions.
“We’re hosting several events this year, looking at how the market is evolving and how destinations can learn from the experiences of others to find the best way to balance growth and sustainability.
“Much of the impetus is coming from our WTM Responsible Tourism programme, which is in the vanguard of the debate about green issues.
“We’re also hosting many events about the likely impact of Brexit, and how it will change the market for the UK and further afield.”
Download your free copy of Euromonitor International’s “Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel” report: http://bit.ly/emi-megatrends-travel
Sessions at World Travel Market London discussing overtourism and related issues include:
- Coping with Success in Major Cities (5 November)
Barcelona has led the way in addressing the challenges of overtourism, and other cities are beginning to address the problem of success. Speakers will be the bosses of tourist boards in Amsterdam, London, New York and Barcelona. AS1350
- What can we learn from Barcelona? (6 November)
Barcelona will share the ways in which it has tackled the challenges of overtourism. Platinum Suite 4
- How travel influencer marketing is evolving: the good, the bad and the brilliant (7 November)
With speakers from travel influencer network iambassador. WTM Global Stage AS1350
- Food Tourism 2025: What You Need to Know Now (6 November)
Speakers will look at the positives of food tourism as well as issues such as overtourism, packaging waste, preserving culinary culture and authenticity. Platinum Suite 3
- The World Responsible Tourism Awards (7 November)
This year there are five categories: wildlife; employment; local economic benefit; communicating responsible tourism; and coping with success, meeting the challenge of overtourism. Europe Inspiration Zone EU80.
About World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises six leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7 billion of industry deals. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £3.1 billion of travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/. Next event: 5-7 November 2018 – London.
Travel Forward is a new travel technology event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events. The inaugural Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer programme will take place on 5–7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, showcasing next-generation technology for travel and hospitality. http://travelforward.wtm.com/.
WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/. Next event: 2-4 April 2019 – Sao Paulo.
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.
Next event: 10-12 April 2019 – Cape Town.
Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarketwtm.com.
Next event: 28 April-1 May 2019 – Dubai.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face-to-face through data and digital tools at more than 500 events a year, in more than 43 countries, attracting more than seven million participants. Reed’s events are held in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism events organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether they are global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have more than 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.
More information, please contact:
|Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager
T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510
|Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive
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