The next 10 years in the business of tourism will only vaguely resemble the previous 25. For organizations to reap competitive advantage and opportunity from one of the world’s fastest growing industries requires a profound understanding of their traveler base, key stakeholders, influencers and so forth.
As new tools and technologies such as Airbnb and ride-sharing applications converge with an emerging generation of travelers seeking unique destinations and experiences, tour operators and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) will experience disruption. For those that embrace this disruption by proactively examining consumer behaviors, impending competition and new methods for measuring tourism impact and revenue, success will ensue.
In spite of this change, there are some pieces of the business of tourism that simply won’t need to change at all, as travelers will increasingly demand local, authentic and community-based experiences. This offers organizations with the opportunity to provide a back-to-basics approach where a natural competitive advantage can be found.