The key trends for the Spanish tourist ‘reset’




Forecasting trends in a business environment as changing as the one we live in is more complex and necessary than ever. AND detecting social, economic and cultural changes and predicting their impact on consumer habits is vital in a world in which decision periods are getting shorter and shorter.

The pandemic has been an unprecedented crash and its effects are still difficult to assess. Hence, prediction tools are very relevant to solve, at least, the most immediate unknowns. And more in tourism, the sector that has suffered the most from the Covid-19 crisis.

One of those tools is the report The Excellence Tourism Shift, carried out by the consulting firm WGSN for Turium, the group of excellent tourism companies endorsed by Vocento, which reveals guidelines and keys that allow a glimpse of the future of the sector.

In a first approximation, the report identifies four tourism macro trends for 2022: the absolute need for safety and hygiene, contact with nature, the search for novel experiences and total connectivity. But beyond them, there are others that reveal where the tourism industry of excellence should turn to meet the demand of the new post-pandemic tourist profiles: multigenerational travelers,
tourists with a high purchasing power,
committed travelers, new adventurers, local hikers, seekers of physical and mental well-being …

These new travelers are giving rise to the tourist consumption trends that will prevail in the coming months: multigenerational family trips, purpose-driven travel, micro-tourism (a proximity tourism that seeks a social and cultural immersion in the destination),
the rise of the metaverse
and cryptocurrencies, the impact of the Alpha generation, those born after 2010, very relevant actors in family decision-making; the boom of digital nomads like vanfluencers, the new segment of ultra-luxury or health, wellness and regenerative tourism, one of the tourist niches that is growing the most.

In 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, Spain received 83.5 million international tourists. In 2020, the number fell 71% to 18.9 million. And estimates for 2021 suggest that, hopefully, it will touch 40 million. In view of the figures, does Spain have to fight to return to those brands? The answer of the tourism of excellence is a resounding no. The fight now is to increase income, not tourists. But the economic forecasts are not promising: The CEOE estimates the tourism sector will contribute to GDP in 2021 between 66,435 and 77,273 million euros. That, at best, is half of the 154.4 billion in 2019.

This scenario forces tourism companies to adapt to new trends and new travelers. According to the report The Excellence Tourism Shift, tourism companies must work in six lines. The main one is to guarantee the hygiene and safety of the traveler. In the search for that feeling of security, travelers will increasingly prioritize privacy during their vacations, which will force destinations and establishments to guarantee privacy. In addition, the past confinement has made many travelers eager to return to distant destinations, but now with all the comforts of home. Transparency and flexibility should be the new mantras of the tourism sector, because without a clear policy of rates, refunds or cancellations, travelers will flee. Digital facilities, both for hiring and paying for services, will be essential if companies want to remain relevant. And sustainability will be a key element for the traveler to decide on one destination or another, because the post-pandemic tourist wants to live memorable experiences, but leaving the best possible footprint on the planet.

And what about Spanish companies and destinations? What do they need to adapt to these new demands? “First, they must ensure that they offer a wide variety of tours, activities and experiences that highlight the values ​​of their own culture. On the other hand – explains Eloise Phillips, one of the authors of the report -, with Spain being the second European destination chosen by families to spend intergenerational holidays, companies should offer a huge range of services for all age groups. The new tourism requires rural and natural environments that guarantee social distancing, rest and relaxation, and Spain should not neglect this area. And there is a growing trend to make nearby routes by car, van or bike, an increasingly premium market niche that requires ad hoc tourism services.

Ribera del Duero: the Spanish cradle of the “solow life”

The ‘slow life’, the return to nature, primary well-being and roots, is one of the tourist trends of 2022. And the Golden Mile of the Ribera de Duero, with its offer of wine tourism, wellness, nature and gastronomy, is its Spanish mecca. In this environment, and sponsored by the Valladolid Provincial Council, Turium has presented its first trend report, a tool to help the sector face its renewal

See them


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