Global Trends in Tourism


Tourism is one of the few industries that has endured throughout the crisis, achieving sustained growth in the past years. There is also a general consensus in optimistic prospects for the coming years. On the other hand, the role played by Tourism is well known in developing incoming destinations, its contribution to GDP, exports and creation of jobs and new ventures.

tourism global trends

Everything seems to point in the direction that this trend will continue and even increase in the near future. The key elements for it to happen, which will in turn differentiate most competitive destinations from the rest, have to do with optimizing the touristic offer to the expectations of an increasingly demanding customer. It seems that a prominent role will be played by the following:

  • Technology: growth in online reservations will keep being most relevant, especially through mobile devices (25% of online reservations in US are already made from mobiles). It will thus be essential to adapt the marketing and sales channels to mobility. Another essential aspect will be the use of integrated platforms to provide a seamless user experience. Other emerging technologies, yet to be contrasted, with huge potential in the Tourism industry are Wearables and the Internet of Things (IofT).
  • Tailored Offer: travelers progressively seek for personalization and custom made offers, outside the traditional packs. Among other, new products are exploding along the line of:
    • Experience a destination as or with a local: the success of P2P models such as AirBnB has scaled to other services beyond mere accommodation. Some examples are city guided tours with residents or platforms like
    • Thematic trips hyper segmenting niche sports or health offer. Even new target customer profiles have emerged, such as the cycle tourists MAMIL (Middle-Aged Man in Lycra).
    • Bleissure: a combination in the same trip of business and recreation, extending the stay with a differentiated focus and demand.
  • Social Media will continue growing and becoming, beyond a shared communication and recommendation framework, a means of interacting with other travelers in real time during the visit.
  • New types of accommodation: a continuous expansion of P2P platforms is foreseen, assuming that new regulatory frameworks undertaken at different destinations allow for it. Also new types of premises and models will be developed, such as the Hostels, looking for a closer authenticity experience and cultural proximity to the destination.
  • Preparing for new markets: at global level China experienced an outbound traveler growth of 12% in 2015. Prospects for 2016 estimate more than 130 million Chinese travelers going abroad.
  • DIY (Do It Yourself): a trend is consolidating in the direction of making the customer directly manage processes themselves, from the online booking of a customized pack to the check-in and check-out at the hotel or the purchase of different products within.

At Spanish level, 2015 meant another successful season in the recovery of European markets and, to a lesser degree, the internal domestic market. This was partly due to a better economic context in the origin markets but also to a significant improvement on the offer side. For instance, in 2015 the Balearics hit a record in occupation, tourist expenditure and revenue per available room (RevPAR). In turn, it is expected to keep seeing growth in M&A operations as well as hotel infrastructure investments, thus continuing a trend of growth at more than 50% rates in the past two exercises.

The main challenges for the Spanish touristic sector in the short run will most likely be:

  • Regulatory measures around holiday rentals and P2P platforms
  • Adoption of the technologies and capacities required to optimize and develop business intelligence, key to achieve competitiveness and sustained profits
  • Access to and proper structure of the required financing to guarantee a continuous improvement in the quality of the installed capacity and new investments
  • Adequate planning and development of new touristic destinations, including the enhancement of public infrastructures and destination promotion
  • Connectivity with the origin markets, particularly important for the Balearics and Canary Islands, which highly depend on air traffic frequencies
  • Effective measures to reduce seasonality and to develop new products
  • Count on qualified human resources trained and empowered to manage
  • Identify opportunities and prepare the right strategies to grow, both internally and in the international scene
  • Assimilate in the organizations an entrepreneurial culture and a systematic approach to innovation

Auren accounts for a long and successful experience consulting for and assessing clients in the Tourism industry. Nonetheless our strategy points in the direction of considering this sector even more relevant to us. We are determined to grow and offer new business services for this key sector.

Ignacio Esteban – Socio Coordinador Auren Turismo

Antonio Viader – Director Consultoría