VisitEngland reveals tourism trends for the next decade

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tourism

VisitEngland's latest report highlights key opportunities that could change the face of tourism in England over the next decade
VisitEngland's latest report highlights key opportunities that could change the face of tourism in England over the next decade
Key opportunities that could ‘change the face of tourism’ in England over the next decade have been highlighted in a new report released today by national tourist board VisitEngland.

‘Domestic Leisure Tourism Trends for the Next Decade’ was launched at VisitEngland’s Visitor Economy Conference in London, outlining the key trends that are due to significantly affect the future growth of domestic tourism.

According to the report, businesses will need to be more ‘flexible and responsive’ and less ‘prescriptive’. Developments in both the consumers’ access to, and use of, technology will continue to have a transformative effect on the future of domestic leisure tourism, it says.

It goes on to point out that tourism businesses will ‘miss out’ if they fail to customise their offer to mobile platforms, make better use of apps and provide potential customers with the best virtual experience on offer to inspire a booking and subsequent word-of-mouth.

Jobs and growth

Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant said: “The tourism industry is playing a big part in our economic recovery and VisitEngland’s report outlines the huge potential the domestic market has for future growth.

“Tourism supports millions of jobs across the country and it’s important that the industry continues to be innovative in its approach, adapting to and creating trends so that the true potential can be realised.”

Another consumer trend highlighted in the report is ‘individualocracy’ - the desire for personalised, tailored products and services and the ‘expectation’ that this can be provided. The report outlines the importance of this to the tourism industry to keep up with the consumers’ demand for unique experiences especially created to their own personal specification to enjoy at the time that best suits them, often booked at the last minute.

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford added: “A thriving tourism industry is about meeting customer demand in all its variable forms to provide the best visitor experience and remain competitive.  It is our job as the national tourist board to support the growth of the industry and provide our businesses and destinations with intelligence like this so they can plan and adapt to a changing environment.

“This report outlines areas where businesses can  customise their product to a changing demographic in order to secure their share of the market place. Innovation is vital for success and ongoing growth, and in many cases we’re not talking seismic changes. 

“All businesses have the ability to change and improve; sometimes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference.”

Value hunters

This ‘flexible and responsive’ ethos highlighted throughout the report is particularly apparent when considering population and social change. Families are changing in size, shape and composition - far removed from the traditional ‘nuclear’ family, it says. 

Businesses offering products aimed at families need to therefore ensure their products are flexible enough to meet the needs of a modern, 21st century family. These shifts in demographic should prompt business of all types to assess the access needs of their customers and adapt their products to better cater for them.

The report concludes that consumers have ultimately become ‘value hunters’ and are increasingly willing to go extra lengths to get the best deal, making it more important than ever to build the relationship which will create brand loyalty.

View the full report here.

VisitEngland is inviting debate around its report online at​ – which goes live later today (5 December).

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