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Millennials: los viajeros del futuro

Ricard Santomà, director de TSI-Turismo Sant Ignasi

millennialsPara cualquier proceso estratégico es clave responder una de las grandes preguntas: ¿cómo será el futuro en el sector del turismo y la hotelería? Esta pregunta no sólo pretende satisfacer una curiosidad: implica prepararse hoy para lo que será mañana.

Los estudios que analizan los comportamientos generacionales son, sin duda, un buen lugar en el que encontrar respuestas. En el estudio realizado por HVS Global Hospitality Services se analiza el perfil de la próxima generación de viajeros (turistas): los  Millennials. Son personas nacidas entre 1980 y 1999, por lo que  tendrán entre 35 y 53 años en el año 2030, y será en es año cuando alcanzarán su pico de gasto turístico (que se iniciará en el año 2017). Son los viajeros del futuro y el sector errará su estrategia si no nos focalizamos en sus necesidades.

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Stakeholders and destination branding

A key challenge to branding, even if the stakeholders are consulted, will be the tendency for many of them, especially if they are SMEs, to ultimately prioritise their personal benefits over the success of the destination brand (Dinnie, 2011; Fyall, 2011). There are those who consider that unity is possible, however. Thus, Fiona Gilmore (2002) suggests that repositioning a country can be done successfully and that a key part of this process is to capture the people’s spirit. Moreover, she argues that the positioning strategy has to cover four factors: macro-trends, target groups, competitors and core competencies. Focusing on the example of Spain, she analyses how the Spanish government harnessed a wide range of Spanish artistic talents in creating a successful campaign. Although as a nation Spain is fragmented territorially it embraced the country branding platform as an umbrella for its many diverse regions (see Roig, Pritchard & Morgan, 2010).

Whilst different countries have different structures in most cases, the public sector and in particular, the local and regional governments will be more aware of the specific necessities of the destination (Ritchie and Crouch, 2003, 2005).  Naturally of course, the local community play an important role in the tourism planning process of a destination. Jamal and Gezt (2005) indicate that all the actors who might be affected by tourism policies should be involved in the decision making process at an early stage. This is important to get the necessary consensus and the only way to capture what Gilmore (2002) calls the people’s spirit.

Zaida Rodrigo, profesora de TSI-Turismo Sant Ignasi

The Power of Place Brands

Institutions in the public sector are realising that places have an image and that marketing it systematically, into a consistent and holistic ‘brand’ to include tourism, inward investment, education, urban design, architecture etc. can be fruitful and effective (Klingmann, 2007; Vitiello and Willcocks, 2011).

Moreover, the place image can be seen as equity and becomes an important part of the competitive identity in a place marketing strategy (see Anholt, 2006, 2007). Places should be able to identify core competences and therefore they have the ability to use systematic image-based place marketing (Papadopoulos, 2004). Besides, it seems that there are three interrelated characteristics that challenge marketing strategies in the public sector, namely:

1)                 The lack of unity of purpose among constituencies;

2)                 Government’s lack of decision-making authority;

3)                 The difficulty in establishing measurable performance outcomes.

These three areas need to be addressed for an effective implementation of place branding programmes. At the same time, they need to be considered in relation to all the previous factors discussed above, such as consensus among stakeholders, unity, clarity and consistency in the vision, the positioning strategy, the branding message, etc.

 Zaida Rodrigo, profesora de TSI-Turismo Sant Ignasi


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