What do you think the most significant consumer trend will be for your organization to consider in that same time frame?

16 February 2012

Marty von Neudegg - Director Of Corporate Services and General Counsel at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures
Most seasoned travellers will not respond to hype or deals that look too good to be true. They are looking for authenticity and places that deliver on their promises. They are looking to get away for shorter periods of time and they want to really use that time well and connect with their travel partners, family and the destination in meaningful ways.  We believe that there will quickly be a shake-out of those travel companies who waste their guests' time with unreal discounts or prices that are too good to be true, that force a poor quality experience. Those types of companies are not sustainable and the travelling public will remember who they are…because the better choices, with real value opportunities, will be easy to find.

Tim Jacox Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing of InnerSea Discoveries & American Safari Cruises
In order to ensure consumers and marketing partners realize our programs are highly active/adventurous and focus on untouched, remote areas, we are marketing the luxury of our experiences as today's emerging definition of luxury. This is a new trend—the redefinition of luxury. Are we a 5-Star experience? That's not the context that defines us; instead, our discussion focuses on the real stars that are important which number in the thousands – bears, whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters, eagles, icebergs, waterfalls, trees, indigenous peoples, and yes, real stars in the sky seen from the deck of a small ship anchored in an isolated cove with no one else around.

As the economy continues to be of concern, people realize that travel is still something that they can't omit completely from their lives. But tough choices have to be made. The trend that has come to light in recent times is for many consumers to put experiential travel higher on their vacation list in order to be more confident that the experiences will be of higher quality, less sensory-light and more transcendental or meaningful, even life-changing, and more in tune with family togetherness.

Bruno Toutain of Cyclomundo
I feel that with all the deal-of-the-day and last-minute websites, consumers' purchasing pattern is changing… Decisions are made quickly and on a whim and from anywhere!  Without necessarily reading our trip details. There's also no question that social media is playing a growing part in the client's decision process.

Rob Rankin - Managing Director of Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland
I think people are looking for value for money, and optimization of their time in Ireland. So not just a cheap product but one which offers a good return on a customer's investment, and one which ensures passengers that they will make the very best of their time here. The usage of the Internet is another one, and we are constantly looking at ways to improve our web presence, to bring past customers closer to future/potential customers (especially on Facebook) and to make the booking process simpler and smoother.

Jiří Mikulec - ETOURS TRAVEL of the Czech Republic
Originality of the products, excellent guides and price.

Christian Wolters - Director, Sales and Marketing at Intrepid Travel Americas
The 40+ demographic is becoming more important. This demo demands similar experiences but with better accommodation and transportation.

Michael Mettler - Managing Director of Baumeler Travel Ltd.

New clients are sourcing adventure tours online and have different demands than existing clients. This fact forces us to question:

  • our current product
  • our current distribution channel
  • our current internet strategy

Ben Bressler - Founder & Director, Natural Habitat Adventures
Custom travel seems to be important to adventurers these days. Travelers like to do things outside of a guided group.

Sally Dowden - Owner of Speyside Wildlife
Guests will be looking for stability. They are only willing to spend when they feel extremely comfortable with the company they are booking with and confident with the product they are anticipating, so ensuring a consistency of product, guides, prices, etc will be vital.

Angelina Fourkioti - Incoming Sales Manager, Trekking Hellas Group of Companies
Globalization and Internet nowadays give the power to consumers to compare and choose among numerous options. We have to always keep in mind that we must provide the highest quality at the most competitive price.

Norman Howe -  President of Butterfield & Robinson
Consumers continue to demand value and customization - in response to this, B&R has recently added Bistro trips to our offerings which are a more casual and less expensive version of our Signature Trips. We will also continue to develop Private (unguided) trips to their offering to fit the needs of couples, small groups and families who aren't necessarily looking for a group trip but still want a B&R curated experience.

Steve Markle - Director of Sales & Marketing at O.A.R.S.
We're putting our money on content marketing—both OARS-curated and user-generated—to cut through the noise and really resonate with the consumers who are already looking for the types of travel experiences we offer and to reach other prospective travelers with content that will inspire them to do something different.

Omar Samra - Founder & Chief Guanabana, Wild Guanabana
In our part of the world we're definitely seeing an increased involvement from the female population, even in largely conservative countries where you would think there would be an aversion to these kind of trips. We're also seeing a bigger contribution from families and the 50+ segment as the awareness that these trips, especially 'soft adventure' are for everyone. Typically it has been mostly 25 to 35-year old consumers.

Jorge Pérez Tierra del Volcan

  • Direct research and direct booking.
  • Client-to-client sharing of information.
  • Taking tours only when the client feels a tour operator is really worth it - because of the quality of the experience or complicated logistics. Any part of the journey they can organize themselves, they will.
  • Looking for the best options that their budget can get. Not necessarily cheap traveling; clients are willing to pay for good quality experiences.
  • Meaningful experiences. I see a big trend in clients looking for "beyond travel experiences" - where they can grow and also give back.

Sonja Gottlebe-Ranarivelo - Boogie Pilgrim
Soft & active adventure, sustainable tourism, high standard expectations, good value for money, fast quotations…

Kate Reid Director, Call of the Wild Inc.
We expect to see clients booking the trips that have been on their 'bucket list' for many years.  Our average client is a 55 year old female. A few years ago, she was waiting for things to settle down before she opened up her pocketbook. With instability as the new norm, she is saying, "I don't have years to wait to see if things improve. I'd better do this now."

Debbie Hendricks, Co-Owner, Just Roughin' It
We have noticed our competitors moving towards softer adventure trips such as porter, mule-supported, hotel-based or van trips. I don't see this as a consumer trend but more of a means for the competition to increase their client base. We will not be moving in that direction.  Just because everyone else does it, doesn't mean it is right for us.

Tiger Li, Founder, Diverse China
The most significant consumer trend for our company is sending more Chinese people outbound as the Chinese RMB goes up quickly against USD, EURO  and GBP.

Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, Founder & Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions Private Limited
We find that there is a demand for more comfortable and luxurious adventure travel as well as bespoke journeys which take in interesting boutique hotels, lodges and camps. These will necessarily have to be experiential and thus, wildlife safaris and eco tourism elements would be desired.

Nicole Robinson - Commercial Director at &Beyond
The most significant trend is the consumer's need for real, authentic and personal travel experiences and how &Beyond not only delivers them, but exceeds expectations - from the minute of their first contact with &Beyond, throughout their journey and after they arrive home in the social media space.

Elín Sigurveig Sigurðardóttir - General Manager at Icelandic Mountain Guides
We are expecting larger numbers of people that are looking for trips with deeper, life-changing experiences, some kind of learning process and more authentic experiences. Some are even looking for reinvention. [We've] also further developed "Short Break Adventure Travel Packages" -  all kind of learning trips, learning about animal life, taking photographs, knitting (we are running knitting trips), cooking and so on. People in the U.S. market have such a short vacation but still want to travel and experience a lot, so that's the reason for the shorter adventure packages.

Claire Antell, U.K. Representative of Wilderness Explorers
Experiential, authentic and sustainable tourism, and off the beaten track continues to be the most significant and relevant trend for Guyana. Wildlife, unspoilt scenery, wilderness and  community lodges with good environmental practices are the core of what we continue to promote and develop in our region.

Marie-Pier Mercier - Marketing Coordinator at Quebec Maritime
Web access means that people shop around more for their vacation destinations and are more likely to book their travel at the last minute. They also tend to negotiate rates with their travel agent or directly with the suppliers. We therefore need to be very proactive on the Web, sending out last-minute offers to our subscribers and providing them with vacation ideas that will encourage them to visit our regions.

Pepe Lopez - Manager at Apumayo Expediciones Peru
We are trying to be listed on the right directories where responsible consumers are searching reviews on company practices and customer service. Consumers are using the web to look for higher value and more affordable prices.