The crisis caused by the coronavirus has been the biggest drag on the tourism and leisure sector to date. Never before have we seen the activity come to an almost complete halt. Although the focus is also on market survival and employee well-being, it has never been more urgent to consider future scenarios. Learn about some consumer trends that may impact your business.

The current focus in the sector is on survival: safeguarding profits and employees, and finding alternative funding. However, this is the key time to think long-term.

According to a study released by consultancy PwC, "with many tourism and leisure businesses operating on tight margins, a drop in sales of 10 to 20 per cent can put them in financial danger", even without counting the additional costs of the measures needed to reopen the business, such as additional cleaning costs, personal protective equipment or ensuring physical distance.

According to the consultant, it is also important to keep two notions in mind: flexibility and resilience. To ensure that these two criteria are met, organizations must keep in mind that it is necessary to eliminate "bad expenses", which can often mean working with smaller companies and teams, and diversify and broaden the consumer base. On this last point, it should be noted that a wider range of products can give greater flexibility.

However, business decisions should be based, above all, on consumer behaviour. "Operators must adapt their businesses to meet any changes in consumer trends, invest in the future and capitalise on new opportunities", says the document made available by PwC.

Get to know some of the current consumer trends in tourism:

  • Focus on experiences - the younger generations have preferred to spend more money on experiences than on material goods. Gastronomic tastings, itineraries and adventure tourism are activities increasingly in demand and this market is expected to grow progressively in the coming years.
  • Acceleration of digital services - the penetration of online has been accelerated by the crisis, in several areas:

- Home delivery of food: home deliveries in the food sector are expected to double in the next decade.

- FitnessThe demand for online fitness classes has grown exponentially. With the growth in supply and demand, new payment methods, business opportunities and customer engagement have emerged.

- Travel: more and more demand is being made online. However, in addition to the offer, digitalisation has promoted communication between the consumer and the operator. With the emergence of various communication tools, including chatbots, it has become easier and faster to purchase travel and experiences.

  • Focus on values and purpose - the values that an organisation stands for seem to be becoming increasingly relevant to consumers. Bad actions by companies are regularly criticised on social media: from the way customers and the community are treated, to staff behaviour. Equally, good actions and intentions can leave a positive and lasting mark. Increasingly, organisations must focus on their purpose as a differentiating factor in the marketplace.

"Despite the uncertain environment, those who use the crisis period to reassess and reshape their business will benefit in the recovery period, and beyond. Are you ready to capitalise on these trends and rebuild your business?

Do you know our program:
Tourism Strategy in Times of Disruption?
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