Schools Training

Travel & Tourism Trends in a Fragile Economy

20 FEB 2012
Career Path : Tourism Management

How has the travel & tourism industry been affected by the recent economic downturn? Here are five ways that the recent recession has impacted tourism management.

1. The rise of comfort food: “Can I have a burger with that?”

According to Foodservice and Hospitality, a Canadian hospitality business magazine for tourism management professionals, hamburgers are always popular during recessions. Casual food actually has an advantage during economic hard times, because consumers are attracted to less-expensive food choices.

Takeaway: Tourism business management teams should offer more affordable food options during times of economic crisis.

2. Less out-of-province travel, more staycations.

In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte in conjunction with members of the Canadian travel & tourism industry, most respondents said that they would like to travel across the country, they were planning to save money by staying closer to home. According to Travel Industry Wire, recent studies of the American travel & tourism industry uncovered similar results.

Takeaway: Tourism business management teams should do more to promote their services to nearby populations in times of economic crisis.

3. Business travel is down

In the same survey by Deloitte for the travel & tourism industry, 58% of respondents said that they expected to travel less for business in the following year. As businesses cut travel – relying, instead, on technology such as Skype and video chatting – tourism management teams may need to relax their expectations as they renegotiate yearly procurement practices with frequent corporate clients. They may not be able to increase their prices at the same rates as they did in the past.

Takeaway: Tourism business management teams may have to develop relationships with other more viable markets. (The same survey by Deloitte for the travel & tourism industry suggests that the youth market may be an area of possible growth.)

4. Promo codes, online deals, coupons: more important

One result of the economic downturn is that many consumers are more concerned with value. Some tourism management teams are seeing a rise in use of coupons and other deals. According to CNN Living, there was a 27% increase in coupon use in the United States between 2008 and 2009.

Takeway: Tourism business management teams can use promo codes, online deals and coupons to drive bookings.

5. Less waste: smaller food portions, soap and shampoo pumps

According to ehotelier.com, there is a silver lining to the economic downturn: it requires tourism management teams to save energy and reduce waste.

The economic downturn has an effect on all industries. Here are a few of the ways – positive, negative and neutral – that it has affected the travel & tourism industry.