Winning a place on the travel itinerary of time-poor but experience-hungry generation of travellers from Asia’s emerging outbound markets will require clever marketing and well thought-out experiences that help them to quickly connect with local people and their traditions. When it comes to exploring new destinations, quick access to new foods, cultural immersion and local youth culture make a strong draw for Asian Millennials to ‘step out of the crowd’ and go off the beaten track.
These are just a few of the conclusions from a comprehensive new report just released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association in partnership with Visa Worldwide and Toposophy.
Encouraging visitors to leave crowded hotspots and go in search of more enriching experiences has never been more important for destinations looking to capitalise on the rising tide of visitors from Asia’s emerging outbound markets. However putting this into practice is not so simple, especially when first-time visitors might not even know what else is available in the local area.
Finding ways to deal with crowds and helping visitors to explore further by themselves is putting destination management organisations (DMOs) seriously to the test. It requires a high degree of coordination with a range of stakeholders, the ability to develop an attractive product in new destinations and put in place the infrastructure to help visitors to get there and stay for a while. Following this, DMOs have to use their creative flair to raise awareness of alternative options, and then give people compelling reasons to visit.
Stepping Out of the Crowd is the second in PATA’s series of youth travel reports, and follows The Rise of the Young Asian Traveller which I authored in 2014. This new report covers the whole range of complex questions related to Asian Millennial traveller trends and tourism dispersal in a 150-page report that draws on unique consumer research carried out among 13 Asian outbound markets, expert opinion, case studies from leading travel brands and data from PATA’s own forecasts on cross-border travel. It also gives practical recommendations on where to start when putting a dispersal strategy in place.
Main features of the report:
- Unique consumer research from Millennials in 13 outbound markets across Asia on their attitudes towards trip planning, city visits and going ‘off the beaten track’.
- Data from the PATA five-year forecast to show how international arrival arrivals will affect APAC destinations in the coming years
- Data and opinion from 14 market-leading tourism organisations, travel brands and influencers (including VisitBritain, NBTC Holland Marketing, Eurail Group and Discover Los Angeles) on how to set out an effective dispersal strategy.
- Recommendations to public and private sector organisations on how to create more effective and rewarding products that encourage dispersal for Asian Millennial travellers.
How to get the report:
Full report – PATA Store (free for PATA members, US$100 for non-members)
Executive Summary (free download)
The project research for it was generously sponsored by Visa Worldwide and since TOPOSOPHY was the project’s research partner, my talented colleagues supported me with their inputs too, for which I am extremely grateful.
The bigger picture
Working on this groundbreaking project has taught me how the best DMOs are already hard at work to encourage dispersal, and to spread visitor spending as widely as possible – even in developing countries which find it hard to meet the needs of local residents, let alone demanding visitors. Yet in the end, dispersal is everyone’s business, as I explain in my recent TOPOSOPHY blog post.
This project has also shown in a variety of ways how much harder the tourism sector globally needs to work on this question. As far as tourism arrivals from Asia to Europe go, we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Other regions of the world are emerging rapidly as key outbound markets, on top of all those travellers from advanced economies who travel several times per year with the same big attractions on their bucket lists.
I hope that this report will help tourism boards and travel brands of all kinds to kick-start their approach to making tourism dispersal work for all, before it’s too late.
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