Zelijko Trezner, a leading tourism expert and part-time academic at VERN' University of Applied Sciences, opened the conference by exploring management, leadership and governance in the context of tourism. The area of tourism is rapidly growing (estimates suggest there will be 1.8B tourist arrivals globally per annum by 2030) and changing. The expectations are moving from sight, touch and smell, to 'experience'. The trend is towards specialisation and hyper-segmentation, to offer something different and specific to every tourist: the market of one is nigh.
The democratisation of information, expedited by the Internet, means tourist and tourism expectations are changing. The primary emerging needs are social—including exploration; change; entertainment; success; love; and, social conformism. To be successful in these regards, the emphasis needs to move from 'physical' sights to 'stories' and 'experiences'. Increasingly, tourists are expecting to engage. What are the implications for managers, leaders and governors? Those with influence need to embrace the following dimensions:
Trezner, in effect, was saying the the 'control' needs to move, from the operator to the tourist themselves. A different level of consciousness is required, whereby tourists, operators and decision-makers influence each other on all sorts of levels: Trezner called this transmodernism.
Trezner's talk provided a great foundation for the conference because it gave delegates much to ponder.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.