On a sunny day in May I turned up at the Future of Experiences event in London, organised by the people from Trendwatching and I’m very glad I did. It reminds you how you should really get away from your ‘mental desk’ more frequently and have a good look out there. Trends are a trend of course. We all want to be in the know, pick up on the zeitgeist and work out where the opportunities are for work, clients, life and so on. Truth is there are ideas everywhere if you give yourself the space to think freely and, if you don’t come up with them, someone else will. Here are a few points I shared with co-workers when I returned to my desk.
Can tourism ever be sustainable?
- It all comes back to basic human needs. If you focus on these needs then you create spaces for great ideas. Currently a really strong human need is ‘I want to be a good person’. Often in relationship to planet care, wastefulness, single-use plastic; anything plastic… What can we or our clients do to help make it easy for customers to achieve this state of grace? Innovative organisations who make it easy for customers reduce their individual environmental impact will win hearts and minds.
- Wasteful tourism – which I’ve already mentioned in relation to human needs. One day it will become so unacceptable that society will wonder what on earth we were thinking about. The Hilton & Foodmaven partnership in the US providing pathways to local suppliers with excess fresh produce to supply their kitchens.
Wellness & Tourism brands join forces
- Think about unusual but actually very logical partnerships. Lululemon partnering with Penguin books to offer pop-up libraries. This taps into wellness and wellbeing by helping you to looking after body AND mind.
Think brand – think community
- Rethink your brand position. Ibis hotels are repositioning their brand around community and music. I’d say the jury’s out on whether it’s workable but they’re making a strike for a new space and so they should. Because when did you last think of them at the same time as Travelodge and Premier Inn?
What is accessible tourism?
- Accessible travel is not just about mobility. Villakey can offer villas which work for families which include people with autism, where lighting and sounds can be managed, for example. It’s inclusive, helpful and makes sense.
What does ethical tourism mean?
- Ethical hotels – Hilton are offering vegan suites….Of course! All that leather furniture is unacceptable to many people. It’s clear that vegan principles are going from fringe to mainstream. Anyone who thinks it’s a fad is about to look like a dinosaur. Because if Burger King are grabbing the moment by launching meat-free (but looks and tastes like the real thing) burgers then you know it’s not going to go away. And think of the speed too – it’s gone from lab to burger bun in no time.
Thank you Trendwatching – I enjoyed the event and learnt a lot too. If after reading this you’d like to try for yourself, they’ve got an event coming up in September at the Barbican and you can sign up for their notices.