14 Tourism Trends That Will Change The Way You Think About Your Career

Happy Holidays Chanchot!

It's just a few short days until Christmas and I can't believe how this year has flown!
While you're shopping for last minute gifts, making your home guest-ready for the holidays or just taking this time to chill out and relax, I just want to tell you how grateful I am to have you as part of our fast growing community here at Tourism Exposed.

I have loved hearing your stories which have inspired me to create more material on Tourism Exposed like the 3 Apps You Must Download Today to Find a Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Job and How to Get a Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Job Without Experience, just to name a few.

Thank you Chanchot and I look forward to helping you even more in 2015.

Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year.

To Your Success,
Tourism Exposed

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14 Tourism Trends That Will Change The Way You Think About Your Career

While no one can predict the future with 100% certainty, a careful observer of travel, tourism and hospitality is able to notice various trends that are taking place throughout the industry in general.

In the past decade the industry has gone through a major segmenting on a global basis. This segmentation has allowed for the industry to grow into a number of unique markets in order to assist industry professionals in developing targeted products and services and help travelers understand their offerings.

These unique market segments can include the type of traveler such as women or students, or the type of traveler interest such as family reunions or bird watching.

Given that people are traveling more and more, new unique market segments are constantly being identified and marked as tourism trends, based on the individual traveler's ever-changing interests and demands.

There are 14 tourism trends that are having and will continue to have an impact on the development of the industry overall.

More importantly however, is that these trends not only create new products and services in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry but also have a major influence on the growth of new long-term career opportunities in the industry.

If you want to take your job search to the next level, and you're hoping this will be the year you land the job you've always wanted, then you should be aware of and be open to new career possibilities within the travel, tourism and hospitality industry that exist other than those associated with airlines, hotels and travel agencies.

Here are 14 tourism trends you should pay attention to that provide promising career opportunities in travel, tourism and hospitality.

1. Sustainable Tourism

A practice of ecotourism, sustainable tourism is tourism that sustains or protects and enhances the destination, its environment, culture, heritage and the well-being of its residents or local communities. It also meets the economic needs of the destination and the overall needs of tourists. Sustainable tourism is sometimes referred to as geo-tourism.

2. Ecotourism

Ecotourism is tourism that is primarily focused on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. Ecotourism practices include sustainable travel as well as responsible or green travel, which is the act of engaging in tourism practices that is friendly to the environment.

For example, hotels are going green by having water and energy savings programs or organic and locally grown room service meals or minibar snacks.

Industry professionals refer to ecotourism as tourism with a conscience and it is traditionally referenced to travel to destinations such as Galápagos Islands of Ecuador or the pristine beaches of Costa Rica. However, there is a new type of ecotourism that is developing around the world, urban ecotourism. Urban ecotourism encourages visitors to explore a city's culture and heritage and aims to minimize the impact of tourism on the city's environment.

3. Culture/Heritage Tourism

Tourism that is focused on experiencing the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. Festivals, rituals, museums, cultural facilities or theatres, historic and natural resources are all elements of culture/heritage tourism.

4. Sport Tourism

Leisure travelers participate in sports, go to sports events and visit sports museums. Based on this, destinations use sports as a way to create tourism, through the hosting of various sporting events. A great example of this is the Olympic games, which take place all over the world and allow the destination that is hosting it to really showcase themselves to the millions of visitors in attendance.

5. Health/Wellness Tourism

Travel that is done to promote a healthy lifestyle from a physical, mental and spiritual perspective is health or wellness tourism. Often referred to as medical tourism, both domestic and international destinations are increasingly promoting themselves as places for tourists to look and feel better, lose weight, manage stress, slow the effects of aging or to receive treatment for a diagnosed disease or condition; by offering exercise programs, nutrition and diet plans, meditation, and medical surgeries and procedures.

Hotels, resorts, spas, salons, exercise and fitness centers, spa associations, resorts, lifestyle transformation centers and healing retreats all promote health/wellness tourism.

6. Technology and Tourism and Hospitality

Travel is one of the most fun and personally rewarding and exciting things that we do in our lives. And as you read this, technology is having a profound effect on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. From airline boarding passes on your iPhone to travel rate and review websites, mobile technology and social media is changing the way we approach every aspect of the travel experience including how we research, plan, personalize and purchase travel products and services.

Mobile technology and social media is even changing the way we share and show our travel experiences to our friends and families. Gone are the days of mailing "wish you were here" postcards while on a trip. Now, all you have to do is upload your travel photos to Facebook for all to see instantly.

These changes will lead to many opportunities for employees and entrepreneurs who can understand mobile technology and social media and how to make it work within the industry, as far as interacting with travelers before and during and even after they have taken a trip.

7. Student/Youth Travelers

Student and youth travel is defined as teenagers or young adults that travel for leisure and educational purposes. Today's generation of young people or "millennials" as they are called in the industry, are more informed, more mobile and more adventurous than ever before. Their desire to experience other cultures, build life experiences and benefit from learning opportunities has made student and youth travel one of the fastest growing segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

8. Voluntourism

Otherwise referred to as volunteer travel or volunteer vacations, voluntourism is travel that has volunteering for a good or charitable cause as its main purpose. Especially in light of the natural disasters that have been going on around the world, travelers are taking vacations not only to relax and have fun but also to give back and be of service to the communities they are visiting. Some examples of voluntourism activities range from building projects, cleaning up local wildlife areas, planting gardens, teaching English, or caring for orphans.

9. Adventure Tourism

As travelers are looking for activities to fuel their sense of adventure and experiences to cross off of their bucket list, this form of tourism is such that takes place in an unusual, exotic, remote, or wilderness destination and tends to be associated with high levels of involvement and physical activity by the participants, most of it outdoors. Activities such as white water rafting or bungee jumping are popular examples of adventure tourism.

10. LGBT Travelers

LGBT travelers are travelers that are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. As the global visibility of the LGBT community increases and more states and countries legalize same-sex unions, organizations in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry are realizing the economic potential these travelers can bring to their destinations.

In fact, the annual spend on tourism by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will exceed $200 billion U.S. dollars for the first time in 2014, according to Out Now Business Class, a LGBT tourism networking association. Furthermore, LGBT tourists are choosing not to travel to unsupportive countries. As a result, industry organizations are reaching out to these particular travelers and creating welcoming, respectful and inclusive travel products and services.

11. Luxury Tourism

Despite what type of economic health the world is in at the given time, luxury tourism is a growing trend across both wealthy leisure and business travelers. While the definition or perception of luxury varies from person to person, luxury travelers believe that time is money and are willing to pay a premium in order to save time.

Wealthy travelers are looking for new, unique and scarce travel experiences that are not available to just anyone. They want personalized attention and impeccable services that are tailored just for them and it's not just about taking first class flights, dining in fancy restaurants and staying at five-star hotels. Wealthy travelers are also looking for one of a kind travel experiences that have a VIP and wow factor, such as staying on private islands or having behind the scenes access to the hottest happening event.

12. BRIC Travelers

BRIC travelers are travelers that are from Brazil, Russia, India and China. The reason why these countries are singled out to create a specified acronym is because they are the fastest growing emerging markets in travel, tourism and hospitality and is expected to drive economic growth for the industry worldwide. This is especially exciting for the United States, as Chinese, Indian and Brazilian travelers have the U.S. as either first or second on their list of desired travel destinations.

With China and India ranking first and second among the four countries for being most important in both inbound and outbound travel, organizations in the industry globally are adapting their business plans to take advantage of this massive trend.

13. Culinary Tourism

Otherwise known as food tourism, culinary tourism is traveling to countries and getting to know the respective cultures through food and food related experiences and events such as festivals and food competitions. This is one of the most creative trends in the industry and today's travelers are looking for hands on experiences where they can visit local farms, wineries and cheese makers, interact with chefs or cookbook authors and go on food tours or tastings that highlight local or ethnic specialties and restaurants.

While many people think of culinary tourism as fine dining or wine tasting, it has evolved into a broader sense ranging from street vendors to food trucks to high-class specialty restaurants.

14. Shopping Tourism

Shopping can be part of the travel experience or the main focus of travel. Some destinations and retailers even provide special events and incentives just for tourists to shop such as festivals or special discounts and sales. Many hotels, resorts, airlines, airports and cruises have built establishments on their properties to provide retail outlets for leisure and business tourists and shopping is the top activity done by tourists, second only to dining.

In addition, many department stores, shopping malls, outlets and centers are proactively marketing themselves to both the domestic and international tourist.

As a job seeker, you need to recognize trends in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and use it to your advantage to find your dream job. When you keep these insights in mind as you create your own career development strategy, you will have a better understanding of where in the industry you can concentrate your job search efforts based on your interests and goals.

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