Editorial – Tourism Trends – Part 1

Ian Yeoman (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

Journal of Tourism Futures

ISSN: 2055-5911

Article publication date: 18 December 2020

Issue publication date: 18 December 2020


Yeoman, I. (2020), "Editorial – Tourism Trends – Part 1", Journal of Tourism Futures, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 207-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/JTF-09-2020-158



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Ian Yeoman.


Published in the Journal of Tourism Futures. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this license may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode

The Future is Small

In 1950, world tourism began with 25 million international arrivals according to the UNWTO (UNWTO, 2011). In 2019, this reached 1.45 billion. Then COVID-19 arrived, and the world changed. It is forecasted that tourism will lose over one billion international arrivals in 2020. This is a conservative estimate. So, what is the future of global tourism? Micro trends are a subset of the mega drivers of change. These micro trends are focused on how mega drivers reshape and adapt within a specific context, i.e. tourism. The term micro trends was coined by Penn (2007) in Micro Trends The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes and more recently in Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving Today’s Big Disruptions (Penn and Fineman, 2018). The purpose of this special issue is focus on small. How mega trends adapt and are seen in tourism. How these mega trends combine to create a force that shapes a tourism experience or product (Yeoman and McMahon-Beatte, 2019).

In this special issue, we highlight 12 contributions from authors who identify a series of micro trends which will be global forces going into the future. Davies et al. (2020) identify the need for research that focuses on micromobilities at tourist destinations, charting their recent expansion and exploring development challenges. Hartman et al. (2020) make a number of observations about enhancing an understanding of the evolution of actor networks for destination development to build a resilient network. Blanchet and Fabry (2020) identify several factors influencing new cinematographic and television operators on the attractiveness of tourist destinations. Climate change was the big issue prior to COVID-19 and flight shaming (flygskam) movement was the issue in the mind of consumer consciousness. Mkono (2020) highlights this phenomenon. The tourism industries response to climate change has being sustainable tourism. Once feature of this phenomenon is slow food travel. As Fusté-Forné and Jamal (2020) argue, this is a pathway to contribute to locally based agricultural and food practices for sustainable development, food security, social sustainability and community well-being.

What is the future of place making? Zuma and Rooijackers (2020) provide a personal insight into how they see the potential of urban culture as a vehicle for creative placemaking. COVID-19 has made us aware of mental illness. Stankov et al. (2020) make us aware of mindfulness meditation. Whereas Lee Yee-Sum et al. (2020) advocate the emerging trend of wellness tourism in an urban setting.

Demography is the slow burning trend that will have the largest impact on the future of tourism (Yeoman et al., 2011; Yeoman et al., 2013). Leith (2020) makes a significant contribution in unshackling this megatrend highlighting the micro trend of solo travel. Big brother is watching you! (Yeoman, 2012). With the arrival of a data driven society how does big data shape business and consumer decision making? This is a what Yallop and Seraphin (2020) address. Whereas Webster and Ivanov (2020) discuss the role of automation linked to demography saying that society can expect that many of the tasks they commonly expect humans to be involved in will be done by machines and artificial intelligence in the near future. Another technology paper by Aamir and Atsan (2020) addresses remarkable trend of multisided platforms in the travel industry with the help of which travel agencies and global distribution systems can reinforce their intermediary role.

This special issue is part one of two parts. The second issue will be published in 2021.


Aamir, S. and Atsan, N. (2020), “The trend of multisided platforms (MSPs) in the travel industry: reintermediation of travel agencies (TAs) and global distribution systems (GDSs)”.

Blanchet, C. and Fabry, N. (2020), “Influence of new cinematographic and television operators on the attractivity of tourist destinations”.

Davies, N., Blazejewski, L. and Sherriff, G. (2020), “The rise of micromobilities at tourism destinations”.

Fusté-Forné, F. and Jamal, T. (2020), “Slow food tourism: an ethical microtrend for the anthropocene”.

Hartman, S., Wielenga, B. and Heslinga Jasper, H. (2020), “The future of tourism destination management: building productive coalitions of actor networks for complex destination development”.

Lee Yee-Sum, L., Lam Yuk-Ching, K. and Lam, M.Y.C. (2020), “Urban wellness: the space-out moment”.

Leith, C. (2020), “Tourism trends: lifestyle developments and the links to solo tourism”.

Mkono, M. (2020), “Eco-anxiety and the flight shaming movement: implications for tourism”.

Penn, M. (2007), Microtrends: The Small Forces behind Tomorrow's Big Changes, Twelve, New York, NY.

Penn, M. and Fineman, M. (2018), Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving Today's Big Disruptions, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

Stankov, U. Filimonau, V., Gretzel, U. and Vujičić Miroslav, D. (2020), “E-mindfulness – the growing importance of facilitating tourists’ connections to the present moment”.

UNWTO (2011), “Tourism towards 2030”, available at: www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284414024

Webster, C. and Ivanov, S. (2020), “Demographic change as a driver for tourism automation”.

Yallop, A. and Seraphin, H. (2020), “Big data and analytics in tourism and hospitality: opportunities and risks”.

Yeoman, I. (2012), 2050: Tomorrow's Tourism, Channel View Publications, Bristol.

Yeoman, I., Hsu, C., Smith, K. and Watson, S. (2011), Tourism and Demography, Goodfellows, Oxford.

Yeoman, I. and McMahon-Beatte, U. (2019), “The experience economy: micro trends”, Journal of Tourism Futures, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1108/JTF-05-2019-0042.

Yeoman, I., Schanzel, H. and Smith, K. (2013), “A sclerosis of demography: how ageing populations lead to the incremental decline of New Zealand tourism”, Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 91-103, doi: 10.1177/1356766712457103.

Zuma, B. and Rooijackers, M. (2020), “Uncovering the potential of urban culture for creative placemaking”.

About the author

Ian Yeoman is based at the Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.