This paper sought to examine the pertinent literature to identify trends that lead to the emergence of new tourist profiles. The study simultaneously focused on analysing the implications of these new tourist segments for service providers. In a time characterised by constant and accelerated change, the tourism market environment must be systematically and proactively monitored to define more carefully adjusted marketing strategies.
The paper examined the academic, institutional and trade literature to provide an overview of the main trends and profiles of the main market segments.
The most relevant segments identified and profiled are the seniors and millennials. The importance of this two generational segments for tourism derives from their large dimensions and strong interest in travelling. Empirical evidence has been found that the senior segment comprises two distinct sub-segments: “younger at heart” and “older at heart”. Therefore, seniors cannot be targeted as a homogeneous segment. Regarding the millennials, they are considered digital natives, who look for authentic experiences and see themselves as travellers rather than tourists. They are expected to be the largest market segment by 2020. The implications of each segment profile for service providers are discussed.
The profiling of the two most important tourist segments allows managers to design more effective marketing-mix strategies to implement along the different stages of the tourism consumption process, which include the pre-travel, during-travel and post-travel phases.
Santos, M.C., Veiga, C. and Águas, P. (2016), "Tourism services: facing the challenge of new tourist profiles", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 8 No. 6, pp. 654-669. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-09-2016-0048Download as .RIS
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