Tourism uncertainties in 2019
We’ve just said farewell to 2018, analysed the last 365 days and made a list of wishes and goals for the new year. Although we could rate last year as “good” for tourism, the reality is that it didn’t live up to the exceptional and historic results obtained in 2017.
And here we are now in 2019. The new year that’s just begun is marked by different black clouds that add uncertainties and perplexities yet to be revealed. This year looks like being generally positive for the sector, although like with every new phase, some doubts and misgivings arise that could alter the overview of tourism in the future such as the impact of Brexit, pressure from competing countries in the Mediterranean due to the low prices offered in countries like Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt, the expected electoral processes in Spain and pro-independence tensions in Catalonia, to mention some of the things that I have in my mind.
Another thing is that seasonally adjusted travel is gaining in strength, thanks to the new habits of travellers and the need to address overtourism, which is something I’ve spoken about on other occasions. We need to transform our traditional tourism model into a smart model, aligned with the knowledge society and the digital economy, where it will produce an increase in responsible and sustainable travellers, and cause a shift towards a new and more committed landscape on the part of each of the factors and sources related to the sector.
I’d also point out the need to change the approach to promotion and build on microsegmentation to created products adapted to travellers. We need to start to work with new tools that allow us to have a better idea of what tourists do during their stay in the destination. Personalising travel and experiences are going to be the biggest challenges for the sector in Spain. The world of travel is moving towards the personalisation of customer experience and digitalisation. In fact, this year, all of us who are involved with the industry must focus on achieving full digital transformation.
Furthermore, 2019 is critical to making us aware of the importance of this accommodation offer, normalising, regularising and making hoteliers learn to coexist with a new accommodation offer such as holiday rentals.
And another of the things that are yet to be resolved, once and for all, is to finish the process of regularising beach bars, today there are some 400 beach bars breathing life into the Spanish coast and generating some 20,000 jobs during the key months of the summer.
Tourists flee from insecurity and uncertainty, so those of us responsible for this machine must work together to achieve our list of goals over the coming 365 days so we can make a positive balance at the end of 2019. Let’s go for it! Happy 2019!