The Future of Travel
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The Future of Travel The Future of Travel Presentation Transcript

  • The Future of TravelThe New Vocabulary ofTravel and Tourism2009–2010 1
  • Contents • About the Studies: _ The Future of Travel _ The New Consumer • Topline Findings _ Overview: Conflicts Blended and Transcended _ Led by Prosumers _ How Green Was My Travel _ Citizens of the World: Mindful Tourism _ So Far and Yet So Near: The Tech-Connect _ Luxury and Service Redefined _ On the Horizon _ Rules of the Road • Appendix: Country Breakouts 2
  • About Euro RSCG’s The Future of Travel Study • In-depth online survey conducted by Market Probe International • 2,357 adults in the United States, United Kingdom, and France • Momentum testing of 78 brands n=751 n=752 • Semiotic exploration of “service,” including a look at codes and cues in service cultures of U.S., U.K., India, Japan, China n=854 • Extensive secondary research into trends driving the categoryImages: photoeverywhere.co.uk 3
  • About Euro RSCG’s The New Consumer Study • Also including in this presentation are select findings from The New Consumer (2009), adding insights to the trends we are seeing in the travel and tourism (T&T) category • In-depth online survey conducted by Market Probe International • 7,000 adults in Brazil, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United n=1,000 in each market States • Extensive secondary research into trends driving the category mileusna, flckr.comImages: photoeverywhere.co.uk 4
  • Overview: A Category in Transition Who are Prosumers?• While the jet set continues to rack up The roughly 15–20% of frequent-flier miles and hard-core leading-edge consumers backpackers are still surviving on who are influencing trends dehydrated noodles, the most and shaping markets around influential travelers—Prosumers—are the globe pushing new pursuits and priorities Key characteristics: into T&T * Embrace innovation * Constantly seek out information and new experiences * Enthusiastic adopters of new media and technologies * “Human media” who Trey Ratcliff/stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/ transport attitudes and ideas * Marketing savvy and demanding of brand partners * Highly influential and sought-after for opinions and recommendations 5
  • Prosumers Embrace Travel and Tourism… • Prosumers travel more often than Prosumers I enjoy planning vacation Mainstream mainstream consumers and derive travel; it’s fun to explore all greater pleasure from it 70% the options and find the best deals 58% • Euro RSCG studies since 2001 have found Prosumers are more likely to Prosumers I try to go somewhere Mainstream enjoy seeing new places, trying new 69% different for vacation every time 55% foods, exploring other cultures, shopping, and engaging in luxury experiences Prosumers I consider myself Mainstream 68% well-traveled 42%Prosumers If I could afford the time and Mainstream Prosumers Mainstream95% money, I would travel much more often 89% 81% I own a passport 69%Prosumers Many of my best memories Mainstream Prosumers Mean # of overnight Mainstream82% come from vacations and other trips 68% 6.0 personal trips taken in past year 4.3 Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 6
  • …And Are Blending and Transcending Category Conflicts • Traditionally, T&T has been a category marked by conflict: Exotic and New vs. Familiar Luxury/Comfort vs. Responsible Consumption/Simplicity Getting Away from It All vs. Staying Totally Connected Fun and Indulgence vs. Knowledge and Growth Relaxation vs. Adventure Individual Gratification vs. Communalism High Tech vs. High Touch • Now Prosumers are finding creative ways to blend and transcend these and other dichotomies, combining indulgence and altruism, relaxation and adventure, luxury and simplicity… • New approach is spawning its own vocabulary, including such neologisms as geotourism, flashpacking, slow travel, voluntourism, and Rough LuxeImages: photoeverywhere.co.uk 7
  • Four Vital Trends We’ll Explore• By looking at those areas in which Prosumers are well ahead of the mainstream, we are able to identify 4 major groupings of trends that are shaping the competitive landscape and offer significant opportunity for businesses in the T&T space• To lead in the category going forward, brands will need to excel at these 4 things: _ Accepting and embracing “green” as a way to do business _ Offering experiences that provide personal growth, education, and/or a sense of community/interconnectedness _ Staying in sync with customers’ new media usage _ Embracing emerging models of luxury and customer service 8
  • Trend #1: How Green Was My Travel? Prosumers Making environmentally MainstreamThe New Vocabulary of T&Te·co·tour·ism (n.): Conservation 74% friendly choices makes me feel good 62%through ecologically responsibletravel Prosumers Mainstream I feel good about reducing 78% the amount of waste I create 70%• Increased eco-consciousness among consumers—and especially among Prosumers—is Prosumers The most successful and Mainstream having an effect on T&T choices profitable businesses in the 75% future will be those that practice sustainability 63%• Smart brands are moving toward greater sustainability in I am paying more attention operations and products/services Prosumers than in the past to the Mainstream 63% environmental and/or social impact of the 52% products I buy Prosumers Mainstream I am making an effort to buy 62% fewer disposable goods 52% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 9
  • ls… et s and towe nd reusing sheMoving beyo 10
  • Taking Steps Toward Sustainability Plaza Hotel is one of a growing # to offer menu of dishes made exclusively from ingredients produced within 100 milesHyatt Hotels have cross-functional Green Teams atevery property “Our customers—individual travelers andlarge corporate clients—want to know more about what we are doing. Do we have a Enterprise, the largest car-rental co CSR statement? What is our recycling in U.S. (also operates National and Alamo) has joined the car-sharing policy? The public expects us to movement with WeCar; users can communicate what we’re doing and why.” go online to find a nearby car from the all-hybrid fleet and enter it using an electronic key card —Brigitta Witt, VP for environmental affairs, Hyatt 11
  • • Marriott is expanding its “green hotels” from 30 to nearly 500— adhering to LEED design principles and incorporating such things as ecorooms, public transport options, and green roofs “Living roof” on parking garageof Marriott Hotel in Victoria, BC 12
  • • Hotels and resorts are bringing in Walls, eco-friendly natural materials to structural elements, lower carbon footprints while also and feeding the senses and slowing furnishings the tempo of modern life of Lake Tahoe’s 968 Park Hotel are built from reclaimed/ recycled materialsGuests at this Dutchhotel are housed inrepurposed 15K-literwine barrels, whichonce containedBeaujolais 13
  • Reconnecting with Nature• In our increasingly artificial world, nature = luxury• In France, Louis & Nathalie Blanco promote sustainable tourism and a reconnection with nature through tiny prefab structures that can be placed virtually anywhere• Each Carré d’Etoiles unit sleeps four and comes with a telescope, star chart, and retractable skylight 14
  • Getting Particular About Indoor Environments• Accommodations providers are getting serious about everything that goes into their rooms Growth of “EcoRooms” featuring products that are energy and water efficient, waste reducing, “Pure Rooms” are virtually free of nontoxic, bacteria and viruses thanks to special and/or purification products and techniques, biodegradable hypoallergenic bedding, mattress encasement, etc.; Marriott and Hilton among large chains entering this space 15
  • Rewarding Green Behaviors Canada’s Air Miles My Planet program lets travelers accrue points by purchasing eco-friendly products (points are redeemable for green rewards) Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Hotel offers complimentary, prime parking spots, a pair of In celebration of Earth Chicago Transit Authority Day 2009, Travelocity passes, and a cup of purchased carbon Starbucks coffee to guests offsets (to fund driving hybrid vehicles planting of native trees) for travelers who booked a stay at a green hotel 16
  • Going Green: Key Takeaway for Brands• Today, brands in every category must operate in the sustainability space and be subject to increasing scrutiny• Green efforts must be bottom-up, well- integrated, transparent, and ceaselessly proactive• Virtue may be its own reward, but quantifying green policies and practices will lead to better sell-in among all stakeholders• Seek credible, respected outside certification (e.g., Green Globe, LEED)• Educate, engage, and reward customers for their participation; green is a collaborative effort, and consumers want to know their travel choices are right for themselves, their values—and for the planet 17
  • Trend #2: Citizens of the World: Mindful Tourism The New Vocabulary of T&T Geo·tour·ism (n.): Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents [National Geographic]• Mindful travel goes well beyond “green”• With social responsibility increasingly guiding consumer decisions, cultural travel is now about acting and interacting, educating and giving—it’s about tourism with greater meaning and effect• New breed of consumer is looking for experiences that offer a deeper connection to “authentic” cultures, opportunities for doing good/giving back, and an immersive cultural experience 18
  • Prosumers Seek Deeper Cultural Experiences When I travel for pleasure, it is VERY I am a citizen of the worldProsumers (love to travel and bring Mainstream IMPORTANT that I…66% home bits from exotic destinations) 43% Prosumers Mainstream 83% See new places 74% Prosumers Mainstream I am a foodie/gastronome 68% 47%Prosumers Mainstream Dine out/try new foods (a real lover of gourmet73% eating pleasure and/or cooking) 54% Prosumers Mainstream 58% Learn about a new culture 44%Prosumers I am a pop-culture lover Mainstream Prosumers Mainstream69% (really into music, art, fashion, and/or scenes) 41% 56% Visit historical sites 49% Prosumers Mainstream Enjoy cultural experiences 44% (e.g., theater, art) 30%Prosumers I am a serious-culture lover Mainstream66% (literature, art-house cinema, 46% Prosumers Experience/do something Mainstream fine art, classical music, etc.) 44% few people I know have done 28% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 19
  • Widespread Concern over Modern Life…• Prosumers’ desire to get more out of Prosumers In many ways, I think society Mainstream their travel experiences has its roots in a widespread feeling of 64% is moving in the wrong direction 57% emptiness, disconnectedness, and U.S.: 73% U.S.: 65% lack of authenticity I worry that society has Prosumers Mainstream• Euro RSCG has uncovered a growing become too shallow, dissatisfaction with modern life—on 79% focusing on things that don’t really matter 67% U.S.: 91% U.S.: 76% both a personal and societal level• These feelings are most widespread Prosumers Most of us would be better Mainstream in the United States 71% off if we lived more simply 66% U.S.: 84% U.S.: 76% Prosumers I worry that people have Mainstream 66% become too disconnected from the natural world 57% U.S.: 69% U.S.: 59% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 20
  • ...and an Intensified Hunger for SOMETHING MORE • People are looking for something more— Prosumers I am actively trying to Mainstream for greater meaning in how they live, for a sense of purpose 63% figure out what makes me happy 48% • Actively seeking improvement—in themselves and their lifestyles Prosumers I wish I could start fresh Mainstream • Many are looking for something bigger than self—to be part of an important 49% with an entirely different lifestyle 43% cause • Americans more inclined than most Prosumers Mainstream toward self-improvement and connection I sometimes feel as though to something bigger than self 41% I’m wasting my life 37%Prosumers Mainstream Prosumers Mainstream I am making an effort to I would like to be part of a84% improve the person I am 68% 62% truly important cause 48%U.S.: 91% U.S.: 75% U.S.: 72% U.S.: 54%Prosumers Mainstream Prosumers Mainstream I am making an effort to I would like to lead a more84% improve the way I live 69% 47% spiritual life 39%U.S.: 92% U.S.: 75% U.S.: 58% U.S.: 49% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 21
  • The Benefits of Travel Reach Deep If people traveled more oftenProsumers Mainstream to other parts of the world,69% there would be less prejudice and hatred 62%Prosumers Extensive travel typically Mainstream73% makes a person more interesting 52% Image: Trey Ratcliff/stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Prosumers Mainstream Where and how I travel says59% a lot about who I am 37% • Connecting people to the rest of the world • “Bettering” people by making them more knowledgeable, attuned to others, and interestingProsumers One of the best things about Mainstream • Travel choices are intensely personal and69% travel is talking about my experiences afterward 55% help to determine—and communicate— who a person is Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 22
  • Cultural/Education Tourism• Cultural tourism has evolved from “7 Countries in 6 Days” into something more focused and personal• Whether one’s interest is a popular book or movie (“Tracing the Da Vinci Code”), cultural heritage (“Discover the Real Scotland”), or so-called “dark tourism,” a.k.a. Thanatourism (“Hurricane Katrina Tour”), someone has found a way to package it• Particularly robust these days is gastronomic tourism, which has grown right alongside foodie culture and comes in culinary, Image: Trey Ratcliff/stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/ wine, and agro variants _ Mintel estimates 27MM Americans, or about 17% of leisure travelers, could be described as gastronomic tourists 23
  • Something Bigger Than Self: VoluntourismThe New Vocabulary of T&TVol·un·tour·ism (n.): Voluntary service experiences thatinclude travel to a destination in order to realize one’sservice intentions; the conscious, seamlessly integratedcombination of voluntary service to a destination withthe traditional elements of travel and tourism (arts,culture, geography, history, and recreation)• From offering animal therapy for autistic children in the U.S. to teaching English in Image: Planeterra.org Cambodia, there are thousands of options for travel that gives back _ Condé Nast poll found 14% of Americans have taken some kind of volunteerism holiday, and 55% say they want to• Blogs, webcasts, and newsletters create a feedback loop, keeping people connected to the experience—and the cause 24
  • Ritz-Carlton Give Back Getaways• Through its Give Back Getaways program, Ritz-Carlton has guests pay for the privilege of devoting a few hours to a good cause “You will come face-to-face with the animals as you perform a number of essential tasks including cleaning and building cages, preparing food, feeding animals, and mowing grass…” (Sarasota, Florida) “Travel south of the Yangtze “[Help] children with autism, Down River to Wuzhen, an ancient Syndrome and other disabilities water town dating back 1,300 learn to communicate through the years…To assist with the power of music. After meeting with restoration, conservation and therapists to learn how to work with community development the children, you will participate in efforts, you will plant trees and a music therapy session that has work alongside the water ancient roots in Turkish-Islamic town’s artisans to help restore medicine.” (Istanbul) a home to its original condition by cleaning and painting.” (Shanghai) 25
  • Seeking Personal Connections• In our increasingly artificial, technology- Prosumers I worry that digital Mainstream mediated world, people are looking for a greater sense of interconnectedness and 53% communications is weakening human bonds* 51% deeper personal relationships• T&T offers opportunities to build these connections When traveling for pleasure, Prosumers Mainstream it is very or somewhat 81% important that I meet new people** 80% Prosumers Mainstream I sometimes feel I don’t have 46% enough close friendships* 42% The main way I stay Prosumers connected with old friends Mainstream Image: Trey Ratcliff/stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/ 60% and colleagues is through e-mail and/or social 48% networking sites* *Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 **Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 26
  • Seeking Personal Connections 27
  • Mindful Tourism: Key Takeaway for Brands • People are looking for more in their lives: more meaning and purpose, more interconnectedness, more humanism • The T&T category offers plenty of opportunities to speak to these emerging needs and mindset _ Cultural immersion _ Education _ Personal growth _ Community and interconnectedness _ Giving back • In the emerging culture of mindful consumption, people want to feel good about making smart, conscientious choices; the most successful brands will give consumers the incentives (practical, emotional) they need to make the choices they believe to be “right” for them and for othersImages: photoeverywhere.co.uk 28
  • Trend #3: So Far and Yet So Near: The Tech-Connect• New technologies are changing virtually every aspect of the travel experience—from inspiration and planning to purchasing and remembering• Technology lets users score the best deals, stay connected while on the road, and extend the experience through social media According to Pew Internet & American Life survey, 50% of U.S. adults made a travel reservation online in 2009, up from 19% in 2001 Image: www.rockcheetah.com/.../travel-process.jpg 29
  • Internet Has Reinvented the Industry Which of the following do you typically do • In U.S., travel is now the top-selling when planning a vacation? product online, with most analysts estimating that nearly 40% of all Prosumers Research hotels or other Mainstream leisure, unmanaged business, and 89% accommodations online 75% corporate travel bookings flow through U.S.: 87% U.S.: 83% online channels [Mintel 2009] Prosumers Research airlines/trains/ Mainstream • 7 in 10 respondents to Future of Travel study say Internet is important part of 79% buses and/or car-rental companies online 58% U.S.: 83% U.S.: 74% their travel planning (see Appendix) • In U.S., even mainstream consumers Prosumers Mainstream Research area attractions show high rates of Internet use for travel 78% online 56% U.S.: 86% U.S.: 77%Prosumers Mainstream The Internet is an important Prosumers Mainstream86% part of my travel planning 69% 64% Visit a travel website for reviews and recommendations 45%U.S.: 89% U.S.: 79% U.S.: 59% U.S.: 46%Prosumers I’d rather book a trip over Mainstream Prosumers Mainstream Search for a coupon or67% the Internet than meet with a travel agent 50% 49% promotional code online 31%U.S.: 68% U.S.: 63% U.S.: 60% U.S.: 48% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 30
  • E-Peers Are Key Influencers• Travelers more informed thanks to Prosumers I have chosen a hotel or other Mainstream online forums, bulletin boards, and accommodation based on blogs on which consumers share 64% recommendations/ratings from people online 43% travel experiences, research destinations, and rate travel brands• Only 8% of Americans typically visit I read travel-related blogs or Prosumers Mainstream visit independent travel- a travel agent in person, compared with 29% in U.K. and 32% in France 60% related websites (not owned by hotel, airline, etc.) 40% (see Appendix) What has the largest impact on your travel decisions? I have chosen a travel Prosumers Mainstream destination based on Advertisements 53% recommendations/ratings from people online 30% 22% 9% 15% Magazines/Feature Articles Friends & Family People Online 15% I have posted a comment or Prosumers Mainstream 39% Other recommendation on a 40% travel-related blog or website 20% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 31
  • Rank the following from 1 to 6 in terms of how important they are to your travel plans (1=most important, 6=least important) 1st/2nd/3rd Rank Summary Relative Importance of Online Travel-Planning SitesGoogle or other search 74 engine Travel aggregator 59(e.g., Expedia, Kayak)Regional/local tourism 51 bureauConsumer opinion site 44 (e.g., TripAdvisor) Airline website 37 Hotel chain website 35 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Americans are significantly more likely than others to visit airline and hotel websites; French are most likely (83%) to rate search engines among top 3 choices (see Appendix) Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The Future of Travel 2009 32
  • Social Media Emerging as Powerful Marketing Tool• From Hertz to Marriott to United, major brands in T&T space are embracing social media—with applications before, during, and after the travel experience• Much more than a popularity contest, such initiatives boost customer service, responsiveness, and positive buzz• Southwest Airlines has 70,000 fans on its Facebook page• JetBlue tweets “cheeps” (discounted fares) to its 700,000 followers on Twitter every Monday, good while supplies last• “Tweet watchers” (volunteers for Southwestern and JetBlue) track and advise travelers on issues such as flight delays and traffic jams near airports “Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow traveler companies to talk directly to their customers and for us to talk back.” —Christopher Elliott, National Geographic Traveler 33
  • Travelers Take Charge of the Online Experience• Sharing news of the good, bad, and ugly• Offering tips and cautions• Using the weight of social media to influence brand behavior After United failed to reimburse him for a guitar broken by baggage handlers, singer Dave Carroll of the Sons of Maxwell band posted a song about the incident and United’s poor customer service on YouTube; video has garnered 7MM+ views as of Jan. ’10 and wasTripAdvisor.com has 32MM unique monthly visitors named 1 of the top viral videos ofand 30MM+ traveler reviews 2009 by Time 34
  • Staying Connected Wherever You Are Receiving and posting reviews and recommendations on the go Real-time travel blogs 9-minute YouTube video of travelers’ 2- day saga trying to get home from NYC to Sacramento on JetBlue 35
  • Competing on Tech NYC’s Pod Hotel lets visitors make advanced connections with otherImage: Elitemeetings.com guests via PodCulture closed social network; guests connect online in specific forums to meet up in real life to drink, dine, shop or go out. Sales and traffic +40% since PodCulture was introduced. Hotel Sax, Chicago: Guest receive free laptop and MP3 [psfk.com] player for use during stay; entertainment lounge and high-tech studios offer spaces in which to work and play Poland’s Blow Up Hall5050 has no room numbers or door keys; each guest gets an iPhone that recognizes the right door and lights it up. Applications preloaded onto phone act as a concierge during the stay 36
  • The Tech-Connect: Key Takeaway for Brands • The travel industry’s products, practices, and business approaches are in a state of constant change, responding to adjustments in customer demands and newly available technologies • Social media offers enormous scope for brands to… _ Engage in ongoing, multiparty dialogues _ Recruit and empower online ambassadors _ Build communities _ Revolutionize customer serviceImages: freedigitalphotos.net 37
  • Trend #4: Luxury and Service Redefined• While excess consumption was The recession has served to the common practice prior to Prosumers remind people of what’s Mainstream the economic downturn, we are 62% really important in life—and 55% now seeing a strong U.S.: 73% that’s a good thing U.S.: 65% countervailing trend of mindful consumption that is changing I’m getting a sense of how people define value and Prosumers satisfaction from reducing Mainstream what they seek—and 46% my purchases during 36% increasingly expect—in their U.S.: 58% the downturn U.S.: 47% brand experiences• Where once “more was more,” now different perspectives on Prosumers I won’t go back to my old Mainstream luxury and service are 54% shopping patterns even when the economy rebounds 46% emerging, with important U.S.: 58% U.S.: 50% implications for T&T I’m looking forward to a• Trend is especially strong in Prosumers holiday season that’s less Mainstream U.S. 70% about shopping and more about family and simple 61% U.S.: 79% pleasures U.S.: 71% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 38
  • The New Elite? Prosumers Mainstream I respect/admire people 76% who live simply 68% U.S.: 84% U.S.: 78% VS. Prosumers I respect/admire people Mainstream 24% who live a high-luxury lifestyle 17% U.S.: 21% U.S.: 13% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 39
  • Prosumers Driving a More Mindful Approach to ConsumptionProsumers Mainstream I am shopping more carefully80% and mindfully than I used to 70%U.S.: 86% U.S.: 79% Compared with a few yearsProsumers ago, it’s more important for Mainstream61% me to feel good about the companies with which I do 47%U.S.: 70% business U.S.: 54%Prosumers I am more interested today Mainstream62% in how and where products are made 48%U.S.: 66% U.S.: 52%Prosumers It makes me feel good to Mainstream Image: freedigitalphotos.net63% support local producers, artisans, and manufacturers 55%U.S.: 76% U.S.: 67% Euro RSCG Worldwide ● The New Consumer 2009 40
  • Rough Luxe: Luxury Gets Real The New Vocabulary of T&T Rough Luxe (n.): Luxury experiences that incorporate time for reflection and personal encounters with people, nature, and architecture, as well as food and social and cultural experiences linked to geographic locations • Mindfulness has infiltrated the luxury category • Rough Luxe is a growing movement of like- minded hotels, restaurants, retailers, and artisans connected by a philosophy of luxury London’s Rough Luxe Hotel features that emphasizes authenticity over bling and wallpaper peeled down to the 1920s stratum experiences over excess Vorstadt 14: “This gently renovated 15th century • Key components: building offers the perfect combination of down to earth history and avant-garde design.” _ Sustainability—from reclaimed building materials through to organic and locally sourced foods _ Heritage and provenance _ Art, architecture, and design _ Rare objects _ Impeccable service _ Engaging, one-of-a-kind experiencesSource: RoughLuxe.com 41
  • FlashpackingThe New Vocabulary of T&TFlash·pack·ing (n.): Backpacking with flash orstyle; travel that combines modestaccommodation with free spending on activitiesand other indulgences; budget backpacking thatincorporates high-end technology “We’re going flashpacking…It’s like backpacking with less pack and more flash…For the most part,• Flashpackers (next generation of we’re skipping hostel cooking, backpackers) blend authentic chicken buses, and group accommodations in favor of experiences with a touch of luxury— restaurants, discount airlines, and eschewing traditional youth hostels something with a lock on the door, a soft bed, and sometimes Wi-Fi.” and other bare-bones —Curtis, Flashpackinglife.com accommodations in favor of boutique hotels and B&Bs• Their version of “roughing it” comes complete with such must-haves as laptops and Wi-Fi—essential for round-the-clock blogging and Facebook updates 42
  • Uncovering a New Service Paradigm • Just as the definitions of value* and luxury are changing, so, too, are expectations regarding service • Using our proprietary Decipher® semiotics tool, Euro RSCG has identified key shifts in the role of service providers and their relationship with customers • Previously, service was highly centralized and tightly controlled _ Workers expected to be courteous rather than considerate, professional rather than caring _ Tasks and boundaries clearly delineated (no room for improvisation) _ Highest levels of service reserved for upper classes • In recent years, service has been more democratic, seen less as a “value add” than an expected accompaniment to every purchase _ Employees trained to be friendly and accommodating, but to remain well within bounds set by corporate center or local execs _ Little room for spontaneity or personalized interaction • Now, we’re seeing evidence of a shift toward a more humanized approach _ Rather than “putting out fires” (addressing complaints and crises), personnel are expected to develop relationships with customers based on collaboration and mutual respectImages: photoeverywhere.co.uk *See Euro RSCG’s The Future of Value (Knowledge Exchange) 43
  • 44
  • Two Important Concepts at Work in New Service Paradigm• “Democracy of Individuals”: _ Underlying principle is that best service is provided by a team of equals with complementary skills working toward a common goal _ Each service provider is uniquely capable of adding something to service equation—e.g., encyclopedic knowledge of nearby attractions, deep understanding of local history/culture, ability to reassure panicky fliers, gift for intellectual engagement _ More collaborative approach allows brands to build relationships and exceed customers’ expectations• “Assured Improvisation”: _ Value of Democracy of Individuals stems in part from each employee’s ability to adapt and respond to shifting conditions and requirements with ingenuity and resourcefulness _ Skilled at devising solutions on the fly _ Like a supremely talented musician, these individuals don’t make it up as they go along but, rather, work within existing templates to create something new and sublime _ Moves service from programmed empowered, from proactive responsive _ Rejects rote answers in favor of asking the right questions _ About discovering and fulfilling individuals’ unexpressed desires, not about assuming what those desires will be 45
  • New-Fashioned Luxury = Service with More Than a Smile Maia luxury resort in the Seychelles requires staff to attend yoga sessions before each shift to ensure they “Luxury, before, transmit only positive vibes was about being fancy. It’s not about being fancy anymore. It’s more about responsiveness and about being individualized toward the Staff training at customer, and Conrad Hotel in doing it all Indianapolis defect-free.” includes lessons in body language and —Hotelier Horst tone of voice to Schulze ensure guests aren’t misunderstood 46
  • Luxury and Service Redefined: Key Takeaway for Brands• The emerging traveler doesn’t want tinny smiles and pretty facades; the new luxury is more personal, more authentic, more “real”• While Prosumers appreciate material luxuries, they are not looking to be waited upon or doted on by a subservient worker; what they seek is a more enriching interaction that helps to envelop them in the local culture• The new, more mindful consumer seeks brand Image: freedigitalphotos.net partners that offer a more conscious—and conscientious—approach to travel 47
  • On the Horizon The New Vocabulary of T&T Vir·tu·al tour·ism (n.): A computer Slow trav·el (n.): Travel that provides representation of a real place where an opportunity to become part of local geometrical properties of space are life and to connect to a place, its conveyed in such a way that the user people, and its culture feels he or she is actually there• Sibling to the slow food movement • Slowly emerging as environmental- impact-free and supremely• Affords a lighter impact on inexpensive way to see the world environment and a heavier focus on culture • As technology improves and allows for a richer visual and sensory• It’s about staying put and absorbing experience, people will be able to and interacting with local culture experience sites too difficult to get to rather than a constant rush from one and places too delicate for tourist place/experience to the next traffic 48
  • In Closing, a Few Rules of the Road• Brands looking to thrive in this new T&T space must… _ Extend the Conversation: Focus on building relationships/creating experiences not just during the time spent in actual travel, but in the periods leading to and following it; keeping the conversation going builds loyalty and creates a pipeline for ideas _ Remember, It’s All Interconnected: In the new world of travel, trends are overlapping and complementary. Going green is about preserving Image: photoeverywhere.co.uk an environment that includes people and culture; sustainability is about preserving identity as well as saving money and the planet. There is authenticity to be found in both luxury and poverty. Catering to one need should seldom come at the expense of another. _ Mind the Gap: As the new consumer strives toward greater mindfulness, heightened attention is being paid to how a brand communicates vs. how it acts. True authenticity requires communication, transparency, and honesty. 49
  • For more insights from Euro RSCG research, visit www.prosumer-report.comAnd follow us on Twitter (@prosumer_report) 50
  • Media Inquiries For inquiries regarding Euro RSCG Worldwide’s studies, please contact: Lisa Gruber Global Communications Manager Euro RSCG Worldwide T +1 212.886.2018 E lisa.gruber@eurorscg.com 51