In a world of 9/11 and Tsunami, trying to predict the future of tourism is an uncertain science. VisitScotland, the national tourism agency of the Scotland uses a process of scenario planning and futures thinking in order to make sense of that uncertain future. This paper, examines how world mega trends and consumer behaviour will shape the future tourists. Four scenarios are constructed using the principles of cognitive mapping. Firstly, a right royal treatment scenario describes the business traveller as sophisticated, demanding and time sensitive. He/she wants exceptional service but is only willing to pay a premium price for added value rather than functionality. The tourist living local scenario describes the authentic tourist as someone that is discerning but wants to ‘live local’. They are from a networked society where information is freely available. They are ethical and inconspicuous consumers who have grown up in an affluent world. Their values and beliefs are based upon an untrusting and anxious society fuelled by safety. The authentic tourist feels safe in the past rather than the artificial world of Disneyland. The living the low-brow and high-brow life scenario reflects cultural capital being driven by an educated well-travelled consumer who is more concerned with experience than material possessions. The Asia gets going scenario is a realization that the middle classes of China are driving the growth of tourism across the world by 2015; here, Chinese tourists want to live their dreams.
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Historical data can be traced back to
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Foundation also works with the British
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VisitScotland subscribes to these services
in order to understand the drivers and
trends of consumers. Further details are
available at: http://www.futurefoundation.
net and http://www.nvisiononline.co.uk
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Tomorrow’s: World, consumer and tourist