UK & Europe unprepared for boom in Asian tourists
"Plus ca change….." Funny, how some things never change. I heard these very same arguments 25 years ago about the Japan outbound market then in a rapid growth phase and dominated by the ubiquitous flag waving groups in motor coaches racing across Europe in search of the major highlights and in hope of finding a Japanese restaurant every three days or so to avoid a stomach ache…. The problems forecast sorted themselves out mainly due to the market evolving to more individual trips, especially by repeat visitors and by those visitors spending more time in one, two or maximum three countries and outside capital cities rather than descending on those in the peak summer months.
This will happen again with the Chinese and Indian travelers after a few years and the industry can speed up that trend to some extent by product and pricing development that encourages individual and off-season travel.
Another key success factor is for DMOs to co-ordinate with their local suppliers and make sure there is a commitment by all to go after these markets and do it well. We shall see, whether the lessons from the past have been learned…..