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Navigating Changing Markets

Updated: Jun 18

High-end markets have profoundly changed: customer needs, key players, and the very concept of luxury. And the evolution is still ongoing.

The pandemic continues its work of dismantling the industrialized tourism system.

All models and benchmarks have changed, upturned from the roots.

Customer needs have evolved, and market players are constantly transforming.

The traditional tourism industry, with its planning, standards, and business logics, is progressively disintegrating, relegated to an increasingly marginal role under the pressure of new trends in a liquid, unstructured tourism.

Many are holding out, hoping that business will return to what it once was.

Certainly, it will restart and in a big way, but nothing will be the same as before.

We have already seen the new dynamics over the past two years when the pandemic's grip loosened and tourism quickly picked up again.

This scenario, which we had predicted and extensively discussed beforehand (see previous posts), is part of a phenomenon that has deep roots.

It is the effect, the tip of the iceberg, of a much deeper cultural transformation tied to the transition of demand from product-centric logics, which have characterized the tourism industry since the post-war period, to the current logics based on emotional factors and the quest for experiences.

Especially in the high-end sector, travelers have developed a new sensitivity and want to be protagonists, unbound by preordained models, brands, stars, and standardized procedures, in order to live authentic experiences that are grounded in the cultural values of the territory, sustainability, personalization, and aesthetics.

This is a content-driven, evolved, and sophisticated tourism that requires targeted responses, which the traditional industry is unable to provide.

For some time, this trend had begun to develop transversally outside the domain of the tourism industry, which, firmly bound to its own dogmas, probably did not fully understand its implications and potential, despite having double the growth performance compared to traditional tourism.

Today, with the pandemic having abruptly accelerated its growth, it represents the new reference scenario with which operators must engage.

This is not a fleeting phenomenon tied to contingent issues, but a structural market change destined to take root, requiring a different approach and appropriate resources that the traditional industry is unable to provide.

Faced with this epochal shift and the collapse of many traditional pillars of the high-end tourism market, the certainties to which one must refer to successfully organize and promote their offering are the motivations underlying clients' travel choices: the experiential domains toward which demand is trending.

The competitive advantage will go to those who can organize their offerings and services, transforming them into authentic, exclusive, refined experiences, tailored to the client's needs.


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