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The Revival of Tourism and the Long Wave of High-End Luxury

Updated: Jun 18


Soon, tourism will restart as the fear of the virus diminishes due to effective vaccines and treatments.

However, it won't be a mass tourism boom. While mass tourism will eventually return, reaching pre-COVID levels will take time, requiring the complex machinery of the tourism industry to operate at full capacity once again.

This period may be too prolonged for the survival of many economies dependent on such tourism.

What will instead occur is the long wave of a more sophisticated, respectful, but also demanding form of tourism that prioritizes quality, authenticity, and personalization.

This is a wide-ranging and cross-sectional demand that spans the various niches of the high-end market, with trends that have been rapidly rising for some time, as I have extensively written about in previous posts.


This is a fluid form of tourism evolving outside the frameworks of the traditional tourism industry, which has been firmly anchored to the principles of service standardization and structured travel proposals.

Perhaps because it falls outside the usual norms, this phenomenon has been considered only marginally despite showing nearly double growth rates compared to tourism as a whole.


Today, the pandemic has caused the implosion of the industrialized tourism system, paralyzing its mechanisms, while simultaneously accelerating the growth process of these new flows, revealing their exceptional opportunities clearly.


These opportunities relate not only to the economies of the tourism supply chain of a destination but also to sustainable growth and the improvement of the quality of life of its resident population.


However, to seize these opportunities, a thorough revision of the system of organization, management, and utilization of a territory's offerings is necessary.


The traditional logic of passive, museum-like visitation is being surpassed by new models based on the authenticity of the travel experience, resulting from the dynamic interaction between the traveler, the visited object, and the context.


It is a profound paradigm shift: it is no longer the traveler who must adapt to the product, as has been the case so far, but the product and its context that must know how to relate to him.

The mere showcasing of historical, artistic, cultural, and environmental assets, as well as services, is no longer sufficient on its own to guarantee a competitive advantage.

They represent only the context in which a flexible and multi-faceted experiential proposal must be composed and articulated coherently, synergistic with the socio-economic-cultural fabric of the destination.


The challenge lies in knowing how to compose and enhance these aspects, organizing them into a harmonious whole that fosters the dynamic interaction with the traveler, which is essential for the travel experience.


To achieve this goal, however, a change in vision is necessary, one that fundamentally revises the entire tourism and hospitality system to adapt it to the new demands of a tourism that, having become fluid, requires very different service models.


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