Kudos to ABTA, British Airways, Carnival UK, Co-operative Travel, The Travel Foundation and TUI Travel plc and Forum For The Future for leading the way towards some really thoughtful and intelligent debate on the future of outbound tourism.
The report, Tourism 2023, available here, should be mandatory reading for every tourism destination. It’s highly readable, full of substance and deliciously thought provoking.
Even though it doesn’t quite achieve its own objectives – i.e. “to set out a clear vision of a profitable, successful future in which the travel and tourism industry recognizes its wider responsibilities to society,” it does makes a very good start. While designed to help the signatories identify and address the complex environmental, social and economic issues affecting outbound tourism, it contains enormous food for thought for all places that attract visitors.
The talented team at Forum for the Future apply a scenario planning approach to paint a picture of four possible futures based on the inter-play of two key variables: the appeal of overseas travel and the presence of inhibitors to overseas travel.
The four scenarios represent a caricature of a possible future but are described with compelling detail and logic. Sadly, none is particularly attractive!
1. Boom and Burst describes a world in which mass tourism continues to grow fast and furiously based on disposable incomes rising in developed economies and the middle classes of emerging economies exercising their right to roam the planet. It’s a similar forecast to that outlined in the HBR article: Tourism: The Ticking Time Bomb and describes overcrowded, congested iconic destinations and the disappearance of wilderness.
2. Divided Disquiet describes a different world in which devastating impacts from climate change, resource scarcity and social unrest have rendered the planet as unstable and hostile; protectionism is rife, yet where the most popular form of tourism is “doomsday tourism” with a few tourists wealthy or brave enough flock to see places before they disappear.
3. In the Price and Privilege scenario, high oil prices have also caused the cost of travel to soar. Many companies couldn’t cope with the efficiency gains needed and went out of business. Capacity shrank and long-haul travel reverted to the aspirational luxury status associated with the turn of the century.
4. Carbon Clampdown describes a possible future in which the high cost of carbon , combined with growing environmental awareness and concern, make travel both uneconomic and anti-social. Tradeable carbon quotas restrict demand and economies are more localized.
I simply cannot do justice to this useful piece of work in a short blog post, so will likely revisit the topic – often. I am also loath to be critical as I would hate to discourage others from showing such thought leadership. But there are some serious limitations – most likely reflecting the fact that a consortium commissioned the work and each company would probably like to think and respond to its findings privately.
While no one can argue with the six motherhood principles for creating a sustainable future, the three areas where they say urgent action is needed sound lame and self serving:
Tourism 2023 does conclude with a proposed strategic approach that outlines the areas above in slightly more detail and provides one important target – that the outbound industry will sign up to the WTTC target of a 50% reduction in emissions by 2035. It also references the Global Sustainable Criteria but doesn’t go as far as Walmart, for example, in setting a Sustainability Index for the members of the supply chain.
In addition to the good content and imaginative scenarios, the report does, however, throw down the gauntlet to the managers and policy makers in tourism destinations everywhere. These are the agencies that should be doing this kind of work – aren’t destinations supposed to determine the kind of tourism they wish to attract and help their businesses operate in a sustainable and beneficial fashion and ensure that their communities benefit not suffer from the influx of tourists? It’s sad and ironic that such public agencies have been upstaged by a handful of tour operators but not necessarily a bad thing….over to you DMOs...... The stage is now set for some action from you…..How are you thinking about the future?
Posted by Anna Pollock on Thursday, October 29, 2009 in adaptive responses, Attractions, carbon, climate change, Demand, Destinations, DMOs, economy, environment, Leadership, Recession, Responsibility, Sustainability, Tourism, Travel, Trends | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: ABTA, forum for the future, futures, scenar, tourism, Tourism 2023, trends
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Climate Change is the greatest threat our national parks have ever faced. That's the conclusion of a new report we're releasing today, along with the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. National Parks in Peril highlights the 25 national parks most at risk.
The "we" referred to above is the NRDC - that has issued a comprehensive report on current and future impact of climate change on the national parks in the US. Given that National Parks in Canada are likely to experience greater warming levels, such a study for Canada's parks would be timely. Please let me know what might exist. Go to the NRDC site for the report and check out the interactivity supporting this map showing the impact on western US.
The livelihood of thousands of people involved in tourism around such parks in North America will be negatively affected over the next 20 years and, given that during that short period, we know that global energy demand will rise by 50%; global demand for food will rise by 50% and water availability will decrease by 30%, the impacts on scenic values, ecosystems and biodiversity both in the Parks and out of them will sadly worsen. Whether the tourism industry acts to avoid such changes depends on whether it really does care for future generations.
Any state, provincial, or national DMO that fails to include a strategy for carbon reduction in its future strategies is failing both the industry it serves and the future generations that might be their clients.
Posted by Anna Pollock on Monday, October 05, 2009 in adaptive responses, Attractions, brands, climate change, community, Destinations, DMOs, economy, environment, Leadership, Tourism, values | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Canada, climate change, DM, National Parks, tourism, US
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Steve Denning is a master at story telling. Today I received one of his emails that began like this and, of course, I had to continue the story......
" At the age of twenty-one, a man called Henry Curmantle became the head of a large and troubled organization. He was a stocky man with a round head like a lion, a fiery freckled face and red hair. His grey eyes glowed fiercely and grew bloodshot in anger. His voice was rough, allegedly because he spent so much time out of doors.
It was a cold, wintry day, when Henry took control of the organization. He had got the position partly through inheritance from his mother, and partly because he had boldly seized it on his own initiative.
In the course of administering the organization, Henry came up with a brilliant management innovation that was to affect every country in the world. To find out more, go here.
It's well worth the click through and highly relevant to my previous post on "Reboot Britain." I can't say more because, if I did, I'd spoil the story.
In a period of deep, transformative and evolutionary change, there's virtually no aspect of human life that will remain unaffected. Leadership will take on different forms in the 21st Century - but, then as storyteller Denning suggests, is there really anything totally new?
Faced with economic meltdown, dismally low levels of public trust in political leadership, growing concerns about the ability of big government to succeed let alone sustain itself, there's an urgent need to "re-imagine, re-invest, and re-invigorate our economy and society." These words of Diane Coyle, editor and facilitator, apply beyond the shores of the little island that formed the focus of yesterday's event...
To provoke debate, the organizers (NESTA) commissioned a series of essays that are well worth reading. I also recommend you bookmark the site as all the presentations will be available shortly and check out #rebootbritain to sense the Twitter pulse.
While the focus was on the public economy, there was plenty of interest to the private sector and associations in all facets of life and business in the UK and elsewhere.
Kudos to Stephen Moore(@stevemoore4good), NESTA and the organizing team for initiating the conversation - even though the format (mostly in the main lecture hall) was surprisingly conventional with limited opportunities for audience participation. Next time, a split screen would enable online participants to see what the speaker was referring to and it would be great if moderators could accept questions from tweeters/bloggers regardless of their location......
It was a rich experience - even from a distance and without the benefit of F2F buzz. Howard Rheingold provided an insightful conclusion suggesting that we needed to develop five literacies to thrive in a connected world of instant information: Attention, Participation, Collaboration, Awareness, and Critical Evaluation. Plenty of food for thought even thought the title made me feel uneasy.
While eye and ear catching in its modernity, the concept of ReBoot, is on reflection merely a 2.0 version of "kickstart." It implies an assumption that a traditional economy, which has gone into nosedive, can be brought back to life with a reset button and all will be well. Remember, it comes after the messages: "Abort", "Retry", and "Fail"! But the intent of the conference suggested that it isn't a reboot that's needed but an entirely new operating system, based on a fundamentally different set of operating assumptions and guiding principles - far greater even than a switch from PC to Mac! I notice that some other bloggers came to similar conclusions separately.
The term ReBoot also implies that a new economy (networked, open, lightweight, environmentally responsible, socially just, creative, agile and resilient...) will come about as a result of external intervention when, in fact, it's already emerging because the conditions are right.
Truth is, we're being carried forward by a host of change forces that have generated sufficient pent up energy to cause a tectonic shift in perception regarding who we are as human beings on a finite planet and how we should behave...
Talking about 2.0 versions of government, marketing, journalism, healthcare, leadership, HR and manufacturing is really healthy but will only move beyond talk to action when we can sustain our attention spans long enough to understand these deeper forces and harness their dynamics. It's ironic that here we are a pivotal point in human history when we could become conscious of our own evolution and the technology that binds also shatters our attention into tiny fragments such that we seem to be viewing reality through a kaleidescope rather than a microscope.
One agent of change never shy to use the term Paradigm appropriately and forcefully is Don Tapscott (@dtapscott) who, like David Weinerger and crew (Cluetrain authors), and Tim O' Reilly cut his intellectual teeth on IT problems but has just gets wiser and more insightful with age. For those of us whose time is limited between meetings, tweets, emails, the following 2 minute video clip reminds us that it'll take more than a reBoot to move Britain forward.
Another agent of change, Paul Hawken, recently author of Blessed Unrest also affirms that the ground is already shaking beneath the feet of traditional institutions. Every time I watch the following clip from the Bioneers conference a few years ago, I am reminded why we're living in such an exciting time, so full of opportunity, so filled with consequence.
Posted by Anna Pollock on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 in adaptive responses, Current Affairs, Deep Change, economy, environment, Leadership, Paradigmatic Change, Paradigms, Recession, Transformative Change | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: britain, deep change, don tapscott, howard rheingold, NESTA, paul hawken, reboot, stephen moore
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It is a cliché to identify our world as one in which change is the only constant. Overuse of this concept has minimized its meaning and power and misuse has lead to confusion and miscalculation.
In our opinion there are three types of change as illustrated in the familiar image of the iceberg.
Paradigms are sets of beliefs and assumptions about how the world works or mental maps that we use to make sense of our world. They are agreements that, as they are used over and over again, have become invisible - it's the way things are - simply because they are used to filter out information that might be contradictory.They affect what we choose to see and what sense we make of the world. See some examples here.
We are living in a period of paradigm change as great as that which transformed medieval society into the Age of Enlightenment and saw science rise to predominance over religion. The challenge is that this transformative switch is not taking 250 years to emerge but is occurring over a period less than a century. Everything and everyone will be affected by it - the travel and tourism sector being no exception. Yet most tourism leaders remain either oblivious or unwilling to contemplate the implications.
We can be forgiven for our reluctance to venture into this space of "deep change" for a number of reasons:
At DestiCorp we are convinced that it is both possible and vital that tourism leaders, especially those heading up destinations, national and international associations and agencies, and heads of multi-nationals start investing their time and intellect in understanding that nature and implications of paradigmatic change on their sector and the future livelihoods of the communities they serve. Unless they do, they will be ill equipped to understand let alone deal with the gale force winds of change gathering on the horizon and make the decisions TODAY that will create options for decision-makers tomorrow.
Subsequent posts will provide examples from tourism life that show these deeper forces at work - they'll be tagged with the category "deep change."
WOW! That's pretty heavy for tourism marketers, we know. But if you are interested in what happens after "your watch" as a result of your leadership today; if you have any interest in leaving a positive legacy, then you could do no better than start to understand what all this means.....
This web site is just a start of an exciting journey that will develop over time and hopefully lead to some very fruitful discussions.... Please join us here as we develop more material.
Over the next few days and months, we'll be adding thoughts on
Posted by Anna Pollock on Thursday, June 11, 2009 in adaptive responses, Deep Change, DMO, Leadership, Paradigmatic Change, Paradigms, social media, Systemic Change, Tourism, Transformation, Transformative Change, Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: change, leadership, paradigms, social media, systemic change, tourism, transformation, trends
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