In a recent study by Pacific World (Global Destination and Event Management), the global company of reference in business tourism – MICE (meeting, Incentive, Congress & Events), present in more than 38 countries and in more than 100 destinations around the world, indicates that areas such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to have a great impact, however they detect that technology will not be the main topic of 2018 for the meeting, incentive, conference and event industry (MICE).
That although many destinations and conference centers still believe in the importance and use of technology for events, however we believe it is more important to focus on another level of customer connection. An incentive is not only a good opportunity to travel as a reward for an employee’s effort and results, but also an opportunity to interact, learn and experience. We are seeing a new generation of global citizens who are committed to the idea of an open and interconnected world
Trends in the tourism sector
These are the four trends that Pacific World aims for 2018 in the tourism sector of Congress-MICE:
Growth of the experiences that link the traveler to the destination. And it is encouraged by the commitment that is increasingly discovered in the locals of the destination who, acting as hosts, contribute to the design of the activities. With Orange tourism techniques travelers are invited to cook in an ancient Buddhist temple, for example. Or as in Myanmar, a guided sailing tour of calm waters is organized with local fishermen enjoying spectacular cooperative fishing between dolphins and fishermen, a practice that goes back many centuries.
More and more people are looking for “immersive experiences” and local experts, highlighting experiences such as the elaboration of authentic carnival masks with an Italian artist in his Venetian workshop, and sitting with local craftsmen in Hoi An, Vietnam, to hear stories about their traditions of art and culture.
There is an ongoing increase in demand and a change in the experiences themselves in order to make them truly supportive and meaningful in addressing the problems of the local communities, citizens around the world want to actively participate in the communities they visit, from experiences sustainable to preserve the cultural heritage to immerse yourself in the villages and assist in their sustainable development. In Barcelona, guests are invited to a special cooking class directed not by professional chefs, but by immigrants who have found a way to share their culture and start a new life. Or connect through music in Istanbul, Turkey, where custom programs bring guests together with displaced children who hope to build a future through their musical talent.
Destinations outside the common route
Travelers increasingly want to visit remote places or experience known destinations but in a new way. In Scotland, for example, groups can explore the countryside through new “whisky trails”. And in China, you can experience an isolated Shaolin Temple near Luoyang.
According to this Pacific World study, destinations that will be most popular according to customer requests for 2018 are: Thailand (18%), China (15%), Indonesia (14%) and Hong Kong (13%).
Demand for European destinations, meanwhile, has increased by 44 percent over the past year, with demand from Spain-Barcelona and Madrid, mostly, but also emerging destinations such as Malaga and Tenerife – leading the way.
Old destinations such as London, Paris, Rome, Monaco and Germany remain popular, but those gaining ground are new destinations such as Peru, which “emerges as a wanted destination.”