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Anatomy of an Asian Icon: How ‘Cuteness’ Drives Tourism


Understanding your customers is the perennial first principle of marketing - a mantra so well-worn that it is almost easy to forget. Even more so, as businesess increasingly rely on algorithms to predict what we're going to do and buy before we even think about it. So it's refreshing to come across completely different ways of thinking, which challenge our own views of the world. But it's also reassuring, no matter how different the culture, to be reminded of the need to get inside our potential customers' heads and hearts, even when we might find it hard to empathise.

Read more: Anatomy of an Asian Icon: How ‘Cuteness’ Drives Tourism

Tourism and Terrorism

The impact of terrorism on tourism: a changing attitude to risk in holiday-taking.

Article in UK Tourism Society Journal, Summer edition 2016, by Tom Buncle. Click here  

(Full article on pg 7)

TS Journal 165 Summer 2016



How is Business Shaping Up for 2016?......Snapshot 3

Snapshot 3: Finding a Way Out of Trouble - What Can you Do?

Plan shutterstock 227824591The best way to predict your future is to create it ”.

- Abraham Lincoln 


In ‘How is Business Shaping Up for 2016?’ Snapshots 1 and 2, I reported on what I had picked up at recent trade fairs from a variety of sources about prospects for travel in 2016. This was dominated by issues depressing travel to certain destinations, primarily as a result of fears about personal safety, mostly related to terrorism.

In this final Snapshot, I want to shine a more positive light on the future, by demonstrating there is light at the end of the tunnel and suggest a way forward, particularly for destinations experiencing fear-induced decline.

There may be no silver bullet, but there are steps destinations can take to minimise the damage and accelerate recovery.


Read more: How is Business Shaping Up for 2016?......Snapshot 3

How is Business Shaping Up for 2016? ......Snapshot 2

Snapshot 2: A Changing Psychological Landscape

Talking to NTOs, tour operators, and tourism ministers from different destinations at ITB Berlin, it struck me that we are seeing a significant change in the way people choose destinations.Risk 1 shutterstock 285159896

 Three things stood out quite significantly:

  • How safety concerns are increasingly affecting people’s destination choice;
  • The impact this is having on the travel industry supply chain;
  • Why destinations need to make a plan to minimise the impact of crises.

Read more: How is Business Shaping Up for 2016?......Snapshot 2

How is Business Shaping Up for 2016? ......Snapshot 1


Berlin2016 GarudaThe razzamatazz of the big European trade fair season is pretty much over for the year. Here’s a series of 3 snapshots on how 2016 looks like shaping up, based on observations and recent conversations with a range of NTOs, tour operators, hoteliers, and other travel industry operators.


Snapshot 1:    Winners, Losers and the Big Question

Talk to the Ringmaster, not the Clowns, when the Circus Comes to Town

Trade fairs are a maelstrom of curtailed meetings, snatched conversations on the hoof, cocktail parties, and near collisions with surreal characters from the deep recesses of some PR agent’s chemically-influenced mind. If you can dodge the ubiquitous ethnic dancers, glorious garudas, and assorted cast of crazily costumed characters promoting everything from responsible tourism to all-inclusive resorts, beaches to ‘business solutions’, and holidays to health (yes, even Bangkok Hospital had a stand at ITB Berlin), trade fairs can yield interesting insights into market trends and a range of views on how the world will, and won’t, travel in 2016.

Talking to senior representatives from a number of destinations, some interesting trends emerged. In some ways these are to be expected. But there is also a different spin from past years with regard to safety fears and how this might affect people’s willingness to travel and which destinations they will consider……. and which they won’t.  

Read more: How is Business Shaping Up for 2016?......Snapshot 1
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