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Who is Steering the World’s Tourist Trends

Nevenka Čavlek ; Ekonomski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 578 Kb


str. 205-228

preuzimanja: 1.084



Although it is exceptionally difficult to analyse the development of international tourism in the world by tying it to the emergence and development of tour operators and charter airline companies, this analysis supports the conclusion that they impact each other significantly. Above all, these business entities are credited for driving middle and low yield tourist demand; for increasing the share of international tourism; for contributing to a more balanced geographical distribution of tourism flows in the world; and for leveraging the changes in the tourism market structure that secured them the position to dictate the conditions for operating in both out-bound and inbound markets. Regardless of the format that organized tourism takes in the future, tour organizers will ensure their market position primarily by individualization, by personalized services and by their concern for the consumer’s safety. Undoubtedly, the competition in the tourism market will escalate on a daily basis and the existing model of ‘production’ and distribution of tourism services will change profoundly due to a facilitated use of ever more sophisticated technological solutions, including artificial intelligence. The current model of tour operators’ business operation is under growing pressure. Nevertheless, it should be noted that tour operators are accustomed to operating in different crisis situations, that up to present day they have successfully adapted to the changes and new trends in the market. Therefore, it is difficult to conceive that MNCs will let the multi-billion euro business in the domain of organised tourism slip between their fingers. Mutual ties and networking of different business entities to create value added for the tourism consumers will remain the conditio sine qua non of their survival in the market. Therefore, the pressure for innovative products will become more and more prominent. Nevertheless, development and innovation require significant financial resources, and those who fail to secure the necessary funding will not be able to create new products to keep the competition of various on-line platforms aside. Artificial intelligence is expected to become the key driver of change, but it can also offer great opportunities for the existing tourism and travel organizers. By using artificial intelligence, they could raise their competitive advantage to an even higher level and prevent having their market share taken over by pure digital giants. Tourism uses new technologies indeed, but the gist of tourism travel does not rest in technology. For tourism inbound countries it is most important to recognise their international competitive environment. Ensuring financial and human capital will be crucial, although they are quite limited. Having a good product alone will be insufficient most certainly, but strong networks with the relevant investors will be indispensable. Who will survive, who will grow and develop, who will push whom out of the market – all these issues will be decided by the power of capital. Paraphrasing the well-known dictum about the optimists’ and the pessimist’s perspectives, a conclusion may be drawn: the question whether the glass is half-full or half-empty will not be as significant as the question who owns the glass.

Ključne riječi

international tourism; travel tours; tour operators; consolidation processes; MNC in tourism.

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