The question sounds rather simple, doesn’t it? But the implications are immense, especially for those who work in the tourism sector and the travel industry. The answer to this question leads to conceptualizing, creating, and providing a better product or service, no matter what part of the travel industry we specialize in.
When it comes down to it, people travel for two reasons:
1. Because they want to
2. Because they have to
This seemingly innocuous distinction creates obligations for the tourism industry professionals that are vastly different. The first category of people, the ones who travel because they have an innate desire to do so, includes the people who seek the thrill of discovery and adventure, the ones who want to see, feel, experience the world, who marvel at the new and admire the different.
And here’s the trick in this case. The travel industry does not only need to cater to the needs of the explorers, it also needs to awaken this sense of adventure in other people as well. This is how the industry can keep growing, by showing more and more people how fascinating traveling is.
Another thing that the travel industry needs to do regarding that first category is to find the varied and oh-so-many reasons why people love traveling. From exploration to relaxation and from thrill-seeking to bragging rights (yes, that can be a reason for traveling as well), this is an almost endless list that can lead to almost endless ideas about products and services. Adjusting, adapting, renewing, and sometimes doubling down on our offers, all these have to be counted among the arsenal of the tourist professional.
As far as the second category is concerned, most of us are thinking about traveling for business (the first half of the age-old question ‘business or pleasure?’), and yes, while business travel is a large chunk of unavoidable traveling (though the past few months have shown otherwise), the travel industry should not limit its thinking there and explore other reasons why people have to travel. Education, family obligations, better health are some of these reasons and they shouldn’t be disregarded. New opportunities can lie anywhere.