chapter  26
The future geography of travel and tourism
Pages 13

Common to each of these themes are other agents of change such as technology, the search for sustainability in tourism, and changes in consumer behaviour. These trends are interlinked and are combining to accelerate the pace of change. For example, tourists are increasingly knowledgeable and sophisticated, and can now be catered for by a tourism sector that is firmly embracing marketing strategies, facilitated by technological developments such as the Internet and mobile commerce – where the mobile phone becomes the medium for guiding and visitor information. At the same time, the sector is becoming truly global as larger organizations operate across different cultures and time zones. In combination with continued shifts in the world economic and political situation, these trends will influence tourism flows, as new generators and new destinations emerge. Underlying all of these trends are two imperatives. First, the pressure for sustainable development will ensure that destinations are better planned and managed, and will show more concern for their environment and host community than did their earlier counterparts. This is supported by international conferences such as the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, and the WTO’s global code of tourism ethics. Second, since 9/11 much of the tourism sector has been in crisis. There is a real imperative to develop crisis management response strategies covering all sectors of the tourism industry to anticipate future ‘shocks’ to the system and ensure that tourism can recover from any future crises.