The internet and the range of ready information available online has seriously impacted the travel business, as it was in the traditional sense. Today’s travellers are far more savvy and are able to dig out new and detailed information on things that they would like to do, shop, eat or experience during a holiday. Even if they do not have the information readily available, it is merely a click away for anyone who wants to look for it. This has created a piquant situation where tourism professionals are daily confronted with situations where customers know what they want and are often more aware of the offerings at the destination they are planning to visit.
The new mantra for the new breed of holiday makers has to appeal to their senses. Travel is now more experiential than ever before and is now a necessary lifestyle requirement. The pressures of modern living is fatiguing and time is at a premium. Today people might be able to afford a holiday- but not the time. Additionally, the world has become smaller and there is now more places available to visit than ever earlier. So, they want to squeeze in as many experiences as possible during the short duration of their vacation. They want newer and more unique experiences, visits, personal interactions and culinary encounters.
Where does all this leave the tourism professional? He has to become a “dream-merchant’ and an expert in experiential itinerary planning. To organize a holiday to remember, he has to build the ability to step into the shoes of his client and “touch, feel, taste and smell” what the client will get during his trip. He has to be a consultant on all activities that make up a vacation- rather than a pure hotel, air and transport reservation agent that he was earlier.