Renovate or die, the challenge for tourist destinations
The phrase ” Renovate or die” can be applied to many aspects of life, but today I wanted to bring it up on the subject of tourism because it is one of the most changing sectors, which must meet and respond to the demands and expectations of tourists. Not an easy path in a globalized and highly competitive market.
After the long period of stagnation caused by the pandemic, both the market and the psychology of the tourist have changed, so to attract the new traveler, tourist destinations must not only follow trends, but also have elements that really make a difference.
A differentiator would be the creation and renovation of products that can meet these demands, based on the premise that destinations are always in a process of transformation, so it is necessary to follow a series of strategies to keep them in force and avoid their decline.
This made me wonder: Why are there regions with a high range of attractions and resources that are no longer visited, while others with fewer attractions are experiencing a great demand?
Some days ago I was reading a document on this subject in which the model of the life cycle of tourist destinations (Butler, 1980) is presented; a model that starts from an initial phase of exploration and discovery to a final phase, passing through a series of intermediate stages such as development, maturity, stagnation, and rejuvenation. The same article emphasizes some actions related to strategic management as a possible solution to rejuvenate mature or stagnant tourist destinations, always from the perspective of the “experience economy” which, as we have already said, is the main attraction for travelers today.
In this context, we see that tourists are leaning towards ecological and safe destinations, with a greater interest in relaxation, ecotourism, experience tourism and health tourism. Likewise, they are more interested in products with a high degree of personalization, which is why tour operators and lodging service providers face a great challenge, as they will have to diversify their offer according to the different segments: new or constantly updated experiences for young people, while older tourists should be offered safe and environmentally friendly vacations that allow greater contact with the communities.
In the case of the Mexican Pacific destinations, more specifically Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit ─the first, emerged more than 40 years ago, and the second is barely 15 years old, so we could consider one mature and the other in development─ we are seeing a constant investment in renovation on the part of the business sector, and especially in the hotel industry, since business owners have a clear idea of the need to “renew or die” and maintain a positive trend to guarantee their business survival.
However, at a destination level it is necessary to look for new approaches based on existing resources and to be creative when conceiving a new tourism product, which will increase its competitiveness in the market.
At this point, I would like to ask you what new tourism product opportunities you have detected that meet the new market demands and trends and that allow us to stand out from the rest?
Please share your thoughts.