Modern tourism traffic has acquired new habits that differ drastically from that of traditional visitors, which has proven to be a valuable market for tourism stakeholders and front liners alike.
Dubbed “venturers,” this particular market is described to be more impulsive, seeks out new products and experiences, is self-assured, ignores authority figures, and refuses to be part of “the crowd.”
Additionally, these venturers travel more frequently and take longer trips, seek out underdeveloped destinations that have native charm, accept inadequate accommodations, disregard the language barrier, and even assimilate themselves in the local lifestyles.
According to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Aster Caberte, these visitors seek quality over volume from “mass” to “class,” regard travel as the new necessity, and target the customer of one.
“Travel agencies should prepare themselves for tailor-made travel itineraries geared to fit the needs of such specialized travelers,” Caberte said. “Their values and attitudes should be taken into consideration since they will be constantly growing in the industry,” Caberte added during her talk in the forum on “Sustainable Tourism for Revitalizing Rural Communities in the Philippines.”
She disclosed that an example here may be visitors who, instead of visiting Cebu or Bohol for its commercialized tourism assets, go to Siquijor for its unique and quiet charms in an undisturbed setting.
Caberte also hinted that the usual tours do not really cater to the unique needs of the venturers, who don’t go for the typical attractions of mass tourism.
“The old models here are big-name, high-traffic destinations and attractions such as Makati and Cebu,” she continued.
Central Visayas is composed of three main tourism destinations that attract drastically varied tourism markets: Cebu for huge volume tourism due to the availability of global hotel chains, malls, and cosmopolitan living; Bohol for its ecotourism charms and unspoiled beaches; and Siquijor for its sublime tourism potentials.
Another group is the “near-venturers” who outnumber the venturers. The former seek out well-appointed accommodations, safe food and transportation, and look for the beginnings of infrastructure. They also influence potential visitors in the general population to visit the place, especially if accounts and photos of the trips are flashed on social media.
These venturers and near-venturers constitute a large part of the evolving travel market whose overall growth will support the growth of specialty destinations and attractions without necessarily affecting traditional markets.
By RICHARD RAMOS