Yesterday, students from the Victoria University tourism futures programme, coordinated by Ian Yeoman, gave presentations to the team at the Institute on scenario analysis, issues and implications. This presentation followed on from a presentation to the Institute, 3 weeks earlier, which set the project brief, research methodology, drivers shaping the scenarios, 2×2 matrix models, outlines of the implications of the scenarios and reflections, conclusions and next stages.

The course is designed to enable the students to envision what the future tourist will look like, where they go on holiday and what they will do using scenario planning and trend analysis techniques.

Ian is a futurologist specialising in travel and tourism. He learnt his trade as the scenario planner for VisitScotland, where he established the process of futures thinking within the organisation using a variety of techniques including economic modelling, trends analysis and scenario construction. Ian’s new book, Tomorrow’s Tourist enables readers to imagine what a future tourist might be, where they will go and what they will do.

An introduction to the course sets the scene by providing the following scenario:

By 2030, China will be the world’s largest tourism destination; holidays in Outer Space will be the ultimate luxury experience, extreme Swedish ironing will be an Olympic Sport, embedded technologies will be the norm for future tourists and skiing in the Alps will be no more.

In 1950, 25 million tourists took an international holiday and by 2005 this figure had risen to 803 million. By 2030, it is forecasted that this figure will reach 1.9 billion international arrivals, spending US$2 trillion with US$5 billion being spent by international tourists every day across the world, from US$2 billion in Europe to US$1.5 billion in Asia.

The Institute was excited to be asked to be involved in the course and is enjoying watching the development of the scenarios for New Zealand’s tourism industry in 2050.  We are looking forward to the final presentation on 10 October, where I am sure we will continue to learn from these great students.