It's about to face a generation that does everything online and live according to the motto "if it is not visible on the web it does not exist". The tourism industry consists of many small business owners who lack both knowledge and resources when it comes to being available on the internet.
To have a functioning and vibrant website with photos, descriptions of what to see and do, opening hours and the opportunity to make their reservations online comes high in rank. In contrast, the mobile-adapted pages seem to be less important for the target audience, something that surprised the researchers.
– Movie clips also came surprisingly low. We might examine it more in the future, says Maria Ek-Styvén, Associate Professor in Industrial marketing, and continues.
– This is a target group that demands quick response. They read other people's reviews but are not always willing to share themselves. The younger write more and in the first place to help others, not to spread negative opinions.
The scientists have used focus groups in Sweden and survey studies in Sweden, England and India to find out how adolescents and young adults between 16-30 years behave before, during and after a trip. The research extends to the spring of 2016 when the complete results will be presented.
– The tourism industry is growing. It is an industry that we have great opportunities to compete with in the future and it is an industry where customers listen closely to what others say. Therefore, it is important to understand what kind of information the future customers want, how they seek it and spread it. Our research will be a support and a motivation to prioritize its presence on the Internet, says Åsa Wallström, Professor in Industrial Marketing.
On May 22 at 12.00 holds Maria Ek-Styvén and Åsa Wallström a lecture at Vetenskapens Hus in Luleå where they talk about the results of their research project The tourist of tomorrow - what happens when the e-generation is traveling?