Melanie-Smith

Report
SMART Thinking
in Special Interest Tourism
Dr Melanie Smith
Lecturer, Researcher and Consultant
Tourism Competence Centre
Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Email: [email protected]
What is SMART Thinking?
S is for......
 Sustainability
 Special
Interest
And not so much.....
What is SMART Thinking?
M is for......
 More
– Quality
– Originality
– Diversity
– Value for
money
What is SMART Thinking?
A is for......
 Ask
– What do
tourists want?
What is SMART Thinking?
R is for......
 Respond
– Give tourists
what they want
What is SMART Thinking?
T is for......
 Trends
– Creativity
– Experience
Special Interest Tourism
„Travelling with the primary
motivation of practising or enjoying a
special interest. This can include
unusual hobbies, activities, themes or
destinations, which tend to attract
niche markets”
(Smith et al., 2010)
Special interest tourism tends to be
more sustainable or ethical than mass
tourism. Smaller group sizes (typically
10-15 tourists), more educated,
experienced visitors, more authentic
environmental or cultural experiences
are the main focus of the trip.
(Douglas et al., 2001)
SPECIAL INTEREST or Niche Tourism
(adapted from Novelli, 2005)
Cultural
Environmental
Rural
Urban
Others
Heritage
Nature and
Farm/barns
Business
Photographic
Tribal
wildlife
Camping
Conference
Small cruise
Religious
Ecotourism
Wine/
Exhibition
Volunteer
Educational
Adventure
Gastronomy
Sport
Dark
Genealogy
Alpine
Sport
Gallery
Youth
Geotourism
Festivals and
Art
Transport
Coastal
events
Arts and crafts
MORE: Originality
– Food (e.g. cookery courses, celebrity
chefs, fusion cuisine, healthy eating,
slow food)
– Culture (e.g. everyday life, indigenous
peoples, ethnic diversity)
– History (e.g. story-telling, living
history, costume drama, role play)
– Festivals which are more than just
spectatorship (e.g. music, dance &
crafts workshops, kids’ corners, circus
skills, games, etc)
– Arts and crafts (e.g. making objects,
painting them, dying & weaving)
MORE Diversity
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Representation of multiple cultures
& stories in museums
Ethnic festivals (e.g. Jewish, Roma)
World music (e.g. WOMAD)
Guided walks (e.g. Jewish quarter)
Special events (e.g. Gay Pride)
Carnivals & Melas (i.e. Indian
Festivals)
Circuses (e.g. Chinese, Russian,
Cirque du Soleil)
International & fusion food festivals
Ethnic shopping (e.g. Chinese stores,
markets)
Guest markets (e.g. German, French)
ASK: What do Tourists want?
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Tourists require ‘edutainment’
Tourists want to touch, taste, smell, hear, as well
as see
Tourists like to experience real, authentic &
everyday places & people
Tourists want to discover something unique
Tourists look for a sense of place & character
Tourists enjoy animation & a good atmosphere
Tourists need to be engaged & absorbed
Tourists want to be surprised & delighted
Tourists sometimes need to be shocked &
provoked!
RESPOND: New Product Development
Health & Wellness Tourism
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Body-Mind-Spirit combined
packages
Products for new markets
(e.g. gay, para-tourism)
Holistic cruises
De-tox/diet retreats
Wine or vinotherapy
Art/music therapy
Animal therapy
TRENDS: Wellness Tourism
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Shift back to indigenous &
natural products & treatments
Need for greening or spas & ecofriendliness
More holistic tourism
Growth of global wellness hotels
More wellness areas at music
festivals
Increase in gastro-travel
More fusion treatments (e.g.
Aquaveda, Yogalates)
Flexible delivery of treatments
(e.g. own home, workplace,
online, even in bars!)
TRENDS: Cultural Tourism
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Historic spas (e.g. special events)
Architecture tours (e.g. Gaudi trail,
Barcelona)
Film & media (e.g. film sets, studio
tours, film-making, links to popular
programmes, interaction with
celebrities)
Everyday life (e.g. homestays, pub
crawls led by locals)
Artist-led activities (e.g. interactive,
creative tourism)
Youth culture (e.g. music festivals,
chill out festivals)
TRENDS: Creative Tourism

„Learning a skill on holiday that is
part of the culture of the country or
community being visited”

UNESCO Creative City Network
(Literature, Cinema, Music, Craft
and folk art, Design, Media arts,
Gastronomy)
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Enjoying attractions and
activities which are linked to the
creative industries, and which
tend to be interactive or
experiential in nature. This
might include industries such as
film and TV, fashion, design,
and architecture.
(Smith, 2009)
(Richards & Raymond, 2000:16)
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„Travel directed toward an engaged
and authentic experience, with
participative learning in the arts,
heritage, or special character of a
place, and it provides a connection
with those who reside in this place
and create this living culture.”
(UNESCO, 2006:3)
TRENDS: ‘Fringe’ Tourism
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Many tourists, especially repeat
visitors seeking alternative
experiences based on authenticity
of local areas, i.e. ‘fringe tourism’
(Maitland, 2007)
Ethnic quarters or ’ethnoscapes’ so
popular with visitors that they
regularly feature in tourist
brochures as cultural attractions
Ethnic festivals and carnivals ;
world music festivals
Gay tourism (gay index closely
connected to ‘creativity’)
Summary of SMART Thinking
 S is for sustainable, special interest tourism
 M is for more quality, originality, diversity, value
for money
 A is for ask what do tourists want? Undertake
research
 R is for respond to tourists’ needs, develop new
products and services accordingly
 T is for trends – identifying those trends which
influence tourists’ motivation and behaviour
Conclusions
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Traditional approaches to tourism are too limited
Need for more creative & innovative approaches
Tourists looking for new & unique experiences
Old products can be given new life
New trends can provide more interesting
experiences for a wider range of people
Focus on different needs of domestic,
international, first-time, & repeat visitors
Consider issues relating to age, gender, &
ethnicity
Different nationalities may be receptive to
different products & approaches (growth markets
in future maybe Chinese, Indian.....)
Thank you for your attention.......

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