Trends in Hospitality and the Leisure Industry: How Social Welfare and Spending Power Influence Holiday Trends

Trends in Hospitality and the Leisure Industry: How Social Welfare and Spending Power Influence Holiday Trends

Liesbeth van der Linden (M2Leisure Asia, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8565-9.ch001
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Abstract

Trends in hospitality in the leisure industry always have been strongly linked with family welfare indicators. In addition, economical, emotional, and sometimes state-enforced restrictions are diminishing in exchange for more freedom of choice in holiday destinations and activities. This chapter describes the characteristics of trends and trend development in Europe versus upcoming countries. Five trends are discussed: sustainability, glamping, wellness, well-being, and the need for adjustment of hospitality offer to the Chinese market. In the next five to ten years, the hospitality and leisure industry will have to come up with more innovative high quality service offers. Their offer will have to at least satisfy, but hopefully exceed, expectations of a large number of international travelers with a good holiday budget in search for more unique individual travel and leisure experiences.
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Background

Trend developments in Europe versus upcoming countries show large differences. In the 1960’s, Europe was coming out of an economical crisis and became more prosperous. The middle class was growing, the amount of people that possessed a car was increasing with double digits and labor laws changed allowing people to have free weekends and more holidays. During this time of change camping, which was a trend in those years, found good humus to flourish and grow and today it is a large mature industry in Europe: In 2008, over 15 per cent of all tourist nights spent in collective accommodation establishments were spent on campsites, corresponding to an estimated 353 million nights (Demunter & Dimitrakopoulou 2010).

When we look at synergies in upcoming countries like India and China, we see a similar pattern appearing to that of Europe in the sixties. Changes in society (increased income, more flexible labor laws, family planning, possession of cars) happen relatively quickly however; this does not imply that leisure and hospitality trends will follow the same route of development as in Europe fifty years ago. Usually attractive products and new trends are picked up quickly in these markets, get developed at high speed or local entrepreneurs will try to copy what is currently present and successful in Western countries. For example in China today we see camping sites that have been developed but they are empty as they are unattractive or lack leisure facilities. In these countries trends have not had the time to develop in a normal way. They miss the opportunity to get embedded slowly and become part of a culture. Products based on these trends are therefore not adjusted to local culture but copies of Western products and therefore unsuccessful. Trends can therefore be more fluid and commercially risky in countries like China and India.

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