Meeting the millennials

2016-11-03 06:00

TOWARDS the end of this year we will be conducting the review of our tourism strategy and mapping a new promotional way forward for the next five years.

At a conference last week there was much discussion regarding the future market being those who were born post 2000 and those now in their early twenties- in essence our main and future markets.

In a new era nutshell, the indications are that these segments are addicted to the new social communication platforms with some 75% posting messages, photos and comment at least once a day. They are materialistic, like to be seen at the must go to events, have high standards of dress and precise expectations as to where they stay, eat and socialise. They also follow all sorts of people on Facebook, Twitter and the likes.

As we know our population pyramid is heavily weighted towards those younger than 30 and so tourism planning has to be considerate of the profiles, needs and interests of this massive emerging market.

After all, the young translate into new family units with their own set of expectations for their holidays. It is thus important that we capture the interest of the younger set to come and be forever smitten by our wonderful destination.

So what or should we offer? In short I believe that our main urban areas such as Scottburgh and Margate should look at the provision of trendy eating and entertainment spots and events should be geared towards entertainment by artists who have a massive following. We want the young responders.

Just last weekend the Orlando Stadium was full during a concert featuring a few of the country’s top contemporary artists. Social media went viral with the concept #FillUpOrlando
Stadium and they did. The power of social communication prevailed.

The reach of new communications in the new markets is incredible. Some tourism bloggers for example have over 400 000 followers, hence the concept of influencer publicity and tourism marketing is responding to it.

At the recent SETE conference, it was made clear that tourism destinations must involve the social communities. If we could make our destination “trendy” for interest groups and their role as communicative ambassadors on the web, I feel the millennials and those a little older will become our new captive market.

The importance of the grey beards like me is still evident, but the future lies in those different in their lifestyle choices and their pace of doing things. So exotic cocktails may well replace Klippies. Who cares if the rands keep pouring in, our tourism economy scores.

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