The 5 Trends in Tourism 2021

Welcome City Lab, of which Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau is a partner, has just revealed the 5 major trends in tourism for 2021. Sustainable development, teleworking, and new business models are all featured in this Trend Book #6.

By drawing on its ecosystem and in-depth knowledge of start-ups, Welcome City Lab, an innovation platform of Paris&Co for urban tourism, publishes a yearly Book analyzing the major or emerging trends observed over the previous months.

Trend 1: Local and responsible tourism

Although the subject has been on the agenda for some time for players in the industry, the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the need to move with urgency towards sustainable tourism. The fact that 61% of French people say that preserving the environment is a greater concern than it was before the crisis began is proof that the notion is gradually gaining ground.

With a platform for introducing local people, a website for booking eco-responsible accommodation or activities, a boom in non-motorized modes of getting around … the leisure tourism industry is adapting to meet new demands.

Business tourism is also reinventing itself to make professional trips more environmentally friendly and sustainable, notably in terms of carbon footprint. Paris is acting every day to turn itself into a city of the 21st century, a city that is sustainable, inclusive, innovative, and resilient and which offers many advantages to make your eco-responsible event a success: a charter for eco-responsible events, development of sustainable modes of transport, an Energy climate plan, a huge choice of service providers, etc.

See our complete file that gives you all the keys to plan a sustainable event in the French capital.

Trend 2: Contactless

paiement sans contact

The practice of contactless payment, which has been developing rapidly in recent years, has taken on a new dimension in the light of mitigating Covid and reassuring customers. Digital check-in/check-out, contactless payment, QR codes, digital keys, individual take-away meals, domotics have become widespread in a certain number of chain hotels to limit points of contact and reduce the risks of contamination. According to a report by McKinsey (October 2020), 55% of interactions with customers are now digital. So, what about human contact? The question of what would be the best solution should be asked at every key moment of the visitor path: Digital, Physical, Human and/or a mix of the three?

Another major change brought about by new technology is the capacity to improve skills and create jobs with higher added value. Although many jobs are destined to disappear soon due to technological advances, notably in the hotel industry, other jobs are emerging, focusing above all on customer relations, which guarantee the quality of the customer experience during a stay. People are no longer being sought for their purely ‘technical’ skills but rather for their soft skills (the famous interpersonal skills) that play a large part in enhancing the customer experience during a stay.

Trend 3: Teleworking, a new opportunity for the tourist industry?

Station F coworking

The health crisis has also led us to rethink our way of working and to favour teleworking. The subject of ‘digital nomads’, who use telecommunication technologies to work while travelling, and more generally of ‘workation’, is once again at the forefront: a real opportunity to promote the regions. Visas for remote working, touristic offers, rental of workspaces in hotel chains … destinations are adapting to this new trend. 

Teleworking, as a new perspective on tourism travel, could also encourage more sustainable tourism through long stays, in low season and encouraging more contact with locals. Remote working, the way to travel in the future?

Trend 4: New business models for cultural events

Philharmonie spectacle

Faced with the sudden shutdown in their activity, exhibitions, trade fairs, shows and festivals had to change their business models and shift towards digital. Museums, festivals, and cultural events have continued to propose their offerings in a different way developing online products and services, virtual tours of exhibitions, hybridization, etc.

In recent months, virtual tours of exhibitions or heritage sites in 360°, with or without a lecturer guide, or via interactive video have become available. But also, conferences and lectures individually or for a whole series, with or without a virtual visit. The immersive Grand Palais, a branch of the RMN-GP, has therefore been set up to offer new exhibition formats with an emphasis on digital; a format that combines immersion, narration, and interaction. The exhibition Pompei attracted more than 200,000 visitors in summer 2020, after having been shown online during the first lockdown where it attracted 1.3 million visitors, proof that the two models can coexist without hindering one another. Another paying model to have emerged: the transmission of live or deferred live performances, concerts or theatre, as has made possible the platform of the Opéra de Paris.

The events sector has faced the same problems as the cultural sector. Trade shows, conferences and seminars have had to develop alternative innovative solutions to keep their events convivial and a place for participants to meet and network remotely. Although in-person events have taken off again, the trend for hybrid events remains  today which helps to reduce the carbon footprint and strive for the sustainability of events. Would you like to plan a digital of hybrid event? Discover our Parisian recording studios and our venues equipped to hold phygital events.

Trend 5: Offering visitors permanent access to information 

Bureau d'accueil de l'Office à l'hôtel de ville de Paris

One of the major challenges for cities is offering visitors access to information throughout their stay, from choosing their holidays to sharing their experience on the Web. Visitors now like to have instant access to the information they are searching for whatever that might be. The classification of data, geolocation and pull and push systems enable tourism players to propose offerings that are consistent with the desires of tourists, at the right moment and in the right place.

Conciergerie services with a personal assistant, interactive maps with points of interest, artificial intelligence, more efficient treatment of data … All these elements are ways of providing visitors with information. But information overload is a danger! Infobesity does not make tourists better informed. The focus should therefore be on the quality and relevance of the information provided, consistent with the demands of visitors.

> Discover the trend Book #6