In 2350, New Zealand is a place with a dystopian society and the consumption of resources is managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expedient of demanding the death of everyone upon reaching the age of 30, thus avoiding the issue of overpopulation. Auckland, the nation's domed capital city is a hedonistic adventure ground with casino's, lap dancing establishments and luxury hotels. Eco tourism holidays to the Abel Tasmain National Park and Milford Sound are now a visit to the holodeck. Food and wine tourism is recreated using molecules from the memory bank of the cities Replicator. The city has constructed a range of indoor sporting venues, that create an authentic experience whether it is a round of golf or surfing. Auckland is certainly a super city.
Is this the future of tourism in New Zealand?
Dr Ian Yeoman, Associate Professor of Tourism Futures addressed this topic at New Zealand's Eco Tourism conference on the 6th August. Ian, the world's only tourism futurologist took climate change to the extreme by explaining how the trends of food and water shortages, rising temperatures, urbanisation, peak oil and demography could combine into a type of Logan's Run scenario.
At the same time, Ian said the prospects in the next 20 years weren't as extreme. The more the world worries about climate change, the rise of urban sprawl, time pressures, uncertainties about the world economy and fears about pension provision – the more consumers aspire for a simple authentic experience like New Zealand. However, the difference between aspiration and reality is hampered by the world economic uncertainty. Ian recalling an article from the Harvard Business Review said that that during a downturn people feel more stressed and anxious and this typically increases the desire for simplicity. Even prior to this recession, many consumers were feeling overwhelmed by the profusion of choices and 24/7 connectivity and were starting to simplify. For example publisher Time Inc. recognized this trend early and capitalized on it by launching its highly successful back-to-basics magazine Real Simple in 2000. Apple likewise was responding to the trend when it launched the elegant and spare iPod in 2001. The recession is accelerating this maturing trend. Consider the rise of edited retailing (consumers are offered limited collections of coordinated product choices), a growing demand for trusted brands and value, an increasing desire for advisers – ranging from social networks to product ranking web sites – that can simplify choice making, and enthusiasm for less complicated, more user-friendly technologies.
Environmentalism is by now deeply rooted in the consumer mind-set and public-policy arena, although consumers and politicians express widely varying degrees of engagement. Consumers have increasingly embraced green products and services over the past decade; they will often pay a premium for the chance to do good and, in many cases, be seen doing good. Research by the Trajector group suggests that green consumerism has slowed in this recession, though it hasn't stalled. Consumers may be cutting back on pricey displays of their green credentials (known as "badging"), such as buying premium green products and hybrid cars, but they're ramping up cheap and discreet methods of reducing waste – switching off lights, recycling more, and buying less. This form of green consumerism is reinforced by the burgeoning demand for simplicity, the growing appeal of discretionary thrift, and ever-more-potent social norms against extravagant consumption. It is expected that green consumerism will recover and accelerate post recession in both its forms – waste reduction and badging – as consumers regain confidence and the disposable income to fully express their growing concern about climate change and the environment.
Watch talk about the core drivers of change and Europe's future here.
Ian presents his views on technology futures to the OECD – 21st June here.
Ian profiled in Qatar Airways Oryx Magazine about the 'life of a futurist' here.
The future history of Revenue Management here.
The future of ping pong here.
Ian publishes research paper on scenario planning and policy in the Journal of Tourism Futures here.
The Future of Food Tourism reviewed in Annals of Leisure Research here.
Ian speaks to the EU on the future tourist here.
Fifteen years of Revenue Management here.
Ian appointed series editor by Channelview about the future of tourism Read More.
The Future Tourist: Ian speaking at the European Travel Commission on the 8th September in Vienna More.
Dr Ian Yeoman to keynote at CHME 4-6th May at Ulster University on the future of food More.
Ian to speak on the future of tourism at the New Zealand Airports Association on the 11th September: More.
Ian to speak at Sri Lanka World Tourism Day conference: More.
The Future of Science: Ian guest edits the Royal Society's journal here.
New publication: New Zealand's Sustainable Future and Maori Identity.
The Future of Food Tourism at Wellington on a Plate – 25th August 2015 More.
Previous News items can be found here.