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.
NEW: Ian talks about the next generation of event goers: Download PDF here.
Ian comments on the future of airports here.
The Journal of Tourism Futures is launched with Dr Ian Yeoman as co-editor here.
Ian discusses the differences between men and women when it comes to cooking here.
2050: Future of Food Festivals Victoria University researchers explore stem burgers to communities here.
Why Men Cook But Don't Wash Up: Excerts from future of tourism book here.
Architecture and Culinary Experiences: Excerts from future of food tourism book here.
New Publication: New Zealand as an Eco Paradise Download PDF.
New Publication: Ian talks too Jim Dator about 300 years of tourism in Hawaii Download PDF.
The science fiction of future travel here.
Ian discusses the future of tourism technology (but it's in Italian) here.
New Book: The Future of European Tourism – Find Out More.
Family Futures – Find Out More.
Ian to speak at Qatar Tourism Futures conference 23rd Feb 2014 – More Info.
Ian speaks on Prime TV about tourism and New Zealand's green creditionals – Friday 19th January 8.30pm NZ time.
Ian confirmed as keynote at Global Events Congress to speak on 'Seeing the Future of Events and Festivals as a Conceptual Framework' – Adelaide July 2014. More Info.
Ian will be the keynote at the New Zealand Chartered Accountants Public Sector conference – March 2014.
Ian speaks at TEDx Groningen on the Future of Tourism here.
Previous News items can be found here.