EDITOR’S LE T TER
New approaches We need new tools to understand visitors in light of their COVID status, meaning traditional market segmentation may not give operators the insights needed to drive product development and marketing
are accustomed to surviving the turmoil of global economic cycles and impacts on the industry by everything from volcanic
eruptions to floods, coups and terrorist attacks. Every time a new threat has emerged,
the industry has risen to the challenge with innovations, new concepts and energy. But throughout, one thing has remained constant – operators could take comfort from the fact that when customers returned, they behaved in fairly predictable ways. As a result, the demographic profiling and market insights that drive tourism and attractions
SHUTTERSTOCK/ABERU.GO MORI DIGITAL ART MUSEUM
ttractions operators and suppliers
Will the double vaxxed become the most valued customers?
investments and operations have remained largely unchanged for many decades. One of the biggest challenges facing the sector in the next five years, however, will be the reshaping of consumer groups by the pandemic. Demographics will still be a factor, but where once operators targeted certain
When it comes to segmentation, COVID status is becoming a new and important variable
groups by wealth or interest, now customers’ COVID status and attitudes towards the virus are becoming a new and important variable. Those who’ve been doubled vaxxed and want to travel and visit attractions without restraint will be prized premium customers for
Using tech has enabled the industry to navigate its way through the pandemic far more nimbly than would have been possible even a decade ago and it will offer up more solutions as things progress. On page 46 co-author of The Experience Economy,
many. Others who haven’t been (or can’t be)
Joe Pine, flags up hybrid digital and physical
vaccinated, or who are fearful, will require a
offerings as a direction he believes will see us
different approach and then there are the COVID
through the pandemic and beyond, contributing
deniers, who won’t be vaccinated, could be super
to a reorientation around visitors’ COVID status.
spreaders and could shut businesses down. The situation with children is also complicated. There may be little commonality between the people in these groups apart from their COVID status, so new thinking will be needed when it comes to market segmentation, experience design and the customer journey.
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Pine says hybrid products can amplify the live experience, enable more people to attend and create important new revenue streams. We hope to see sharing of best practice in relation to this challenge as the industry recovers.
Liz Terry, editor, @elizterry
attractionsmanagement.com AUGUST 2021