Research Program

Future Leisure, Pleasure, Tourism and Experiences

The experience industry is a relatively young and quickly growing industry, and presently in a very exciting development phase for several reasons. The spendings on experiences is increasing, and at the same time more and more industries are being transformed into experience industries, as customers’ expectations rise. Not even salt is any longer a commodity only, at least not when it’s priced at USD 100 per kilo.

Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man. Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881

What we dream of is closely connected to our challenges in everyday life. In the 1930ies, when work was physically hard and free time was scarce, leisure was all about revitalization and study. With more means and free time, focus changed in the 1960ies and 1970ies to relaxation and enjoyment, and more recently to consumption of “experience services”. In parallel, holiday and leisure went from being primarily political projects in the 1940ies to commercial projects today. The question is, will the trend bend back to the 1930ies’ perception of leisure, with revitalization as the prime goal, although this time refreshment of brain rather than body?

For three decades, we’ve been wrestling with the questions of where leisure, tourism and experiences are heading, in collaboration with our clients. For example, we’ve studied outbound travel from China, Brazil and other emerging economies to Europe, and explored the essence of a truly top experience and studied the “experience wallet”. We are presently exploring the consequences of the emerging thought economy on leisure and experience consumption, the growing global middle-class, and, not least, the role new technology is playing in planning and booking as well as for the experience itself.

We also regularly carry out our own multi-client project the Travel Trend Report where we explore the questions listed above as well as more traditional travel and experience data together with companies and organizations from all over the world (destination management companies, hotel chains, airlines, tour operators etc.).

Did you know that most people actually have more free time (free from work and household chores) today than they did ten or twenty years ago? But few would say it feels that way!