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Innovation insights

Understanding developing consumer trends is increasingly important during the recovery of tourism following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our Innovation Insight papers explore new and evolving trends and consumer expectations developing in tourism today, from consumer demand and business innovations around the world. 

Captured through continuous horizon scanning methods, topics covered include adaptable adventures, workcationing and wellness:

  • Localism and authentic experiences 
  • Adaptable adventure 
  • Workcations
  • Artisanal retail and food and drink 
  • Voluntourism
  • Wellness 

  • Localism and authentic experiences

    Consumers have long been encouraged to 'discover what’s on your doorstep' and 'think global, act local', however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this became a much more tangible concept for all.

    Localism and authentic experiences insights paper

    Published May 2021

  • Hard adventure

    There is much evidence that the fundamental need for outdoor activities – which has been a growing tourism driver for years – has been further strengthened by the pandemic-related restrictions, with an increasing number of people becoming more active in their own local areas or looking for alternative ways of staying healthy and physically fit.

    Adaptable adventure insights paper

    Published May 2021

  • Workcations

    Individuals are being enabled to make decisions about working environments based on their own personal circumstances and, as such, can choose to work from less traditional settings or combine work with opportunities to undertaken leisure activities.

    Workcationing insights paper

    Published May 2021

  • Artisanal retail and food and drink

    Consumers are looking to reconnect with the processes and products they use and the people producing them, both at home and as part of planned trips. Supporting small businesses forced to close during lockdown has encouraged digital adoption in these SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) and increased access to their products.

    Artisanal retail and food drink insights paper

    Published May 2021

  • Voluntourism

    Consumers want to travel more sustainably and manage their interactions with a destination and its residents in a thoughtful manner. Volunteering time and energy to a related cause will help deliver the mindfulness and engagement drivers many visitors seek through travel.

    Voluntourism insights paper

    Published May 2021

Latest trend papers

Scottish tourism is constantly evolving, with exciting new trends emerging each year.

Our annual trends reports are designed to inspire those in the tourism industry to think about its future and how to benefit from engaging with these developments.

Scroll down to see our 2020 trends paper - Travelling towards transformational tourism.  You can also find previous annual trends papers on topics including wellness, digital trends, wild camping and mod-stalgia.

Latest Trends Papers

  • Travelling towards transformational tourism

    Our 2020 Trends Paper will be an opportunity to look ahead to the mega drivers that will influence tourist behaviour for the next ten years. We will also be reviewing the period from 2010 and how behaviours have changed. For this year our annual trends explore the main theme underlying consumer decisions: sustainability.

    2020 Trends

    Published February 2020

  • Wellness, the art of now, sensory tourism, new society norms

    Many countries are increasingly marketing wellness as part of their product portfolio. With Scotland's abundant assets of natural landscape, culture, food & drink and heritage, combined with a varied and vibrant tourism industry, we are well-placed to embrace and capitalise on the global movement that is wellness tourism.

    2019 Trends

    Published January 2019

  • Còsagach, elemental tourism, digital trends

    For those who come to Scotland to do one of the many outdoor pursuits, having a warm and snug place to come back to after a long and tiring day completes the visitor experience. Scotland's varied and picturesque landscape, as well as its diversity for activities during the different seasons, allows it to be a 365-day-a-year visitor destination.

    2018 Trends

    Published November 2017

Earlier papers

2017 Trends

Published November 2016

Wild camping, non-traditional tourism businesses, Scotland’s dark side and more.

2016 Trends

Published November 2015

Honesthicity, the #travennialgeneration, overpersonalisation and more.

2015 Trends

Published November 2014

Emotional uncertainty, selective authenticity, value disparity and more.

2014 Trends

Published November 2013

Mod-stalgia, modern clans, calculated risk and more.