Tourism sages prognosticate the next 40 years of tourism industry

Jason R. Swanson, Amy F. Hosier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A panel of 22 individuals, each with an average of 51 years of professional experience in the tourism industries, was asked to draw on their extensive experience and make predictions about issues that may have an impact on tourism in 40 years. The panel participants, or tourism ‘sages’, ranged in age from 73 years to 86 years. A three-round online Delphi survey was used to collect data from the participants, which was used to make forecasts about the future of tourism. The foundations of future tourism success will be consumer-focused technology, excellent service, and proactive tourism policy designed to meet the demands of a more diverse travelling public. Tourism managers in the future will be able to capitalize on new demand brought about by social changes, such as increased personal wealth, increased lifespan, and less oppressive government regimes that allow more people to travel more freely. Contrary to other tourism futures research, this study found respondents to be less concerned about the natural environment and traveller safety, but more concerned about competing based on quality tourism product, experience, and service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-378
Number of pages18
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Tourism Recreation Research.


  • Delphi method
  • Futures research
  • Life experience
  • Prognosis
  • Tourism
  • Wisdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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