New Tourism Directions to Explore in Ashtabula County

According to a recent European Community report, everyone needs to be looking at new forms or themes of tourism, which include:

(a) tourism and sustainability:
• a seismic shift in people’s awareness of the environmental impact of mass tourism;
• a new social awareness-interest in authentic, small and local holiday experiences;
• the new tourist (would eat in a local restaurant, would use local guides, would look for the true story behind the destination);
• more do-it-yourself travelers (more demanding and at the same time taking responsibility);
(b) tourism and accessibility: almost 40 million people in Europe are handicapped and they are tourists too; from a commercial point of view alone these consumers are not to be neglected;
(c) tourism and rural and cultural heritage: there is a clear and growing market for non-traditional tourist destinations;
(d) tourism and peace: tourism is associated with tolerance, cultural exchange, learning to know each other, creation of welfare and friendship;
(e) tourism and sports: this goes far beyond the Olympic Games, as it is a rapidly growing segment for individual and group tourism;
(f) tourism and health:
• a healthy lifestyle and promoting a healthy diet among customers will become a priority for travel companies;
• holiday companies will work more closely with the medical professionals;
• travelers will be better educated about holiday health risks in general;
(g) tourism and technology:
• broadband will revolutionize communication culture and boost e-commerce; it will directly affect how we take holidays;
• mobile phones will be our personal holiday organizers;
• artificial intelligent agents in our computers will act as personal holiday tour operators;
• Virtual holidays will become a reality.

While the study focused on Europe, many of the new tourism themes and directions have relevance to Ashtabula County. Again, we must find the higher skilled and higher wage jobs and businesses in these categories, and grow these in our county in the future.

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