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OECD Tourism Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Tourism Committee (www.oecd.org/cfe/tourism). OECD Tourism papers address issues such as trends and policies, innovation, sustainability, skills and statistics. The series complements OECD tourism publications, and aims to share knowledge, stimulate discussion and analysis on specific topics and obtain feedback from wider interested audiences on specific topics.

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Analysing megatrends to better shape the future of tourism

The future of tourism will be impacted by large-scale social, economic, political, environmental and technological changes, bringing new and often unseen challenges, threats and opportunities. These “megatrends” are slow to form, but once they have taken root, exercise a profound and lasting influence on human activities, processes and perceptions, including for tourism. Four megatrends are likely to have significant impacts and relevance for tourism: i) evolving visitor demand; ii) sustainable tourism growth; iii) enabling technologies; and iv) travel mobility. Exploring the multidimensional implications of these megatrends to 2040 is important to inform policy and shape the future of tourism. This Tourism Paper develops a range of plausible scenarios and potential policy responses for the megatrends mentioned above, it then examines how policy makers can better prepare for megatrends, and presents a set of guiding principles for effective strategic foresight in tourism.

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Keywords: tourism, enabling technologies, megatrends, strategic foresight, visitor demand, scenario planning, sustainable tourism, travel mobility
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