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First Friday – Ten for Ten

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On the first Friday of each month over the coming months, we are inviting our international tourism partners to provide their views on the direction for tourism in 2021 and beyond.  It is mix of insights on 2021 tourism patterns and some their views on emerging trends.  We start the First Friday – Ten for Ten with our international tourism associate Professor Terry Stevens.

Terry has worked in over 55 countries specialising in destination development, marketing and place-making.  He has worked in the industry since 1970 holding a number of senior positions in the public and private sectors.  He was appointed to the UNWTO Global Research Team and has completed work for many of the major international development agencies including UNESCO, UNWTO, World Bank, European Bank of Reconstruction as well as National, regional and local tourism organisation.  He has recently published a new book providing an overview of his Top 50 destinations, called Wish You Were Here.  It presents how good management and an understanding of the importance of hospitality underpins the success of each destination, how they are organised, and how they get things right.  For more details visit www.graffeg.com

Ten for Ten with Professor Terry Stevens

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  1. What do you think will be the most main focus in destination marketing in 2021?

There will be a paradigm shift away from traditional concepts of marketing with a greater emphasis placed upon messaging and reputation management: indeed, we are likely to see the beginning of the end of the language of marketing that we have developed over 50 years to a much more nuanced glossary of terms where the emphasis is on ‘inviting’ guests to a community.

2. What will be the greatest area of focus for sustainable tourism development?

Achieving a destination in balance’ with all voices heard and a genuine respect amongst all participants of the importance of tourism to finding a solution for the re-growth of the wider economy and the quality of life of local people.

3. What will be the most immediate change in the use of technology in the tourism industry this year?

On-line incentivised initiative to influence the flows of tourists to different destinations / attractions / things to do / restaurants in a way to manage demand and supply and to ensure optimisation of capacity.

4. What is the new opportunity for community tourism in 2021?

Residents having a stronger voice in determining the scale and nature of tourism in their destination linked to securing agreement on the role of Airbnb and second homes versus demand for housing for local people and concerns about a flood of urbanites buying up rural properties

5. What will be the biggest trends in food tourism this year?

The demand for hyper-local and the use of traditional recipes

6. What aspects of wellness tourism will be the fastest to grow this year?

The sound of silence, well-managed and designed social spaces in the outdoors and the need for clever, high quality, experience linked to walking and cycling routes

7. What will be the focus for large urban destinations in attracting back visitors in 2021?

Planning and managing the city / town for a 24/7 new economy linked to a new governance regime.

8. Where will be the focus on innovation for the outdoors and activities?

At the local level the innovation will come from the simple task of joining up different experiences to create a high-value novel programmes e.g Food meets cycling meets poetry meets accommodation meets architecture.

9. What will the emerging factors motivating visitors to select one destination over another when booking their vacation in 2021?

Reputation management linked to innovative new products that deliver safe, secure and trusted experiences

10. Finally, the Quick Fire Round

  • Favourite holiday destination


  • Best ‘Hidden Gem / Off the beaten track’ place you have visited?

Soca Valley, Slovenia

  • What is the most memorable food tourism experience you have enjoyed?

In 2020 – the Beach House Restaurant, Oxwich, Gower, Wales

Before 2020 – Kantina Restaurant, Rovinj, Croatia followed by Toncic Farm Restaurant, Motovun, Croatia and the AS Restaurant in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

In each case the experience is made through a mixture of the food, drink, setting, and the company you are keeping.

  • Name one place you haven’t visited but is top of your bucket list?

Norway – north of Bergen

  • If you had to invite four people to dinner in your favourite holiday destination who would you invite and why?

My invitation list would be TWO from my home village from different periods in history so that I can understand my heritage and influences in greater depth and their impact on the wider world and Two

Who: T S ELIOT perhaps the greatest 20th century poet in English language       

Why: To ask him why he was so disparaging about the people of the village in his famous poem East Coker in the Four Quartets

Who: WILLIAM DAMPIER the pirate with the exquisite mind who in the Who in the 17th century circumnavigated the globe 3 times

Why: To hear his stories of adventure and travel

Who: BOB DYLAN                                                                            

Why: To question him about his lyrics and to listen to him discuss poetry with Eliot and Eliot’s influence on Dylan’s ‘Desolation Row’

Who: JACINDA ADHERN (pm New Zealand)                                              

Why: To listen to anything she has to say!!!!