In tourism, the customer can be seen from different perspectives. Not only tourists but also employees, locals and local authorities can be customers at some point in product development. These actors usually take part in product development. In this regard, it becomes important that these parties share a common interest and understanding of the business objectives as well as customership.

From the point of view of product development, it is important to understand that tourists have become more sophisticated and experienced. They want – and know how – to actively participate in the planning and creation of their experiences. They seem to change their preferences and tastes easily. It could be risky to place the customer within a clear, permanent and pre-defined category. These changes in customership certainly call for new ways of acquiring customer and market information.

This part of the handbook deals with the following questions: Who is the customer in tourism? What is the role of customers in the production and consumption of tourism products? How to understand customers and markets better?


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