New tourism is an important subject for future professional of tourism. To work in this sector we have to be aware of new form, new tendency and new destinations. Travel sellers have to know supply and demand in this field.
Our file is a glimpse of some new ways of travel and new destinations. We need to keep watching on this new form of tourism because it is very competitive sector.
That’s why we have chosen to describe two new destinations and two new form of tourism.
In one part we explain couchsurfing that is a new form of tourism based on people exchanges. It is almost a way of life with values and aspirations. Une phrase sur la partie de reb.
In a second part, we show two new destinations. First Bulgaria, its number of visitors has increased by 4000000 in 8 years. This country with a coast on Black sea is more and more visited especially by Europeans. Phrase sur partie de Reb.
Tourism evolves and new forms are created
Couchsurfing is a new way of travelling based on sharing. An organization based on Internet (www.couchsurfing.com) manages the connections between people.
CouchSurfing is an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals in over 230 countries and territories around the world. A couch or a bedroom is offered to a visitor by a local for his stay.
Since 2004, members have been using this system to come together for cultural exchange, friendship, and learning experiences. Today, over a million people who might otherwise never meet are able to share hospitality and cultural understanding.
“Our mission as an organization is to create inspiring experiences: cross-cultural encounters that are fun, engaging, and illuminating. These experiences take many forms. CouchSurfing’s initial focus was on hosting and “surfing” (staying with a local as a guest in their home). Alongside these core experiences, we now also facilitate a growing array of activities and events.”
CouchSurfing members share hospitality with one another. These exchanges are a uniquely rich form of cultural interaction. Hosts have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world without leaving home. “Surfers,” or travelers, are able to participate in the local life of the places they visit.
The CouchSurfing community continues to expand its horizons. Members are always finding more ways to connect and learn about each other. Every day, people across the world share coffee, camping trips, meetings, language exchanges, discussions and all sorts of other experiences.
Who and how runs CouchSurfing?
Casey Fenton launched the site on Jan 1, 2003 with co-founders : Dan Hoffer, Sebastien LeTuan, and Leonardo Bassani de Silveira. Casey continues to help CouchSurfing as Executive Director of the organization.
The CouchSurfing organization has no physical location. Instead, it exists in the collaborations of diverse people from around the world. The strategic direction of the Couchsurfing organization is composed by a Board of Director and a Strategy Team. Each member of these two groups brings different specialized skills.
Members of strategy team:
- Casey Fenton, co-founder and Executive Director;
- Mattthew Brauer, General Manager;
- Jim Stone, Chief Operations Officer;
- Weston Hankins, Chief Technological Officer;
- Cameron Mills, Project Portfolio Manager.
There also some full-time employees and contractors. They have a variety of roles from building and maintaining the website to organizing finances.
Finally, some part time volunteers help them to manage the organization. They are Couchsurfing members and they greet new members, report website bugs and answer member questions.
CouchSurfing is a non-profit organization, funded entirely by the donations of members. According to the web site, every month, thousands of CouchSurfers choose to support the community by getting verified, an identity check that includes a donation. Other members choose to make independent or additional donations.
Contributions help to pay for the costs of running the website, like server hosting, storage, database maintenance, mapping software, and many other costs. Each positive experience between members costs 24¢ USD in CouchSurfing operating costs. The goal of CouchSurfing has never been about money, and using the site is free to all members. CouchSurfing’s non-profit status legally means that all resources must be spent directly on achieving the mission rather than creating profit for private interests.
1775916 Couchserfers are travelling sharing homes in the worlds. There are 236 countries represented and 70637 cities for 318 languages spoken.
The 10 countries most visited are United States with 395657 visitors that represent 22,3 % of couchsurfers, Germany with 168807 visitors (9,5 %), France with 150939 visitors (8,5%), United Kingdom 85587 visitors (4,8%), Canada 85544 visitors (4,8%), Australia 50821 visitors (2,9 %), Italy 50652 visitors (2,9%), Spain 48858 visitors (2,8%), Brazil 48503 visitors (2,7%) and Netherland 35661 visitors (2 %). We note that almost all continent are represented in the top-ten, except Asia but China just come in 12th position.
Regarding the most visited cities Paris is on first position, then London and Berlin comes on third position.
The average age of surfers is 28 and 85 % of surfers have between 18 and 35.
Couchsurfing is a meaningful new way of travelling. It creates connections between cultures and can enrich lives of everybody. It is more than a way of travelling it is a way of living with many values like exchange without profit. We think that couchsurfing is a door to experience new point of view and new culture by travelling or welcoming.
It is also a tool to travel more especially for young people. Indeed, even if it could be less comfortable than hotel room, it is free. Travels help to built mind and this way of travelling permit to travel more, further and better.
Partie de Reb
New destination appears
Bulgaria is a small country in south-eastern Europe. It have frontiers with Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. This country owns coasts on Black sea. The climate and the relief permit to develop a large number of touristic products.
In 2000 the number of visitors were 2100000, it increase and there were 6000000 tourists in 2008.
The natural landscape is one of the most important assets.
First, mountains and high peak are attractive for ski tourism. Most of the 44 ski resorts are located in western country around Sofia, the capital city. The most famous are:
- Aleko ski center on Vitosha mountain at 22 km of Sofia’s city center with 29km of ski runs,
- Borovets ski resort on Rila mountains that is a high class resort with luxury hotels,
- Bansko in Pirin mountain, that’s one of the new ski resort in Bulgaria with 56 km of ski runs and a great off piste skiing,
- Pamporovo ski resort in the heart of Rodopa Mountain is the southernmost resort in Europe.
Then, we can find the Black Sea Coast famous for its fine sanded beaches, and perfect temperatures of water and air. The northern and the southern coast are different. On the north tourists can find clean and calm sea surrounded beaches with fine grain golden sands. The most famous and the most frequented sea side resort are Golden Sand, Albena, Roussalka, Riviera, Slanchev Den (Sunny Day), St.Konstantin and Elena.
On the south, picturesque bays and steep rocks coexist with spacious beaches and sand dune. The coast provides wonderful nature and modern constructions on holiday villages like Elenite, Sunny beach, Nessebur, Sopozol…
Rural tourism is another form present in Bulgaria but less significant.
An unconventional form of tourism
Health tourism is a great part of tourism in Bulgaria. With over 600 mineral springs with temperature between 10°C and 120°C, Bulgaria is a thermal destination. Pavel Banya, Hisar, Velingrad, Narechen, Vurshets, Kyustendil and Momin Prohod, near Kostenets are the most famous of the health resort. They treat different diseases like bronchial asthma, disturbances of locomotors system, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders…
Another Health or medical tourism exists in many forms. People travel in Bulgaria for medical, dental or surgery care, especially from United States and developed country where medical treatment are more and more expensive. Health Tourism is a combination of wellness and healthcare coupled with leisure and relaxation.
- Diet Center: Some tourists travel to lose weight and the most famous clinic is located in the sea side resort of St-Konstantin and Elena. A stay in the clinic last between 10 and 20 days and cost between 500 and 2000 Euros including catering in hotel, a medical consultation, medical exams and a diet program for each patient.
- Plastic surgery: It attracts tourists because of the low price and the quality of services. In the middle of 90’s a lot of clinics have opened and a high competition appear. The clinics’ directors had to invest in high technology and high qualified staff. As example a breast augmentation cost on average 6000 Euros in France, England or Germany and only 2500 Euros in Bulgaria.
- Tooth care: The prices are cheaper than in Western Europe because they are align on Bulgarian standard of living. We can find a lot of good clinics in big cities like Sofia, Burgas, Varna and Plovdiv.
Some tour operator offer “medical trip” to their customers, they organize the whole stay. Global medical travel in USA and BGmedical travel in Bulgaria are specialized on medical travel.
According to us, it could be interesting to travel abroad for surgery or medical care. Indeed, in many occidental countries a lot of people are underinsured or uninsured. It means that many people have to pay for their medical care. According to a Harvard study, in USA half of personal bankruptcies are related to medical expenses. We think that it’s sometimes the only solution to cure decay.
People have to be careful. First of all, they must check the procedure and compare with their expectations, inquire about follow-up care needed, time required for recovery, physical therapy etc… Then, they have to select the hospital by considering its accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipments and statistics like success rates. Finally, it’s essential to heck the certifications, training and repute of the surgeon.
- Attached document n°1: Couchsurfing International,Inc. Income and Expense statement 2008
- These statistics are generated on March, 31th 2010 at 5:37 am.
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