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Somewheres vs anywheres


In tourism we have had a long tradition of dividing travelers in demographical and geographical segments such as age, income, where they live and so on. On a good day we might also add interests and hobbies.

Especially if our business is targeting a niche, of course.

Nowadays, the world is changing. Work is changing. Digital nomads, remote work, workation, home offices are becoming the normal in a world where nothing is normal.

This also means the old way of segmenting people slowly might fade out.

I would put my bet on adding more focus on values and mindset. 

British journalist David Goodhart argue that the old divides are replaced, and that Britain (and the world) are divided in two different rivaling value blocks.

The Anywheres vs the Somewheres.

The anywheres tend to be educated and mobile, they value openness, fluidity and autonomy. Their perspective of the world is or could be from anywhere. Their interests and inspiration come from a broad range of places.

The somewheres have a strong sense of belonging to a place they prefer calling home, to a group and to the family. They are rooted. They are often less educated and they seek security. It feels safe with the common framework of their life. They see the world from specific places. From somewhere.

The anywheres are usually graduates and affluent members of the society. These are less than a quarter of the population in the rich countries, and much lesser than that in poor countries. Still they dominate both politics, business and society regardless of which party is in power.

A knowledge based economy – designed for the highly educated and an hour glass labour market, wiped out of the middling jobs that used to give the somewheres status. This creates friction.

Universities. We have expanded higher education, a world that anywheres flourish in, but we have removed the technical training that gave the somewheres decent jobs. Tourism is one of the answers, how can we make sure that the broader society understand this?

I believe that we as tourism professionals need to understand these two types. Not only to understand potential clients, but to understand the value chain, to understand the impact on the local destinations and what the modern world is creating. How can we use this knowledge when we make our investments in tourism in the local host communities? The big picture and the small?

I believe this is something worth our consideration. 

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