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Digital Futures Report 2022

The Digital Futures Report 2022: How has the digital landscape in the leisure, fitness and activities sector changed?

December 12, 2022

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Digital planning is necessary for the creation of an adaptable and productive sector for consumers in the leisure, activities and fitness sector. As the country wrests with a new economic reality, streamlining or enhancing a consumer’s digital experience is vital for consistent engagement. With this comes the opportunity for operational streamlining and the reduction of operating costs.

The Digital Futures 2022 Report reveals to an extent what digital transformation would look like across the sector. It includes operator survey engagement, consultation and the use of online tools to embed digital plans in their organisations. Launched in August 2021, the new report looks at development in the application and understanding of digital plans since the previous year.


What does the market for digital transformation look like?

In comparison to 2021, the report saw increased engagement with digital products and technology. With the global population reaching 8 billion, the share of digital consumers has also increased. For operators, one galvanising feature they shared was an inability to predict what the consumer market might look like for the sector.

Global mobile users grew by 5.34 million from the previous year. And since 2021, internet users have risen 3.7%, with year-on-year growth pushing global penetration to 63.1%. Social media has had a similar growth, with 222 million more users reaching a total of 4.7 million people. With the current population size, the current total equals 59% of the world population.


What did the Digital Futures Report 2022 find?

There is considerable evidence for continued practical support for digital maturation in the sector. The overall score for digital maturity and effectiveness has decreased to 51 % compared to the 55% in 2021. However, with smaller operators having joined the survey, it is more representative of the industry than it has ever been.

Currently, the index puts the sector at the level of ‘Digital Experimentor’ (40-59%), which indicates operators who are making improvements but typically are missing investment, goal alignment, and rapid advances in digital planning. The cost-saving benefits of digital maturation may lead to an increasing level of this index rating in the future.

Operators who participated in 2020 and 2021 showed an overall improvement, scoring higher than the previous year on average. Three operators achieved more than 80% reaching Digital Leader Status, an increase on the single operator that achieved this rating the year before. And 24% of operators scored less than a 40% increase from the 11% in 2021.

There is a considerable difference between private and public operators. Continuing 2021’s pattern, private operators scored higher in all areas of digital maturation. The impression is that better resources indicate a greater degree of digital maturation.


What next for 2023?

Operators are aware of the need for digital planning, and with the accession of smaller operators, the survey is more representative than previously. Steps continue to be taken that prove the essential nature of digital planning for both economic development and consumer engagement within organisations. It is likely that goal alignment and investment in a digital user experience will become a top priority for maintaining participation levels into the new year.

You can find a more in-depth analysis of The Digital Futures Report here.

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