Experiential travel has been on the rise for a few years now and it will continue to grow as the modern-day traveller searches for more meaning and experiences across the globe. Global destinations that previous generations had difficulty travelling to are now easily accessible to anyone. The world is now a far more open place and has its doors open for the traveller that wants more. All two point four destinations are experiential travel itineraries and focus on wellness, adventure, culture, nature and culinary.
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The popularity of fly and flop is certainly not over, but in many instances, this approach is looking a bit dated. People know what to expect and are now searching for more immersive experiences and unique things to do. The rise of the internet and social media has connected the world and people now have more choice rather than the more traditional days of going to a travel agent and staying with one of the larger “one size fits all” tour operators. People now want something more tailored to their needs rather than the masses and experiential travel caters to this.
So what has led to this change in attitude? We consider 4 factors that have undoubtedly played a major part in this shift and look at past experiential travel trends.
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Experiential travel factors
1: Social media
Social media, especially Instagram has increased the needs and wants for experiential travel. With people posting vibrant bright pictures of food from around the world. People are seeing that there is a whole world of beautiful food out there and they want to experience this rather than the hotel buffet of years ago. They are able to see traditional boat rides, majestic hikes and the opportunity to connect with local communities rather than just the hotel guests when they are poolside.
On the flip side of this, social media is facing a backlash over the false image it can portray and terms like the ‘gram life have led to more people searching for authenticity in recent times. They don’t want the resort holiday where they are sheltered from the communities and areas. Real experiential travel takes the experts from the local area and connects them with holiday goers, giving them an insight into the country, community and something they would never get in a resort. The want for this type of immersive travel is continuing to rise at unprecedented levels.
3: Pop culture
Pop culture also boosts experiential travel. Think Game Of Thrones with locations such as Ireland and Croatia. People want to feel like they are part of the show and want to see how the locations look in real life, getting a behind the scenes look. Popular food shows are also boosting travel for people with a demand for culinary experiences, as they see the best street food the world has to offer and want to sample the local delicacies that are now accessible.
Technology is continuing to make it easier for people to explore all corners of the world. Apps such as language translators, review apps, and maps make it easy for the modern-day traveller to navigate themselves into new experiences. A number of tech giants such as Google are investing heavily in this industry with an ever-expanding number of features being added to their Google Trips platform.
Shed the routine
Package style holidays will always offer more value for money and for those seeking it, a familiarity making it the easier option. For others, travel is seen as an opportunity to challenge themselves and to shed the routine and normality that shrouds their everyday life.
One person’s travel heaven is another person’s hell which, to be honest, is a good thing because if everyone strived for the same, life would be pretty dull and a bit more overcrowded.
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