Travel has always been about experiencing different cultures. Many consumers today want more from their trips than just laying on a beach, visiting an overcrowded tourist site or walking through a museum. The modern savvy traveler wants more than the average tourist experience.
An increasing trend in the travel industry is experience tourism. This is where the traveler engages in a specific activity during their visit to the chosen destination.
The demographic most interested in experience tourism are millennials. This age group is putting off purchasing homes and many other material items in exchange for the experience of a lifetime. According to a Harris Group poll conducted in 2016, 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend their money on vacations or experiences.
There are several different types of experience tourism to choose from. Tour companies have been paying attention and are designing packages to accommodate these trends. In 2018, an increase began with booking these experiences and activities as part of the vacation experience.
Most Popular Experience Tourism Categories
These types of trips can be for people that travel to experience different types of cuisine. This is also known as Foodie tourism. The various options in this niche include street food walking tours, wine tastings, visits to specific restaurants, and even cooking classes in ethnic cuisine.
This is truly living like a local. In culture tourism, travelers can participate in local cultural rituals, or stay with locals in their destination to get the most authentic cultural experience. This can also include giving something back through voluntourism, where the visitor can contribute to the society by volunteering their time for a chosen cause or charity.
Since DNA testing has become widely available and affordable, many are embarking on a quest to explore their roots with heritage or ancestry tourism. Many consumers have planned trips based on their DNA results. At the destination, they may visit museums and even attend a local cultural festival.
If a consumer’s idea of the ultimate travel experience is an active outdoor adventure, there are many tour operators that are ready to help them fulfill their needs. The many examples of adventure tourism include zip lining, surfing, safaris and hiking. For the extreme adventure enthusiast, tours are operated in riskier activities such as skydiving and mountain climbing.
Dark Tourism is a kind of tourism that explores the macabre or darker part of world history. Examples of this include visits to World War II era sites such as concentration camps like Dachau or Auschwitz. Some brave souls like to explore catacombs located underneath cities like Paris, where you will see stacks of bones from overflowing 17th century cemeteries. Tourists interested in natural disasters may visit the ancient city of Pompeii to explore the ruins and view the citizens entombed in the ash from that fateful day in 79 AD.
Luxury experience travel packages are available to those that want and can afford the best. Consumers can spend some time in luxurious hotel rooms or homes that differ greatly from where they currently reside. This market also concentrates on a personalized experience, where the traveler communicates their specific preferences or needs to the property which arranges all details before arrival.
is a rapidly growing travel trend. In 2017, the wellness market grossed approximately $639 billion USD and is predicted to grow about seven and half percent yearly through 2022. Spa experiences can be arranged for those who want to spend time pampering themselves. They can schedule various spa and beauty treatments and even a couples massage. India has become the forerunner destination in the wellness tourism sector. In India many venues offer yoga classes, meditation specific retreats and many other wellness programs.
Each traveler out there has their own idea of their ultimate travel experience. The days of dull and ordinary vacations are long over. As the travel experience trend continues, the industry will see more consumers from all age and economic groups seek their own unique travel experiences. Now that the pandemic is winding down, people will be eager to come back into travel with more passion for the experience than ever before.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories