Why Experiential Travel Is Not Just For Millennials

Why Experiential Travel Is Not Just For Millennials

Millenials, often known as the smartphone generation as 76% of them own smartphones globally, are often associated with experiential travel. Yet, according to TripBarometer, 2015, 69% of global travellers – of all age groups – planned to try something new in 2016.

Defined as a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture, experiential travel is growing significantly. Elements such as adventure, responsible tourism, and authentic experiences all play a role. Here are a few trends to look out for.

Age Is Just A Number

According to a recent survey by Virtuoso, the largest percentage (41%) of adventure travellers is between 50 and 65 years old compared to 14% under 35 years old. While free time and a lifetime of savings may mean more travel opportunities, the retiree market is going beyond the relaxing ‘bed and beach’ holiday.

Trust In Technology

While the role of the travel agent is still significant, digital platforms such as TripAdvisor are allowing travellers to take control. (There are 200 new user contributions to TripAdvisor every minute.) A Tnooz, 2015 study showed a whopping 95% of respondents in a TrustYou survey read reviews before booking. The Internet era is not just limited to Millenials and with more research available that ever before on digital customer journeys, simple, easy-to-use platforms such as AirBnB Experiences appeal to a broader target market.

New Alliances

The yearly growth rate of ecotourism is 5% making it an important part of any tourism strategy. Considered a sub category of experiential travel, travelling with a sustainable philosophy in mind is becoming a mandatory requirement for many travellers and while Millenials are often associated with ecotourism, recent trends show there is a natural affiliation with families. “Many people automatically turn to big theme parks, giant cruise ships, all-inclusive resorts…when they think of family travel,” says Chris Chesak, executive director of the Family Travel Association. “Those are all great products that are appropriate for families—but there’s also such a diversity of experiences that lie outside those products. We’re seeing an increasing interest in ecotourism and suppliers who consider children the next generation and stewards of the earth—they love to educate children about the impact on the land and local communities.”

Emerging Markets Are A Key Focus

The United Nations World Tourism Organization predicts that tourism in emerging economies will grow to 57 percent of the global market by 2030, an increase from 47 percent in 2010. Iran, Burma and various countries in South America were cited as top emerging destinations.

Karen will be moderating several sessions on the Global Stage at Arabian Travel Market 2017 including:

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An award-winning writer originally from England, Karen has lived the ex-pat life for the last 15 years across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Based in Dubai, Karen identified a gap in the market for specialised writing services for the travel, tourism and hospitality sector setting up Travel Ink in 2011. Matching a team of wordsmiths with client content and translation requirements, Karen steadily built the business to include some of the most high-profile hotels, airlines and tourism establishments in the region. In addition to her role as Managing Director, Karen is also the Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group and a committee member of Business Network International. Her latest achievement is winning first place at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016 with her book Dear Michael. After completing a B.A. in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Durham, a two year period teaching in Tokyo was the start of a career that combined her two great loves; travel and the English language. Moving to Dubai in 2004, Karen engaged in a sales, marketing and public relations role for a luxury hospitality company. It was a great opportunity to develop communication for luxury brands, gaining experience in writing and adapting copy for both off-line and on-line channels.

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