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Experience tourism is on the rise: Why should you care?

Travel has always been about experience. Whether it's experiencing different cultures or immersing yourself in what the locals do, we crave the feeling of a new adventure, right?! Whilst travellers are looking for that feeling of escapism, they are no longer content with visiting a typical tourist trap or overcrowded beach. Modern-day travellers want more than just the average tourist experience.

A growing trend within the travel industry is experience tourism. With many travellers choosing destinations based on the specific activities that they intend to take part in over simply choosing a new location, they seek to pave their own way when travelling.

The Rise of Experience Tourism

Tourists' travel behaviour is constantly changing, and a value shift from global consumerism to more personalised and meaningful experiences can be seen throughout many aspects of the industry. The demand for immersive and emotionally rich experiences is increasing, as is in-person interaction with local communities and genuine human connections. Travel is increasingly recognised as a catalyst for deeper connections, with many people passing up the opportunity to encourage their personal development, pursuing an indelible impression.

What people are looking for is an experience — whether extraordinary or not — that will make an indelible impression.

Previous research has shown that when on holiday, travellers want to experience the area as if they were local. As a result, they seek out places that are off the beaten path - places that are not completely modified by tourists nor adapted for tourists’ needs. They want to have a direct experience with local culture with 86% of millennials travelling for just that.

Millennials are widely different from previous generations in terms of expectations. Their preference for memorable experiences and activities over material goods has this generation at the forefront of experience tourism.

Millienials and Experience Tourism

The desire to travel among Millennials and Generation Z is fuelling new opportunities in technology, media, and entertainment, with 78% prioritising travelling and seeing the world over those that have previously been thought of as traditional investments, such as buying homes.

3 in 4 millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.

86% of millennials choose to experience a new culture when travelling to a new place, and compared to other generations, millennials are 13% more likely to seek travel destinations with historical or cultural importance. Millennials have a major impact on the tourism industry. They are a generation prioritising seeing the world. They travel more frequently, explore more destinations, and spend more money on holidays; whilst constantly on the lookout for new information and trends.

So, why should you care?

The experiential nature of millennials presents a growing opportunity for businesses to use experiential tourism to increase their value. Companies must adapt if they are to capture a portion of this generation's $200 billion annual travel market. Those that are implementing experiences or have experiential components will benefit from this additional economic value, winning over customers, and by using Oblvo, it has never been easier to do so.

Millennials are looking for local experiences, whether cultural, natural, artistic or culinary. They should be getting the opportunity to tailor their holidays to their preferences and enjoy experiences to reflect their personalities. It is their trip after all.


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