As traveling picks up, new trends are constantly taking shape in the travel industry. The travellers who earlier planned a holiday for sightseeing or just relaxing in hotels are now willing to walk the extra mile for holistic and enriching traveling. They now want more excitement and look for unique experiences. Their new interests are making them add cultural immersion, culinary experiences, and participation in local activities and adventures to their travel bucket list. The growing appetite for exclusive and enriching experiences has given a fillip to experiential traveling.
The millennial and Gen Z generations who are full of energy want experiential travel to come out of their comfort zone, take more risks, and feel that adrenaline rush by visiting destinations in a more intimate and authentic way. Travelers today want to travel with a purpose. They want to get an elevated and diverse experience for which they are booking tickets to hidden destinations. Traveling with a purpose like knowledge building, volunteering in local activities, and others make them feel a part of rich stories which they can share with their friends, families, and larger audience after returning from the trip on social media. To understand it better, we got in touch with Liberatha Peter Kallat, Founder and Managing Director, DreamFolks. Here’s what she has to say.
Social media making experiential traveling more aspirational
A major reason behind the growing popularity of experiential traveling is social media. It has brought travellers closer to never-seen-before destinations. The users daily engage with their favourite travel influencers online and aspire to follow their lifestyles. They want to engage in similar kinds of experiences not only to fulfill their aspirations but also to enrich themselves. Smartphones have brought the world to their fingertips. They can look for travel destinations online, explore unseen locations, book experiences and find the best options that go well with their budgets or plans easily.
Experiential traveling further empowers them as storytellers. They can use social media to tell unique stories to their followers. The demand for such content has grown significantly and travellers can benefit from it by becoming travel content creators. This increase in online engagement and visibility also benefits the destinations and acts as a catalyst for tourism growth and economic development. Further, the users can communicate with each other, build communities, and share positive stories and experiences to benefit the overall ecosystem.
Enhancing the travel experience
While experiential traveling is fun and exciting, it takes a lot of effort to do the actual traveling. Travelers need to feel energized and fresh to make the most of it. They spend a lot of time at airports, waiting for flights, and in long queues which leads to time and energy consumption, leaving them tired or exhausted. Looking at such challenges, there is an increased interest in airport lounges which have emerged as the go-to option for busy travellers to take a break or a nap, eat delicious food, relax and feel charged before stepping out for their next journey. With the advent of financial influencers taking over social media, more and more people are aware of the premium facilities clubbed with the exciting offers they can enjoy with their debit and credit card. The lounges are becoming popular as they give specialised access to private rooms, have showers, and offer services like spas which can be great for travellers who have layovers between longer flights. They give them much-needed comfort and curb travel-related anxieties as well. The travellers know that they have a comfortable, reliable, and safe place to spend time while travelling and thus it results in an enhanced traveling experience.
Experiential traveling is set to gain more popularity. The growing interest of travellers in unique, never-seen-before experiences and the wish to explore new places, cultures, traditions, cuisines, and ways of living in a holistic manner will strengthen the trend in the coming days.