The Rise of Experiential Travel: Beyond Accommodations

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What is Experiential Travel:

Tourists and tourists’ expectations of a place are always developing. What people desire from their vacations is no longer confined to guided tours of a city or region’s highlights. There is a yearning, a drive, to go beyond the surface characteristics of a location and investigate it more thoroughly. Travelling has taken a more experience-driven road, which is why experiential travel has gradually been on the increase over the last few years. Experiential travel is often characterized as a style of travel in which travellers immerse themselves in a destination’s culture, history, and people.

Experiential travel is a similar concept. It was initially referenced in 1985, in John Gattorna’s book Insights in Strategic Retail Management. This idea was stated as being “where the destination is not as important as the experience which can be had there”.

The Future of Experiential Travel:

This shift in travel preferences is being driven by a need for connection and significance, as well as a rising awareness of how our decisions affect the world around us.

The future of experience travel will be defined by a commitment to sustainability, community, and cultural interaction.

According to a survey on, the worldwide market for tours and activities reservations is estimated to reach $266.7 trillion in 2027.

Types of Experiential Travel

As a result, the experiential/adventure travel sector will become one of the most rapidly expanding tourist segments. The tastes of millennials (Americans born between 1980 and 1996) and Generation Z (those born after 1997) are a major factor for the growth in experience travel. According to Bloomberg, 86 percent of millennials prefer to travel for experience and culture, immersing themselves in their location, with 60 percent believing real culture is crucial.

Experiential Travel Statistics

The growth of experience travel has ushered in a new era for the hospitality sector.

Travelers will seek out venues that allow them to learn about and engage with local people while limiting their environmental effect.

Authenticity has become the driving reason behind their travel choices, and hoteliers must rise to the task of delivering these expectations.

According to TripAdvisor’s Travel in 2022 Report, over three-quarters of visitors are eager to visit new destinations, with new experiences and learning about history and culture following closely behind.

The Rise of Experiential Travel:

To meet the needs of experience tourists, hotels must go beyond the conventional boundaries of their resorts and actively connect with local communities.

Collaborations with local craftsmen, cultural groups, and companies can provide opportunity for travelers to learn about the destination’s cultures, traditions, and way of life.

The increase of experience travel is a good trend in the travel industry. It allows visitors to connect with the areas they visit in a more meaningful way, while simultaneously promoting sustainable tourism.

As the travel business evolves, experiential travel is expected to become increasingly more popular.

experience travel trends

Experiential travel entails getting away from daily life and experiencing something really unique and authentic. There are several ways to participate in this type of adventure, ranging from safaris and glacier chasing to community stays and cultural retreats. New figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) highlight the recent growth in travel, revealing that destinations around the world welcomed 22% more international tourists in the third quarter of 2023 than in the same period in 2022, reflecting a strong northern hemisphere summer. According to the group, foreign tourist earnings might exceed $1.4 trillion by 2023.

As the global tourism sector is expected to create a remarkable 110 million new jobs over the next decade, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), HBX Group presents the trends that will impact the travel industry by 2024.

Experienced travel tourists

Experienced travel has advantages for tourists, residents, and tour operators.

  • Developing new or extra revenue streams for the community.
  • Producing additional jobs and preventing residents from relocating in search of employment elsewhere.
  • Preserving the funds inside the local community, aiding in the preservation of the destination’s customs and culture.
  • Giving the tour operator the ability to offer fresh, distinctive, and reasonably priced experience trips.
  • Setting yourself out from the competitors as a tour operator or travel agency.

Westford Uni Online proudly introduces the MBA in Global Business Administration with International Tourism and Hospitality Management. Tailored for aspiring leaders, this program blends contemporary tourism trends with core managerial skills for comprehensive professional development, aligning with current market demands.


  • American Express Travel – Global Travel Trends 2022 Report 
  • Sung, H. (2004), “Classification of adventure travellers: Behavior, decision making, and target markets.” Journal of Travel Research
  • TripAdvisor ‘s “Travel in 2022: A Look Ahead” Report
  • ICHARDS, Greg (2021), “Designing creative Places: the role of creative tourism”, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 8
  • Haddouche, H. and Salomone, C. (2018), “Generation Z and the tourist experience: tourist stories and use of social networks”, Journal of Tourism Futures.

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