Travel and tourism nowadays include many different segments of being able to explore the world. From agrotourism to alternative tourism and many other definitions in between, the message is clear: more and more travelers are looking for positive ways to experience the world and we are here for it. One of these modes of travel is experiential tourism.
What is Experiential Tourism?
The term experiential tourism or experiential traveling has been making its way across the globe and we are here to explain experiential tourism and why it is important.
Experiential travel can be defined as a form of tourism that focuses on engaging with a country’s culture, food, history, heritage and environment.
Rather than going to a foreign country and relying on familiar sights and experiences from back home, experiential tourism relies on truly that….experiencing.
The experience itself can be leisurely or even enjoyable but truly allows you to experience any given moment or event. For instance, many people from a different cultural background may take some cultural awareness like Siesta, which is practiced in many different countries as an experiential touristic experience.
Which can also be commonly phrased as immersion tourism. The goal for the traveler is to take part in the culture and place they are visiting.
Why is Experiential Tourism Important?
Experiential tourism also demands that the traveler take personal involvement through different social and emotional cues. There is communication, even if it is not language for the host (local of the country) and guest (traveler) to work together in bridging the experience through their different perspectives and experiences.
And according to experts, anything that stimulates our senses, heart and mind play a central role in how we make meaning of the world around us. They can also encourage connectivity through meaning and memory. Imagine leaving a destination and coming back to be able to share insightful stories and traveling experiences? Priceless!
For instance, think of a time, right now, where you traveled and may have subconsciously participated in experiential tourism. Did you figure it out? Good! How much more meaningful or perceptive was the experience versus your other traveling experiences?
When the Grand Tour of India began, local tourism benefited greatly from this experience as people were more motivated to travel through the engagement of locals (Bashir and Gupta, 2017).
And financially, it shows. American Express, a credit card company conducted their own survey in 2013 which highlighted that over 72% of its respondents said they would prefer spending their money on experiences rather than things.
On the other hand, when locals involved in tourism consider keeping their ancestral traditions alive as part of the traveling experience, it actually allows for these ancestral traditions to get passed down, rather than dying off. (Sotomayor et al, 2017).
But, how do we ensure that experiential tourism continues to stay authentic?
This question is both easy and difficult to answer. Philosophically, we build our experiences and perception of the world around us. In tourism, it is hard to truly identify what is being local/authentic versus commercialized.
However, at Global Tribes we have somewhat of the answer, existentialism aside.
For us, working with our local/inbound partners who are centrally located in the destinations and areas we operate, gives us first hand experience in including some unique experience and activities without the fear of commercialization.
By creating this network, we defer unto our partners to help us keep authenticity alive through experiential tourism. Imagine visiting Jordan and learning about traditional cooking through an ancestral heritage or going to Kyrgyzstan and staying in a Yurt or meeting the Amazigh of Tunisia. We have it all and our local/inbound partners are here to preserve it all.
To enjoy experiential touristic experiences and see the importance for yourself, check out Global Tribes now to see our pre-planned packages in new and exciting destinations.
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.Albert Einstein
Experiential Tourism Trends:
- Learn a new skill set
- Immerse yourself in a cultural health and wellness practice
- Eat or try a new food or gastronomic cultural wander
- Learn a new language
- Explore your ancestry or roots
At Global Tribes, thankfully, we offer many modes of experiential tourism trends that you have the option of trying. At least half of our experiences included in our travel packages, include some, if not all the elements to explore your senses.