Immersion, engagement, and complete involvement of a tourist in a place, its people, art & culture make experiential travelling a completely different affair than vacations or holiday travel writes Jain.
Experiential travelling is not a very new thing, in the past; people would travel to distant places primarily for the exploration of natural resources and secondarily for recreation purposes. Almost every human civilization before the machine age was linked to experiential travelling. From Hiuen Tsang to Vasco da Gama, the arrival of all the famous travelers to India was a big turning point in the history of this country. The migration of Parsis from Persia to greener pastures leads them to India that not only gave a new home to the exiled community but also strengthened Indian Economy. Today, the tour & travel industry has evolved as sustenance is no more a challenge and people want to experience happiness through exploration of nature and cultures.
Beyond the standards
When travel is shorn off all the menial worries, it induces people to immerse themselves in the aura and surroundings of the place they are visiting. This gave way to experiential travelling and saw an increase of 21 per cent in travelers budget on tour related activities. Experiential travelers prefer extensive visits for the complete exploration of their dream destination. They enjoy every interesting thing that they meet and come across. Rather than spending maximum time on sightseeing, visiting historical places, and shopping at popular markets, experiential travel enthusiasts exploit every possible minute to feel the place.
The rising share of experiential travelling in the industry can be understood more clearly with the recent statistical figures. In 2018, there were 67 per cent more travelers who started investing in outdoor activities than the previous year. Outdoor and adventurous activities such as scuba diving, mountain biking, glacier hiking, and bungee jumping were the new interests to many of the globetrotters. In addition to adventurous sports, art & culture was another top priority of experiential travelers during cultural excursions. As a result, their participation in cooking and painting has increased by 61 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively.
Novelty and personalization
Experiential travellers always search for personalized trips that may offer them greater flexibility and control. Hence, meeting the expectations of such travelers is a big challenge to trip planners who cannot delight them with run-of-the-mill packages and banal suggestions. Tour operators who have extensive knowledge and innovative ideas are performing well in the industry. Besides, experiential travelers seek native people with great geographical and cultural knowledge of the places they want to visit. Travel consultants who help them in finding such people are always appreciated by these rovers.
A shift from visiting to meeting
Immersion, engagement, and complete involvement of a tourist in a place, its people, art & culture, and food & entertainment without any privacy intrusion or fear make experiential travelling a completely different affair than vacations or holiday travel. Here, the motto of a person is not just to visit a place but to explore, interact, and feel it. And, this relationship should be rather genuine than planned because the outcome should be personalized, long-lasting, and honest. So, instead of developing customized packages for such ‘nomads’, travel consultants must offer them personalized packages that may ensure holistic and undiluted experience, right from the beginning of the journey. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this has given rise to a breed of travel bloggers, who are sharing their stories of connect to make sure that the breed of ‘experiential travelers’ get more meet for their next planned visit. They are acting as agents of change and contributing factors to the growing industry. It is for this reason we would often see people visiting far-off countryside in Europe and Latin America.