Travel Insights: Finding Purpose in Travel
Travel & Tourism
Coming out of times of adversity many people are seeking goodness and craving a deeper sense of meaning in their lives and through their actions. Travel has long been an outlet for “finding yourself” but today’s travelers are expanding their desire for purposeful travel to include positive impacts on themselves, communities, and the globe.
After a taste of the positive environmental impacts that came from the pause of travel, travelers are adamant about finding ways for their passions of travel and environmental values to coexist.
- 56% of those under age 50 say they would be “much” or “somewhat more likely” to use an online platform which offers the ability to search for alternate energy and green accommodations. - Air BnB Report in AP News
- Off season travel is seen as the new aspiration for luxury travelers, helping to reduce over-tourism: 80% of luxury travelers indicate they are willing to travel to destinations during the offseason so that it is less crowded - American Express Global Travel Trends Report
Destination marketers and travel brands should be ready to enact strategies to promote off season travel to balance visitor volume and create sustainable tourism economies.
The pandemic has increased a desire for consumers to give back, and many are looking for ways to make their travels more rewarding for the communities they visit as well as themselves.
59% of respondents are interested in ‘philantourism’ the act of choosing a vacation or experience in order to support a destination through tourism - American Express Global Travel Trends Report
Don’t discount the impact smaller, hyper-local initiatives can have on helping travelers feel good about giving back. Find ways to organize itineraries or trip ideas around opportunities for philanthropy such as a financial contribution to a local cause or a day of volunteering.
A global pandemic has turned consumers’ hearts towards local communities. Whether being a tourist in one’s own region or visiting somewhere new, travelers have a reinvigorated desire to connect with the local offerings and support local businesses.
62% of respondents agree that travel companies should ensure that their vacations help the local people and economy -ABTA Travel Trends
Make it easy for travelers to identify and connect with locally owned businesses, products and experiences both while in market and once they’ve returned home.
Diversity / Inclusion
The past year has greatly accelerated an existing demand of diversity and inclusion efforts throughout society. Now is the time for destinations and organizations to step up to meet these values through their travel offerings.
63% of Americans agree that travel creates greater cultural understanding – Expedia 2021 Travel Trends Report
Implications: Given travel’s unique ability to connect people, places and cultures – travel brands have an opportunity to set the standard when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Brands that demonstrate actions toward inclusion stand to steal market share from those that do not.
Trying times have heightened the desire for consumers to look in the mirror and improve themselves. Reprioritization of relationships, focus on health, and valuing meaningful experiences are all noble pursuits that many travelers will seek to gain through trips.
Americans are looking to continue improving themselves, with trips with loved ones and active vacations as means to do so: (43%) plan to stay more connected to friends and family after the pandemic, (42%) plan to stay more physically active. - Harris Poll
Implications: Encourage travelers to try something new whether it’s making a personal pilgrimage, experiencing “dark skies”, meeting new people or learning a new language – give travelers reasons to push themselves out of traditional comfort zones.