Travel Insights: The Positive Impacts of Travel

April 16, 2024  |  Victoria Simmons

Travel & Tourism

Travel has a profound impact on our society and our lives. It is an incredible economic engine fueling communities, producing an economic footprint of $2.8 trillion, and supporting more than 15 million American jobs in 2023 alone (U.S. Travel Association). The positive impacts of travel go far deeper than dollar signs. Travel provides people with the opportunity to connect more with others, to experience a greater reverence for nature, to improve health and well-being, to open minds to different ideas and experiences, and to grow personally and professionally.

The insights below demonstrate a doubling down on the human need for connection to self, community and nature – the original tenants of why we travel. These fruitful impacts are the most valuable souvenirs travelers can bring home. From connecting into local culture, gaining new soft skills or providing access to greenscapes, the travel industry is rising to meet travelers’ needs in ways that make positive impacts on them and the communities they visit.

1. Personal & Professional Development. Professional development in travel was long associated with meetings & conventions, however, leisure and bleisure trips offer similar gains. Hotels are offering collaborative working spaces that allow travelers to be inspired by working in a new destination and interact with other professionals. Younger generations craving connection and growth leverage travel to build their interpersonal skills, help them connect with others and increase their employability.

2. Open-Mindedness & Inclusivity. Tourism helps expose travelers to new cultures, people and ways of living that can open minds to ideas and lifestyles different from their own. As travel itself is a way of building empathy, the tourism industry is increasingly working to be inclusive to people of all abilities and backgrounds.

3. Reverence for Nature. Experiencing a new place can elicit awe as visitors soak in the wonderful world we live in. Adventurous “frontier” travel, star-chasing “astro-tourism”, and visiting “dupe destinations” are rising trends that reflect travelers’ cravings for the heightened connection to nature that they feel on these trips. With this reverence for the environment, young travelers are looking to minimize their negative impact while still getting out into the world.

4. Health Benefits. Beyond spas and hotel gyms, travel offers a plethora of wellness benefits as direct and indirect effects of a trip. People are traveling to navigate transitional health moments and seeking immune support, rest, and rejuvenation. Even non-wellness-specific trips provide positive mental health boosts, particularly for younger generations.

5. Human Connections. Travel has the power of forging bonds through shared experiences and life-long memories. As people seek greater human interaction, they can leverage trips to deepen intergenerational relationships, strengthen romantic partnerships, and even form new connections with like-minded others.

For more like this download the full report. If you are interested in a conversation about these topics please reach out to [email protected].

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is Senior VP, Travel at BVK

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