Travel Insights: Experiences
Travel & Tourism
As travel has begun resurging, consumers are seeking unique and engaging, yet safe, experiences for their next trips. The unknowns of the delta variant have caused some travelers to decrease confidence (44% of travelers have postponed or canceled due to delta), while others eagerly plan travel experiences (68% expresses being excited to travel right now). This is an area to keep an eye on as the situation evolves. – Destination Analysts
1. Unique Stays
Travelers look to create out of the box experiences starting with the lodging itself. Vacationers seek glamping sites, unique homes, and novel hotel rooms to ensure their stay is unforgettable.
- 7 in 10 (69%) consumers want to be able to filter for unique stays on Airbnb – Airbnb
- In 2021, the number of searches for unique homes on Airbnb has grown 94% compared to the same period in 2019. – Airbnb
- Campers of all experience levels are craving unique ways to get outdoors in 2021, whether it’s a new camper interested in RVing (58%) or a veteran camper wanting to try a glamping experience (48%) – Kampgrounds of America 2021 North America Camping Report
- “V8 Hotel In Germany Lets You Sleep In Beds Constructed From Real Cars.” V8 Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany, offers beds designed from luxury car parts. – Design Taxi
2. Spontaneous Encounters
Surprise elements add wonder, excitement and allure to conventionally planned experiences. As people return to travel, they are craving spontaneity in their vacation experiences.
- 89% of Americans plan to be more spontaneous than ever in 2021 – Hotels.com 2021 Upgrade Report
- Surprise Travel Planning: Pack Up + Go plans three-day getaways where the destination is a surprise – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- Travel company Black Tomato’s unique service called Blink creates bespoke luxury traveling experiences in unusual and unexpected places. Past trips have included glamping in the Uyani Salt Flats in Bolivia and overlooking the Mekong River in Southeast Asia – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- Picnics in the City is a Houston based business that takes away the stress of organizing a date and provides charming, unique pop-up picnic experiences. They pick out romantic locations across the city and provide all the food and place settings. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
3. Travel & Tech
Leading-edge technology continues to drive compelling new experiences that blur online and offline worlds. Travelers utilize technology before, during, and after their trips as digital tools that empower and enhance travel.
- U.S. downloads for apps in the travel category more than doubled in May 2021 compared to the same period last year, climbing 123% to a total of 24.7 million. – Sensor Tower Data in Fast Company
- Interactive Holocaust Survivor Installment: The Holocaust Museum Houston recently debuted the interactive ‘A Celebration in Survival’ exhibition including an audio/visual installation entitled New Dimensions in Technology, which allows patrons to experience virtual conversations with a Holocaust survivor. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- Seattle Mariners AR Kingdome: An upgrade of the Seattle Mariners T-Mobile ballpark features a new rooftop gathering deck with an Augmented Reality Experience that allows fans to view the team’s first home, the Kingdome, augmented over the new CenturyLink Field that sits in its place. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- VR Travel: Amazon Explore allows users to take one-of-a-kind, immersive trips on their computer, with integrated VR capability that breaks new ground in virtual travel. The platform includes a curated list of hosts offering virtual experiences that replicate animal safaris, tours, live entertainment, and more, with expert guides that ensure each user can actively participate. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
Attention to basic human senses is emerging as a newly nuanced focus in the battle for consumer attention. Travelers seek elevated sensory experiences as a key part of their trips.
- More than 40% of American travelers report having high interest in foodie-ism -Destination Analysts
- Night Garden: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has holographic butterflies, floating orchids and flying fairies through multiple acres of magical experiences, transforming itself into an immersive nighttime experience for adults and children alike. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- New York Food Film Fest: The New York Food Film Festival literally gives viewers a taste of what it’s like to be in the movies they’re watching. The festival has a range of food-themed viewing parties where viewers watch movies that prominently feature different foods with those same foods served to viewers in attendance. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- Sensory Spa: Whisperlodge is positioned as a “spa for the senses”—an attempt to translate the popular YouTube experience of ASMR (auto-sensory meridian response, a kind of pleasant tingling) into a relaxing spa treatment. Whisperlodge creates intimate, immersive hour-long sessions that aim to “work one-on-one with each guest in a series of visual, auditory, and haptic treatments designed to relax the body and mind.” – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
5. Inner Space
The opportunity to reconnect with our inner selves becomes increasingly valued by consumers who feel overstimulated by the world around them. Travel has become a means of deeper escape and experience of self-reflection.
- Women are focusing on self-care this summer and traveling for different reasons than men. 29% of women are taking a vacation this summer to improve mental health and as an act of self-care, compared to only 17% of men. – Quicken
- Get Lost Travel: Black Tomato’s Get Lost service takes you to unknown, uncharted destinations and charges you with exploring your way through them. By starting with the feeling of being genuinely lost, you will set out (under the distant watch of a dedicated support team) to find your inner steel, beliefs, and passion to lead yourself to the journey’s end. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- Camp Tazo: In a collaboration with rapper RZA, Tazo tea released a series of five curated tracks designed to help listeners overcome mental barriers and teach them how to explore their minds. The audio guides are a complement to an actual retreat, called Camp Tazo, a guided exploration experience in Staten Island, N.Y., led by RZA himself. The two-day camp leads participants through experiences that help them to discover their own creative potential. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies
- Getaway Houses: Getaway is a service for booking quiet cabins designed for escaping busy life to take time in nature and rest. All cabins provide the essentials as well as a cellphone lockbox with the goal of unplugging to have some alone time or to better connect with loved ones. Getaway also offers packing lists, recipes and reflections to facilitate relaxation in nature. – Kantar 2021 U.S. Energies