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‘Real’ travel experiences disappearing- survey

Authentic and experiential travel is increasingly being marketed to consumers. But if travellers are buying them, are they buying into them too? 


It turns out many - around half - aren’t, if the findings of a new study are anything to go by. 



Looking to uncover what holidaymakers are really seeking from their time away, Trafalgar’s study found that half (49%) of those polled felt “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel authentic, and that real tourism experiences were increasingly making way for mass tourism. 


On top of that, four in ten (37%) respondents said they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip, while almost half said the real culture they did experience wasn’t unique. Overtourism could be at least partly responsible for the wonder of travel getting lost. 


According to the study, overtourism is impacting six in ten (61%) travellers, with over-crowding experienced by two in three (66%) respondents. 


The demands of social media are also taking their toll on travellers, with more than half (53%) saying “that the pressures of posting on holiday were enough to put them off”. 


Something else travellers find objectionable is the planning process, which most travellers (89%) in the survey said was stressful and difficult. 


“The opportunity to step away from daily life and pressures, be surprised and challenged, learn, appreciate and experience something new” were all key ingredients of “good” travel as was “spending time with loved ones in a relaxed state of mind ... and remembering one’s own values, personally and philosophically on life”.


Meanwhile three in four (76%) respondents said they preferred having experiences to “things” while most (71%) said they valued new experiences over the familiar. 


Are real tourism experiences being lost? Tell us your thoughts...


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 21 October 2018

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