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The new travel trend that’s all about looking to the past

Heritage travel booming

With around one third of Australia’s population born overseas, and therefore an even greater number with roots abroad, it’s little wonder heritage travel has taken off. 



According to new research by Airbnb and genomics company 23andMe, the majority (58%) of Australians have travelled to at least one country of their heritage, while most (56%) would even give up alcohol for a year in exchange for a fully funded trip to a place of ancestry. 


The reason behind the surge could simply be a desire to understand their roots, with 70% of Australians considering a heritage travel trip for this reason alone. 


Or it could be that it has never been easier to learn about one’s ancestry, thanks to more readily available information and at-home genetic tests, which one in three (62%) Aussies in the study said they would like to try. 


The opportunity to experience culture and art, to interact with local people and to enjoy their cuisine are some of the other reasons behind the popularity of heritage tourism. 



Airbnb says the number of travellers using its service for heritage trips has risen by 500% since 2014, with four in five (78%) journeys taken in pairs or alone and guests aged over 60 the most likely to undertake a heritage trip. 


Acknowledging this rise in popularity, Airbnb has teamed up with 23andMe to make it easier for travellers to discover their roots abroad. 


As part of the new initiative, once a customer has received their ancestry reports from 23andMe, “they will be able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their native countries”.

Have you taken a heritage trip before? Was the main reason just to learn more about your roots?

Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 22 May 2019

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