Forget the ‘one-size-fits-all’ package – travellers want meaningful experiences that offer inspiration, intelligent insights and self-improvement. Increasingly learning opportunities will inform how we travel.
When we travel precious time and money are invested in return for life-enhancing experiences. No wonder we expect so much from today’s service providers. Total Transparency, open dialogue and collaboration are essential to co-creating a journey that fulfils our aspiration and dreams.
Cloud Culture and social networks invite us to exchange valuable insights about our destination and these days more and more of us are experts at finding the best deals. We also look to curate ‘life changing experiences’ – often spending more time in planning than on the journey itself. However, the sheer quantity of data and peer-to-peer reviews is overwhelming – therefore traditional travel agents have now become specialist ‘travel editors’, facilitators and trusted guides who work with us to make our trip truly unique.
Increasingly people are migrating for work, career and life experiences. With a predicted global mobile workforce of 1.19 billion by 2013, mobility has become everyday. This also means travel has taken on an entirely new meaning. To deliver real value and engage with the true needs of the Global Citizen, agility, convergence and seamless services must be incorporated into each and every offering.
We may be immersed in another culture, but we will demand affinity networks and familiar touch points that let us learn and share. New Economies are poised to redefine the market – both as travel destinations and travellers – and they bring a set of cultural value sets, expectations for connectivity and service standards that already profoundly influence on the way we experience the world.
Tourism as a learning experience and educational tool is a truly widespread trend. In particular, responsible travel is a growing niche – while preserving our fragile ecology we discover new places and people, becoming a participant in their world. Experiencing local culture – either as a travelanthropist (travel + philanthropist) or voluntourist – enables us to become responsible citizens, doing our bit to create A Better World.
Alongside volunteering holidays – said to increase life expectancy and reduce symptoms of ill health – there are fresh opportunities in tapping into our desire for Intelligent Health and quality of life. Experiences that include life coaching, bespoke fitness and pampering feed our minds and refresh our bodies. Wellbeing and Happiness is also a core part of corporate social responsibility – and a key concern of governments – so paid ‘time out’ for may soon become the norm.
Travel, done well, gives us a slice of The Good Life we crave – but service and tour operators must enable us to co-create the journey, so that it delivers personal meaning, education and inspiration. They must remember, too, that travellers are no longer just passive observers and consumers, but pro-active explorers and producers.
Recharge and Reconnect
The forecast for tomorrow’s travel industry is bright, provided it engages in meaningful dialogue and focuses on delivering economic, social and emotional value. So perhaps, business travellers of the future may be encouraged to add on cultural or ‘mind body spirit’ experiences on either side of a business trip to help them recharge and reconnect.
1. Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome
2. Louise Bourgeois, Tate Modern >>
3. Pick & Mix section at Intrepid Travel, London
4. The Weather Project at Tate Modern by Olafur Eliasson >>
5. Anne Lise Kjaer at Intrepid Travel, London >>
6. Juvet landscape Hotel by Jensen & Skodvin Norway
7. Mývatn Nature Baths, Iceland
8. Askja Lunar landscape, Iceland
9. The Traveller’s Guide to Happiness – travelsupermarket.com
Anne Lise is a keynote speaker and works across the world out of London base