It’s not about stuff, it’s about moments that matter
Pictured above: Jeff Element, President
The Travel Corporation Canada
The Experience Economy
As a trend that has emerged in recent years, especially with the rise of Instagram and millennial travellers “doing it for Instagram,” we see consumers buying fewer objects, instead replacing them with experiences.
Previously, it was all about the status symbol of having “stuff,” now it’s about the telling of your experiences. People no longer post about their cars or new iPhone, but they do post about their vacations.
Due to the Experience Economy, Instagram is full of pictures of travellers venturing to Bali, Mexico, Turkey and far-off destinations, instead of new objects. And the focus on experiences as a trend will continue throughout 2019.
What the Experience Economy means for the travel industry is that consumers will continue to choose the destinations they visit and the operators they choose to go with based on the most unique experiences offered on the itinerary.
Trafalgar’s legendary Be My Guest program, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, is a great example of how more and more clients will invest in real and local experiences. Clients travelling with Trafalgar will uncover the real rich soul of each destination by connecting with locals across the world and be provided with unprecedented access to local experiences, everything from wine, olive oil and cheese tasting, to farming and organic foods from resident families. Be My Guest is always inclusive of a dining experience that clients would otherwise never have access to.
Another prime example is Luxury Gold’s The Chairman’s Collection. Handpicked by TTC’s chairman, Mr. Stanley Tollman, these are the most exclusive experiences curated by Mr. Tollman himself and offer guests the rare opportunity to meet iconic local legends such as the Duchess of Northumberland where she joins guests for a private tour of her beautifully restored gardens at her home, Alnwick Castle, or Princess Anita von Hohenberg (a direct descendant of Maria Theresa and Archduke Franz Ferdinand) for a drinks reception at Artstetten Castle, and Count Francesco Mazzei at his elegant Tuscan estate for an exclusive lunch and wine tasting. These are the kind of experiences clients are looking for now – those you cannot get from anywhere else.
Canadians also want experiences that are guilt-free.
Sustainable travel will be another trend continuing to flourish throughout 2019, and more companies will start to offer sustainable travel opportunities.
At TTC, we’re so proud to offer meaningful culturally immersive experiences that will change people’s lives through our work with The TreadRight Foundation and our ME to WE partnership.
We offer travellers the opportunity to experience the impact of holistic, sustainable development alongside local people, and this means a lot to them.
The TreadRight Foundation sits at the heart of TTC’s commitment to create a positive impact by making travel matter – safeguarding people, wildlife, and the planet for generations to come. The foundation supports over 50+ projects worldwide via its People, Wildlife and Planet pillars.
We will be seeing the revival of Egypt in 2019. All travellers from all demographics are asking for Egypt, and with our trips, it’s easy to see such an exotic destination since we have everything planned out for clients.
Malta is also popular. Insight Vacations has a new journey to Malta that was previously an extension journey, and clients enjoyed it so much the brand made it a full journey of six days.
With the royal wedding in 2018 and now royal baby fever, 2019 will also surely drive tourism to the British Isles, as the royal couple, Meghan and Harry, expect their newborn. Not to mention the continuing popularity in UK pop culture, especially on TV, such as the swooning Outlander series for Scotland and the eagerly anticipated release of the new season of The Crown for England.
Africa is also continuing to grow. For Canadians, Africa doesn’t seem so far anymore, as airlines have brought the continent a little closer to home. Millennials especially, who for the most part seek adventures rather than a “do nothing and sit on a beach” type vacation, are increasingly gravitating towards Africa according to Contiki.
The youth adventure travel operator has seen an uptick in younger Canadians booking their adventures to Africa, in particular the eastern portion of South Africa and Botswana for the wildlife experiences. South America is also continuing to grow as well; showing a rise in tourism in the region and strong travel marketing campaigns. South America is the alternative to the Caribbean, and it’s a great option for those looking to get out of the resort environment (and buffet lines) and explore and indulge in culture.