Comment: Experience-based holidays are here to stay

Experiences are here to stay and will only continue to grow, says Brian Young, managing director EMEA at G Adventures

I recently attended the Abta Travel Convention in Turkey and, to my delight, there was a keynote speech from Tripadvisor’s Justin Reid on his predictions for 2024 in which he predicted “experiences will triumph over fly and flop”.

Those of you who attended the Atas Conference in October will know that I have been preaching this message for some time now. I tweeted about Justin’s slide and received an interesting reply from a good friend, who said: “No one triumphs over anyone”.

I agree with this, but my sentiment is that experience-based trips will become more relevant, more popular and will see huge growth within the global travel industry. We are seeing this already with the continuing rise of the adventure travel sector.

I do not dispute that people sometimes need to take a break to lie in the sun and ‘flop’. I love to do this as much as the next person, but people are now wanting more. They are looking for deeper and more immersive experiences, they want to create memories that bond them as a family or with other kindred spirits. It’s why we have so many repeat customers and it’s also why we find that a lot of our travellers book again with friends they have made on previous trips.

Adventure travel is a different experience altogether. It’s unifying, it’s meaningful, it’s exciting, it brings cultures and people together unlike any other holiday, and at the same time, you get to see some of the most breathtaking places in the world.

So, I stand strong and do not apologise for my view on this. Experiences are here to stay and will only continue to grow as more people realise how much more fulfilling this way to travel  can be.

Adding to that, travelling with G Adventures means not only having the most amazing experience, travellers can be confident that they are making a positive impact too. Our tours are built on meaningful relationships with local communities and directly benefit the people and places we visit.

Many of our trips visit community tourism projects which support women and children, indigenous communities and environmental conservation. We also help communities adapt to the growing impacts of climate change by planting a tree for every day a traveller is on an adventure with us.

The transformative power of travel is most real when travellers see first hand the impact their travel choices have on others. This is why I think experience based travel and what we do at G Adventures is so exhilarating – a lot more fun than lying horizontal for a week.

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