Tourism

How smell is the new way to capture travellers’ attention

Hannah Edensor

New research released today reveals two thirds of Australians wish they could do more than take photos to remember their holidays.

The research, commissioned by Cathay Pacific, shows that despite the average Aussie traveller snapping on average 33 pictures a day, 78 per cent of Aussies believe we’re in real danger of missing out because we’re too focused on taking photos or posting on social media.

Seven out of ten people surveyed wished they had more ways to remember their holiday experiences.

The research shows this ‘snap and dash’ culture means thousands of Aussies are spending too much time capturing and revisiting their holiday through a screen, and are neglecting their other senses, including their most powerful and evocative – the sense of smell.

One company – French rail company Thalys – executed this perfectly, when they created a pop-up travel agency that invited keen travellers to get to know the destinations they serviced via a different route: their noses.

Yep, Thalys got a bunch of curious travellers attending a pop-up travel agency, sniffing their way through 64 different parts of Europe, from “A real French breakfast” in Paris, “Latexxx” in Amsterdam and “Moments after Mass” in Cologne.

Dr Oliver Baumann, Researcher, Queensland Brain Institute, said by engaging the sense of smell, it can create real memories for travellers.

“Not only is smell our oldest sense, it also has a direct link to the hippocampus – the main memory centre of the brain. Scent can therefore bring back memories much faster and stronger than any of our other senses,” he said.

To help Australians avoid forgetting their trip in a flash or feeling uninspired by past Instagram images, Cathay Pacific have created Parfums de Voyage – a scientifically crafted perfume designed to ignite passengers’ memories long after visiting Hong Kong.

The fragrance has been designed in collaboration with a renowned perfume expert, Samantha Taylor of The Powder Room.

“I travelled around Hong Kong and immersed myself in everything on offer before I started to design the scent.

“The resulting Parfums de Voyage fragrance has a fresh, clean top note inspired by the greenery of the island, drying down to a warm, peppery base note that’s evocative of exotic spices and smoky incense.

“The scent is appropriate for both women and men,” said Taylor.

And they’re not the only companies in travel doing things differently. itravel signed a new partnership with Barrow & Bear Travel + Coffee, a business that offers the clever combination of coffee and travel bookings, while a bunch of cool Aussie agencies are reinventing what it means to be a brick-and-mortar store.

And around the world, other travel agencies are trying new and unique approaches to capture the traveller’s attention.

Rakesh Raicar, General Manager Southwest Pacific, Cathay Pacific, said, “We’re constantly looking for meaningful ways to enhance our customers’ travel experiences.

“Parfums de Voyage is a sensory souvenir we can give to our passengers to help them remember those special memories and moments they experience when they are travelling with us.”

Parfums de Voyage will be available on board select Cathay Pacific flights from October 2017.

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