New research has revealed a large number of Australians are embracing a new travel trend – ‘heritage travel’ – whereby they visit destinations their ancestors are from in an attempt to get closer to their roots.
According to the study by Airbnb and personal genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe, 58 per cent of Aussies with known ancestry outside of Australia have travelled to at least one country from their heritage.
The research also found that 62 per cent of Aussies would like to take a test to determine their heritage, and 56 per cent would give up alcohol for a year in exchange for a fully-funded trip to a place of ancestry.
Aussies are particularly interested to pursue ancestry travel to better understand the history of their roots, with the research finding that 70 per cent consider a heritage travel trip for this exact reason.
Some of the other top reasons include the opportunity to experience art and culture, to interact with the local people and enjoy their cuisine.
To coincide with the study, Airbnb and 23andMe have teamed up to make travelling to your roots easier.
On 23andMe, once a customer receives their ancestry reports, they will be able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their native countries.
Additionally, Airbnb now has dedicated pages that correspond with 23andMe’s genetic populations, so that travellers coming to Airbnb’s site will be able to easily plan a heritage trip.
Sam McDonagh, country manager for Australia at Airbnb, said: “At Airbnb, we believe that authentic travel experiences help you connect with local cultures and create a sense of belonging anywhere in the world, and what better way to do that than travelling to your roots.
“We’re proud to team up with 23andMe, global leaders in genetic testing, to help Aussies learn more about their genes and ancestry and make it easier for travellers to plan trips that are as unique as their DNA.”
Robin Smith, head of ancestry product at 23andMe, said: “We’ve heard from so many of our customers that they not only discover something new about their heritage through 23andMe, but also that they want a way to take this further and explore their roots.
“We’re excited to team up with Airbnb to encourage people to travel more meaningfully, or even explore their roots in their own backyard.”