Tourism

“Experiences are officially the new travel souvenir”: Tripadvisor

Christian Fleetwood

Holiday-makers are ditching the souvenir market by instead coming home with a new skill.

Workshops and classes are among the most popular global experiences for holidaymakers, according to TripAdvisor’s 2019 Experience Trends Report – with Kyoto, Japan and Venice, Italy at the top of the list.

Among the most popular classes of the year were trips to San Juan for Salsa dancing and Cambodia for traditional pottery classes.

Unique experiences are becoming the most popular for travellers, TripAdvisor noted, with some extraordinarily kooky classes making it to the list.

“Global travellers were dusting off their swords and channelling their inner Maximus last year,” TripAdvisor said, with Rome’s Gladiator School the most booked experience of 2018.

The report also highlighted that family-friendly activities, shore excursions and wellness experiences are the fastest growing experience categories for Australian travellers.

“Immersive experiences are officially the new travel souvenir,” said Janice Lee Fang, a TripAdvisor spokesperson.

“Our data shows Australian travellers increasingly want more from their holidays than just photographs of iconic sites and landmarks— instead, there’s a growing appetite for activities that will lead to unforgettable memories. Whether it’s a pottery class in Siem Reap or having breakfast with Orangutans at the Singapore Zoo, Aussie travellers are looking to live, breathe and experience everything a place has to offer.”

Iconic view of Daigoji Temple in autumn. Kyoto, Japan. A World Heritage Site since 1994
Iconic view of Daigoji Temple in autumn. Kyoto, Japan. A World Heritage Site since 1994

Around the world, family-friendly tours remain the biggest boomer, with a 200 per cent growth in popularity since last year. Travel operators in Australia saw much of the same with a 106 per cent increase in popularity for family holidays year-by-year.

TripAdvisor’s top 5 family-friendly destinations for 2019 were:

  • Paris, France (+835 per cent)
  • London, United Kingdom (520 per cent)
  • Florence, Italy (441 per cent)
  • New York City, United States (387 per cent); and
  • Faro, Portugal (348 per cent).

Scandinavia continues to be the travel-lovers go to for rugged, earthen beauty and a history-buffs for the guilty pleasure of Viking culture. Visits to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik have grown 637 per cent, year-by-year.

Unsurprisingly, wellness packages continue to be some of the most booked holiday experiences globally with a year-by-year increase of 69 per cent.

New Zealanders unanimously lead the way for national growth. Bookings for wellness packages by Kiwis have jumped 362 per cent year-by-year. Aussies have been a little slower, with a 34 per cent increase in wellness travel bookings from the previous year.

Charming woman meditating alone

For your latest foray into wellness, we recommend checking out some of Bali’s latest offerings, including LHM’s most recent The Legian Seminyak.

Read more here: LHM releases new wellness packages

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

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