How to Engage Transformative Travelers
For many trip takers, getting in touch with themselves is just as important as the destination.
We’ve talked about experiential travel and voluntourism, but there is a new type of travel making a name for itself: transformative travel, which stresses personal development through cultural engagement. According to a February 2017 Skift poll of 1,350 upscale travelers, 54.3 percent rated the importance of transformative travel experiences a 7 or higher out of 10. And interest is growing; in the same study, more than half of respondents said they value transformative travel more than they did three to five years ago.
“Transformative travel certainly includes activities that contribute to bettering a destination but goes a step further when the traveler uses that experience to grow, learn and incorporate the lessons of those efforts into daily life,” says Eric Rupp, a partner at the Transformational Travel Council. For example, travelers may consciously challenge their worldview by engaging with non-Western perspectives or volunteering and applying what they’ve learned to their daily life.
Resorts can help facilitate these experiences. “To assist in the pursuit of transformative travel, resorts can provide opportunities and support for the types of experiences that can inspire change.” Consider activities that help travelers exchange ideas, connect with others, embrace a different culture or immerse themselves in environments that foster reflection and rejuvenation. “If a resort as a whole approaches its role as an opportunity to support a traveler through this type of journey, it can be of great help,” Rupp says.
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