With the rise of the Experiential Age, the travel industry has a competitive edge. Travel has always been about the experience, finding that authentic connection with a place, its people and its culture. Only now, the modern traveler demands an even more enhanced experience. They don’t just want to eat Pasta alla Carbonara in Rome; they want to learn how to make it themselves. They want more hands-on, more face-to-face, more real-world interaction. For tour operators, being mindful of this shift presents a lucrative opportunity.
3 Ways to become keen on cultural immersion
1. Stimulate the senses. Whether it’s a crashing waterfall, the buzz of a coffee shop, or a local band, the sounds of our travels stay with us. Just the same, a tourist walking the streets of Seville, Spain will never forget the sweet scent of oranges. As a tour operator, you can easily turn any excursion into a sensory experience by amplifying the natural elements of your environment. Simply pair the sights with an unforgettable taste, scent or sound—something characteristic of the destination that feels authentic.
2. Add a dash of enrichment. An impactful travel experience almost always involves trying something new. Start by assessing your existing offerings. Is there a portion of your tour that can be taught in a fun and interesting way? Perhaps you can teach the local language en route to your destination. Or, you can enlist the help of a local artisan and have your guests craft their own souvenirs. Experiences designed to sharpen a skillset or ignite a passion often become the highlight of the trip.
3. Mix in local flavor. Even though many people travel to escape their daily schedules, many are fascinated by how others live, work and play. Consider showing your clients a glimpse of real family life. Invite locals to join a meal or activity and engage in conversation. By making the culture more accessible, your clients can feel more connected to the people they meet.
In short, the more cultural connections you can create for your clients, the more meaningful the experience will be. By making your tour offerings more immersive, you can meet the growing demands of your clientele—and boost your revenue.
Find out more about excursion insurance and the cruise industry at excursioninsurance.com.