In this age of social media and selfies, the tourism industry is seeing more and more travellers looking for unique experiences – something they can’t see or do at home.
People are planning their time away based on the quality, diversity and novelty of the experiences on offer, which has led to an increase in the development of bespoke services that have a strong connection to the area, including ecotourism and food & wine experiences.
An ageing Australian population also means a growing interest in wellness tourism, luxury tourism and cruising, as they seek to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
These are the ones to watch…
With environmental impact on the planet becoming an increasing concern, ecotourism is a trend that is here to stay.
Ecotourism is tourism that is sustainable; it offers an experience for the tourist in the present day while simultaneously protecting the region and taking steps to enrich its future. It allows visitors to experience beautiful natural areas – but they must do their part to keep these usually fragile areas protected.
An example of ecotourism – Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, a legally protected private wilderness reserve spreading across 600 square kilometres of the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. While the resort boasts beautiful facilities and no shortage of activities, everything is done to ensure the ongoing preservation of the area itself.
Food & wine tourism
Starting with an incredibly successful ‘Restaurant Australia’ ad campaign, food and wine tourism in Australia has grown exponentially, jumping from a ranking of #10 to #6 on the world ‘food and wine’ scale in just a few years.
People are looking for a unique and authentic experience relating to fine dining or specialty cuisine. Whether it’s staying in the wineries of the Hunter Valley, or eating fresh rock lobster off the coast of Western Australia, these visitors and coming (and staying) for the food and drink. Anyone else feeling hungry all of a sudden?
Wellness tourism is travel for the main purpose of promoting good health and wellbeing. It’s becoming increasingly more common, with hotels around the world offering healthy menu options, spa services and fitness facilities.
For destination wellness tourism, think mineral baths, boot camps, and yoga & relaxation retreats around the world. The Island Experience in Brazil is just one example of a seven-day program where visitors detox and de-stress through a rigorous program of hiking, kayaking, yoga and meditation – not to mention a vegetarian diet.
Luxury tourism & cruising
Luxury tourism is defined wonderfully in this quote by Gareth Harding of The Cruise Line Ltd:
“The definition of luxury travel to me is to undertake a new experience and immerse oneself in a new destination whilst indulging in the very best levels of personal and attentive service, lavish and sumptuous accommodation, and exquisite and unrivalled levels of gastronomy. It is travel without stress, pressure of time or daily routine, where every need is pre-empted and every expectation is met and exceeded.”
Cruising is one subset of luxury tourism that is on the rise. Getting to experience personalised service and luxury facilities while you cruise the world’s oceans is one thing that people can’t seem to get enough of – and we can’t really blame them.