A different way of seeing the world
“Experiential tourism” has become a popular term for travel marketers, but it can mean different things to different people. For some, experiential travel means doing anything that falls outside of a standard sightseeing, museum-going itinerary. For others, it is defined by interactions with locals or by going to places that might not be considered tourist attractions at all.
The definitions might be different, but the goals of experiential travelers are usually similar: to immerse themselves in a way that leads to some sort of discovery, insight or inspiration. This travel philosophy is usually championed by fully independent travelers (those who travel without help from agents or guides), but tour companies and even non-profit organizations have embraced the trend, promising transformative experiences to people who buy their vacation packages or join their volun-tourism programs.
Is experiential tourism redefining travel or is it a fad that will eventually fade? If it is a lasting travel trend, how will it affect off-the-beaten-path destinations that usually do not see many mainstream tourists?