In recent years, the travel industry has been dominated with “experiential travel,” which focuses on living like a local. However, according to travel experts, the industry is moving into a transformational phase.
Chris Roche, the business director of a luxury safari company told Business Insider, “’Experiential’ would’ve been the buzzword five years ago. The last couple of years, that’s transitioned into ‘transformational.’” Founded in 2016, the Transformational Travel Council defines transformational travel as “intentionally traveling to stretch, learn and grow into new ways of being and engaging with the world.” The Global Wellness Summit’s 2018 trends report says its increasingly popular right now.
“We’ve been living in a great age of ‘authentic’ and ‘experiential’ travel where even the most mainstream hotel brands aim to help travelers eat, live and spa like a local,” reads the report. “Travel experts now argue that ‘transformational travel’ is the evolutionary wave, which doesn’t discard the focus on authentic experiences, but takes it to a deeper emotional level.” Transformational travel takes different forms. It might mean exploring and learning about native plants and animals in a national park you’re visiting. It might also mean going for wellness activities.
Roche, who is the business director for Wilderness Holdings, owner of Wilderness Safaris, a Botswana-based luxury safari company, says their safaris transformation comes through reconnection.
“Our tag line is ‘our journeys change lives’ and it’s been that way for the last 15 years,” Roche said. “We sell [people] the ability … to reconnect with nature and, as a result, reconnect with themselves and their partner or kids or whoever it is they’re traveling with.”