Experiential travel, also known as immersion travel, is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food and environment. It can often be transformative. Therewith the concept is based on very similar mechanisms as for example experiential education, experiential knowledge, experiential interior design, and experiential marketing.
Experiential travel can emphasize different areas of local life – culinary, culture, history, shopping, nature or social life – and can therewith be the basis for a holistic travel experience. The goal is to more deeply understand a travel destination's culture, people and history by connecting with it more than just by visiting it. Therefore, the traveller usually gets in touch with locals who give guidance how to experience a place. This can be a friend, an accommodation host or another person.
The term "experiential travel" is already mentioned in books and publications from 1985 – however, it has become a more popular market trend in recent years. In 2017, 65% of travelers preferred 'experiencing something new' over 'feeling rested and recharged'.
- New York Times "New Frontier for Tourists: Your Home"
- "Why "Transformative Travel" Will Be the Travel Trend of 2017". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
- Washington Post "Coming and Going: New hotel booking site, travel trends and more news"
- "Experiential Travel: Manipulative Marketing or Transformative Trend? - TRAVEL COLLECTING". TRAVEL COLLECTING. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
- Weekly Travel "African safaris: As experiential as it gets"
- Peak Management Company (2014). "The Rise of Experiential Travel" (PDF). Skift Special Report.
- Google Books "Insights in strategic retail management"
- How Experiential Travel Can Change Your Life
- "U.S. Experiential Traveler Trends 2018: Annual Survey on Traveler Behavior, Motivations & Preferences". Skift Research. Retrieved 2018-08-13.