As part of its continual strive to bring guests meaningful and real travel experiences, Trafalgar undertook some thought-provoking research to uncover what travellers are truly seeking from their holidays and what ‘The Good Life’ really means to them. The results were surprising and somewhat disconcerting, with the overall sentiment stipulating that rather than travel evoking wanderlust, the wonder of travel is getting lost.
A staggering 89% of respondents, including a large sample of New Zealanders, said travel is enjoyable but stressful and difficult to plan, and 49% surveyed claimed that “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel that real – that travel is becoming a common tourist trail. 37% surveyed felt they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip and almost half of participants said if they did, these experiences were not unique. Another alarming statistic unveiled 61% of travellers are feeling the negative effects of overtourism, with over-crowding (experienced by 66%) putting a dampener on their holidays. The burden of social media is also getting to travellers, with 53% saying that the pressures of posting on holiday were enough to put them off.
The study showed that respondents believe ‘good’ travel is an opportunity to step away from daily life and pressures, be surprised and challenged, learn, appreciate and experience something new. Spending time with loved ones in a relaxed state of mind is key and remembering one’s own values in life, personally and philosophically, is what’s important. Trafalgar’s findings showed that 83% of participants said happiness is more important than success and 79% valued being well more than being wealthy. 76% preferred having experiences over having “things” and 71% saw trips where they had new experiences as being more important than those where they visited all the sights – 47% feeling a sense of guilt when they hadn’t checked them off.
These findings are what has driven Trafalgar’s innovation across its new Europe & Britain 2020 program, focusing on the three general themes that make a ‘good’ holiday – one that is easy, allows you to make connections, and brings true joy.