Experiential Tourism Trends: our predictions for 2020

The rise of experiential tourism in itself was a trend in 2019 and by next year, in 2020, it will have sparked a few trends itself. As the tourism industry adapts to the growing demand of immersive experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and sustainable activities, we can expect the following experiential tourism trends in 2020.

5 Experiential Tourism Trends to Watch: Our Predictions for 2020

In these times of climate change, never-ending technological progress, polarizing politics and growing globalization, there are a few evolutions that are undeniable to whoever pays attention. 

One evolution that really stands out can generally be put as follows: an increasing number of people are desperately looking for a getaway in more than one sense. They want to get away from their daily chores, escape the pressure of social media, leave behind the stress of work.

In other words, they want to relax, slow down, and have an actual real-life experience that they choose and that also matters. Authenticity plays a key role there.

These are the five biggest experiential tourism trends you can expect in 2020. As a travel agent or tour operator, you’d be wise to prepare for this. Set up your business model so that you can ride the wave on top when it arrives, rather than being pushed down and drowned by better-prepared competitors.

Experiential Tourism Trends: our predictions for 20201. Growth of Environmental Awareness

As the consequences of global warming become clear and undeniable, more travelers will take this into account when planning their trips and holidays, as well as organizing their everyday lives.

The realization that it’s critical to take care of the environment will continue to spread in 2020, which will be reflected in people’s travel behavior. They’ll be a bit less likely to quickly hop on a plane and focus more on slow travel. This means an increased demand for outdoor, human-powered activities, as well as one-destination vacations rather than “traveling while traveling”.

2. More Family and Multigenerational Travel

Social media has allowed people to stay in touch at all times, in almost every location. Yet, this has also led to more individualism and fewer real-life personal interactions. This is the trigger for a growth in family-focused and multigenerational travel.

While our lives get busier and busier, there’s also a bigger desire to spend quality time with family. And what better opportunity to do that than on a trip together? We expect a continued growth in family travel to be one of the major experiential tourism trends in 2020.

3. The Rise of Less-Visited Destinations

This fascinating experiential tourism trend is in line with number 1 above. According to a study done by Booking.com, more than half of global travelers would like to actively help reduce overtourism and change their original destination for a less-known one if that means a smaller ecological footprint.

This is an important way in which travelers can help protect the environment in the next decade. The fact this boosts local economies and positively impact local communities, too, is another massive benefit.

Italy will continue to be one of the world’s most popular destinations in 2020, but thanks to its numerous off-the-beaten-track regions and cities, it plays a huge role in the emergence of experiential tourism.

At Artès, for example, we offer immersive Stories to Live Together in destinations like Basilicata, Piedmont, Apulia, Sicily and Sardinia.

4. Culinary Tourism Gets Bigger

The best memories are created when several senses are used at the same time. And there’s no better way to do than than enjoying delicious, authentic and local food. While it was once a trend itself, culinary tourism now occupies its own, rather large, niche in the international tourism industry.

In 2020, we predict that food travel will continue its rise as it has in recent years. Definitely one of the biggest (and arguably easiest) experiential tourism trends to take advantage of as a tourism company in Italy!

5. Group Getaways Become More Popular

We’ve talked about the rise of family and multigenerational travel above, but group getaways in general are getting more popular. From incentive travel offered by businesses to couples vacations and adventurous trips among friends, like-minded people will travel together more.

This is another logical result of the increased focus on immersive experiences while traveling. After all, when you travel with people you like and/or share common interests or passions with, you’re much more likely to have much more fun. Once again, it’s the search for experiences that matter and mean something that influences this experiential tourism trend.

For more information about all our immersive, hands-on and interactive tours, you can take a look at our Stories To Live Together page.