How do you decide where to spend your time off? Do you go for a new experience, somewhere you’ve never been before, or something reassuringly familiar? A place recommended by a friend, or something you saw on a TV travel show?
Holidays are a relatively recent invention – for most of human history we were too busy just staying alive. The Renaissance introduced the custom of wealthy travellers taking “The Grand Tour”, the Industrial Revolution led to seaside and country trips for the masses, then package holidays took most people beyond their own borders for the first time, for pleasure rather than war. See more on this in this video from the BBC.
To date, most travellers have been seeking breadth of experience – new destinations, more distant lands, new activities. Research commissioned by Amadeus shows that this is changing, with people now seeking depth beyond breadth. It’s no longer about going where no one else (or none of your friends) have been before, it’s about the richness of your experience whilst you’re there.
Developments in mobile technology underlie this change, allowing access to dynamic content in real time at the destination. Rather than relying on a travel writer’s view in a guidebook, we will be able to see the experience our friends had on previous visits. Augmented reality will allow us to view our location not only in the present, but also as it would have appeared at different times in the past – the wall in Berlin or the pyramids under construction.
But providing deeper experience requires deeper data – the next blog post will look at how that might be delivered.
For more information on next generation experience in travel, see Amadeus’ report on transformative travel.