This is a pretty detailed account of one of the fastest growing segment in travel right now. Independent minded travelers can be any age or nationality. Many are the new millennium aged 30 something young adults growing up in a world running out of resources. polluting its own living and being rather careless with life in general. These new younger travelers have a conscience and are environmentally and culturally aware. They don’t want to do what everyone else does, they don’t care for luxury or glitz but they do like comfort, convince, character and authenticity.
“For centuries, some travellers have set out, literally, to get more from a journey. Initially, about the only people who travelled long distances were pilgrims seeking enlightenment or absolution. This spirit remains among the thousands who still make the ancient pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela: converging from across Europe to traverse the Pyrenees, meeting at the Monastery of Roncesvalles in far north Spain, and embarking on the long hike (or ride, or cycle) west to the shrine of St James. The Confraternity of St James (020-7928 9988; csj.org.uk).” Pretty philosophical journeys as reported in the Independent.
It does not have to be spiritual or philosophical at all. It does not have to be in the old world and can just as easily be a voyage to the America or the Caribbean. Independent-holidays can happen anywhere. Whats important for hoteliers, tourism operators and destinations is that they are aware of this trend and can design products and properties accordingly. The article is a great expression of what the INDI traveler is and what they want.
Here is another quote that provides a powerful insight into the new world traveller “The trail forged by Lonely Planet pioneers is now followed by tens of thousands of gap-year travellers, seeking to enhance their “life skills” in the broadest sense before starting university or full-time work. Their numbers have been swelled by adults who have found their life changed through anything from redundancy to divorce – and seeking a new challenge, skill or outlook.”
Very much we are now living in an age when travelers are interested in self discovery and in finding meaning in life. They are interested in culture, history and heritage more that ever before. These are the new indi-travelers. They are not tourist who bus it and do all-inclusive vacations, They are not yet a majority but the are growing and if you find them and cater to these needs you will be tapping into a highly sustainable market and perhaps a better lifestyle for all.
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See our article on Travelersinsights Magazine and their feature on Barbados holidays for the independent traveller. Its actually an example of the new “Brand Culture” hitting tourism. Check out more about brand culture in tourism in out blog inspired by Tech news.