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    29 February 2024

    Experiential Travel: 7 Ways Hotels Can Capitalise on This Trend

    experiential travel

    Classic city sightseeing tours might be excellent ways to orient visitors to your city during a routine flop and drop getaway, but an increasing number of travellers are seeking more during their stays. Travellers crave connection and understanding, which is fuelling the fast-growing experiential tourism sector.

    And what's experiential travel? This is an increasingly popular way of travelling in which travellers desire a bespoke, customisable, and personalised trip. The goal is to create a deeper connection between travellers and locals and greater understanding of the local culture.

    From adventurous activities to cooking classes to attending local events, here are seven simple and inexpensive ways hoteliers can adapt their offerings to capitalise on the experiential travel trend.


    Good Examples of Experiential Tourism

    Gap year and college students have long been engaged in experiential travel through study abroad programmes, cultural exchanges and homestays, and language immersion programmes. However, families, middle-age travellers, and retirees are increasingly demanding experiential travel that promotes learning and self-discovery. 

    Leverage your location, property, and resources to efficiently and effectively deliver experiential trips of a lifetime. It's important that these initiatives are genuine, creative, sustainable, and supportive to your community. Get inspired by these seven examples of experience tourism sure to impress even the most seasoned travellers.

    Luxury experience travel

    The key to creating captivating experiential travel experiences is authenticity. Luxury is not just about price point; it's a mindset. Offering exclusive, limited, one-of-a-kind experiences is the key to attracting the attention of luxury travellers

    Many luxury travellers like to revisit their favourite cities and surrounding areas to indulge in more cultural experiences. Whether it's guests' first or fifth trip to your city, here's how you can cater to the luxury experience travel trend:

    • Arrange private dining experiences with local chefs on-site.

    • Arrange private spirits and wine tasting experiences with local mixologists and sommeliers.

    • Create bespoke daily itineraries catered to guests' preferences, including dining, entertainment, shopping, sightseeing, and spa.

    • Host one-on-one or small group cultural classes with local artisans on-site.

    • Offer private tours with local experts, instructors, and university professors to points of interest.

    • Work with local businesses, museums, and others to create one-of-a-kind opportunities for guests to explore these places just like a local, museum curator, or expert.

    Interested in more ideas to cater to luxury travellers? Get some inspiration in our article on best hotel amenities.  

    With Hotelbeds, you get the chance to access hard-to-reach and valuable segments like luxury travellers easily. Register your property here and start your journey with us!
    Already joined Hotelbeds? Then log in to our Partner Extranet instead.

    Culinary experience travel

    Sure, visitors can check off Michelin-starred restaurants and try snacks from famous street vendors, but culinary experiential travel is all about learning, seeing, and doing. Instead of just eating a menu of local signature dishes, travellers also want to hear about the origins and significance of these foods, learn how to make them, interact with the purveyors, and sample these local delicacies.

    Culinary experiences you can incorporate at your property include:

    • Arrange guided visits to local markets.

    • Arrange visits to local farms, distilleries, and vineyards.

    • Host cooking classes with local chefs on-site.

    • Host mixology classes with local bartenders on-site.

    • Include local treats for welcome refreshments and nightly turndown service.

    • Lead foraging adventures on-site or off-site and produce picking at local farms.

    • Localise bar and restaurant menus.

    • Offer picnic baskets and snack boxes with local eats and treats.

    Cultural experience travel

    Nobody knows a location better than the locals, and, for many travellers, it's simple to identify the places of significance by consulting a guidebook or having a chat with your concierge. Cultural experiential travel takes cultural experience travel further, informing beyond surface level and photo ops. 

    Collaborating beyond your property with destination management companies, experiential travel companies, local artisans, and organisations is essential for curating compelling cultural experience travel. 

    Examples of cultural experience travel include:

    • Arrange guided tours of artists' studios and villages and strolls through handicraft markets.

    • Arrange visits to indigenous communities.

    • Host cultural classes (e.g. cooking, dance, language and customs, martial arts, and music) on-site or off-site.

    • Host hands-on art classes (e.g. glassblowing, painting, pottery) on-site or locally.

    • Host performances by local dancers, musicians, and singers on-site.

    • Organise tours led by local experts to off-the-beaten path points of interest, restaurants, and shops.

    • Organise 'behind the scenes' and after-hour private tours of top sightseeing destinations.

    Music tourism travel

    Sometimes, it's the event and not the destination that motivates travel. Music lovers willing to travel far and wide to see their favourite bands and musicians can be music to your ears and bottom line. Check to see which music festivals, concerts, and performances are happening this year and plan promotions that target fans.

    Maximise music travel:

    • Create music-related packages, including bundling brunch or dinner, post-concert midnight snacks, and/or room decor with the room rate.

    • Host music classes, jam sessions, and dance parties on-site.

    • Offer special/lower rates on the very best rooms around the time of a concert to encourage upselling.

    • Offer incentives and promotions for multi-day stays. Rather than offering a one-night deal on the day of the performance, consider offering two-, three-, or four-night deals that allow ticket holders to arrive the day before the concert and take an extra day to explore your city.

    • Offer staycation packages for local ticket holders that include transportation to and from the performance venue.

    • Partner with performance producers to create one-of-a-kind experiences available to hotel guests only. These fan-favourite experiences could include performer meet-and-greets, VIP lounges, and souvenir bags with exclusive merchandise.

    • Partner with tourism groups to arrange tours of local musical locations of significance like museums, performance halls, and famous musical venues.

    Adventure experience travel

    Many travellers now want to take the road less travelled, fuelling adventure experiential travel. Indulge their desires:

    • Create personalised itineraries that incorporate physical activities like cycling, safaris, hiking, photography, and wellness-focused activities.

    • Incorporate local cuisines and beverages on menus.

    • Host classes and lectures on local customs and traditions.

    • Host cultural exchanges and opportunities to explore the city with locals.

    • Offer excursions to lesser-known destinations.

    Volunteer experience travel

    Travelling can be life changing for travellers and impactful on the communities they visited. One of the most powerful ways to learn about a place is for visitors to share their time and talent with the local community

    • Create connections between your guests and your community with volunteer opportunities that can last from a few hours to a day or more. From beach clean-ups to home building to tutoring, you can facilitate a positive impact one guest at a time.


    • Educational experience travel supports that belief that we’re all lifelong learners. Creating opportunities for your guests to partake in unique activities, learn new skills, or try new things helps them on their journey of self-discovery and exploration. 

    Finding ways to incorporate local arts and crafts, culinary, dance, fitness, language, and music classes on-site is an easy way to elevate each guest's stay, localise your offerings, and encourage return stays. 

    Another relevant travel experience that is becoming more popular is film tourism. Learn more about this travel trend and how to capitalise on screen tourism as a Destination Marketing tool. 

    Which of these experiential travel trends could you focus on?

    Start with micro goals to inspire your team to drive occupancy, upselling, and revenue. Pick one experiential travel trend and see it through from conception to execution this year. 

    Hotelbeds can help you gain exposure to travel distributors and attract high-value clients. Among many other benefits, you will: 

    • Access to the travel ecosystem, putting your property in front of 66,000+ distributors, including travel agents, airlines, tour operators, and more.

    • Be included in relevant, timely campaigns throughout the year.

    • Access to the Partner Extranet to conveniently manage inventory, upload new photos, add or remove room types, adjust rates, and manage availability calendar.

    You’re just a few clicks away to start benefiting from this wide range of advantages. Register your property here today! 
    Have you already joined Hotelbeds? In this case, log in to the Partner Extranet and ensure your property details and rates are up-to-date to welcome more travellers seeking new experiences. 

    Finally, don’t forget to download our free report on the major travel trends for 2024. Discover more about the trends that will shape our industry this year. Get it below. 

    travel trends 2024 cheatsheet

    Main Travel Trends for 2024: What’s in Store for Hotels? 

    Get now our travel trends report aimed at hoteliers and discover new ideas to improve your offering in 2024