Travolution and Mastercard held an inaugural Travel Landscapes event this week with senior travel delegates hearing from inspiring speakers on the dreaming, booking and experiences phases of travel. Lee Hayhurst reports
A fusion of art, culture and heritage is driving force for modern travellers and destinations are responding, a Travolution/Mastercard Travel Landscapes event was told this week.
Florian Wupperfeld, founder of Leading Cultural Destinations, an online travel discovery channel, said millennial travellers define themselves by the cultures they embroil themselves in.
“Consumers are expecting something different from their travel experiences and museums and destinations are reacting,” he said.
“However, there are very few travel websites that offer travel experiences.
“There are so many amazing places right now around the world which are driven by culture, especially in a world where Instagram is key. These places are amazing places to visit.
“Museums are good at education but they are not so good at promoting themselves as tourism destinations. And yet four out of five visitors coming to London come here because of art, culture and heritage.
“Seven out of the top 10 visitor attractions in London are museums. They have a huge impact on tourism. People are driven by their desire for unique experiences.”
Wupperfeld added: “Culture is the new pop. It’s part of your personal branding, your DNA. It’s really all about discovering new places not just consumer brands.”
Museums, hotels and destinations are evolving to reflect this trend, said Wupperfield, with brands being syndicated, museums becoming concert or shopping venues and culinary destinations, hotels becoming art installations and fashion fusing with art and popular culture.
“It’s all about the immersive experience,” he said. “It’s amazing to share with selfies. An artwork environment is a great backdrop for photography. Places are building sets for selfies – you can basically become part of the artwork.
“We live to share our journeys and art makes us look cool and meaningful. Celebrities want to be associated with art too because it makes them look smart. We are creating cultural experiences for cultural nomads round the world.
“I believe the next generation of travellers will invest more of their money into experiences. Not just products.
“People today are saturated with global brands and you don’t need to travel to shop. Experiences are cool and fun and people are becoming a little bit more aware of how they consume. Culture is the glue for our new lifestyles.”