Regional Product Manager in the Americas, Simon Lindsay, shares his insight on the shifting demand from the traditional flop and drop to immersive, multi-day experiential travel within the North American market.
The world has changed. We hear this phrase more often due to several factors impacting our planet: the COVID pandemic, climate change, political instability and uprisings, the demand for a better world… However, one thing has remained constant: our desire to connect with people and our planet. People want to reconnect with friends and family, want to escape the stresses of daily life, learn new things, and have new experiences. 2020 gave us time to reflect on what is important; we became more aware of our personal wellbeing. These factors will be important considerations when travel returns.
The media reports on a substantial pent-up demand for travel as borders reopen and flights resume. Holidays, of course, are synonymous with good feelings, great memories, and the escape from the daily grind. But what type of vacation do people want to take, as they make up for ‘lost’ time?
Visiting a craft shop in the Dominican Republic
Whilst flop-and-drop continues to be one of the main reasons for travel to the Caribbean/Americas, we are seeing an increasing demand for more experiential travel inclusions – a notable change from previous years.
The big focus on requests from our partners is centred around personal wellbeing and immersive culturally rich inclusions. Yoga, wellness, spa inclusions – these experiences giving people time for mindfulness and healing are proving popular in Tulum, Isla Holbox and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as well as in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
Activities that ignite the senses and broaden cultural understanding are also proving popular inclusion requests for multi-day itineraries. These are hands-on experiences such as food and drinks tours, cooking classes, market visits, homestays, and other introductions to the local way of life. The focus here is on immersion as opposed to mere observation.