88% of OutThere travellers profess to be culture vultures this year (an increase of 9% from last year). Of our six traveller types, “Culturalist” continues to poll highest this year. Live art and culture are among OutThere travellers’ primary interests when travelling. After Covid, they are desperate for live culture – museums, shows and cultural attractions in the immediate context – but also experiencing wider culture in general; be it interacting with people of different backgrounds, or other culturally-linked experiences like food and drink, as well as history and heritage. This is also heavily linked to their desire to return to cities and their surroundings that provide access to such experiences.
87% of OutThere travellers have said that they have tried to access global cultural experiences from home during the pandemic. Of those, 71% have admitted that they struggle with the depth and quality that virtual cultural experiences have given them. Live events will never be replaced.
We anticipate that there will be a surge in demand for cultural experiences in travel during 2023. 86% of OutThere travellers had visited a cultural attraction or event in person in 2022.
Tourism providers should look to provide an integrated approach, to include and even centralise cultural immersion within their offerings. In line with OutThere travellers’ desire for connection/reconnection and community, there is an opportunity to build on diversity and inclusion, particularly involving local communities in showcasing cultural sub-sectors, but on a micro level, creative economies, living heritage and community-based cultural expressions.
“Cultural tourism UNWTO as tourism centred on cultural attractions and products –is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry. At its highest potential, it accounts for an estimated 40% of all tourism worldwide. It intersects with heritage and religious sites, crafts, performing arts, gastronomy, festivals and special events, among others. Post-pandemic, cultural tourism will be a continuously growing and evolving sector, which continues to be transformed by changing lifestyles, burgeoning forms of culture and creativity, and traditional and digital innovation. It has also become an increasingly complex phenomenon… taking on greater political, economic, social, educational and ecological dimensions. The pandemic presents the opportunity to experiment with new models to shape more effective and sustainable alternatives for the future. While it has dramatically shifted the policy context for cultural tourism, it has also provided the opportunity to experiment with integrated models that can be taken forward in the post-pandemic context.”
Photography by BJ Pascual on location in Manila, the Philippines for OutThere’s Modern Manila Issue