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Experiential Travel Is The Key To Meaningful Experiences

  • 4 min read

Travel habits and interests have been changed significantly by the pandemic and its myriad of effects. Most notably – for the tourism sector at least – is that people don’t want the same things they did pre-COVID, and many cannot afford the same kind of luxury they might have done in the past.  

Nowadays people want to go beyond just seeing the sites – they want to delve deeper and experience all of the available culture and history. People are choosing experiences over amenities, and players in the tourism sector must adapt to meet this new demand.

Experiential travel (also known as immersion travel) revolves around cultural exploration and activity-based travel experiences. Gone are the days of having to book a once-in-a-lifetime deal at exorbitant prices! Tourists want experiences that enrich them and make them feel more connected to a place and culture. 

When the travel industry was still somewhat functional in 2019, the concept of experiential travel was already starting to gain traction. As Trip Advisor revealed at the time, bookings for classes, workshops, and other ‘experiences’ had nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019. Moreover, more people chose cultural or historical tours rather than bar hopping and sunbathing. As a result, the travel industry started taking note.

It has become clear that travelers want to experience original and extraordinary activities that have a deeply personal connection and that they know will make a difference to the communities that they visit. 

Luckily for us, Cape Town offers travelers the “world in one city”! With our beautiful mountain ranges, pristine beaches, and an abundance of cultural offerings, tourists are spoilt for choice when visiting our beloved Mother City. 

It’s no wonder then, that as more people opt for trips to Cape Town, we have seen a rise in experiential travel trends right here on our doorstep.  

Travelers Crave Local Experiences

The “experience economy” is huge in the travel industry right now.

Support of the local community, whether you are in South Africa or abroad, is fundamental and an integral part of experiential tourism. Additionally, partnerships and collaborations between local businesses are crucial to creating better, more authentic travel experiences. 

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) has launched #TheCablewayLovesLocal, a campaign that highlights the work of local businesses and organizations through strategic partnership marketing. The campaign aims to stretch over a year and will showcase exciting experiences between the Cableway and other Cape Town based service providers.

“The past two years have been incredibly tough for the tourism industry. Although we believe the worst is behind us, now is the time to start working together for a brighter future while promoting safe, conscious, and sustainable travel experiences in local places we love,” Wahida Parker, Managing Director at TMACC. 

Increased Demand for Wellness Travel

Now, more than ever people are looking to have wellness experiences that expand their cultural horizons and puts their health and well-being at the very centre of their travel experience.

Lockdowns, fluctuating restrictions, and the pandemic have caused significant mental and physical strain. As a result, it has been predicted that more people will travel to places that offer health-enhancing activities like hiking, swimming, and meditation.

Sustainable Travel Is a Growing Trend

The concepts of experiential and sustainable travel go hand-in-hand, as both involve being aware, socially conscious, and environmentally friendly. At heart, it aims to minimize the impact on local, cultural, and natural environments. 

To develop sustainable tourism destinations, it is necessary to maximize visitors’ experiences and enhance the sustainability of the destination. The TMACC focuses heavily on sustainability and are proud to have retained its Diamond Heritage Environmental rating in recognition of five years of continuous commitment to the environmental performance of the highest standard.

Table Mountain Offers It All

As well as boasting as a New 7 Wonder of Nature, Table Mountain offers an exciting, educational, and relaxing travel experience to its many visitors each year.

The cable car ride to the top is merely one of many activities that one can do on a solo adventure, or with loved ones at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.

Whether it’s an unforgettable hiking experience enjoying the stillness of nature and the breathtaking 360 views or purchasing locally produced souvenirs to remember your time with them, Table Mountain truly offers a holistic travel experience to all.