The Search for More Travel Experiences and Less Material Goods

The megatrend ‘Experience More’ shows that consumers are spending more and more on experiences instead of material goods, which represents a huge potential to brands that offer value-added experiences. It is a global phenomenon permeable in every industry, product, and service. Consumer’s expenses with experiences should increase from $5.8 trillion in 2016 to $8 trillion in 2030, considering leisure, recreation, travel and food services as a proxy. In emerging regions, for example, consumers nowadays spend around 10% of their income on experiences.

According to Euromonitor’s 2017 Global Consumer Survey, 37% of Latin-American said that they intend to increase their spending with leisure travel and holidays in 2018. This is the highest response rate of all regions and is also above the global response rate of 29%. Moreover, travel and holidays are the activities that on which Latin Americans are most likely to increase their spending.

Source: Global Consumer Survey 2017, Euromonitor International


Creating Unique Local Experiences for Travelers

There is a growing movement of experiences coaxed by the consumer’s perception that experiences make them happy. Companies like Airbnb, that work focusing on authenticity, have a good performance and form with their users a community based on shared interests.

Airbnb’s business model is intrinsically blended with the search for what is real and authentic, as reinforced by the company’s motto that was created for travelers who want to “live like a local” instead of staying in traditional hotels. Airbnb is an archetypical brand of the shared economy, putting the social and human element in the front and in the center of its service offer. While associating its brand with a lifestyle, Airbnb promotes a trusting and loyal relationship with its users.

At the end of the day, what really matters to brands from now on is identifying what is driving the new behavior of the people who want to travel. The habit of prioritizing experiences instead of material goods and a stronger preference for brands that consumers feel they can engage with – in the sense of having a “non-commoditized”, authentic, and customized experience “like a local” – are key issues that travel industry players must have in mind in the next years.


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