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What a missed opportunity not to include TAHS-SA cultural experience and Abang Africa Travel in your article. These two companies are true specialists in authentic, meaningful travel and not larger operators for whom it is more a marketing tool. They would have added some true valuable insight in how to offer authentic meaningful travel. They have been recognized as such: TAHS-SA recently won two national Lilizela awards with their innovative, ground-breaking concept how to make authentic, meaningful travel fun ánd a truly enjoyable experience: one for culture/community tourism, the second one is the inaugural 'we do tourism' award . Abang Africa Travel was awarded the runner-up spot as 'the one to watch' in the ARTA 2018 awards this year and has the same philosophy.
What ever happened to the "holiday-maker"? Rarely in discussions on markets, do I see a reference to the people who have worked all year like dogs, and now just want a break. I agree that experiences are hugely important, and that there is a definite growing niche market, but I don't necessarily go completely with Deidre's comment above: “The main objective is for the traveller to feel changed, inspired, motivated and enlightened."
Many just want to go home relaxed, having been to some really interesting places, met some interesting people (probably eaten to much) and seen some of the sights. My "holiday-maker" would probably like to have one or two "authentic" experiences, such as local food, biking in Soweto, a morning walking tour, etc. But this person also wants to sleep late, read the book they haven't had time for and go exploring at leisure.
I think sometimes we forget the fact that places become "touristy", because people want to go there. The key challenge is to manage these attractions, so that we do not have over-tourism and keep the essence of place that brought people in the first place.